The balance is a really useful instrument in many areas or activities, since it allows to measure accurately the mass of objects regardless of their size , such as food, substances or the same people, so there are many varieties of scales that they work perfectly according to the sector in which they are to be used.

The traditional balance generally consists of a base or column that supports two arms, which are responsible for loading two plates that serve as support for the object to be weighed. To learn more about the uses, types, and importance continue with reading.

Importance of the balance in some jobs

The use of the scale is really important for many of the activities that take place every day, some of these being the most relevant:

  • In the food sector it is essential, since the total value of the purchase is obtained from the weight of the products.
  • In the area of ​​medicine and chemistry it is used to measure the weight of drugs, chemicals and components that are required to develop each formula.
  • In the health sector, the weight of people can be obtained as such, to keep track of the body of patients.
  • The scale also works perfectly when it comes to cooking, since they are needed to weigh different foods and thus be able to specifically follow a recipe or simply to establish an order in the daily diet.

It is also important to note that, since ancient times, the balance has been used as a symbol of justice and law, representing balance, reasoning and the objective consideration of both parties.

Does the scale measure mass or weight?

This question constantly arises, being one of the most common mistakes that are usually made when using a scale.

What is read when “weighing object” is really the mass, not the weight. The latter is directly proportional to mass, multiplied by gravity.

That is, if you want to make a daily calculation, you could take into account the gravity of the earth, which is 9.806 m / s². If we measure an object and it has a mass of 2 kg, with the formula:

Weight = mass x gravity

We can say that this object has a weight of 19,612 Newton.

Balance history

The creation of the balance dates back to 3,550 BC, which is why it has been one of the most useful and used prehistoric instruments from remote times to the present day.

In the years before Christ, the commerce sector was booming, since it was the activity most used and developed by the inhabitants, so each of these individuals saw the need to create an instrument that would help and facilitate them. daily work and avoiding losses, since trade at that time was based on the sale of salt and other products that required this element.

As a result of this need, the Egyptians developed the famous scale, which consisted of a column made from a wooden handle that held a rope at each end with a pair of plates or trays, in one of these trays the product that was placed was placed. One was going to weigh and in the other a weight that corresponded to the weight of the product and thus be able to obtain an estimate.

Over the years the Egyptians were perfecting this great instrument, adding parts that made the use of the balance much easier, initially they added a plumb line that served to verify the correct weight of the product, and thus give it precision and the perfect balance.

The Romans also created their own balance in 2,000 BC, and they were improving it over the years just like the Egyptians. They changed its shape until they reached the design of the so-called Roman hook, which consisted of a column in the form of a hook, which allowed the products to be weighed.

What are the types of scales that exist?

There are many representations and types of scales, all are adapted to the needs of the person, these are:

Roman scales

It is the traditional scale, it is made up of a column and arms that are used to hang the dishes to be able to measure. This type of scale works thanks to the fact that a weight is placed on one of the arms, and its function is to achieve a counterweight.

Cross scale

It is a classic scale, which is characterized by containing a column or shaft in conjunction with two arms where the trays or plates that serve to measure the weight of objects hang. It is made up of a needle that marks the balance of the weights.

Precision scale

This type of balance works with a counterweight, but thanks to technological advances, precision digital elements already exist, which allow to take a weight much easier, easier and more effective. It is commonly used in laboratories.

Spring balance

It works through a spring, which contracts according to the weight of the object. This device contains a plate where the object is positioned.

Single pan or pan scale

This scale is very simple and easy to use, as it consists of a plate where the object to be weighed is positioned and a small needle that marks the value corresponding to the weight.

Digital balance

This is characterized by having good precision and simplicity, it only consists of a plate to position the object. It is made up of software that allows you to quickly calculate the weight, and then display it on a small screen.

Granataria balance

These are the scales that have more precision in terms of weights, it is so powerful that it can even weigh gases. They are implemented above all in chemistry and physics laboratories, where highly relevant experimental research is carried out.

Sliding scale

This scale is composed of two weights that slide on two scales called macro and micro, operating in such a way that there must be a balance between the two scales and thus provide coherent values ​​according to what the person requires.

Platform scale

Designed to obtain the weight of the people. It consists of a broad base where people position themselves, and it starts the operation through some weights that serve to balance both masses.

What are the parts that make up a balance?

A balance is made up of the following parts:

Balance base or platform

This part is the main element of the instrument, where the column or abutment is connected. The base is usually balanced thanks to some added screws, you just have to turn them to level.

Balance arms

The arms are those that are fastened to the central column of the balance, each end of the arms must measure the same, since from there the plates or trays are fastened. When the object to be weighed is placed on the plate, it instantly goes down, successively throwing the weight of the element.

Plates or weighing platform

This part is being the plate or tray where the objects or substances to be weighed are placed. The size of the dishes may vary according to the area where the scale is to be used. The plates must weigh the same so that they are perfectly level with each other.


The balance since ancient times has had a very important use in many fields. This wonderful creation is attributed to the great minds of the thinkers of ancient Egypt, since this instrument was born out of the need for something useful to facilitate their work, which today is very indispensable for people.

There are many varieties of scales that are coupled according to the needs of the person, one of the most used is the electronic scale, since it has great accuracy when it comes to throwing the weights, and its use is really simple and exact.

The structure of this useful instrument is really simple, there are only three simple parts, such as a base, arms and cymbals.

With this we finish this interesting topic, we invite you to explore our website to learn about medicines, foods, objects, and all kinds of topics that will help you be more cultured. Until next time!

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