There are many different centrifuges for many different applications and centrifuging many different types of samples. The laboratory centrifuge and rotor is designed for testing and research. Laboratory centrifuges range in size from the small personal centrifuge for 2ml tubes to floor models for ultra high speed (150,000rpm) and sample sizes up to 9L.
Personal centrifuges are for quick spins for sample preparation, these usually spin 6 2ml tubes at about 6000rpm
The microcentrifuge is designed for small samples, 0.5ml (PCR) or 2ml tubes at a range of speeds from 250 to 15,000rpm. Microcentrifuges can have several rotor options and can also be refrigerated. The range of speeds for these centrifuges make them ideal for research and method development.
The universal centrifuge can handle a range of sample sizes from 0.2ml tubes to 100ml bottles depending upon the rotor chosen and they can be refrigerated. Rotors can be fixed angle, swing out or swing bucket. Rotors are designated by the number of tubes and the largest tube size, e.g. 6 x 50ml, and the maximum rpm or RCF. Adapters can be added to rotors to spin smaller samples. Fixed angle rotors can be spun faster than swing out rotors or swing bucket rotors. Swing bucket rotors have the advantage of being able to handle samples from 10ml to 100ml.
Most benchtop centrifuges except the personal ones are not sold with a rotor as research needs are so varied. When searching for a centrifuge it is helpful to first search for the rotor which can spin your size sample at the speed you need. Then purchase the centrifuge for which that rotor is designed.