Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Balance and Scale

‘Balance’ vs ‘Scale’

We measure everything, from the quantity of the food we eat to the length of time that we spend in commuting from our homes to the office. We measure our heights, the length of our hair, the size of our feet, and specially our weight.

There are several units of measurement. The International System of Units (SI) is the world’s most widely used. We use it in our everyday lives, particularly in commerce. For the four basic physical quantities, the SI has the following:

� Meter is the SI unit of length.
� Second is the SI unit of time.
� Kelvin is the SI unit of temperature.
� Kilogram is the SI unit of mass.

In measurement, different tools are utilized such as a tape measure to measure length, a watch or a clock to measure time, a thermometer to measure temperature, and a scale or a balance to measure mass.

A scale is used to measure the weight of an object or objects through the use of the tension or compression force of constraint that it provides. A balance is used to measure the gravitational mass of objects.

The result of measuring through a scale will depend on the amount of gravity present. Measuring objects at higher elevation levels will cause them to weigh less than if they are measured at sea level because there is less gravitational force in high places.

Measuring through a balance, which uses a lever with a fulcrum and plates at both ends, will result to equal mass when it balances with an equal amount of known standard masses. ‘Mass’ is the amount of matter in an object.

A balance is the first instrument that was invented for the purpose of measuring mass. It is more precise because it is not affected by gravity. It is also the perfect measuring tool to use in different places as moving the balance will not change the measured mass.

The most commonly used of the two is the scale. It is the measuring tool that we often see in stores and in bathrooms. It uses a spring that stretches or compresses according to the pull of gravity.

There are electronic versions of the scale, and they are being used to measure the weight of large objects. In cooking and baking, scales are used, and they are the measuring tools that we see in supermarkets and grocery stores.

We seldom see a balance scale being used in stores anymore except for those few traditional stores that still have them. Some decorations are fashioned after them, though, because they look good.


1. A scale is used to measure the weight of an object while a balance is used to measure its mass.
2. The results in using the scale depend on the gravitational pull of the Earth so that measuring objects in high places would result in lesser weight while a balance is not influenced by gravity.
3. A balance is more precise than a scale.
4. The scale is more widely used today than the balance.

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1 Comment

  1. I find it fascinating that a balance can measure mass using what seems to me to be the same methods. Thanks to this guide, I have a better idea how the two function differently. I also now know that weight can be affected by altitude. I would be curious to see more details about how the two arrive at the different measurements.

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