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Purchasing Guide: Balances

There are many different configurations to choose from with various accessories, compliance features, and settings

by Lab Manager
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Accurate balances are critical in almost every laboratory. Precision balances are considered semi-analytical, featuring a higher capacity than microbalances and analytical balances. There are many different configurations to choose from with various accessories, compliance features, and settings. When selecting a balance for your lab, the most important consideration is your accuracy requirements. For a list of lab balance manufacturers, see our online directory:

7 Questions to Ask when Buying a Balance:

  1. With which applications do you intend to use the balance?
  2. What types of samples will be weighed? (Powder, liquid, etc.)
  3. What degrees of accuracy, precision, and resolution are required?
  4. Are other components or accessories required?
  5. Does the balance have any design features to reduce or eliminate electrostatic discharges?
  6. Does the balance support compliance and traceability?
  7. Is the balance easily calibrated by laboratory staff or does it require a call to a service technician?

Internal vs External Calibration: Which is Right for You?

If you have extra room in your budget, it may be worth investing in a balance with an internal calibration feature. Internal calibration balances automatically calibrate themselves, thus freeing up your time and saving the cost of a calibration kit. However, if your budget is tight or if you don’t use your balance often, then purchasing a cheaper balance and a manual calibration kit may be more cost effective.

Ensure Accuracy with an Anti-Vibration Table

Balances are very sensitive instruments. Even slight vibrations or bumps can throw off their measurements. Before purchasing a balance for your lab, consider the environmental factors that may affect its accuracy, such as foot traffic past the balance or even nearby railroads. To ensure that your balance remains accurate, consider placing it on a vibration isolation table.