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Industrial scales, electronic balances, calibration weights and moisture analysers - order online, telephone 01842 751633 or email for advice, a quotation or to place an order

How To Choose A Precision Balance

What Is A Precision Balance?

What Is A Precision Balance?

A precision balance is a very accurate weighing scale with readability of 0.1g, 0.01g or 0.001g, if you want a more accurate balance that weighs to 0.1mg or better then please see our analytical balances section for product options and another guide

An electronic balance will normally have quite a small plate size to minimise any errors caused by air movement but won't normally have a draught shield like the analytical balances but if you need to use the balance in a draughty area there are some models that can have a draught shield such as the Ohaus Pioneer models with a readability of 0.001g

There are many things to consider when choosing an electronic balance and if you're not careful you could end up compromising on something important to get something that may not be a necessity. The following guide includes useful information to help you choose and ensure that the balance you buy has what you want without spending more than you need to

Please read on, browse though our range or give us a call for advice

Things To Consider

All the areas covered below will have an impact on the suitability of the electronic balance for your application and on a key deciding factor...the price

A 1000g x 0.001g balance with many built in applications, a touch screen and intuitive software is going to have a price tag to match and if your budget is say, £500.00, then you need to consider what the key features are. Choosing an electronic balance that includes the features you need but doesn't exceed your budget is an easier task than it sounds because there is a good range of balances available and we have chosen the electronic balances that provide the best value for money for our scalesandbalances web shop


The first thing to think about is the capacity of the balance, how much do you need it to weigh up to? If you only weigh up to 100g, there may be no point buying a 300g balance unless you are likely to need more capacity in the future for another application. You do need to make sure you have a enough capacity to weigh the product plus the weight of any container that you use on the balance

When you look at the electronic balances on our web site, all the balances are listed with the capacity and the resolution / division size, so an 'Ohaus Pioneer PA213 210g x 0.001g' weighs up to maximum of 210g with a resolution of 0.001g

Division Size Or Resolution

Secondly, choose the increment size of the electronic balance. Increment size is also known as readability, resolution or division size. This is the smallest unit the balance will display i.e. 0.1g increment size means the display on the balance will increment by 0.1g at a time

Please note that increment size is not the same as accuracy and you will need to check the datasheet for the balance to find the accuracy (maximum combined error) but it is normally in the range of +/- 2 divisions


No measuring device is 100% accurate and typically the accuracy of weighing balances when new and used in a stable environment is approximately +/- 2 x division size throughout the weighing range

If you need an accuracy of +/- 0.1g, a balance with an increment size of 1g would not be able to provide this tolerance and although a balance with a division size of 0.1g will give you a reading that is suitable, if you take into account the maximum error or accuracy of a balance then a balance with a 0.01g resolution (readability) is required

The smaller the increment size, the closer to you will be able to get to your desired weight, although a smaller increment size will also increase the price

To clarify; the accuracy of an electronic balance is the difference between the applied weight and the displayed weight and most manufacturers quote the accuracy on the product datasheets

If you want to ensure that your balance is always accurate then we recommend choosing a model with a built in calibration mass, like the A&D FZ-i or alternatively buy calibration weights to manually check and calibrate the balance

Features Or Functionality

What features or built in applications do you need?

· If you are liquid filling you will need a balance with a fast display update (such as the A&D FX-i) to ensure that you do not overfill
· If you intend to weigh small animals, you will probably need a balance with a dynamic weighing function
· What units you want it to weigh in; grams, ounces, milligrams, grains or troy ounces for example
· You may need a parts counting function, so you can count very small items into a container and the balance will tell you when you have reached the correct amount
· A check weighing function will confirm the item or set of items is within specification
· Some balances include statistical functions
· The higher-end analytical balances such as the Ohaus Explorer have a comprehensive list of features

Please feel free to give us a call for advice

Where Will You Use Your Precision Balance?

You will need to consider where you will be using the balance. Given the high resolutions on some electronic balances, small things can affect your readings

Vibrations from the street outside, any draughts in the area and the temperature of the room can all have an effect on your measurements

If there is a road or other vibration sources close by, you may want to consider getting an anti-vibration work surface for the balance to be used on

Large temperature changes can effect the accuracy of your balance but some of the high end electronic balances can automatically recalibrate to remove any errors that this may cause

Electrostatic issues can have an effect on the weighing results when weighing plastic components and other non-conductive parts, if this is an issue, consider using an de-ioniser to remove the static charge as an optional accessory


You may want to print your results, in which case you will need a compatible printer, an electronic balance that can be connected to a printer and any necessary cables

You may wish to store the data on a computer meaning you need data logging software and a balance that's compatible

Some balances have density determination kits as optional extras if you are require density determination

You may also require more simple things, like a traceable calibration certificates for quality procedures and in-use covers to protect the display

Weighing Out Liquids Or Powders?

Weighing Out Liquids Or Powders?

If you are weighing out liquids or powders, a balance with a fast display update so that the displayed weight keeps up with the amount that has been added is a big advantage and a balance that is sealed against dust and liquids in case there is an accident is also an advantage

The has a fast display update and is sealed to the IP65 standard.