Beyond the Size

Estimating Weight with Everyday Objects: Coins Stationery and More

Estimating Weight Using Common Objects

Are you in need of a quick and simple way to estimate the weight of an object? Fear not! The answer may be right in front of you.

You can use common objects that you have lying around to estimate the weight of other objects. In this article, we will explore various common objects that can be used to estimate weight and how to use them effectively.


Coins are a great way to estimate the weight of an object. Pennies and nickels are two common coins you can use.

A penny weighs 2.5 grams while a nickel weighs 5 grams. To use these coins, you can place the item on a balance scale and then add or subtract the coins until the scale is balanced.

For example, if you have a small item that weighs 7.5 grams, you can place it on one side of the scale and then place three pennies on the other side, and the scale will become balanced.


Another set of objects that you can use to estimate the weight of an object are stationery items. Pencils and AA batteries are two common items you can use.

A pencil weighs about 7 grams, while an AA battery weighs around 25 grams. You can use the same method as before to estimate weight.

Place the object on one side of the scale and add or remove stationery items on the other side until they balance. With the weight of a pencil in mind, if you have a small object that weighs 21 grams, you can place the object on one side and then three pencils on the other.

The scale will then be balanced.

Office Supplies

Office supplies might not seem like an obvious choice for weighing items, but they can still be helpful. Paper clips are a common office item that can be used to weigh small objects.

One paperclip weighs around 1 gram. Place the item on one side of the balance scale and add paperclips to the other side until the scale balances out.

For example, if you need to weigh an item that’s 15 grams, you can place the item on one side and then add 15 paperclips on the other side.

CDs and Mice

CDs and mice are two objects you might not have thought about before as a way to estimate weight. A regular CD weighs around 15 grams, while a computer mouse can weigh up to 100 grams.

You can use these items to weigh larger objects. Place the CD or mouse on one side and add or remove items on the other side until the scale becomes balanced.

Food and Pets

Other objects that you can use to estimate weight are food and pets. A slice of bread weighs around 25 grams, which could be helpful in weighing small items, similar to how the pencil can be used.

Alternatively, for smaller animals such as parakeets, you can use them as an estimation tool. A small parakeet can weigh around 25 grams, making them a great option for weighing small items.

Coins as a Measurement Tool

While coins can be used to estimate weight, they can also be used as a measuring tool in their own right. Specifically, newly minted pennies can be helpful.

Newly minted pennies weigh 2.5 grams, allowing for a more precise measurement than other coins. For example, if you need a 7.5-gram weight, you can not only utilize the stategy discussed earlier that required placing three pennies on one side of the scale, but you can also utilize a single newly-minted penny, and have a much more precise result.



If you don’t have access to newly minted pennies, another coin you can use is the nickel. Nickels weigh 5 grams, making them a better option than using pennies for larger objects.

You can use the nickel in the same way you used the penny to estimate weight and to create more precise measurements. In conclusion, estimating the weight of objects can be done easily with common objects that you already have.

By using this knowledge, you can save time and hassle. Try experimenting with different objects to find the combinations that work best for you.

Stationery Items

Stationery items are often overlooked as measurement tools but they are surprisingly useful for estimating weight and measuring small objects. In this section, we will explore two stationery items that can be used for this purpose: pencils and AA batteries.

Using a Pencil

One of the most commonly used stationery items for measuring is a pencil. A brand-new pencil that has never been sharpened has a standardized weight of about 7 grams.

They are especially useful for measuring small, lightweight items. You can either balance the item with a pencil on a balance scale or use the pencil to measure out lengths.

For the latter, you can use the markings on the side of the pencil as a guide. Additionally, if you have a need for more precise measurements, you can sharpen the pencil to have a smaller surface area, which will result in a weight that’s effectively lower than the standardized value of 7 grams.

AA Battery

AA batteries are common and easy to find, making them a great option for measuring objects that require a bit more weight. A single AA battery weighs around 25 grams, which is significantly heavier than a pencil.

They can help to provide more accuracy when measuring items that require a bit more mass. You can place the item and a single AA battery on a balance scale to estimate its weight or use the AA battery to measure lengths in a similar way to the pencil.

Office Supplies

Office supplies are regularly used to help us get through the workday. However, we may not realize that some of those supplies can double as measurement tools when we need them.

In this section, we will discuss one such item: paper clips.

Measuring with Paper Clips

While paper clips are commonly used for organizing documents, they can also be used to estimate weight for small objects. Standardized paper clips are usually about one gram in weight, making them consistent and reliable as a measurement tool.

Larger paper clips can provide added weight for heavier items and are great for balancing out smaller items on a balance scale. A great feature to utilize is that paper clips can often be linked together for an even heavier extended weight.

Whats truly great about using paper clips is that they are cheap and readily available, making them an easy source of constant use in your measurement needs. In sum, everyday objects can be easily repurposed as measurement tools.

From stationery items like pencils and AA batteries to office supplies like paper clips, they offer different levels of precision while also being incredibly accessible and budget-friendly. So next time you need to measure an item or estimate its weight, look no further than your workspace for the solution.

CDs and Mice

CDs and mice may seem like unlikely items for measuring or estimation, but they can both be useful in their own way.

Estimating Weight Using CDs

CDs can be utilized in estimation due to their predictable weight. For instance, the paper or cardboard sleeves that CDs often come in can weigh as little as two to three grams, while a plastic jewel case weighs around 50 grams.

CDs themselves weigh approximately 15 grams. You can use CDs to estimate the weight of an item by placing it on one side of the balance scale and placing CDs on the other side until the scale becomes balanced.

CDs can be a great option for larger or heavier items.

Weights of Common Mice

Mice can also be used as a reference point for estimating weight. While weights for individual mice can vary greatly depending on species and size, the most common types of mice often used in research are the common house mouse, Eurasian harvest mice, and striped field mouse.

The common house mouse, also known as Mus domesticus, weighs around 20 grams, while the Eurasian harvest mouse, or Micromys minutus, weighs approximately 6 grams. The striped field mouse, or Apodemus agrarius, weighs around 30 grams.

However, keep in mind that these are just basic reference points and individual mice can deviate significantly from these estimated averages.

Food and Pets

Food and pets might not seem like obvious choices for measuring and estimation, but they can both be incredibly helpful when used correctly.

Bread as a Unit of Measure

Bread, with all its varying types and ingredients, can offer a consistent unit of measurement when done correctly. For example, a slice of white bread is around 25 grams, a slice of whole wheat bread is around 35-45 grams, and a slice of sourdough bread can weigh as much as 60 grams.

This can be especially useful when measuring out portions of food and when cooking.

Parakeet as a Lightweight Option

In the animal kingdom, parakeets can be used as an estimation tool for smaller items that are hard to weigh otherwise. For example, an American parakeet weighs between 25-40 grams while a European budgie weighs between 20-35 grams.

There are also a variety of other types of parakeets that can offer their own weight range. So for lightweight measurements, parakeets are an option to consider.

In conclusion, everyday objects that might not seem like tools for measurement can be helpful when estimating the weight of an object. Utilizing these common items can save you time, especially when you don’t have access to a scale.

Moreover, using pets or food as estimation tools can provide further options for lightweight or unit measurements. As you have read here, there’s a lot to be learned from everyday things we already have around us.

In conclusion, everyday objects from stationery items to food to pets can be functional measurement tools. Using these common items for estimation and measuring can be time and cost-saving, especially when scales are unavailable.

Furthermore, utilizing CD cases, mice, and bread provided additional and unique measurement strategies. While some may find the concept odd or not intuitive, it’s worth considering and experimenting with in order to reap its benefits.


– Can I use any type of bread as a unit of measurement? While many bread types can provide a consistent unit of measurement, its important to do research beforehand and utilize the same type of bread consistently for accurate weight estimations.

– Can I use different coins for measuring? While coins are generally a reliable measurement tool, different coins have different weights and can provide different measurements.

Consistency between measurements is key.

– How accurate are paper clips for measuring?

Standard-sized and standardized paper clips tend to weigh about one gram, offering a relatively accurate measuring tool for small objects.

– Can I use a plastic case instead of a jewel case for CD estimation?

CD cases made of plastic or other materials typically have slightly different weights than jewel cases, so its best to use a jewel case for accurate measurements. – Are there other types of parakeets that I can use for estimation?

Other types of parakeets, such as the Indian ring-necked parakeet, can also provide an estimation tool for lightweight measuring.

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