How much does an upright piano weigh?

Susan Fernandez November 11 2021

What is an upright piano?

An upright piano is a style of the piano where the frame stands vertically on the floor, and the tension of the strings, which are perpendicular to the keyboard, gives a greater volume. Typical upright size ranges from 48 inches to 52 inches in height.

Upright pianos range in weight from less than 200 pounds for small models to more than 500 pounds for large models. The average adult's maximum lifting capacity is about 386 pounds, so moving one requires some help or mechanical assistance except when it is kept near an electrical outlet since its power cord will not support it when it is moved—the performer must turn this portable piano around in order to play.

What is better - standard piano or upright piano?

The standard piano is the most common type of piano. It is also called a "vertical piano", and it has vertical strings that sound within a frame or housing. The upright piano is sometimes called a "grand" because, historically, this type of instrument was generally one step up from the more modestly sized pianino.

In case you have difficulties with playing your old upright piano or if you want to move to a new apartment, consider buying used grand piano instead of purchasing new ones. These instruments are often made of extremely high-quality materials and they do not cost that much money today. Plus, many people believe that the sound of a used musical instrument lasts for decades.

If you have never toured Europe before and you have a lot of time for that, then you can think about buying used upright pianos in Germany. Most people who are not extremely wealthy appreciate the good quality pianos made in this country. Even if you don't want to buy German-made instruments, touring Europe with your friends is definitely worth considering since it is all about having fun especially when you are young!

How much does an upright piano weigh?

According to Bob Reiss's book "The Piano Book", an upright piano weighs, on average, between 200lbs and 500 lbs.

A number of different factors contribute to the weight of a piano. Dr. Jim Woodmen in his book, "How Pianos Work" states that 400-500lbs is the range for pianos with 88 keys while grand pianos are about double this weight at 800-900lbs.

These numbers are also supported by who states that the average is 486 lbs for uprights and about 988 lbs for grand. However, some may weigh even less or more than these numbers depending on the materials used in their construction (e.g., maple vs rosewood) and whether it has extra features (e.g., an extra set of strings).

Other factors that contribute to the weight are pianos with double-strings and heavier hammers, which tend to be even more difficult for one person to move. These features also produce a richer sound, so some people may consider this increased weight as a positive aspect of their piano. The use of cast iron in construction is another contributor to weight; almost half the weight of pianos today is due to the iron internal structure. It is not clear whether or how much this contributes to the overall weight since other types of metals are often used as well.

The third major contributor is size. Although inaccurate measurements occur frequently when customers have not seen their new upright piano in person before purchasing it, the listed dimensions of a piano should be very similar to what is purchased and actual measurements can be found online.

The weight of an upright piano ranges from about 150 lbs (fiberglass models) to almost 500 lbs (for models with extra hardware or larger frames), while grand pianos are generally 400-500 lbs in the lower registers and 800-900lbs for bass or concert grands.

Is it difficult to move an upright piano?

A 45 or 50 inch upright piano weighs between 500 and 600 pounds (226–272 kg). An average size adult should be able to lift something of that weight; however, keep in mind that lifting heavy objects counts among high-risk activities. So, there is no guarantee that moving music machines like uprights or gabrriels will not cause some physical injury to you or your helpers.

Upright pianos are often moved by professional movers who have special equipment for this. Although most of them can be moved by forklifts, there is no cost-effective way of doing it yourself since you most likely do not have access to a forklift or similar machine.

When moving an upright, the lower front panel should be removed to reduce the chance that it will get caught on anything during movement. An upright piano is usually turned on its side so that the back of the piano faces forward and rests over one set of wheels with help from another person who makes sure it doesn't slip off. The piano should also be covered with padding materials like blankets or old sheets to prevent damage.

A grand piano is much heavier and it would be a bad idea to try moving one yourself unless you have a very good reason for doing so (e.g., you want to move it across the country to someone who needs a piano). In this case, a professional mover with special equipment should be hired.

At the very least, two people can easily push a grand horizontally from behind while another person makes sure that it doesn't tip over frontwards. When possible, they should be turned on their side or back in order not to risk intentional or accidental damage when being moved vertically through narrow doors and up/down staircases.

How do I determine the weight of my piano?

Some old pianos have a distinct "sweet spot" where they sound particularly good. Others tend to favor the high register, while still others favor the low tones of the bass. If you want to get rid of your old piano because it seems too heavy for its sound, consider taking it apart and reassembling it in a lighter case material (e.g., plywood instead of solid wood).

Although screws and nails can be used to make a piano heavier (by adding things like cast iron plates), the total weight should not be greatly affected by minor modifications. However, if you do remove weight from the inside of your piano, some adjustments may need to be made such as shifting the position of the hammers or farther away from their strings to make up for the decrease in leverage.   

Bottom line

The weight can be reduced drastically if certain parts are replaced with lighter materials or eliminated altogether (e.g., removing the cast iron plate). However, it is necessary to make some adjustments when doing so because the reduction in weight changes how all other parts function together as one solid piece of machinery.

In conclusion: an upright piano weighs between 200 lbs and 700 lbs depending on the specific case design and year manufactured while a grand piano weighs about 550lbs-950lbs. An average adult should be able to lift something this heavy but there's no guarantee you will not get injured during the process. Newer, lighter case designs are available but making these changes may require some adjustments to make up for the lost leverage.