Used Thermo Fisher Scientific Cryostats
Before selling its anatomical pathology division to PHC Holdings Corporation in early 2019, Thermo Fisher was one of the largest manufacturers of histology equipment. With two flagship cryostat brands, Microm and Shandon, Thermo offered both premium and budget-friendly sectioning options.
Now, going on two years after the sale to PHC, Thermo cryostats can still be easily found on the used market -- and they're still in high demand.
If you're in need of a "new" cryostat, read below for the details on Thermo's cryostats and what the used market landscape looks like for them.
Types of Thermo Cryostats
Some other cryostat manufacturers, such as Leica, offer both standard floor cryostats and portable benchtop cryostats. Thermo only supplies floor cryostats; however, there is a lot of variance between the models. We'll expound on Thermo's offerings below.
Notable Product Lines
Thermo had two separate brand of cryostats: Microm and Shandon. Because of the disparities in featureset, user experience, and price, it's clear that each brand was geared for different customer demographics.
Simply put, Microm is geared for power users, or at least frequent users. These units offer a premium sectioning experience and have all the bells 'n whistles you could need. In fact, Microm cryostats offer the best user experience of any brand, from any manufacturer, that we've had through here at New Life Scientific. Additionally, Microm is the only brand common on the used market that offers height adjustment in some models.
All of these niceties come at a cost, of course. Microm cryostats are significantly more expensive than Shandon, but if you're going to be slicing a lot or have complex requirements, the added costs will definitely be worth it. Older Microm units, such as the HM550, can typically be purchased between $6,000 and $8,000 used. Newer models like the CryoStar NX70 are available anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 used.
Shandon cryostats were designed with budget-conscious, no-nonsense buyers in mind. They're of acceptable quality but don't offer as many features as Microm units -- and their prices reflect that. You can purchase tested, serviced Shandon cryostats between $2,500 and $4,500.
If you have a lighter microtomy workload and simpler needs, then a Shandon system would work well for you.
Why Buy a Used Thermo Cryostat?
- Lower costs: Used lab equipment is considerably cheaper (oftentimes over 50% off) than new, even when the differences between a used system and a new system are minimal. This is especially true of cryostats and, given that they're designed to last a long time, even a 10+ year old cryostat can still deliver a good ROI.
- Eco-friendly: By supporting the used instrumentation economy, you're helping us extend the life of perfectly functional instruments and keep them out of landfills.
Why Buy from New Life Scientific?
Given our experience with cryostats and refrigeration systems, we offer an extensive degree of service and testing. Our team always makes sure to restore common failure points, like peltiers and refrigeration lines, back to their original functionality.
What to Look For in a Used Thermo Cryostat
- Warranty: Used equipment isn't always sold by trustworthy dealers. They might say a cryostat is "working great", but when it stops working in a month, you're out of luck. Here at New Life Scientific, most of our products come with a 90-day warranty, and we go above and beyond to deliver equipment that works. In addition to our standard 90-day warranty, we also offer extended 120-day and 1-year warranties on some items.
- Features: Certain Thermo cryostats have variate models based on the features they have, like a vacutome, UV disinfection, etc. You'll need to have a good understanding of the features you most need, then search out the corresponding models. Not all HM550s are equal!
- Blade Holder Type: Permanent or disposable? This question is answered by your use case, so you'll want to make sure the cryostat you buy has a blade holder that will fit your needs.
- Age: There are certain models that you should avoid simply because of how old they are, like the Microm HM 500, Microm HM 505/E, and older Cryotome E units.
Pro Tip: Don't buy an HM560. They are prone to failure and difficult to repair.