Precision Balance VS Analytical Balance : Know The Basic Difference

Balance – a measuring tool that is also termed as weighing balance or weighing scale, is an integral part of our everyday work. In all trades, from weighing your own weight to running a business, a balance seems indispensable. Not all the scales function the same. With regards to their use, features may vary. Precision and Analytical balances function almost the same way, nonetheless, deep down the key differences between precision balance vs analytical balance.

In general, we want every scale to be accurate, however, the expected degree of accuracy depends on which task it’s going to perform. In the weighing industry, precision balances are widely used to yield a precise result of quantities. Analytical balances on the other hand, are basically laboratory tools that are designed to detect the slightest changes.

If you choose to buy a precision balance to perform laboratory work it will get the job done. Nevertheless, when it comes to accuracy, Analytical balances yield a far superior outcome than that of precision balances. Whether you are mulling to have a balance for laboratory work or you are here just out of curiosity, our analysis of differences between Precision balance vs Analytical balance will surely help.

Precision Balance VS Analytical Balance : An Insightful Comparison

Before we start the detailed analogy, knowing the definitions of precision balance and analytical balance will make things easier.

  • Precision Balance

The name itself explains what a Precision balance is. It is termed as a scale that can weigh quantities to a very precise number. Usually, it can weigh masses as light as one milligram. Comes in a wide range of capacities, which mostly ranges from several hundred grams up to kilograms. Owing to the working mechanism, some even define it as a top loading balance.

In comparison to the average bench or compact scale precision balance yields a high degree of accuracy, although, they’re not as precise as analytical balances.

Precision Balance VS Analytical Balance


  • Analytical Balance

Analytical balances are highly sensitive laboratory tools that are capable of measuring small masses with utmost preciseness. People often term it as laboratory balance, since its ability to measure minimum masses make it subject to enhanced use in laboratories.

While, for regular use affording this device of extreme sensitivity could be regarded as a luxury. Analytical scales are sensitive to an extent that the slightest vibrations or the change of temperature in the lab can even affect the results. Its finer readability ranges from 0.1mg to 0.01 mg, which played a key role in turning it less effective for commercial purposes and limiting its use in labs.      

Key Differences Between Precision And Analytical Balance

Both, precision and analytical balances are specific types of weighing devices designed to carry out measuring tasks in laboratories. But, despite being engineered for the same purpose there are some key differences between these two.

difference between precision balance and analytical balance

  • In the first place, in comparison with precision balances, analytical balances are more accurate in result. 
  • Analytical balances are designed to weigh small masses with extreme precision, while precision balances also do the same, but are less precise than analytical balances. 
  • Analytical balances are widely used in quantitative chemical analysis. For example, from a sample mixture, it determines the amount of percentage of one or more components. With precision balances, you can’t just do that. Rather, they are meant to carry out precise measurements in a few seconds. 
  • Analytical is made highly sensitive. As a consequence, an air current can potentially affect the measurement, which is not the case with precision balances. 
  • Analytical scales are quite responsive to the influences of the surrounding environment. Which led the designers to attach a draft shield on it to prevent inaccurate readings. On the other hand, precision scales are less prone to environmental conditions, rather capable of obtaining results promptly.
  • Up to four decimal places to the right of the decimal is what an analytical scale is capable of measuring, while for a precision scale it is three decimal from the right of the decimal.
  • Analytical balances are engineered such a way so that they can efficiently measure the samples between sub milligrams ranging to kilogram. However, for a precision balance it ranges from a few grams to a kilogram. 
  • Often a designated place needs to be allocated for an analytical scale in order to minimize environmental impact, which is not the case with precision scale.
  • Analytical warrants frequent monitoring as well as calibration. Nevertheless, with a precision scale you can play it a bit rough without taking much care.
  • Use of analytical scale is limited to only a few sectors where pharmaceuticals and chemistry labs are notable mentions, whereas precision scales are widely used across industries. 
  • Owing to the intricacy involved in manufacturing, analytical scales, with good reasons, is expensive. However, precision balances are mostly priced affordably. 

How To Pick The Best Balance (Precision And Analytical)

If you are in this business for a while, you already know how to choose the best balance whether it’s precision or analytical. However, if you happen to be a newbie and still struggling to make a decision, read ahead to know the features a digital balance should have.   

  • For Precision Balance

Before you buy a precision balance determine how much do you need it to weigh up to? If you successfully can address this you’ll be half done. In most cases, either we overspend to buy a large capacity device or buy one that doesn’t meet our requirements. Thus, it’s really important to know your desired capacity range.

Besides, for a precision balance, increment size also plays a pivotal role, which is also known as readability, resolution or division size. Especially when you are weighing small quantities. Accuracy, in addition, is a key determining factor in how good a precision balance is. Unfortunately, you can’t just find a balance that is 100% accurate. However, the tolerance   shouldn’t be more than +/- 2 x division size throughout the weighing range.

which is more accurate precision balance vs analytical balance

  • For Analytical Balance

Luckily, all the digital balances function almost the same way. In terms of operation both analytical and precision scales are somewhat the same. Therefore, if you have prior knowledge on key features of any digital scale it will come handy for you in terms of choosing the best Analytical balance.         

However, since analytical balances are highly sensitive and get affected by changes in environmental conditions, make sure that yours come with necessary protection. In general, a draft shield used to keep the outer effects minimal. Other than that, temperature changes sometimes influence the weighing results notably. A balance with a built in deionizer will address those issues duly. 

Furthermore, as analytical balances are primarily used in laboratories to conduct various tests, end results may need to be printed. If that is the case, consider a balance that can be connected to a printer.

Best Known Applications Of Precision Balances?

Basically, a laboratory instrument, but precision balance has a widespread use in various industries. They are most commonly found in medical and pharmaceutical fields, where their ease of use and capability of yielding results instantly proved handy. Production facilities where the precise weight calculation of lubricants and oils required frequently, precision balances are a blessing.

Precision Balance VS Analytical Balance

In the jewelry industry, these balances have an excessive application in weighing precious metals such as gold, gems and other stones. Some high-end balances have a high enough capacity and the level of sturdiness necessary to yield scientific results from the likes of concrete at construction sites. They even can be installed in outdoor setups and can be deployed for field work as well.

Best Known Applications Of Analytical Balance?

As a highly sensitive equipment, unlike precision balances we can’t just install an analytical balance here and there. The sensitivity involved largely limited their use in laboratories. Nonetheless, for laboratory work they are just unrivaled, especially where a high degree of accuracy is indispensable.

Precision Balance VS Analytical Balance

For all quantitative analyses it’s a basic tool. Besides, for differential weighing and density determination, we don’t have a trustable alternative of analytical balance yet. It also dominates in various other weighing activities such as animal weighing, check weighing, percent weighing and gross-net-tare weighing. 

In addition to that, an analytical balance will give you highly accurate readings in quality control applications, while educational, research and industrial applications are also worth mentioning. 

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