Guide to Buying Analytical Balances

by Summit Measurement

What is an Analytical Balance?

An Analytical Balance is a highly sensitive laboratory balance which measures small amounts of mass with accuracy of .1 mg (.0001 g). This resolution is often referred to as "four place" resolution, as the 1 is the fourth place behind the zero of a single gram... They are specifically designed to measure very small samples with precision, and are highly sensitive to changes in the mass being measured. The weighing pan is typically small, to accommodate small sample sizes. These very small samples are so small, they can even be disrupted by air currents. Because of this high sensitivity, the slightest vibration or breeze can change the results. To protect against this disruption, Analytical Balances usually have a weighing chamber enclosed by glass doors - also known as a draft shield - to prevent air currents from disrupting the sample or altering the results. On some higher end models such as the Precisa EP-A Series you can find features such as the unique hands free auto rotating draft shield. In any case, controlling the weighing environment is a big part of using such a delicate instrument, and draft shields are a great way to limit the ability of air lifting the pan and manipulating the results.

What are Analytical Balances used for?

Laboratory Analytical Balances are used in a variety of industries which require accurate and sensitive measurements. They are useful as Chemical Lab Balances to accurately measure the mass of chemicals and other compounds, and for density determination or pipette calibration. Chemists and pharmacists use Pharmaceutical Balances for formulating medicines. Biology lab balances utilize the dynamic animal weighing feature to record precise animal weights. Science classroom balances or university lab balances are essential for conducting many scientific experiments.

Features to look for in an Analytical Balance

There are a variety of features and functions to look for when purchasing an analytical balance. Many scientists find automatic internal calibration, an extremely useful feature. All scales and balances need to be calibrated to ensure that they are in compliance with the specifications quoted. Lesser priced balances may have external calibration, meaning you are responsible for keeping them calibrated. A scale with automatic internal calibration calibrates itself, so you don't have to worry about keeping it calibrated since it is done automatically.

Higher end models offer special features such as hands free or easy open draft shield doors. Many analytical balances come with counting or check counting features, for use when counting pills, ingredients or very small pieces. The dynamic weighing feature is useful for weighing unstable liquids, insects or small animals which are moving. Percentage weighing is helpful in certain formulations, and accumulation allows you to measure several small batches and accumulate the total. Typically, the more features and benefits on a lab balance the greater the price.

Let's take a look at some of the most popular analytical balances available from Summit Measurement.

Popular Analytical Balances available from Summit Measurement

The popular Vibra Balances from Summit Measurement bring you world class results at a reasonable price. Vibra Balances are designed and produced in Japan with exceptional attention to detail. They are known for their rugged design, dependability and ease of use. The Vibra LF-224R offers "crossover door systems" which allow you to open the right side door using the left hand slide and vice-versa, split and nested doors that don't protrude outside the balance housing, and true auto calibration that calibrates even when you are not there. The Vibra HT Series uses tuning fork technology which makes it particularly stable, reliable and quick. It does not require warm up time. Is resilient against damage during transport, stable when weighing magnets and simple to use and to clean. The internal components are protected from damage with a spill ring, and there is plenty of room for large and irregular shaped samples to fit in the 6 x 6.25 x 9.5" chamber. Also Made in Japan, the HT Series Tuning Fork Analytical Balances offer 4 different capacities:
HT-84, HT-124 and HT-224, and the HT-224R which features internal calibration.

Torbal Balances from Summit Measurement are another popular choice. Torbal scales are made in Poland with a magnetic force restoration load cell. They are a well-known brand known for quality, accuracy, reliability, functionality and performance. The Torbal AGZN120 (or 220) has a die cast metal housing and a large easily accessible glass weighing chamber making it robust and easy to use. It is a great value and one of the most affordable analytical balances on the market. Features include RS232/USB connectivity, parts counting, % weighing and dynamic (animal) weighing. Or you can upgrade to the Torbal AGCN120 or Torbal AGN100 for Automatic Internal Calibration. It automatically calibrates itself upon startup or at pre-set time intervals.

Precisa Balances from Summit Measurement offer superior quality balances Made in Switzerland. Precisa has been known for more than 70 years for providing the finest weighing equipment available anywhere in the world. With the Precisa EP Series High Capacity Analytical Balance (0.0001g) and the Precisa LS Series Analytical Balance 120 g, Precisa is setting new standards of weighing excellence in the high-end laboratory balance with its premium workmanship, die cast aluminum housing, and the finest engineering materials and design which allows the balances to operate at the highest levels of precision. The EP offers single or dual range models, connectivity via RS232, USB, Ethernet or Bluetooth, IR Sensor draft shield, Integrated applications for pipette calibration, density determination and other applications and the SCS Self Calibrating System. The Precisa XB-A Series has a calibration warning system which alerts the user of significant temperature changes which may affect the last calibration settings. The new Precisa HF and HM Laboratory Analytical Touchscreen Balances series combine the power and sensitivity of Swiss-engineered balances with the familiarity and intuitiveness of modern touch screen devices for the balance of the future that is so easy you won't need the manual. Features include touchless sensor operation for the electronic draft shield, tare and triggering zero.

When a more economical option is desired, opt for the HRB-224 Analytical Balance from Summit Measurement. While it doesn't have all the bells and whistles, the HRB-224 Magnetic Force Restoration Balance is a 220 gram capacity analytical balance with glass draft shield and external calibration, and can meet all the basic lab balance needs.

Summit Measurement offers a number of accessories that can be used in conjunction with your lab balance. There are Density Kits to go with several of the aforementioned balances. These are used to for density determination experiments. Our Granite Anti-Vibration Plate for High Accuracy Balances prevents vibrations from interfering with the accuracy of highly sensitive readings. The Zerostat3 Anti Static Gun helps to prevent static electricity from wreaking havoc on accurate test results. And our OIP-100 40 Character Impact Printer and OTP-200 Thermal RS232 Line Printer work with most balances.

You will find the entire selection of Analytical Balances at Summit Measurement at the link below:

Don't hesitate to call us at (855) 972-2537 if you can't find the one you need!