Guide To Buying a Used Laboratory Vacuum Pump

Used Laboratory Vacuum Pumps- What you need to know before you purchase

A laboratory vacuum pump is a type of lab equipment routinely found in chemistry and scientific laboratories and are used for a wide variety of applications. Purchasing a vacuum pump can be an excruciating process. Since 1982, has purchased, repaired, rebuilt and scrapped a number of vacuum pumps. The demand for quality vacuum has not changed in the laboratory environment. The introduction of oil-less vacuum pumps has made tremendous market strides in the 6 mBar to 100 mBar range. To achieve vacuum levels of 20 mTorr or greater, oil vacuum pump is still the preferred market leader.

Vacuum pumps are routinely used for:

  • Providing suction to drive the filtration or aspiration of a liquid or a suspension.
  • To induce evaporation or Solvent Control of evaporation by reducing vapor pressure, as in ovens, rotary evaporators, gel dryers, and concentrators
  • Used to improve instrument-detection sensitivity by evaluating air molecules that might obscure or contaminate samples, as in a mass spectrometer.
  • To collect gas samples from test chambers or the atmosphere.
  • To provide a negative pressure (that is, less than atmospheric pressure) environment to prevent escape of potentially hazardous sample materials.
  • Vacuum Drying
  • Impregnation
  • Extraction

Why purchase a used vacuum pump?

While newer lab vacuum pumps offer improved high vacuum technology, corrosion resistance, vacuum control, and efficiency, buying a used laboratory vacuum pumps can offer a significant savings in cost.

Questions you should ask when buying laboratory vacuum pump

Here are our top recommendations for choosing the right vacuum pump for your application:

  1. What will you be using the vacuum pump for? Different applications have varying levels of vacuum requirements. Review all the various uses for a pump and then evaluate the levels of vacuum that will be required.
  2. Is corrosion a concern?
  3. Is contamination a concern?
  4. Is cost a factor?

Types of Used Laboratory Vacuum Pumps

Different types of vacuum pumps will provide very different levels of vacuum. Cost usually increases with vacuum capabilities.

Laboratory/Filtration vacuum pumps:

Low vacuum pumps used in filtering, drying, degassing, and evaporation applications. Most laboratory/filtration pumps have vacuum and pressure capabilities

Rough vacuum pumps:

Used in applications requiring a level of vacuum less than 10–3 Torr, such as degassing, freeze drying, and cryogenics

High vacuum pumps:

Those vacuums higher than 10–3 Torr, used for mass spectroscopy, electron microscopy, evaporation coating, and space simulation


Non lubricated. Typical dry pumps include diaphragm, piston, scroll, and turbomolecular pumps


Corrosion resistant but are unsuitable for water vapor sensitive systems. Disposing of contaminated water is a common concern with this type of pump. Common water-based pumps include water aspirator pumps. VACUUM LEVEL: LOW


Oil-lubricated pumps include rotary vane pumps and gear pumps. These are the most common type of vacuum pumps used in laboratories.



Type of DRY PUMP.




Type of OIL lubricated pump used in many types of applications.

Scroll Laboratory Vacuum Pumps

Newer vacuum pump technology that offers the higher levels of vacuum and oil pump capabilities WITHOUT the need for oil.

Turbo Laboratory Vacuum Pumps

Offer the HIGHEST LEVEL OF VACUUM.   chart comparing price versus risk with used laboratory vacuum pumps  

AS-IS Vacuum Pump VS Rebuilt

Rebuilt/Reconditioned Vacuum Pumps can offer a higher quality brand or product at a price at a much lower cost than purchasing a brand new pump. Our refurbished vacuum pumps are throughly inspected and tested after a through reconditioning process.

Vacuum Pumps Rebuilt Refurbished vs "Used AS-IS"- What is the difference?

Buying a "Used AS-IS" vacuum pump verse a rebuilt / refurbished can be difficult decision. The "AS-IS used" pump should be priced much lower than the rebuilt pumps being offered. Rebuilding a vacuum pump can be a challenge but offers significant advantages. Please call us and let us guide you to the most efficient and economical solution for your organization.

Watch the Video Below on video on Rebuilt / Refurbished vacuum pumps versus a used as-is vacuum pump

Buying a Rebuilt Laboratory Vacuum Pump

Looks "clean" vs looks "not clean"

It is very difficult to determine if a pump being redeployed from storage or being purchased on the secondary market is fully functional or defective. The two videos below will help demonstrate how confusing and frustrating vacuum pumps can be. The first video demonstrates that just because a cosmetically clean appearing vacuum pump looks good it might not function at all. The second video demonstrates that a cosmetically destroyed vacuum pump might be fully functional.

HiTechTrader's definitions, cost evaluation and risk ratings regarding vacuum pumps


AS-IS Vacuum Pumps

This category of pump can be purchased at very low cost, but the risk is extremely high. The status of the internal parts and seals are unknown. Even though we run these pumps with oil and achieve vacuum, the reliability of the pumps working for an extended amount of time cannot be determined.

Why purchase an "AS-IS" vacuum pump?

A) Individuals who typically purchase these pumps either have very little funds allocated to getting a vacuum pump. This is beneficial for running a few experiments where extended use is not necessary. B) If catastrophic failure with the exact same pump currently in use. Customers require the "as is" pumped to be immediately shipped and work for a short duration of time while their primary pump is out for repair.

Repaired Vacuum Pumps

This category of pump surprisingly is still high risk. Repairs costs can range from $100-$500. Replacing motors or electrical problems can be accomplished for very low cost. Repairing the vacuum side of the pump can be quite challenging. Repairing a pump is by definition finding the defective/nonfunctioning part and replacing it. We characterize the entire system still at high risk because to repair the nonfunctioning part on the vacuum side you need to rip apart the primary seals. We've seen many repaired pumps still not function properly because once reassembled the disturbed seals will not hold. In conclusion, the potential downtime of not having the vacuum running, repeated shipping cost have the vacuum pump repaired again, and the possibility of not achieving good vacuum does not in our opinion make repairing vacuum pumps a good business decision.

Rebuilt Vacuum Pumps

Rebuilding a pump can be costly but the risk rating is very low. Rebuilding costs can range from $500-$1200 depending on the pump and the parts. Rebuilt vacuum pumps typically have three month warranties for parts and labor and will achieve better vacuum for a longer duration of time than a repaired pump. Achieving good vacuum, low risk in other components failing, and minimizing down time other primary reasons for getting a pump rebuilt. highly recommends rebuilt vacuum pumps. Click here to see our selection of rebuilt laboratory vacuum pumps Rebuilt pumps have been solvent washed, sandblasted and retrofitted with the proper seals, gaskets and springs.