Piston-cylinder cell assemblies experience inhomogeneous pressure distribution upon pressurization due to the variable compressibilities of the cell components. This results in the sample experiencing a pressure lower than expected, given the applied force of the piston. Although the effect is generally compensated for by applying a ‘friction’ correction, there have been wide variations in the corrections applied for some of the harder cell materials. We have determined friction correction factors for a range of cell assemblies commonly used in our laboratory relative to select well-characterized phase equilibria. Single-sleeve NaCl cells require, using the piston-in technique, very small corrections of the order −0.05 GPa for 12.7 mm diameter, and less for larger diameter assemblies. Four separate calibrations of the single sleeve 12.7 mm BaCO3 cell show that it requires a correction of −9%. This factor is entirely independent of temperature and pressure within the range 1000 to 1600°C and 1.5 to 3.2 GPa. This result is in contrast to the results of Fram and Longhi (1992) who claim that the correction for BaCO3 cells is highly dependent on pressure. For the assemblies included in this study there is an increase in the pressure correction required in the order of 12.7 mm diameter NaCl-pyrex −3%; 19 mm talc-pyrex −3.6%; 12.7 mm BaCO3 −9% and 12.7 mm BaCO3-silica glass −13%.