A top pan or top loading balance is an instrument used to weigh solid materials when perfectly accurate measurements aren't necessary. Most top pans have 0.1-gram to 0.001-gram precision and weighing capacities of 500 grams and above.
Top pan balances are generally used in schools, food service establishments, factories and laboratories. Before weighing anything, put the weighing paper or container on first, then zero the balance. Next, carefully add the substance to be measured until the required value is obtained. When a very small amount is weighed and accuracy is required to four or more decimal places, using an analytical balance is recommended.