Force Converter

Created by Hanna Pamuła, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Bogna Szyk
Last updated: Aug 05, 2019

With our force converter you can quickly change between different units of force. Whether you're looking for the conversion from newton to dynes, newtons to pounds-force, kilopond to newton or any other conversion between popular units, this tool is a safe bet. Keep scrolling to find the formulas behind the force conversions and to read about the newton unit definition or origins of different force units.

Force units

In our force converter, we implemented eleven most popular force units:

  • newtons (N)
  • kilonewtons (kN)
  • meganewtons (MN)
  • giganewtons (GN)
  • teranewtons (TN)
  • poundals (pdl)
  • pounds-force (lbf)
  • kips (kip), also called kip-forces (kipf or klbf)
  • dynes (dyn)
  • sthènes (sn)
  • kiloponds (kp) also called kilogram-force (kgf)

Force conversions

Below you'll find the formulas to convert 10 popular force units into newtons:

  • 1 kilonewton [kN] = 1000 newton [N]

  • 1 meganewton [MN] = 1000000 newton [N]

  • 1 giganewton [GN] = 1000000000 newton [N]

  • 1 teranewton [TN] = 1000000000000 newton [N]

  • 1 poundal [pdl] = 0.1382549544 newton [N]

  • 1 pounds-force [lbf] = 4.4482216153 newton [N]

  • 1 kip [kip] = 4448.2216152548 newton [N]

  • 1 dyne [dyn] = 0.00001 newton [N]

  • 1 sthènes [sn] = 1000000000 newton [N]

  • 1 kilopond [kp] = 9.80665 newton [N]

Newton unit

Newton is a basic SI unit of force, which is equal to the force needed to accelerate one kilogram of mass at the rate of one meter per second squared in the direction of the applied force:

1 newton ≡ 1 kilogram * meter/second²

The unit was named after Isaac Newton and it was standardized and widely accepted in 1950. You can define it from Newton's second law of motion, which states that:

F = m * a, so the newton is 1 N = 1 kg * 1 m/s²


F is the force applied

m is the mass of the object receiving the force

a is the acceleration of the object.

To have a grasp of that unit and understand how much is one newton, let's have a look at the examples. But first of all, we need to explain that mass and weight concepts are meaning something different in common usage and physics world. In everyday life, we use the weight term to express the concept of the quantity - amount of "matter" in an object, and we express it in e.g. kilograms or pounds. However, physicists will call that quantity mass, and the weight word is reserved for the amount of force acting on the object, either due to gravity or to a reaction force that holds it in place. The weight is then expressed in force units - newtons. Looks complicated, huh?

Have a look at our explanatory table and all should be clear!

Earth Image of the Earth Moon Image of the Moon
Apple image m = 102 g = 3.6 oz
F = 1 N
m = 102 g = 3.6 oz
F = 0.166 N
Flour bag image m = 2.27 kg = 5 lb
F = 22.27 N
m = 2.27 kg = 5 lb
F = 3.69 N
dumbbells image m = 10 kg = 22.05 lb
F = 98.1 N
m = 10 kg = 22.05 lb
F = 16.25 N

We know that average gravity on Earth is equal to approximately g = 9.81 m/s², so if we're on Earth:

  1. One newton is the force equal to the weight of an average apple with a mass of 102 g.
  2. An object with a mass of one kilogram e.g. 1 kg of sugar will weigh ~9.81 newtons on the surface of the Earth.
  3. Again, in Earth normal gravity, 1 kN = 102 kg = 225 lbs.
  4. 1-ton car will weight 10 kN on the Earth surface.

To sum up - if we're talking about the objects on the Earth surface, all we need to do is to divide the weight in newtons by 9.81 (or 10 if we only need a rough estimation) to obtain the mass in kilograms. However, if we want to know what's the weight on other planets, we need to take into account the gravitational forces on each of the planets. So the mass will remain the same, but the weight of the object will differ. If you're curious what's your weight on other planets (in comparison to your weight on the Earth, as we now understand that mass is constant) check out our great calculator.

On a daily basis, we tend to use kilonewtons rather than newtons to express forces. One kilonewton is equal to 1000 newtons:

1 kN = 1000 N

You can encounter forces expressed in kN in:

  • building industry
  • thrust of jet or rocket engines
  • rock climbing equipment.

Dynes, kiloponds, pounds force and all those strange units - what are they?

Though newton unit is the basic unit from SI system, others units also exist (and that's why we need this force converter). What are these units' origins and where they are used?

  1. Dynes

Dynes are the units from the predecessor of SI system - CGS system of units. They're rarely used nowadays, but you can find them in old physics books. The dyne per centimeter is a unit which is still used in surface tension measurements.

  1. Kiloponds

Kiloponds, also named as kilogram-force, are the force units from a gravitational metric system. It's equal to the magnitude of the force exerted on one kilogram of mass in a 9.80665 m/s² gravitational field. It's still used, but to express very specific things:

  • the thrust of a rocket engine (in China and by the European Space Agency)
  • the tension of bicycle spokes
  • the draw weight of bows in archery
  • as a standard unit for Vickers hardness testing.
  1. Pound-force

Pound-force is defined as the gravitational force exerted on a mass of one avoirdupois pound on the surface of Earth. It's used in systems such as English Engineering units and the British Gravitational System.

  1. Poundals

One poundal is equal to the force necessary to accelerate one pound-mass at one foot per second. A poundal is a unit from foot–pound–second system (FPS) and it's still in occasional use.

  1. Kips

Kips are US customary unit of force. The name comes from combining the words kilo and pound. It may be confusing, but kips are sometimes considered as a unit of weight, not force, e.g. for expression of the deadweight to compute shipping charges.

newton dyne kilogram-force, kilopond pound-force poundal kip
1 N ≡ 1 kg⋅m/s2 = 105 dyn ≈ 0.10197 kp ≈ 0.22481 lbf ≈ 7.2330 pdl ≈ 0.0002248 kip
1 dyn = 10−5 N ≡ 1 g⋅cm/s2 ≈ 1.0197 × 10−6 kp ≈ 2.2481 × 10−6 lbf ≈ 7.2330 × 10−5 pdl ≈ 2.2481 × 10−9 kip
1 kp = 9.80665 N = 980665 dyn ≡ gn ⋅ (1 kg) ≈ 2.2046 lbf ≈ 70.932 pdl ≈ 0.0022046 kip
1 lbf ≈ 4.448222 N ≈ 444822 dyn ≈ 0.45359 kp ≡ gn ⋅ (1 lb) ≈ 32.174 pdl = 0.001 kip
1 pdl ≈ 0.138255 N ≈ 13825 dyn ≈ 0.014098 kp ≈ 0.031081 lbf ≡ 1 lb⋅ft/s2 ≈ 0.00003108 kip
1 kip = 4448.2216 N = 444822160 dyn ≈ 453.59 kp = 1000 lbf ≈ 32174 pdl ≡ gn ⋅ (1000 lb)

How to use the force converter? Example

If you don't believe that the calculations with this force converter are so easy, have a look at this step-by-step example:

  1. Choose the unit you want to convert. Assume that we want to convert 700 newtons to pounds-force.
  2. Type the value into the right box. If it's not visible, click on the force unit name to select the proper unit from a drop-down list.
  3. The force conversion is performed in a blink of an eye! Now you know that 700 newtons can be converted to 157.37 lbf, as well as e.g. to 5063 pdl and 71.38 kp.
Hanna Pamuła, PhD candidate
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