The unit kilogram-force (kgf, often just kg) or kilopond (kp) is defined as the force exerted by Earth's gravity on one kilogram of mass. Although the gravitational pull of the Earth varies as a function of position on earth, it is here defined as exactly 9.80665 m/s². So one kilogram-force is by definition equal to 9.80665 newtons.
Prior to this, the unit was widely used in much of the world; it is still in use for some purposes. The thrust of a rocket engine, for example, was measured in kilograms-force in 1940s Germany, in the Soviet Union (where it remained the primary unit for thrust in the Russian space program until at least the late 1980s), and it is still used today in China and sometimes by the European Space Agency.
It is also used for tension of bicycle spokes, for torque measured in "meter-kilograms", for pressure in kilograms per square centimeter, for the draw weight of bows in archery, and to define the "metric horsepower" (PS) as 75 m·kgf/s.
Grams-force and kilograms-force were never well-defined units until the CGPM adopted a standard acceleration of gravity of 980.665 cm/s² for this purpose in 1901, though they had been used in low-precision measurements of force before that time.
A tonne-force, metric ton-force, megagram-force, or megapond (Mp) is 1000 kilograms-force.
The decanewton (daN) is used in some fields as an approximation to the kilogram-force, being exactly rather than approximately 10 newtons.
|1 N||≡ 1 kg·m/s²||= 105 dyn||≈ 0.10197 kp||≈ 0.22481 lbf||≈ 7.2330 pdl|
|1 dyn||= 10−5 N||≡ 1 g·cm/s²||≈ 1.0197×10−6 kp||≈ 2.2481×10−6 lbf||≈ 7.2330×10−5 pdl|
|1 kp||= 9.80665 N||= 980665 dyn||≡ gn·(1 kg)||≈ 2.2046 lbf||≈ 70.932 pdl|
|1 lbf||≈ 4.448222 N||≈ 444822 dyn||≈ 0.45359 kp||≡ gn·(1 lb)||≈ 32.174 pdl|
|1 pdl||≈ 0.138255 N||≈ 13825 dyn||≈ 0.014098 kp||≈ 0.031081 lbf||≡ 1 lb·ft/s²|
|The value of gn as used in the official definition of the kilogram-force is used here for all gravitational units.|