Many people may relate scales and balances to perform the same task. Each one puts out a measurement and provides some idea as to the weight or mass of an object, but these measurements are vastly different. It is important to understand the difference between scales and balances so that proper measurements can be observed.




Scales measure the weight of an object related to gravity. What this means is that the measurement a scale makes is not in grams but Newtons. A Newton is the mass of object multiplied by the force of gravity.


Scales would be most useful in applications that require knowing how much weight an object exerts. This could be necessary for aircraft determining how much lift is needed for carrying passengers, have buoyancy a ship must exert, or how much thrust a rocket must have to reach space.




Balances are used to compare the masses of two objects. Using a lever balanced on a fulcrum, an unknown mass is placed onto one side while on the other known masses are added until each side is the same level. This details a traditional balance, but digital balances work through different manner.


Because balances compare the masses of the objects independent of gravity, it will measure the same in a weightless environment. Balances are most useful for applications that need to know a precise mass. This can be for doing physical experiments like in high school or college laboratories, or for chemical reactions, or other work.


Digital Scales and Balances


Digital scales and balances can provide accurate measurements to micrograms. This is especially useful when dealing with quantitative chemistry and other research and development processes. Some large balances can measure thousands of kilograms. This can be useful for industrial applications and other fields where large quantities are consumed.


Understanding the difference between scales and balances allows for proper business and laboratory work. Scales are used to measure the weight of something and is useful in applications where the force of weight is necessary. Balances measure the mass of an object and is useful for doing calculations and other laboratory research. Digital scales and balances can provide a precise reading or measure large weights and masses.


Torbal manufactures a wide range of scales and balances for various applications. Please contact us today so we can find the right solution for your business or laboratory.