Difference Between Balance and Scale (With Table)

Balance and Scale are both weighing equipment or devices and mostly is used to weigh similar objects. Though both are used for similar tasks it is common to get confused in both terms. However, both same terms are not the same and it is important to know their differences to choose the correct option for weighing anything.

Balance vs Scale

The main difference between balance and scale is that a balance measures the mass of the object or thing while on the other hand, a scale measures the weight of an object. Mass of an object is the matter which an object has while weight is the force of gravity on an object.

Balance is used to measure the mass of an object. It is measured in Kilograms. Mass is obtained by balancing the unknown mass of an object with an object of known mass. The process of measuring balance is not affected by gravity. There are many types of balances available in the market these days.

A scale is used to measure the weight of an object. The weight is measured through the use of the tension or compression force of constraint that the object provides. The results of measuring through a scale will depend on the gravity pull of the earth present on the object. A scale can’t measure the mass of an object directly.

Comparison Table Between Balance And Scale

Parameters of ComparisonBalanceScale
DefinitionBalance is a measuring device used to measure the mass of an object.Scale is a measuring device used to measure the weight of the object.
Measured InBalance measures mass which is measured in Kilograms.Scale measure weight which is measured in Newtons.
PrecisionA balance is more précised as compared to scale.A scale has less precision as compared to balance.
Effect of GravityThe measurements by a balance do not depend on the gravitation pull of the earth.The measurements by a scale depending on the gravitational pull of the earth.
TypesPrecision balance and analytical balance are common types of balances.Mechanical scales and Digital scales are the common types of scales.

What is Balance?

A balance is a measuring device that measures the mass of an object. The mass is determined by balancing the known mass of an object with the unknown mass.

Earlier, the balances are used to measure the mass by taking a balanced, put an object whose mass is known on one side of the balance and the other object whose mass is unknown on the other side, and then compare the two. With increasing technology, many types of balances are now available in the market. The balances these days provide the features of mass unit conversion, percentage, counting, display, etc.

The common types of balance are analytical balance, Equal Arm Balance, Spring Balance, Top Loading Balance, Torsion Balance, Triple-Beam Balance, etc.

Indeed, gravity does not affect the mass of an object. A balance will give the same reading for the mass no matter where the object is taken because gravity will act on both sides of the balance equally. A balance has a care and use procedure that should be followed. The items have to be balanced through the proper procedure to get precise results. The object to be measured should be at room temperature. And both the object and balances should be clean.

What is Scale?

A scale is weighing equipment that is used to measure the weight of an object. The weight of an object is the force acting on the object due to the gravitational pull of the earth. Mostly a scale is used to do the weights. It is used in commerce like in grocery shops to weigh products to sell and buy. Products like wheat, rice, pulses all were weighed in grams and kilograms.

Since the scale measures the weight, the weight of the object is affected by the force of gravity of the Earth. And therefore, it depends on where the weight has been measured. The change of the longitudes and latitudes can change the quantitative measurement of the object. And so a balance has more precision than that of scales.

The perfect scale stays neutral first. The features of a scale are tare, net indications, gross, printing, display, and units-of-measure conversion, etc. A scale doesn’t weigh the mass directly but it can be measured.

The common types of scales are spring scales, pneumatic scales, Domestic weighing scales, Digital bathroom scales, platform scales, etc. A scale is not accurate always and therefore calibration of the scale is important. A scale should be calibrated as per the manufacture’s guidelines.

Main Differences Between Balance And Scale

  1. A balance measures the mass of an object while a scale measures the weight of an object.
  2. A balance measure mass which is measured in Kilograms. And a scale measures weight which is measured in newtons.
  3. The measurements by a balance do not depend on the gravitation pull while the measurements by a scale depends on the gravitational pull of the earth.
  4. A balance is said to be more precise than a scale.
  5. A balance is used less in day-to-day life. A scale is used more widely these days.

Conclusion

A balance and scale, both are measuring devices however a balance is used to measure the mass of an object while a scale is used to measure the weight of an object. With technology, there are new types of balances and scales available in the market.

Nowadays a scale is used more often than a balance as measuring weight is most important. Although a balance has more precision as gravity doesn’t affect the measurements of the mass of an object but it affects the weight of an object. Indeed, moving the balance does not change the measured mass.

There can be some sources of error that can affect both the measurements of a balance and scale. Some of the sources are Buoyancy, air gusts, Vibration, and seismic disturbances, thermal expansion of equipment, etc.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09638280400008982
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S003194060566484X
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