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Buyer’s Guide: Analytical Balances

Buyers' Guide: Analytical Balances


Analytical balances - also known as precision scales or balances - are weighing scales designed to weigh mass in the sub milligram range.

They’re ideal for laboratories, but also can be found in pharmacies (for weighing out medication) and industries like paint and chemical manufacturing.

While these scales provide incredibly-low weight increments, giving you the weight of the smallest items, they do have to be used very carefully - even very small environmental influences, like dust and wind, can affect the weight reading.

When choosing a balance scale, you’ll need to first think about how accurate you need to weigh - how precise a measurement is required. How small are the items you’re weighing? Will slight differences in weight - even a milligram - make a difference?

Then, you need to think about the capacity. How much are you likely to weigh at once? How big are the items you’re weighing?

If you’re looking for an analytical balance but not sure what the best solution for you is, our guide to analytical balances may help



For weighing medication

If precise measuring of medication is required, look for a balance that’s accurate enough but also an approved scale. Many of the Shimadzu balances we have available have Class I or Class II approval, with a good example being the UW Series.

Automatic calibration also means this scale will stay accurate, and your patients will get the right amount of medication from you every time.



For weighing out pigments

You may buy paint in large tins when you’re decorating. But if you’re a paint manufacturer you’ll know that those colours come from precisely-measured-out pigments.

Getting the pigment exactly right is critical - otherwise, the colour will be wrong!

The Shimadzu BX is the balance scale of choice for Keim Paints, who recently completed a case study for us. They liked the fact that the BX came with Windows Direct software, meaning the weight data could be transferred to a PC instantly.

They also liked the accuracy of the BX; there are few analytical balances on the market like the Shimadzu range. Even a tiny amount like 0.2 grams too much pigment added can mean a big difference,” Keim Paints told us. If a colour needs 1.5 grams of red to be accurate, and we put in 2 grams. This is a whole 25% extra and this would ruin the colour.”



For precise ingredients measurements

Shimadzu balances are perfect for the food industry, where high speed, high quality analysis is often required. Whether it’s analysing the vitamins in baby food, or measuring out food additives, the Shimadzu ATX or Shimadzu ATY are perfect.

Both offer accuracy to 0.1mg, Windows Direct software for data transfer - and the ATX has built-in calibration to keep it as accurate as possible.



For forensic analysis in a laboratory

Because precision balances are so precise, outside influences can play a big part in the reading on the scale.

Shimadzu scales are designed to combat this. Some come with a chamber to protect the surface from dust and wind, and temperature/environment protection.

For forensic analysis, where you could be working with trade residues - and your confidence in the analytical results is critically important - we’d recommend a highly accurate, Class I or Class II scale with a chamber to protect the surface from outside influences. The Shimadzu ATX or ATY are perfect for this, with ultra-high accuracy and Class approval.


If you need further help with choosing an analytical balance scale, please contact the Marsden team here.

Alternatively, browse precision scales here.