It can be tricky to figure out what size lancet or pen needle you might need, especially if you're newly diagnosed with diabetes and trying to learn all of the ins and outs that come with this condition. Here is an easy guide to understanding lancet sizes and pen needle sizes, so you can figure out which sizes will work for you.
The first term you will see when looking at a lancet is needle gauge. The needle gauge refers to the width of the needle. It’s important to understand that needle gauge sizing is somewhat backwards. The LARGER the size, the smaller the needle. We offer two different needle gauges for our lancets and pen needles. We have a 30 gauge needle and a 28 gauge needle. The 30 gauge needle is our smallest size whereas the 28 gauge needle is our largest. Same goes for the pen needles, we offer a 32 gauge (smallest) and a 31 gauge (slightly larger).
Next, it’s important to understand the depth of the needle. This is fairly straightforward - the deeper the needle goes, the more blood will be drawn. Depending on if you are using a safety lancet vs. a traditional lancet this will vary. For traditional lancets, you set the depth on your lancing device - often ranging from 1-10. 1 is the lowest setting, so it will be the least invasive prick. If you’re not getting enough blood, you should go up from there. If you’re using a safety lancet, such as Pip Lancets - you’ll find these are all-in-one lancets. So you don’t have to set the depth on your device, the lancet itself is already set to the proper depth. There are three different depths - 1.0mm, 1.6mm, 1.8mm. Similarly, pen needles follow the same criteria. With pen needles, you will load these into a pen device, but you don’t need to set the depth. The needle is already set to the proper depth. Pen needles typically involve injecting medicine into the body, so these generally go deeper than a lancet. The pen needle sizes offered at Pip includes 4.0mm depth and 5.0mm depth.