Beyond the Size

10 Surprising Household Items That Double as Weights

Understanding 15 Grams and

Weighing with Coins

If you’ve ever wondered what a 15-gram object might look like or how to weigh things accurately without a scale, this article is for you. In this informative piece, we’ll explore common household items that weigh 15 grams, the accuracy of coin weights, and how to measure items using coins.

Understanding 15 Grams

So, what does 15 grams look like? Here are several common household items that weigh approximately 15 grams:


Nickels – A single nickel weighs 5 grams, so three of them would be needed to reach the 15-gram mark. 2.

Pennies – On the other hand, it would take 30 pennies to reach the 15-gram mark, as each coin only weighs 0.5 grams. 3.

Sharpie Marker – A regular-sized Sharpie marker weighs approximately 15 grams. 4.

Tablespoon of Butter – For all you bakers out there, one tablespoon of butter weighs 14 grams. 5.

CDs – Believe it or not, a standard size CD weighs close to 15 grams. 6.

Paper – One sheet of computer paper weighs approximately 4.5 grams, making it easy to combine 3 or more sheets to reach 15 grams. 7.

Soda Can – An empty soda can weighs around 14 grams, but a full one can weigh up to 400 grams, depending on the liquid inside. 8.

Bottle Caps – Depending on the size and material, a bottle cap can weigh from half a gram to almost 5 grams. 9.

Grapes – On average, three grapes weigh 15 grams. 10.

Paper Clips – Depending on the size and shape, a single paper clip can weigh anywhere from 0.5 to 1.5 grams.

Weighing with Coins

Now that we know what 15 grams roughly looks like, let’s discuss the accuracy of coin weights. In general, the United States Mint does a fantastic job of ensuring their coins are accurately weighted.

According to the US Mint, nickels should weigh 5.00 grams, and pennies should weigh 2.50 grams. However, occasionally, coins may have slight variations in weight due to minting inconsistencies.

For instance, some older pennies may weigh a bit more because they have a higher copper content. Additionally, some pennies from 1943 may weigh less due to being made of zinc-coated steel instead of copper.

Despite these minor variations, most coins should be accurate enough to use for weighing small objects.

Measuring with Nickels and Pennies

If you don’t have a scale, using coins as makeshift weights can come in handy. As mentioned earlier, a nickel weighs roughly 5 grams, while a penny weighs about 2.5 grams.

To measure small items, you can simply gradually add coins until you’ve reached the desired weight. For instance, to measure an item weighing 15 grams, you could use three nickels or six pennies.

For heavier items, you could use a mixture of nickels and pennies to achieve the desired weight. If you’re concerned about the accuracy of your coins, you can always test their weight using a calibrated scale.

This type of scale can be found at many stores that sell precision equipment, like scientific or jewelry supply stores.


From understanding what 15 grams looks like to weighing objects without a scale, we hope this article has provided you with some useful knowledge. The great thing about weighing things with coins is that you don’t need to have an expensive scale to measure small objects accurately.

By using coins already in your possession and being aware of their weight, you can weigh small items with ease.

3) The Versatile Sharpie Marker

Sharpie markers are a popular item among artists, DIY enthusiasts, and office workers. They come in a variety of sizes and can be used for an array of purposes.

Here are some of the different marker sizes and their uses:

1. Fine Point – This is the most common size of Sharpie marker.

It has a narrow tip that allows for precise lines, making it perfect for small details or writing on labels. 2.

Ultra-Fine – The ultra-fine tip is even narrower than the fine point, making it ideal for even more precise lines and small, detailed work, such as writing on photographs or creating intricate designs. 3.

Chisel Tip – The chisel tip is a versatile size that has a wider edge and a narrow point. Its shape allows for a range of line widths, making it perfect for signing large posters or writing on boxes and signs.

Regardless of the size, Sharpie markers are known for their consistency and vibrant colors. However, some users may notice differences in the weight of their markers.

The weight of a Sharpie marker can vary slightly, depending on how much ink is left in the marker. This variability can be due to differences in the ink level, the material of the marker, or other factors.

However, this difference in weight is usually negligible and does not impact the quality or effectiveness of the marker.

4) Butter as a Reference

When it comes to measuring small quantities of ingredients, using a reference point can be helpful. One common reference point used in cooking and baking is a tablespoon of butter, which weighs approximately 14 grams.

Butter can also be used to help visualize weight and size. For example, a butter pat is a small, square piece of butter that weighs about one tablespoon or 14 grams.

Holding a butter pat can give you a sense of what 14 grams looks like and feel like in your hand. It’s important to note that the weight of butter can vary based on the brand and type of butter.

For example, European-style butter is typically denser and contains a higher percentage of butterfat than regular butter, which can change its weight slightly. In conclusion, Sharpie markers are a versatile tool with a range of sizes and uses, and slight variations in weight do not impact their quality or effectiveness.

Butter can be used as a reference point for both weight and size when cooking and baking, and variations in weight can occur based on the brand and type of butter used.

5) The Familiar CD

Compact Discs, or CDs, were all the rage in the 1990s and early 2000s as the primary way of listening to recorded music. While digital streaming has taken over as the preferred method of music consumption, CDs remain a common item in households and are still sold in stores.

A standard CD is circular in shape and has a diameter of 12 centimeters (about 4.7 inches). The weight of a standard CD is approximately 15-20 grams, which is slightly less than the weight of a ping pong ball.

Despite the decline in popularity of CDs, many people continue to use CDs for archiving purposes, as they offer reliable and high-quality storage for digital files. CDs are also still used for music production, as they offer a way to mix and master audio tracks in a high-quality format.

Additionally, some people still prefer to have a physical copy of their favorite album or music collection.

6) Thin Paper Calculation

When it comes to paper, weight and thickness are two commonly used measures. A4-size paper, which is the standard size used in most countries, measures 21 centimeters by 29.7 centimeters (8.3 inches by 11.7 inches).

The weight of paper is typically measured in grams per square meter (gsm). This means that a standard A4 size paper, which weighs 80 gsm, will weigh 80 grams if you have a square meter of that paper.

However, thickness can also vary between papers of the same weight. For example, a piece of 80 gsm paper can be much thinner or thicker than another sheet of 80 gsm paper depending on factors such as the manufacturing process and the material used.

A useful method for calculating the weight of thin paper is to use a digital caliper to measure the paper’s thickness in millimeters. The weight can then be estimated using the following formula:

(weight of one A4 sheet) = (number of A4 sheets per 1 kilogram) / (thickness of one A4 sheet in millimeters)

This formula can be useful for determining the weight of unusual paper types or for comparing the weight of different paper thicknesses.

In conclusion, while CDs may be less popular than they once were, they continue to be used for a variety of purposes, and their weight is a curious aspect of these disks. Additionally, the weight of paper is an important consideration for many industries, and the calculation of weight from thickness can be a helpful tool in certain situations.

7) Lightweight Soda Can

Soda cans are a common item that most people encounter on a regular basis. These cans are typically made of aluminum, which is a lightweight and easy-to-recycle metal.

The weight of an empty soda can varies depending on the size and brand of the can. In general, a standard 12-ounce can weighs around 15-16 grams, whereas a 16-ounce can can weigh up to 24 grams.

The lightweight nature of soda cans makes them great for transporting and storing beverages, as they are easy to stack and move around in bulk. Additionally, the aluminum material makes them more sustainable than other types of containers, as aluminum is easily recycled and can be reused in new products.

8) Bottle Cap Calculation

Bottle caps are small but essential items that keep beverages fresh and prevent spills. These caps can be made from a variety of materials, including plastic and metal.

Interestingly, the weight of a bottle cap can vary depending on the type of cap and the material used. For example, metal bottle caps tend to be heavier than plastic bottle caps.

The weight of a bottle cap is usually measured in milligrams (mg). However, due to the small size and light weight of the caps, it can be challenging to weigh them accurately using traditional scales.

To accurately measure the weight of a bottle cap, a precision scale is recommended. There are also online calculators available that can help estimate the weight of different types of bottle caps based on their size and material.

It is essential to note that the weight of a bottle cap can also vary within a single brand or batch due to manufacturing inconsistencies. However, these variations typically have little impact on the overall functionality of the cap.

In conclusion, the weight of soda cans and bottle caps may seem like small details, but they are crucial components of beverage packaging. The lightweight nature of aluminum soda cans makes them a popular choice for transporting and storing beverages, while the weight variability of bottle caps depends on various factors such as the material and even the manufacturer.

Overall, these small items serve major functions in keeping our beverages fresh and enjoyable to drink.

9) Weighing With Grapes

Grapes are a delicious and healthy fruit, but did you know that they can also serve as a makeshift weight? One average-sized grape typically weighs around 5 grams.

However, the weight of grapes can vary depending on their size, ripeness, and moisture content. Smaller grapes will weigh less than 5 grams, and larger grapes may weigh more.

Additionally, grapes can lose moisture over time, which can impact their weight. If you plan to use grapes as a makeshift weight, it’s best to weigh them shortly after purchasing or picking them for more accurate results.

Despite being a variable weight, grapes can still be a useful reference point for measuring small objects or ingredients in a pinch.

10) Paper Clip Calibration

Paper clips are small, ubiquitous items that most of us have lying around our homes or offices. While they may not seem particularly useful beyond holding papers together, paper clips can actually be used as a makeshift weight for measuring small objects or ingredients.

The weight of a paper clip varies depending on its size and material. However, a standard-sized paper clip typically weighs around 1 gram.

To ensure the accuracy of using paper clips as weights, it’s best to calibrate them using a precision scale. To do this, weigh a group of paper clips using a calibrated scale and divide the total weight by the number of paper clips to get the weight of each individual clip.

This will help you ensure that your paper clip measurements are consistent and accurate. Additionally, paper clips can be useful in measuring the weight of small objects or ingredients that are difficult to weigh accurately using traditional scales.

Simply attach a paper clip to the object, weigh the clip on a calibrated scale, and subtract the weight of the clip to get the weight of the object. Overall, paper clips can be a surprisingly useful tool for measuring small weights.

By calibrating the weight of the clips and using them in combination with a calibrated scale, you can achieve accurate measurements for a variety of small objects or ingredients. In conclusion, despite their small size, everyday household items like Sharpie markers, paper clips, and grapes can be useful for measuring small objects or ingredients when scales are unavailable.

Similarly, understanding weight variability in common objects such as aluminum cans and butter pats can provide a helpful reference point for estimating the weight of other objects. By using these tips and tricks, measuring small weights can be made simple, accurate and convenient.


Q. What is the weight of a standard Sharpie marker?

A. The weight of a standard-sized Sharpie marker is approximately 15 grams.

Q. Can bottle cap weights vary based on the manufacturer or material used?

A. Yes, bottle cap weights can vary based on factors such as the manufacturer and the material used.

Q. How can I accurately weigh thin paper?

A. Thin paper can be accurately weighed by using a digital caliper to measure the paper’s thickness in millimeters and estimating its weight using a formula.

Q. How do I ensure the accuracy of using paper clips as weights?

A. To ensure the accuracy of using paper clips as weights, it’s best to calibrate them using a precision scale to get the weight of each individual clip.

Q. Can grape weight vary based on moisture content or ripeness?

A. Yes, the weight of grapes can vary based on factors such as their moisture content and ripeness.

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