The Differences Between Industrial and Commercial Scales

There are so many businesses and industries that rely on scales for their everyday applications. Scales are used for weighing products, materials, food items, and so much more, but not all scales are created equal.

These pieces of equipment come in various types and with different features and knowing which is right for your business or application is critical. When looking for scales for a laboratory or business, you will likely come across both industrial and commercial scales.

At SciChem, we work with some of the best scale manufacturers in the world, and we have the knowledge and expertise to help you understand which option is right for you.

One of our most popular scale suppliers is OHAUS, who have grown from a small repair business to a global leader in the weighing industry. Today, we are looking into the differences between industrial and commercial scales, and which OHAUS scales will be right for you.

What Are Industrial Scales?

Industrial scales are used to weigh products at an industrial level, and they are built to withstand high usage and harsh environments. This kind of equipment is durable, reliable, and very long lasting, and can often be adapted to suit changing requirements. Industrial scales are generally housed in factories or even laboratories, and can be used to measure large quantities quickly and precisely. This kind of weighing equipment does not have to meet the same legal requirements as commercial scales and are generally not NTEP certified. Despite this, they still provide very accurate data and are extremely precise for measuring all kinds of materials. They are larger than commercial scales, making them unsuitable for most retail environments where weighing is needed on a smaller level.

What Are Commercial Scales?

Commercial scales are generally used in shops, laboratories, and restaurants. They are small and compact, and often used in front of customers when weighing products, for example at a butcher’s counter in a supermarket. Unlike industrial scales, commercial scales must be regulated and meet the legal requirements set by the National Bureau of Standards. These standards relate to the accuracy, operation and label printing set up of the scales. Commercial weighing equipment is perfect for small shops, laboratory experiments, and small businesses. Failing to use scales which are certified and approved can leave your business liable to fines of more than £1000. It is a legal requirement that any scales used to weigh items which have a price based on the weight are trade approved.

What Are the Key Differences Between Industrial And Commercial Scales?

Now that we have covered what these two types of weighing equipment are, you should have an idea of which is suitable for you. If you are still unsure which type of scale is right for your application, then consider these three factors:

  • Size: One of the key differences between commercial and industrial scales is the size. This relates to both the size of the equipment itself, and the measures the scales can handle. Industrial scales are designed for large businesses and high usage, whereas commercial scales are better suited for small enterprises.
  • Certification: Some situations require scales which are certified and regulated. When this is the case, commercial scales are the only option as industrial scales are not subject to these rigorous checks and processes. This certainly doesn’t mean that industrial scales lack accuracy, just that they do not legally require the same certification as their commercial counterparts.
  • Packaging Products: If you are working in a situation where you need to weigh and package products in front of customers, or weigh materials for individual uses, then a commercial scale is best. Industrial scales are suited for situations where products can be weighed, packaged, and labelled without customer interaction.

OHAUS Scales From SciChem

OHAUS manufacture both commercial and industrial scales and are often some of the best weighing equipment on the market. They are a certified manufacturer of scales, and all of their products are trusted and approved for use across all industries. Our top selling OHAUS scales at SciChem are:


For more information and advice on the right type of scales for your application, contact our expert team today.

Lab Balances – How To Choose The Right One For Your Industry

Lab balances and scales are used across a huge range of industries, not just in laboratories. Sectors including retail, industrial, education, and food all use balances and scales on a regular basis, and depend on them for their day to day applications. No matter the industry you are operating within, you need to have the right equipment in place in order to guarantee accurate results and efficient performance. Choosing the right balance or scale for your business is not always an easy decision, and it is vital you understand the ins and outs of these devices before making a decision.

Types Of Lab Balances

All balances work by measuring objects, and some offer extreme detail down to a granular level. Some industries, such as the food sector, will require ultimate detail and precision, while others, such as education might not require such detail. In order to choose the right lab balance for your industry, you need to be aware of the types available:

Compact Balances

This is a type of professional weighing balance which is compact in size. Due to their small nature, compact balances are portable, making them great for use in a range of industries, particularly when space is scarce. Most compact balances are digital these days, and come equipped with a stainless steel weighing pan. Stainless steel is usually the standard because it can withstand all substances and is very easy to clean after use. This is a great advantage in food or industrial settings.

Analytical Balances

Industries which require ultimate detail often choose analytical balances because of their ability to measure a mass right down to sub-milligram ranges. This piece of kit offers extremely accurate and precise results, perfect for situations where exactness is critical. Due to their sensitivity, analytical balances can be very susceptible to their environment. To deal with this, the weighing pan is isolated in an enclosed and temperature controlled environment. This protects products from particles, dust, air currents and more. Analytical balances are good for use in industrial or laboratory settings where there is a lot of other equipment nearby. This is because they offer great protection from electrical and mechanical interference.

Precision Balances

Any situation where complete precision is required can benefit from a precision balance. In addition to being incredibly accurate and precise, this kind of equipment offers a steady output even when conditions are not ideal. Unlike other kinds of balances, precision balances are much less likely to give a faulty reading during temperature fluctuations. These lab balances are the most common across a lot of industries because they offer accurate results and are easy to use.

Precision balances are a top choice among many industries including medical and pharmaceutical applications, where exact precision is critical. If you often need to weigh varied amounts in your business, then this is a great option as they can handle anything from a few kilograms to several hundred grams.

OHAUS Lab Balances For All Industries

At SciChem, we work with some of the best suppliers in the world. OHAUS are a trusted and certified manufacture of lab balances. They have products suitable for all industries, including:

  • Laboratory: In a lab environment, you often need to have a range of balances to hand for different experiments. OHAUS offer analytical balances such as the Pioneer Semi-Micro which delivers accuracy and repeatability for weighing applications in a lab.
  • Industrial: When it comes to industrial applications, OHAUS offer a range of industrial grade scales and lab balances. A popular balance for the industrial sector is the Compass portable balance which features an enlarged weighing platform, able to handle large samples.
  • Retail: In the retail sector, jewellery balances are a popular choice as they can be used to accurately weight precious stones and metals. The Scout balance from OHAUS is ideal for weighing retail products with high accuracy.
  • Food: If you are operating in the food industry, it is essential that you can weigh products with high precision. That is why a precision balance is a popular option for food manufacturers.
  • Education: Education settings generally require a wide range of balances and ultimately what you need will depend on the level of education you are providing. Many educators choose mechanical scales and balances, like the OHAUS Junior Balance which is designed specifically for younger students.