accuracy of syringes

Discussion in 'DIY E-Liquid' started by cjcaddy, Aug 17, 2014.

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  1. cjcaddy

    cjcaddy Full Member

    new to DIY and it occurred to me that using a syringe isn't really accurate. I measured 1 ml with a syringe (with and w/o a needle attached)and transferred that amount to a 1 ml glass dripper and found that it measured about 1.1 ml. Obviously not often an issue except when you are dealing with really strong or highly concentrated flavours. anyone else notice this or think it may be an issue? am I being too anal LOL?
  2. Dogeggs

    Dogeggs Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    As long as your measurements are repeatable, ie use the same type of syringes, then it won't matter a bit.
  3. Lexibiscuit

    Lexibiscuit Full Member

    I was sorta worried about the same thing...I like to use a blunt needle on the syringe when I'm making 5ml test batches, but doesn't that change the amount of liquid that is collected in the syringe? And I've found not all the flavor liquid come out of the syringe. I've started measuring out the PG/VG amount into a small container, and draw some up to "rinse" the flavor liquid out of the syringe. When you're measuring hundredths of a ml, the recipe is probably not repeatable for a 30ml batch. Tiny differences, multiplied, become large differences. It's probably not a big deal, but since I've been DIY'ing non-stop for a month and still haven't made anything decent to vape, I'm analyzing way too much!
  4. zoiDman

    zoiDman My -0^10 = Nothing at All ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Sounds like you didn't do a "Between the Lines" measurement.

    To Dispense 1ml, try drawing 1.5ml into the Syringe and then Purge any Air in the Barrel until you have 1.2ml in the Barrel. (The 1.2ml Doesn't matter and it can be Anything Greater than 1ml). Now Dispense the Flavoring until you get to .2ml on the Barrel and Stop.

    1.2ml - .2ml = 1ml

    A Syringe may be Calibrated for a Given Needle Length and Gauge. But if a Person uses a Bigger Gauge and or Length, they are going to get More than 1ml if the go from 1ml on the Barrel to Full Depression of the Plunger. And Vica Versa if the Needle is a Smaller Gauge or Length.


    BTW - I Love your Avatar!
  5. zoiDman

    zoiDman My -0^10 = Nothing at All ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    I wish More People would Consider this. And think about the Difference between "Accuracy" and "Precision".

    Trying to Achieve High Levels of Accuracy to Arbitrary Volumes is what Makes DIY Hard and Frustrating for Many People.
  6. twgbonehead

    twgbonehead Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Grreat tip, zoidman!
  7. supertrunker

    supertrunker Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    For small batches of liquid, i use a set of jewellery weighing scales. For big batches of juice - say 300ml, i use graduated tubes, since 1ml either way will not mess up a recipe.

  8. michaelsil1

    michaelsil1 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Notes and repeatability are far more important. :)
  9. zoiDman

    zoiDman My -0^10 = Nothing at All ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Using a .01g Scale does Remove much of the Inherent Hassles of doing Volumetric Measurements.

    And Dramatically Reduces the amount of Lab Ware that needs to be Washed after Every Mix.

    BTW - If anyone is Thinking about using a Scale for DIY, here is a Good Thread.
  10. zoiDman

    zoiDman My -0^10 = Nothing at All ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Ding - Ding - Ding

    Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!
  11. twgbonehead

    twgbonehead Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    zoidman, I HATE YOU!!!

    First, you give a great tip about getting precise measurements using syringes.

    Next, you give a completely different, and better tip about using a scale that ensures I will never get the chance to use your first tip.
    I had to go off and immediately order not one, but 2 different scales from FT. I got their cheap one ($5) and their more expensive one ($11) because now I HAVE to see whether the $11 one is worth the extra $6. And now I'm wondering whether their 100g scales are more accurate than their 500g scales.

    The worst part is that I vape liquids anywhere from 12mg to 36mg, I often DIY small amounts right into the clearos just to get a "feel", and I didn't even consider any scale with only a .1g "accuracy" (And I DO absolutely understand the difference between resolution and accuracy and repeatability!!!!)

    zoiDman, you suck big time. Please keep it up! ;-)
  12. dannyv45

    dannyv45 Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    After you emptied the syringe did you draw back and plunge again to empty the needle? If you did that would be the descrepency in the measurement.
  13. zoiDman

    zoiDman My -0^10 = Nothing at All ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    You are Not the 1st Person to say this here on the ECF. LOL

    My theory is that a Lot of People are going to use Syringes to do DIY no matter what a person Suggests. So I might as well show them Good Way to use a Syringe.

    I think a .01g Scale is a Very Efficient way to do DIY. Much Better/Easier than using Syringes.

    But for a Person who Doesn't have a Scale and Wants to do a Mix Today, Recommending they use one Isn't going to help them much.
  14. AndriaD

    AndriaD ECF Guru & Tootle Puffer Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    I think I must be the very opposite of "OCD". And it works fine for me in cooking, a pinch of this, a dab of that.... 99.95% of everything I've ever cooked has come out delicious.

    But, this tendency isn't serving me well, I think, with DIY ejuice. Or maybe I just haven't tried it enough to know for sure. Actually those last ones I did, that were single-flavor, didn't turn out badly at all. I use syringes, but I'm not terribly concerned about *perfect* accuracy. My general attitude, as with cooking, is "close enough."

  15. twgbonehead

    twgbonehead Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Yes, using a scale is the best idea I've heard in quite a while. Don't know how I missed that thread, thanks. I'll still continue to use syringes, but as transfer devices, not measuring tools....

    Sadly, though, my collection of vaping tools and equipment is going to look a lot more like "Breaking Bad" than it already does!!!

    By the way, after re-reading my previous post I couldn't figure out whether saying "You suck big time" to a vaper is an insult or a compliment?
    (Sort of irrelevant - even the "I hate you" was a compliment.....)
  16. twgbonehead

    twgbonehead Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Same with me. I absolutely can't follow a recipe without saying "you know, this would be better with a little bit of...".
    One of the reasons that I've never been able to make a decent loaf of bread, even though I own 3 bread-makers. (I keep them chained up down in the cellar ;-)
  17. AndriaD

    AndriaD ECF Guru & Tootle Puffer Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Heh... with cooking, I usually follow the recipe as precisely as possible, the first time. If it's good, I'll have ideas about how to make it better, the next time... ;)

    Try cornbread instead of the kind that has to rise -- it's great with shredded/diced cheese in it, and onions -- excellent that way with chili!

    But, with DIY ejuice, I think those last ones I tried came out well BECAUSE I didn't try to get fancy; I stuck with 1 flavor, 100mg nicotine, and 100% PG. FA's "Apple" really is a bit weak at 5%, so I'll probably double that one, next time. But "Signature" Cinnamon Redhot came out very well at the 5% recommended at ecigexpress. Don't know yet about the Golden Virginia at 2%, I'm almost scared to try it. :D

  18. Cavediver

    Cavediver Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    AFAIK, this is the best way to measure with a syringe. However, since I use the same syringe for all flavors in a mix, I don't like expelling unused flavoring back into the original bottle as it may be "contaminated" with traces of the previous flavor.

    I measure out the amount of PG I need in a recipe, and then I set a bit of it to the side. I use this PG to prime the needle and syringe; I draw up some PG, flip the syringe upside down, expel all of the air and just a drop or two of the PG, then flip it back over and flush the rest of the pg back into the amount I've set aside.

    Since the needle is now full of PG, drawing flavors up from 0 to whatever measurement I need means I get that amount of flavoring, plus a needle full of PG. I expel that flavor into the mix, wipe the outside of the needle with a PG soaked paper towel, and then move on to the next flavor. Since the needle is still full of fluid, there's no need to start the process over again unless I accidentally draw some air into the syringe. (ETA: If I'm using some really strong or contrasting flavors, I'll flush the syringe with a round of PG, or even change syringes. That's pretty rare though; I usually only do this with potent tobacco flavors, or when I'm using espresso, etc.)

    At the end of the recipe, I draw the remaining PG I've set aside, and then put it into the mix. Finally, I draw a syringe full of air, allow the little remaining liquid to pool at the needle end of the syringe, and then blow it out into the mix.

    This is not as accurate as the method listed by zoiDman, but it is pretty consistent regardless of the needle gauge or bore.

    For the record, I really like the concept of mixing by weight. However, having reloaded a lot of handgun ammo, I'm not too impressed by most of the inexpensive scales out there. They're OK for measuring a given weight (placing a weight on the scale and taking it off), but they have not, in my experience, done well with gradual and minor adjustments in weight.
  19. zoiDman

    zoiDman My -0^10 = Nothing at All ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    Isn't this All that Matters? That is it Consistent.

    I say the Best Way to do DIY is the Way that Works for the Person Doing it. And Yields Results that the Person is Happy with.
  20. Celestiiaa

    Celestiiaa Super Member

    Correct me if I am wrong but if you are using a syringe with a needle and pull up the liquid until it is at the exact measurement you want (say 1ml), there will be slightly more liquid drawn up total because of the space in the tip. However, when you depress the plunger fully you would still be left with the liquid in the tip, therefore making the measurement exact (or as near as humanly possible). Am I wrong on this?

    I am truly interested since my husband had asked me the same thing about the measurements not being exact with the syringes and this is basically what I told him.
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