My electric weighing scales allow me to set the weighing unit to various different units. 2 of the units are g (grams) and ml (milliliters). However, considering 1ml at sea level should weigh 1g (and this is borne out in the scales' value; 100ml of water also weighs 100g), is there any particular reason these 2 units of measurement are separate rather than a combined "g/ml" measure?

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    There are lots of people that doesn't know that. It's really cleaver. Think about it, "this scale can also measure water for you! " "Oh yeah it even has a ml mode, how convenient!"...... Dec 26, 2017 at 16:37
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    @user3528438 sounds like an answer to me.
    – Stephie
    Dec 26, 2017 at 17:10
  • Perhaps it also has a barometer built-in?
    – jscs
    Dec 26, 2017 at 17:48
  • g/ml would be density and confusing
    – paparazzo
    Dec 26, 2017 at 18:44
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    My scale also has this. My first thought was "ml of what?" and then I decided never to use that feature because it can't possibly work. But I'm curious as to what it's trying to accomplish.
    – Erik
    Dec 26, 2017 at 19:43

1 Answer 1


Well as a chemist the densities of water and any watery liquid like milk will be very close to 1 gram per milliliter (g/ml) -- within a few percent. However corn oil would be off since it is about 0.90 g/ml. Lard seems to be about 0.87 g/ml. So be careful, but I'd guess that most ingredients in a recipe would work if within 10%.

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    The point is, aren't my scales just giving me the "grams" value for "ml"? It's not like they can detect the liquid being weighed.
    – Jez
    Dec 26, 2017 at 20:15
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    Correct. The balance is weighing grams and just displaying that as milliliters assuming 1.00 gram per milliliter. The point is that the balance can't detect if you weighing water or oil. So for water the ml value will be good. For oil there will be about 10% too much.
    – MaxW
    Dec 26, 2017 at 20:22

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