A balance is generally recommended for chemistry and physics courses, often to be used for weighing out small amounts of chemicals to use in solutions. To get you started on easy and efficient use of your triple beam balance, here's a few suggestions.
Before you weigh something, 'zero' the balance. Do this by sliding back all the weight poises (that slide along the beams) so that the pointer is right at the zero line. You might need to turn the zero adjustment knob a little bit to get it right at the line.
When you set an object on the balance platform, the pointer immediately goes up and is no longer zeroed. To find out the weight of the object, you'll need to slide the weight poises until the pointer is at zero again. Start with the two heavier weight poises and then use the lightest one to do the fine tuning. Our triple beam balance and the Ohaus triple beam balance are accurate to 0.1 grams.
To read the weight of an object in grams, add up the number that each weight poise is at when the pointer zeroes. For example, if the heaviest poise is at 100 g, the next one at 30 g, and the lightest one at 5.4 g, then the total weight of the object is 135.4 grams.