Bead beaters are an essential tool in any laboratory that needs to open cells and analyze the contents, whether DNA, RNA, protein, or analytes.  Using glass (silica) and zirconium beads, bead beating can be very effective and fast at cell lysis.  Traditionally bead beating was a bottleneck in sample preparation, but with the development of high throughput homogenizers, samples can be homogenized in 96 well plates. Bead beaters (formerly called mixer mills) are now designed that can process individual disruption tubes up to racks of tubes or even microwell plates.

Though simple in theory, bead beating can be quite complex as several factors must work together to effectively homogenize samples:

  • The tube, or microwell plate, used in bead beating is not just a sample holder, but actively participates in the homogenization, 
  • The stroke length of the amalgamator or mixer mill is also critical, as is the physical motion it imparts on the sample tube, 
  • The selection of bead type, such as silica (glass) or ziroconium, or grinding balls used, normally made of stainless steel, is important, and 
  • Finally, sample type, mass, volume, and extraction buffer all impact the effectiveness of the homogenization.

In choosing a bead beater, the number of samples processed simultaneously should be taken into consideration, especially for laboratories processing hundreds of samples daily.

Homogenizer Comparison
  HT Mini™ HT 6™  HT 24™   1600 MiniG™ 2010 GenoGrinder®
Low Speed/High Speed 2700/4000 rpm 2500/4250 rpm 2500/4250 rpm   500/1500 strokes/minute  500/1750 strokes/minute
Motion Arc Arc Figure 8 Linear
Cryogenic Capabilities  No Yes
Ideal Sample types Most samples, aside from elastic, hard animal tissue, and bark or seeds. All Sample types
Disruption Tubes 3 (non-skirted) 6 24   50 100
4 ml Vials - - -   48 96
15 ml Vials - - -   10 20
50 ml Vials  - - -   5 10
Deep 96 Well Plate - - -   2 4-6


For more information on the homogenizer's capabilities refer to our Bead Beating Guide's section on Bead Beaters.

1600 MiniG®

At just over half the cost of a 2010 GenoGrinder, the 1600 Mini G is a great alternative homogenizer for labs that process many samples.

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Geno/Grinder® 2010, 115V

The Geno/Grinder® 2010 is a high throughput homogenizer for the most demanding labs.

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HT 24™
HT 24™

A tabletop bead beater that processes samples in microfuge tubes.

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HT 6™
HT 6™


HT Mini™
HT Mini™

 The HT Mini provides an efficient means to bead beating but at a fraction of the cost.