Salbutamol is a short-acting beta 2 agonist which is effective as a rescue therapy in the treatment of asthma. This study uses in vitro test methods to compare the capability of four alternative devices to deliver an accurate and precise dose of salbutamol. It is demonstrated that the conventional metered dose inhaler (MDI) achieves excellent accuracy and precision in dose delivery. Additionally, it is the most efficient inhaler in terms of generating in-vitro a fine particle fraction from the dose. A spacer device has been shown to further enhance the dosing characteristics. When tested over a wide range of inspiratory air flow rates, the Diskus (GlaxoWellcome, Hertfordshire, UK) has comparable accuracy and precision to the MDI tested at 60 L/min, and it offers an advantage over two alternative dry powder inhalers (DPIs), delivering a more consistent dose across the range of flow rates tested and being more efficient at generating a fine particle fraction than either Turbuhaler (Astra, Lund, Sweden) or Diskhaler (GlaxoWellcome) at both 28 and 60 L/min inspiratory flow rates. Diskus, Diskhaler, Ventolin, Volumatic, and Rotadisk are trademarks of the GlaxoWellcome Group of companies. The Accuhaler is the alternative to the Diskus in those countries where the Diskus trademark is not available. Inspiryl and Turbuhaler are trademarks of the Astra Group of companies.