Metals vs Non-Metals: Difference and Comparison

Metals and non-metals are two objects or things with opposite properties.

It is easy to distinguish between a metal and a non-metal, even by seeing or looking at certain objects.

I am sure you have seen copper, an example of metal, whereas non-metals are phosphorous, sulphur, and other elements.

One thing that we all have studied in our junior classes is that metals are good conductors of heat and electricity. In contrast, non-metals are bad conductors of heat and electricity.


Science Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to science

1 / 10

The 'photo' in photosynthesis means to do with...

2 / 10

What is the PH range of acids?

3 / 10

Fermentation is the process of ______.

4 / 10

Name the process by which the human breathes?

5 / 10

The first link in all food chains is-

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Name the metal which is most ductile?

7 / 10

Which among the following is not a synthetic fiber?

8 / 10

Which of the following metals remain in liquid for under normal conditions?

9 / 10

Washing soda is the common name for

10 / 10

A bond that occurs between metals and nonmetals is called a/an _______________.

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This is true because you see that copper wires are used for transferring electricity and not other non-metallic elements.

Key Takeaways

  1. Metals are shiny, solid, and good conductors of heat and electricity, whereas non-metals are dull, brittle, and poor conductors.
  2. Metals lose electrons to form positively charged ions, while non-metals gain electrons to form negatively charged ions.
  3. Metals are denser and have higher melting and boiling points than non-metals, gases or low melting and boiling points.

Metals vs Non-Metals

Metals are solid, shiny, and good conductors of heat and electricity. They tend to be malleable and ductile and have a high melting point. Non-metals, on the other hand, are not shiny and are poor conductors. They tend to have lower melting and boiling points and may exist in various states of matter.

Metals vs Non Metals

One can easily differentiate between metals and non-metals by their uses, too, because their properties make them have different kinds of usage for different purposes.  

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMetalsNon-Metals
Conductors of Heat and ElectricityMetals are good conductors of heat and electricity.Non-metals, on the other hand, are bad conductors of heat and electricity.
MalleableMetals are malleable, which means metals can be shaped or beaten into sheets.Non-metals, on the other hand, are non-malleable. That is they cannot be beaten into sheets.
DuctileMetals are ductile because they can be made into wires for various uses.Non-metals are not ductile.
StrengthMetals have high strength.Non-metals do not have much strength.
DensityThe density is high for metals.In the case of non-metals, the density is low.
Melting PointMetals have a high melting point.Non-metals have low melting points, unlike metals.

What are Metals?

Metals are hard elements that are good conductors of heat and electricity.

Whenever we hear the word metal, we think of a hard substance, and yes, it is true because metals are hard substances, unlike non-metals which are not that hard or strong.

We had come across the term ‘metal’, especially in our chemistry class when we studied the Periodic Table.

These metallic elements have certain properties that make them different from non-metallic elements.

Some examples of metallic elements are aluminium and copper, which are both used in several industries today. Due to their various properties and uses, they are in great demand today.

Some properties of metals are that they are shiny and look polished with high density, unlike non-metals with low density.

Metals are ductile, too, meaning that metals can be transformed into wires by some processes and used as electrical wires.

Well, these all were the physical properties of metals. When you look at the chemical properties of metals, then they are easily corrodible and are good reducing agents.

Another interesting fact about metals is that when it is kept at room temperature, they are in their solid state, with the only exception of Mercury which is a liquid metal.

You see, metals make cooking utensils like pressure cookers and other kinds of stuff. Well, this is because they are good conductors of heat, which is why they are used for cooking.

Non-metallic kinds of stuff cannot be used for cooking because they are not good conductors of heat.


What are Non-Metals?

Non-metals, on the other hand, are just the opposite of metals, where they are bad conductors of heat and electricity. Non-metals like carbon, sulphur, hydrogen, and oxygen are less strong than metals.

Non-metals can be in the liquid state or their gaseous state.

Taking the example of oxygen, they are useful for the survival of human beings, but oxygen also supports burning. So, one way or the other, both non-metals and metals are useful for humankind.

When you see the Periodic Table, only a few non-metallic elements are in the chart, and many metals are present.

Talking about the physical properties of non-metals, they are opposed to that of metals because non-metals are not good conductors of heat or electricity.

They are also not ductile or malleable and cannot be used for several purposes.

The elements like hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon are some of the most useful elements that fall under non-metals.

Oxygen is useful for the survival of all living things and supports burning. Carbon, on the other hand, is useful for plants and trees.

non metals

Main Difference Between Metals and Non-Metals

  1. Metals are good conductors of heat and electricity, whereas non-metals are bad conductors of heat and electricity.
  2. Metals are ductile, meaning they can be made into wires for various uses, whereas non-metals are not.
  3. Metals are shiny, and they are much more polished than non-metals.
  4. Metals are electropositive, whereas non-metals are electronegative.
  5. Metals have a higher density as compared to non-metals.
Difference Between Metals and Non Metals
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