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How To Choose A Load Cell

Here is some of the basic information you will want to consider:

What are you measuring the force of?

  • Tension and compression or compression only?
  • Off-axis or multiple axis forces?

What are the expected loads?

  • Choose a capacity that is higher than the expected load
  • Interface load cells are accurate over the full range of their stated capacity

Will it be a static, dynamic or fatigue measurement?

Static Measurement – force applied in one direction, tension or compression, from 0 to 100, constant for an extended period of time
Dynamic Measurement – loads that vary in both force and direction
Fatigue Measurement – multiple cycles, 100% compression to 100% tension load

What environment will you conduct your test in?

  • Hot or cold? Dry or wet? Inside or outside? Lab or production line?
  • Determine load cell material and the need for sealing

How accurate do your measurements need to be?

  • Highest Accuracy: ±0.02-0.05%
  • “Ballpark” Measurement: ±0.5-1%

What features and options will your load cell need?


  • Standard connectors include; 6 pin bayonet type, 6 pin screw type, and integral cable
  • Custom options available, including a customer specified connector

Overload Protection

Overload Protection – a mechanical solution that protects a load cell from exceeding forces

  • All Interface load cells are rated at 150% or more of capacity

Additional Bridges

  • Second and third bridges are used for redundancy or reference
  • Useful for ensuring a working load cell for extended period testing

Internal Amplifiers

Internal Amplifier – used to modify the signal to the type of output required, including;4-20mA, ±5V, ±10V, 0-5V, and 0-10V


Transducer Electronic Data Sheet (TEDS) – a load cell with electronic identification inside, including sensor information and calibration data

  • Meets IEEE 1451.4 standard for smart transducer interface
  • Makes a load cell plug & play ready, can reduce instrument setup time, and eliminate data entry error

How are you planning to collect and analyze the data output from your load cell?

Interface offers a complete line of instrumentation to provide you with exactly the information you need, including: indicators, signal conditioners and PC interface modules with USB and software options.