What You Need To Know Before You Buy Needles

by | Apr 18, 2014 | Health

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If you are getting ready to buy needles, with or without the syringe, you need to understand some basic terminology and uses for different needles. The same needle is not used for all types of applications, and, while this is easy for medical offices and those that require injections on a regular basis, it may not be as apparent to someone that is making their first purchase.


There are two measurements that are provided for any needle, providing you are buying the tip only. When you buy needles online you may see just the needle, the metal part that goes into the body, or you may see the needle with the syringe. The syringe is the plastic (polypropylene) body that holds the liquid prior to injection. The syringe component also includes the plunger.

Needles have a gauge number, which can range from 7 to 34 in the French catheter scale chart, which is the most commonly used. The smaller the gauge number the larger the bore or thickness of the needle will be. The smallest bore of needle, the thinnest, will have the highest gauge number. When you buy needles for insulin injections they can range from 25 to 29 gauge.

The length of the needle is the next number after the gauge. This is typically ½ to 5/8ths for subcutaneous types of injections while longer needles are more commonly used for intramuscular injections. These can be an inch or more in length. There are also specialty needles for abdominal and deep tissue injections.


When you buy needles online you will probably be buying needles with a Luer or Luer-Lok connector. This is a plastic shoulder that can be of several colors with colors identifying the needle gauge for easy determination. The connector, depending on the specific style, will either press on to the bottom section of the syringe or it will twist into place and lock. Both of these connections provide a secure, stable base for the needle in the syringe.

Take a bit of time and learn the basic terminology before you buy needles. This will ensure that you get the right needle and you don’t have to deal with returns and shipping if you purchased online.

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