Triple beam balances?

MaydayMayday Member
edited March 22 in General
Does anybody use triple beam balances? I purchased an Adam TBB2610T and was sorely disappointed with the accuracy and linearity, among other build-quality issues and shipping damage. It's been a real fixer-upper.
Measurements are inconsistent depending on which bar you use (for example, measuring 10g using the ten's beam vs. the one's beam, or 100g using the hundred's beam vs. the ten's beam). Leveling my table and checking calibration did not help. I am actually out of the linearity spec for this balance, so I'm trying to return it for a refund.
I was under the impression that triple beam balances could be serious instruments for accurate measurement, rather than merely "educational" quality tools—as if students don't need accurate instruments... Good luck explaining the principles of the balance to a confused kid when 100g on one beam isn't 100g on the other.
Would anybody recommend an Ohaus balance they know to be accurate, like maybe the Ohaus TP2611? Or should I just get a comparable digital balance instead? I'm thinking I may just be getting what I paid for: the triple beam balances are very inexpensive considering the range and theoretical accuracy. The Adam TBB2610 claims up to 2610g, 0.1g±0.2g. The Ohaus TP2611 claims 2610g, 0.1g±0.1g.
I actually find a triple beam balance enjoyable to work with, but it won't do if it's significantly inaccurate.
⚠️ I have a lot of ideas, but not much experience! Please keep this in mind when reading my suggestions. ⚠️


  • MicroformulationMicroformulation Member, Professional Chemist
    I have a triple beam balance and my original Apothecary Scale from Undergrad. They are on a shelf looking impressive but aren't really suited for Formulating. Microformulation Cosmetic Consulting provides Custom Formulations for both large Commercial accounts as well as smaller entrepreneurs. We can provide Naturally compliant Formulations under the NSF, NPA, Whole Foods and USDA Organic Certifications. BS.Pharm Albany College of Pharmacy, Union University.
  • MaydayMayday Member
    edited April 18
    At this point I am just nerding out over these things, but I bought a vintage Ohaus NJ-manufactured Triple Beam Balance off eBay and it's surprisingly accurate and consistent. I'm guessing it's from the 1970s or so from how yellow and aged the instruction pamphlet looks.
    I can't say if the difference is due to the Ohaus brand, being made in the USA, or due to a time period when mechanical balances were required to be accurate and precise because there were no alternatives. (Or some combination of these factors.)
    ⚠️ I have a lot of ideas, but not much experience! Please keep this in mind when reading my suggestions. ⚠️
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