Difference Between Metals and Non-metals

Metals vs Non-metals

Over the span of several years, many scientists have stumbled across new and unknown substances which they have taken much time and effort to study and figure out— some of these materials have turned out to be beneficial and valuable to man’s needs, while others, interestingly, simply exist in the environment we live in. This is how wondrous life on Earth is, and one proof of this is the fact that there is extreme diversity within the 118 recognized chemical elements. These elements were found one by one by different scholars in the broad area of chemistry, and to this date chemists continue to delve into deeper realms of the field in the hopes of unraveling new discoveries. Furthermore, these elements are divided into two dichotomies according to their properties: the metal elements and the non-metal elements.


The Periodic table of elements are classified through color depending on whether they are metals or non – metals, which is determined through their physical characteristics and chemical properties. Physically, metals in general are usually solid when in room temperature. They are known to have high density and luster, which means they are quite heavy in nature and interact well with light. They are very malleable, which makes them capable of being hammered into sheets or other shapes, and are also ductile, which makes them able of being expanded. The chemical properties of metal would include: low electro negativity, they support basic materials, and possess one to three electrons in the outermost shell. Examples of some often – used metals are: magnesium, iron and copper.

Non metals

Non- metals are generally classified by the following physical characteristics: They can take the form of solids, gases and liquids in room temperature. They also have very low malleability and ductility which makes them quite brittle and not as flexible as metals. Furthermore, non metals do not possess metallic luster. Another defining physical feature is that unlike metals, they are not very good conductors of heat or electricity. Chemically, non metals have higher electro negativity, can often be transformed into acidic substances, and have about four to eight electrons in the outer shell. Some of the most popular non metals are hydrogen, nitrogen and sulfur.

The difference between Metals and Non Metals

Metals and non – metals have the most different physical and chemical characteristics. Although they are all chemical elements they have different chemical structures and most of their attributes would be noticeably opposites. For example, non metals have lower melting and boiling points, as compared to metals. Non metals form acids, which react to bases created by metal elements.


Despite their differences, non metals and metals exist in the world we live in; their existence proves the need for not just people but other things in life (non living or living) to be able to co exist in a harmonious manner. These chemical substances serve some purpose to the everyday grind of people: in food and food production, in the evolution of technology and in nature.

  • Anirban Sanyal