Ton vs. Metric Ton

Difference Between Ton and Metric Ton

Ton and metric ton are weight measure units. However, there is a difference. Metric ton is equal to 1000 kilograms and is SI unit. Hence, it is a megagram as it contains 1 million grams. The term ton is comes from Latin word tunna which means cask and in the past a cask filled with things usually weighed almost a metric ton.

A metric ton is not the same as short ton which is used in the United States. Ton used in the United States equals to 2,000 pounds, or approximately 907 kg. The long ton (tonne) is equals to 2240 pounds. However it is not commonly used in the United States.

In English speaking countries, tonne spelling is used commonly as a measure of weight. In Britain, for example, before the introduction of SI system of measurement, a ton that was used was equal to 2240 pounds (1016 kg) and since this value is very close to the real metric ton (1000 kg), people felt very small difference between ton and metric tonne. That’s why people in Britain have continued to use the same old spelling. Yet it was the United States, where the difference was noticed and unless otherwise stated, a ton is 2000 pounds or 907 kg.


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  • Nalaka Prasad

    thanks for the very useful info