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Crane scales vs dynamometers

Crane scales and dynamometers are measuring devices that weigh suspended loads. Although they may look similar, each has its use, and they aren’t always interchangeable. Knowing the differences between a crane scale and a dynamometer will ensure you use the correct scale for the job.



A dynamometer measures the tension force between two points in a straight line. Basic models use a spring, while modern models use load cells and digital indicators. A dynamometer typically has a shackle on either end and can come with various handles, grips and hooks. It’s also smaller, lighter and more compact than a crane scale.


You can use dynamometers horizontally or vertically, which gives them an advantage over crane scales, which can only be used vertically. Therefore, dynamometers are often used to measure tension on wires and cables. For example, elevator service companies use dynamometers to test elevator safety.


Crane scales

A crane scale is a specialized dynamometer designed to weigh hanging loads as small as supermarket vegetables or as large as shipyard containers. Crane scales weigh heavy loads between 100 kilograms and 225 tonnes with incredible accuracy. However, their design means they can’t be utilized for any other application than weighing suspended loads.


Crane scales increase efficiency and safety at job sites. Outfitted with rugged steel shackles and an onboard indicator, a crane scale allows you to immediately weigh large, awkward objects without needing forklifts and floor scales. You can attach the scale to your crane and leave it without affecting its performance. Manufacturers also make crane scales with rugged shells to protect the inner mechanisms from the harsh environments on industrial job sites.


Things to consider

When purchasing a dynamometer or crane scale, consider the following features:

Maximum weight capacity

Readability and accuracy

Digital or analogue display

Wireless remote readout

Protection from the environment



Finally, talk to an expert about the best scale for your application and how to use it.


Crane weight scale and dynamometer sales in Alberta

At Accurate/Western Scale Co. Ltd., we have various crane weight scale options to suit any application. Our scales are durable, and Measurement Canada accredits us to declare scales legal for trade. Our technicians provide fast, professional repairs to minimize downtime if your commercial or industrial scale breaks down. Contact us today to learn more about our crane and hanging scales.

Accurate/Western Scale Co. Ltd.

Tel: 403-250-3232

Toll-free: 1-866-250-3232

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