Abstract Sample load capacity, sample compatibility, influence of sample load on 3H/ 14C counting efficiency, background count rate, figure of merit, quench resistance, and sample stability for nine selected, commercially available, liquid scintillation cocktails are presented in this study. The cocktails tested are Ecoscint A, Insta-Gel Plus, OptiPhase Hisafe 3, OptiPhase Trisafe, Ready Gel, SafeScint 1:1, Ultima Gold, Ultima Gold LLT, and Ultima Gold XR. For the data acquisition a Packard TriCarb Model 1900CA and a Quantulus 1220 liquid scintillation counter is used. All samples are prepared in either 20 mL low potassium, borosilicate glass vials or 20 mL high density, polyethylene vials. The aim of the full comparison study is to determine a single cocktail that best suits all measurement requirements of the liquid scintillation laboratory at SCK·CEN for the determination of low levels of radioactivity in biological and environmental samples. The results published in this report are intended to help other laboratories in selecting a cocktail fit for their purposes or to set up a similar study.