Balances are used to measure mass. The units of mass are grams (g). The instrument you will use most often to measure mass is the triple beam balance. The triple beam balance gets its name from three long, horizontal metal bars, called beams, connected to a pointer on the right-hand side. The pointer should always be at zero point before measuring the mass of any object. On each beam is a rider that slides across the beam. Before using a triple beam balance, you should remember the following:

Image is of a triple beam balance with parts labeled.

This activity might not be viewable on your mobile device.Interactive exercise. Assistance may be required. To practice using a triple beam balance, click on the link below and complete the following tutorial.

Reading a Triple Beam Balance