Used versus New Metal Lab Cabinets: What to factor into laboratory cabinet buying decisions

If you are planning to build or renovate a laboratory, one of the most important decisions you will have to make is what kind of furniture and casework to use. Among the various options available, metal lab cabinets are a popular choice for many types of laboratories, such as research, education, medical, industrial and consumer goods labs. Made of heavy-duty steel, epoxy powder coated metal, stainless steel, phenolic resin or polypropylene, they offer many advantages over other materials, such as durability, fire-resistance, low maintenance and easy cleaning.

Weighing the Alternatives

However, metal cabinets can also be expensive, especially if you need custom designs or special features. That’s why some laboratory owners may consider buying a used metal laboratory cabinet instead of new ones, hoping to save some money and reduce environmental impact. But is buying used metal lab cabinets always a good idea?

One of the advantages of purchasing previously used lab cabinets is that they can offer some benefits over new ones, such as:

  • Cost-effectiveness: Purchasing pre-used lab cabinets can help you save up to 50% or more compared to new ones. This can help you lower your initial costs and allocate more resources to other aspects of your laboratory project.
  • Eco-friendliness: Choosing gently-used metal cabinets can help you reduce your environmental impact by reusing existing materials and avoiding waste generation. This can also help you meet green building standards and certifications, such as LEED or WELL.
  • Time-efficiency: Purchasing previously used metal lab cabinets can help you accelerate your project timeline by avoiding long lead times and delays that may occur when ordering new ones. This can also help you avoid paying extra fees for expedited shipping or installation.

However, buying used metal lab furniture and cabinets can also have some drawbacks over buying new ones. They may lack customization, and could have no warranty left on them. You may not be able to find a used metal laboratory cabinet that matches your specifications, such as size, color, style and functionality.

Factors to consider when buying metal lab cabinets

Whether you decide to buy used or new lab cabinets, LEI Sales has a wide range of products available for you. However, there are various options to consider before making your final purchase.  That’s because, depending on each lab’s function, various types of cabinets serve diverse purposes:

  • Base Cabinets: These are floor-mounted cabinets with ends, a back, and a face. The face might have drawers or doors for storage access.
  • Mobile Cabinets: Mounted on casters, these cabinets come with a variety of drawers and doors, often equipped with safety features like interlocking drawer devices and anti-tip mechanisms.
  • Wall Cabinets: Affixed vertically, these cabinets lack drawers and are usually less than 48” high. They can have open faces or doors for storage access.
  • Counter Mounted Cabinets: Lab designers mount these cabinets on work surfaces or shelves, typically measuring 48” in height.
  • Tall Cabinets: Floor-placed and standing at 84” high, these cabinets offer substantial storage. They may have open faces or drawers/doors for storage needs.

Finally, not all suppliers of metal lab cabinets have stellar credentials like LEI Sales has. You should research your supplier’s reputation and reliability in terms of quality, service and support. You should check their credentials, certifications and references, and verify their compliance with industry standards and regulations.