All laboratory and industry sites, as well as most schools, need to measure weights at one point or another. This is where a lab scale comes in handy – let's skim through the most important features of today's lab scales. First of all, you need to determine what you will be using the scales for, and therefore, what readability and capacity you will need. Is readability up to 0.01 gram enough or do you need accuracy up to 0.0001 gram? What might be the maximum weight of the objects or substances you will be weighing? Most lab scales are equipped with glass walls or metal shields that keep the wind off the platform, as well as protect your lab scale from dust and other substances, so that you don't have to worry about these factors ruining your measurements. You also have to consider what units you will use – will you need kilograms or are ounces sufficient? Most modern lab scales have the option of unit choice, so that you won't have to change the units yourself. Another useful function of modern lab scales is comparison – you can weigh several different objects or amounts of substances and then compare the results, show the percentage of one substance in another etc. Many scales are also equipped with a moisture analyzer, so that you can easily determine the amount of moisture in your sample. Remember that a user-friendly interface and the possibility to connect the scales to a computer, e.g. through a USB port, are also crucial for your use of the scales. Finally, you might want to acquaint yourself with other weighing modes or features of a chosen lab scale. If you know what you want, you will certainly find the equipment that you need for a reasonable price.
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