National Physical Laboratory

How do I assess the performance of my balance? (FAQ - Mass & Density)

Balance Types

There are three types of instruments in common use:

  • Electronic Balances
  • Single pan balances
  • Two pan balances

Electronic balances and comparators have become dominant over the last fifteen.


As with all measurement equipment it is essential that the performance of a balance or comparator be periodically assessed to ensure that it still meets the requirements of its use. In the UK, as in many other countries, there are commercial organisations that are accredited for this purpose (see the UKAS calibration laboratory website). Balances or comparators should be assessed in the location where they will be used.

Last Updated: 25 Mar 2010
Created: 8 Oct 2007


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