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Best mechanical balance

Last Updated: 06.12.21


Mechanical balances – Buying guide & Comparison


If you’re short on time and you just want to find the best mechanical balance, this short paragraph should help you get exactly the model you need. According to our findings/research, the Ohaus 80000012 thanks to its reliable 610g capacity plus 0.1g readability or accuracy. Equipped with three sliding weights and tired and notched beams that ensure repeatability of results, this mechanical balance provides easy use in the laboratory or classroom thanks to its durable foundation and solid build that both ensure stability. This mechanical balance scale has built-in magnetic damping that makes weighing procedures quicker to increase productivity, supplemented by the spring-loaded zero-adjust compensator that enables fine modifications to the zero range. The metal beams and base ensure durability and the top loading platform enables problem-free placement of samples, no matter what shape, size and material they are. If the Ohaus 80000012 is unavailable, your second option should be the Ohaus .80000003.



Comparison table


The Good
The Bad



Because experimentation is an essential and complementary element of gaining knowledge and information in the classroom or laboratory setting, you have to be equipped with the proper tools and equipment to carry out the different scientific processes needed to establish fact from theory. This is where the best mechanical balances prove to be indispensable for measuring masses and weights. What segregates the top quality mechanical balances on the market from the competition?


Reliable construction for a variety of purposes

The laboratory and classroom setting can be demanding on the type of equipment used on a daily basis. A mechanical balance can be used for chemistry and physics experiments, medical hygiene weighing, foodstuff, analytical weighing in chemical works, textiles, agriculture, mines, electronics, high school science labs, scientific research institutions, colleges and universities and plenty more. This means the gear you decide to buy from the best mechanical balance reviews should boast a high level of durability to withstand the rigors of daily use.

The components themselves should be of high quality and the finest materials. Metal beams and bases ensure durability. Quality models are equipped with Aluminum pressure cast bases and beams. A stainless steel pan, tray or platform is resistant to rust and chipping and is easy to clean. The triple beam should be made of high quality aluminum alloy for years of use. Some models come with an aluminum housing to ensure durability and strength. The best ones have earned certification for compliance with ISO 9001:2000 standards.


Easy and quick use

It will be easy for users to know how to read a mechanical balance if the instrument itself is engineered to facilitate the entire process. Most models feature a single weighing unit and application mode so you won’t have to be overwhelmed with complicated procedures for finding the correct weight and mass of objects. The pointer and angled beams should be easy to read to help reduce operator errors, with steel knife edges if possible. Quick zeroing is facilitated with special floating agate bearings and a counter balancing knob that ensures the beam balance stays in position. A spring-loaded zero-adjust compensator enables fine modifications. Dial operations provide convenience and speed.

Reading is also more effortless at the center if the mechanical balance has notched and tiered beams. Some models feature a tripod assembly that raises the device several inches off the countertop surface to enable effortless density determination. Oscillation can be slowed down with magnetic damping, which provides fast and accurate readings every time. Dual pointers allow easy dual side viewing of results. You want the platform to be removable for easy placement of samples and to facilitate cleanups. The weighing pans should be large and washable. A tare function enables repeatable, fast weighing. Some models come with a hanging pan balance and a stainless steel pan with pour spout for easy unloading and viewing of samples. Others have built-in storage for the supplied counterweights.


Reliable performance

How does a mechanical balance work? A large mother beam is supported by a fulcrum, with one side outfitted with a pan on which the object to be weighed is placed. The other side carries a primary beam split into three parallel secondary beams, with each one supporting a single weight of its own. Instead of adding additional weights when measuring the weight of an object, you simply slide the weights along the respective beams to increase their lever arm. Just like a seesaw, the one with the heavier weight sits closer to the fulcrum section to decrease their lever arm. To make this possible in a mechanical balance, the zero adjustment should be easy to use for repeatability and accuracy. Most mechanical balances feature a tare capacity for fast repetitive weighing.

With magnetic damping, the pointer is brought to rest with minimum oscillation or swings. Some devices come with pre-calibrated weights to extend their weighing range. With positive poise positioning, repeatable results can be obtained. Level adjustments are eliminated if the balance works with special floating bearing principle and beam design. Zero adjustments are made easier with a zero adjust knob at the end of the primary beam.



5 Best Mechanical Balances (Reviews) in 2021


There are many different mechanical balances on the market. To enable you to make an easier decision, consult the above buying guide for helpful information. We have also showcased the best products below for even more shopping assistance.



1. Ohaus Specialty Mechanical Triple Beam Balance


1-ohaus-specialty-mechanical-triple-beam-balanceEquipped to handle up to 610 grams with 0.1 gram accuracy/readability, the Ohaus Specialty 80000012 makes the perfect equipment for any laboratory or classroom setting.

It has three sliding weights that supplement the notched and tiered beams to help ensure accurate readings as well as repeatable results every time.

The built-in magnetic damping function hastens weighing procedures by making the beam come to rest quickly, which helps increase productivity in the lab.

The zero adjust compensator is spring loaded to allow the execution of fine modifications, to enable you to get genuinely accurate readings. Boasting a solid and strong construction, this mechanical balance has metal beams and base to ensure durability for many years of use.

Easy to use, the balance has three sliding weights/poises or riders in 1g, 10g and 100 gram increments that move along the three notched and tiered beams to enable fast and accurate weight measuring. The tip loading weighing platform makes it easy to access and place samples while providing unobstructed view.



It features three sliding weights and notched and tiered beams for accurate readings.

The built-in magnetic damping enhances weighing for increased productivity so that you can weigh more in the same amount of time.

With a history of over 100 years, the Ohaus brand is known all over the world for offering a wide variety of scales and balances for all uses – from a laboratory to educational, food, retail, and jewelry.

It has 0.1 grams readout accuracy, making it extremely reliable whenever weighing.

The item also features a stainless steel plate for long-term use.



Although the vast majority of buyers were extremely pleased with their purchase, we cannot help but realize that the item features the same design that used to be fashionable in the 1970s. In other words, if you are nostalgic for retro times, you will definitely need this item in your lab or kitchen.


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2. Ohaus Stainless Steel Harvard Trip Mechanical Single Beam Balance


2-ohaus-stainless-steel-harvard-trip-mechanical-single-beam-balanceThe Ohaus Harvard Trip.80000003 is a fantastic piece of equipment for the modern classroom or laboratory. It features a single weighing unit and application mode for simplified weighing procedures.

The angled beams and pointer are easy to read so measurements are quick and effortless and operator errors are reduced.

Equipped with a weighing capacity of 2000 grams with accuracy to 0.1g, this mechanical balance boasts quality craftsmanship and materials for long lasting use through the years.

The special floating agate bearing works nicely with the counterbalancing knob to provide quick zeroing and to make sure the beam stays in position, for fast and accurate readings.

The device also has a metal base and beam for durability. The stainless steel pans resist corrosion and allow easy cleanups. This is a precision weighing instrument that provides years of service with virtually zero maintenance. It is very easy to use and can increase productivity in your work setting.



Another qualitative item from the Ohaus manufacturer, the Harvard Trip Mechanical balance features a single weighing unit and application mode.

The product is made from high-quality materials, including a metal base and beam, as well as stainless steel pan, and hardened steel edges for safe and easy transportation. Thanks to the high-quality materials, this item is designed to last you a lifetime.

The angled beams and pointer are easy and fun to use while helping reduce operator errors and delivering accurate measurements.

The item is ideal both for lab and kitchen use so we suggest buying one for yourself.



The vast majority of the buyers rated this product with 5 stars, meaning it is extremely reliable, accurate, and features a modern, stainless-steel design. Nevertheless, the price is quite high so if you are only looking for a regular kitchen mechanical balance, we suggest opting for less expensive items.


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3. Ohaus 80000010 Balance Cent O Gram 311


3-ohaus-cent-o-gram-overhead-mechanical-balanceThe Ohaus Cent-O-Gram 80000010 features a single weighing unit and application mode to simplify weighing procedures in the lab or classroom setting.

It has notched and tiered beams that work with finely crafted sliders to ensure effortless and accurate measuring. The spring loaded zero adjust compensator ensures quick zeroing for increased productivity. Repeatable results can be achieved every time thanks to the positive poise positioning.

This fine piece of lab equipment is constructed solidly to ensure years of use, with its aluminum pressure casted base and beam, the removable stainless steel pan that makes it easy to place, remove and view samples while being easy to clean, and the steel knife-edges on the pointer that ensure accurate measurements.

Level adjustments do not need to be made thanks to the three-point base, special floating bearing principle and beam design. The overhead balance design makes it easy for students to visualize mass measurement principles.



It features a cool, stainless-steel design combined with metal red elements which make it the perfect addition both for kitchen and lab use.

Similar to other Ohaus products, this one also comes with a 0.01 grams readout accuracy, making it suitable for accurate measurements whatever your needs are.

The product comes with notched and tiered beams for ease in reading, as well as a spring loaded zero adjust compensator.

The solid construction of this alternative is another important selling point, as it can last for a good deal of time, without you having to bother to replace it ahead of time.



It accepts a single weighing unit, meaning grams. Thus, people more used with ounces and the North-American weighing scale might require a different mechanical balance.

Some customers claimed that the built-in platform used for specific gravity measurements is made of plastic and it easily bends, not providing the accuracy required.


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4. Adam Equipment Aluminium Triple Beam Mechanical Balance


4-adam-equipment-tbb-2610s-triple-beam-mechanical-balanceThe perfect choice for science teachers and students needing to perform quick mechanical weighing, the Adam Equipment TBB 2610S is a mechanical triple beam balance with 2610g capacity and 0.1g readability.

Equipped with a stainless steel platform that is corrosion resistant, this mechanical balance boasts a durable and strong aluminum housing, making it perfect for handling the most demanding classroom activities. This scale is equipped with a ruler marked in both inches and centimeters for quick and easy measurement.

To ensure proper weight measurements, the three sliding weights are notched to keep them in place. An adjustable knob allows users to finetune zero range and a weigh below hook is included for below balance weighing.

The included weights take the balance to its capacity of 2610 grams while the tripod legs facilitate specific gravity calculations or density determinations.

Offering the right combination of speed, performance and value, the balance comes with a durable aluminum housing with a built-in storage slot for the included counterweights.



It comes in three different sizes, from 610 grams capacity to 2.61 kg capacity.

This mechanical triple beam balance offers a 0.1 grams readability, similar to other items from the same price range, meaning it is extremely accurate and can be easily used in the food industry or in laboratories.

The stainless steel 6-inch diameter weighing pan is resistant to corrosion so that you can enjoy your item for plenty of years from now one.

The durable aluminum housing comes with a built-in storage slot to keep your included counterweights at sight.

One of the neatest things about the design of this product is that it has been outfitted with an adjustable knob so as to allow users to finetune the range.



The rather dull and retro design can be a downside for those looking for more edgy, contemporary mechanical balances.

The tripod of this product is also quite hard to use, so we suggest looking for other items also.


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5. Walter Products B-500-O Economy Hanging Pan Balance


5-adam-equipment-tbb-2610s-triple-beam-mechanical-balanceA cool hanging pan mechanical balance for classroom or lab use, the Walter Economy B-500-O has a tough three point base constructed of metal casting to provides years of use with superior durability and strength.

The hanging pan makes it easy to place samples, and to access and remove them thanks to the convenient pour spout.

The stainless steel construction of the pan also enables problem-free cleanups and ensures resistance to corrosion.

Get accurate readings and measurements up to 311 grams with 0.01 sensitivity. The balance also comes equipped with magnetic damping that slows the oscillation so you can perform fast yet accurate readings and increase productivity in your work setting.

At the rear of the beam is an efficient zero adjustment knob for fine tuning the zero range to ensure accurate readings every time. The three beams are notched and tiered to ensure that the sliders/riders are kept in place easily during measuring to ensure consistent accuracy.



This hanging pan mechanical balance is ideal for classroom use or laboratory operations.

With the assistance of the hanging pan, you will have no trouble placing the samples so as to weigh them properly.

It also comes with a sensitivity of 0.01 grams, similar to other aforementioned products.

Purchase this item and will receive a five-year manufacturer’s warranty.

By comparison to other products listed here, the Walter Economy B-500-O does come with an affordable price, making it perfect for lab use in high schools and middle schools.

The sturdy construction of this alternative renders it durable, which means that you will be able to use it for many years to come.



It only has a weighing capacity of 311 grams, meaning it is rather useless for kitchen use.

It only offers a one-dimension measuring scale in grams and cannot be converted to weigh in pounds.


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1) What is a mechanical balance?

2) How do Balances and Scales Work?

3) Weights and balances

4) All about mechanical balances



Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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