Balances and precision, also called top loading balances, are a form of scale designed to offer highly accurate results, within the sub-milligram range. Used for the measurement of small samples, precision balances provide an accurate, quick, and simple way of determining the weight of items such as particulate matter. Electronic precision balances offer a wide range of weighing capacities, with maximum capacities up to 64 kg. They allow readability in the range of 1 mg (0.001 g) to 1 g, or 0-3 decimal places. High precision laboratory balances can extend this accuracy to 4 decimal places, on the display of the precision balance, 0.0001g (0.1mg) increments are used.
Balances and precision produce steady readings in a wider range of environmental conditions than analytical balances which must always be used under strict conditions to ensure accurate readings. Being less sensitive to temperature fluctuations and air currents, precision balances can serve as the more convenient method of measurement. While a draft shield is not always necessary for the accurate use of a precision balance, when working in a fume hood or under normal conditions with a high-resolution precision balance of 1 mg readability, one should be employed to maintain performance.