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Analytical balances belong to a class of very sophisticated and precise measuring devices. These highly sensitive instruments find countless applications in research centers and laboratories.

These balances are extremely reliable for measuring the mass/weight of very small objects both in solid and liquid forms. This has made them popular in a variety of fields including pharmaceuticals, quality assurance, and the food industry.

This article thoroughly explores analytical balances and highlights their main components, types, and uses to give you a better idea. So, keep reading to know everything there is about analytical balances.

  • Analytical Balances: Definition
  • Principal of Analytical Balance
  • Weighing Procedure of An Analytical Balance  
  • Diagram and Parts of Analytical Balances
  • Types of Analytical Balances
  1. Two-Pan or Equal-Arm Analytical Balance
  2. Single-Pan or Unequal Arm Analytical Balance
  3. Electronic Single-Pan Balance
  4. Microbalance
  • Factors Affecting the Performance of an Analytical Balance  
  • Analytical Balances: Uses and Applications
Eagles Precision  Scales

Analytical Balances: Definition

The following analytical balance definition is mostly used to describe these instruments. These are highly accurate and sensitive balances that provide a very precise measure of an object’s mass. You can use these precision scales to measure masses of solids, powders, and liquids with extreme precision. 

With a readability value of about 0.00001 g or 0.01 mg, these instruments can give accurate weight values of even the smallest samples.

The following are the main features that make analytical balances highly useful

  • Due to being very sensitive, these balances come with draft shields that prevent the interaction of air and dust with the measuring platform.
  • They come with various modes like tare, counting, unit conversion, etc.
  • These balances have LCDs.
  • They can record an increment of 0.00001 g with high accuracy.

Principle of Analytical Balance

The analytical balance principle can be described as follows: These balances find the right value of weight based on the magnetic force that is needed to balance the mass. This eliminates the need to utilize actual weights to balance the unknown mass.

These balances generate a force using an electromagnet. When this force balances the weight of the object, it is recorded and that gives the value of the mass.

Principle of Analytical Balance

Weighing Procedure of An Analytical Balance

Following are a few steps that you can follow to weigh masses using an analytical balance. These steps will help you understand the analytical balance function completely and prevent any errors.

  • Find a safe and flat surface to place your balance and plug it in. Wait for it to go through internal checks and only start once the screen shows zero reading.
  • Make sure there is no direct sunlight and a lot of dust in the area surrounding the balance. 
  • Now open the draft shield door and carefully place a piece of paper or any other container on the platform and then press tare.
  • Avoid touching the platform as it can lead to fingerprints and the balance can detect their mass.
  • Add the substance and note the reading on the screen once it stabilizes.
  • After measuring, gently clean the surface using a brush to remove residue mass.  

Diagram and Parts of Analytical Balances

The above analytical weighing balance diagram shows the main parts of the instrument. Following is a brief overview of these

  • Tare – This button rebalances the system by bringing it back to a neutral zero value.
  • Pcs – It is used for parts counting.
  • Mode – This button allows you to set the conversion system when measuring. You can use it to switch between different units.
  • Hold – This button freezes the measured value on the screen. The value stays on display even when you lift the weight off which allows you to record the results carefully.
  • Power Button – It is used to turn the balance ON or OFF. 
  • LCD Display – It displays information like the current setup function, measured weights, errors, and function in progress.
Diagram of Analytical Balances

Types of Analytical Balances

Following are the main types of analytical balance that are most commonly used

  • Two-Pan or Equal-Arm Analytical Balance

This analytical balance consists of a symmetric beam and three knife edges. This balance utilizes the First-Class lever principle where the fulcrum rests over a centered pivot joint attached with two pans.

The beam and the pans assembly are placed in three prism-formed knife edges. This way the two pans are balanced against each other. One pan contains known weight while the other is used to place the unknown masses.

  • Single-Pan or Unequal Arm Analytical Balance

This is a more simple and faster alternative to two-pan balance. Here there are two knife edges with unequal arms. The shorter arm is for the pan and a full complement of weights.

The longer arm supports a constant counterweight that is built right into the beam. This balance works on the principle of weighing by substitution. When the empty pan is loaded with mass and weights are removed from the shorter arm until the weight is balanced, you get the value of mass.

  • Electronic Single-Pan Balance

The most accurate and common analytical balance in use today, the electronic single-pan balance uses electromagnetic force to measure weight. When the current passes it generates a magnetic field force that balances the load placed in the pan. The mass of the object is directly proportional to the amount of current needed to balance it.

  • Microbalance

These highly precise, accurate, and smart weighing scales can measure masses equivalent to 1 million parts of a gram. These are similar to electronic single-pan balances but much more sensitive and sophisticated.

Eagles Analytical Balances

Analytical Balances: Uses and Applications

Following are the main uses of analytical balances across different industries.

They are used for

  • Sample preparation in laboratories and research centers
  • Formulation and recipe calculation
  • Density determination
  • Piece counting
  • Interval weighing
  • Gross-net tare weighing
  • Animal weighing
  • Checkweighing packaged commodities
  • Pipette Calibration and testing


Analytical balances give you a simple and easy way to measure weights of extremely small masses to a very high degree of accuracy. These balances provide you with consistency and integrity in measurements.

Knowing the parts of analytical balances and their functioning you can fully utilize their features. This not only ensures the accuracy of measurements but also leads to a longer life of the instrument.

Visit us at Eagle Scales today to buy the highest quality and precision analytical balances for all applications. 

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