Buyer's Guide Kitchen Appliances Kitchen Scales

The Best Kitchen Scales for 2021 – Top Models & Full Guide

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Tomatoes on digital kitchen scales

In the world of cooking, getting your ingredients right is the key to a deliciously prepared meal. Getting them in the right proportions, however, is arguably even more important. While experienced chefs measure ingredients by eye, most home cooks will need a bit of extra help. This is where the best kitchen scales will come into play. They are often super accurate and have a high sensitivity for lower-weighing spices.

In this buyer’s guide, we will discuss some of my favorite models for this year along with their features, pros, and cons. Additionally, we will talk about the different types of scales out there and the features that should matter to you when you’re buying one.

Kitchen Scales Comparison Chart

ProductTypeCapacityWeight
Increments
Our Rating
OXO Good Grips Food Scale
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Digital11 lbs1/8 oz
1 g
Escali Primo Lightweight Scale
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Digital11 lbs1/8 oz
1 g
Nicewell Digital Kitchen Scale
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Digital22 lbs1/8 oz
1 g
Taylor Precision Kitchen Scale
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Analog11 lbs1 oz
50 g
Etekcity Food Scale with Bowl
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Digital11 lbs1/8 oz
1 g
ERAVSOW Coffee Scale with Timer
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Digital6.6 lbs1/8 oz
1 g
Nicewell Digital Kitchen Scale
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Digital22 lbs1/8 oz
1 g
Weight Gram TPO-100
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Digital3.5 oz
100 g
0.0035 oz
0.01 g

Best Overall – OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Food Scale


Our Rating: (5/5)

Kitchen scales have been steadily progressing in all of the important departments. They’ve become better built, more sturdy, far more accurate, and have developed a nice array of unique features that weren’t available to cooks a decade ago. One of the best examples for this progress is the OXO Good Grips stainless steel food scale. It features a sturdy but compact construction that will be useful in almost any situation. One of its major flaws is its high price tag, which is more than double that of some of the other scales with similar size and performance.

The few unique features that make this particular model stand out are its stainless steel tray and the display. The 9.75-inch long and 7-inches wide body gets a one-piece stainless steel platform that is smudge and stain-resistant. It can easily be wiped clean and won’t rust or discolor over time. At its front lies the pull-out display. This feature is unique to the brand and prevents your food measuring bowl to get in the way of the weight readings. The scale can measure weights in a few different formats including ounces, grams, pounds, and kilograms. The maximum weight capacity is 11 lbs (or 5 kg).

The screen is large and bright, making it very easy to read. It has a max loading rating on the right to let you know how far off the scale’s limit you are. On the right, you have a Zeroing button and on the right you have the units button that lets you toggle between the available measuring units. The scale also comes with the option for an additional OXO food timer. The timer is quite sophisticated and has a lot of functions to it but it does bulk up the price even higher. All in all, this is one of your best bets if you’re looking for something premium that will last long and will be useful in the kitchen.

Pros

  • Unique pull-out display
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Large and easy to read display
  • Easy zeroing
  • Compact design
  • Removable platform
  • Measures in 4 different units

Cons

  • Relatively small weight limit
  • Very expensive
  • The removable batteries don’t last long

Best Budget – Escali Primo Lightweight Scale


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

Food scales often don’t need to do anything else beside the basics – measure ingredients and their weight. There are still models out there that have this minimalistic approach without a fancy design and construction. These typically are quite budget-friendly but have a slightly shorter lifespan. Comparatively speaking, the Escali Primo Lightweight Scale is one of the best bangs for your bucks from this list due to its cheap price. It is a simple kitchen scale made out of durable plastic.

The scale has a center-oriented LED display with easy-to-read large numbers. On the right you have the button that allows you to toggle between the three measurement units (lbz, oz, g). On the left, you have your tare or reset button. The scale measures in 0.1 oz (or 1g) increments up to 11 lbs (5000g). The overall construction is relatively waterproof since the buttons are sealed. Also, the tray isn’t removable which isn’t always great but it does improve insulation. The company has rated this particular scale “spill-proof” and easy to clean, although it cannot be fully submerged under water in the sink.

This food scale weighs less than 0.95 lbs making it one of the lightest on this list, as well as one of the smallest. It also comes in 9 unique color combinations. As a whole, there aren’t many models that offer this performance at this price range and this particular scale should be on your shortlist if you are looking for something cheap.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Spill-proof
  • Tare button
  • Measures up to 11 lbs
  • Small and lightweight
  • LED display

Cons

  • No kgs measuring unit
  • Non-removable tray
  • Batteries don’t last long

Best Digital Kitchen Scale – Nicewell Digital Kitchen Scale


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

Digital kitchen scales are becoming a normal sighting in almost any household now. They are perfect for portioning and measuring ingredients for recipes. They are highly functional and can be extremely practical, especially when compared to analog models. The Nicewell Digital Kitchen Scale has a ton of functions to it and a decent amount of usability at a bargain price, which is why I think it should definitely be on your shortlist if you’re looking for a multi-functional digital scale.

The frame of this kitchen scale is made out of three materials – ABS plastic, tempered glass, and an outer layer of stainless steel. On top of looking nice, this combination of materials allows great performance combined with fingerprint-free surface that is super easy to clean. The platform isn’t removable but is quite large compared to other similarly priced scales. The large display can give you the weight information in 5 different measurement units. These are grams, kilograms, pounds/ounces, fluid ounces, and milliliters.

On both sides of the display, you have the on/off button, a tare, and a units buttons that let you easily control the scale. There are also a few cool additional features such as an overload alarm and a low-battery alarm. The scale measures with a 0.1 oz / 1 g accuracy and can measure up to 22 lbs (or 10kg) unlike most other models that only go up to 11 lbs.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Stainless steel platform
  • Large display
  • 22 lbs weight limit
  • Lots of measuring units
  • Overload and low-battery warnings

Cons

  • Non-removable platform
  • The glass top can break if you aren’t careful
  • Accuracy isn’t stellar

Best Analog Kitchen Scale – Taylor Precision Products Analog Kitchen Scale


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

Taylor Precision Products is a well-known brand in the food industry. Their products are among the best both in terms of build-quality and the value for money you’re getting. Their Stainless Steel Analog Kitchen Scale is amazing for people that prefer something mechanical rather than digital.

This model features a stainless steel construction that has a top-loading tray. The tray is removable to make things a bit easier for you. Everything is easily cleaned and is resistant to staining and fingerprints. For recalibration, there is an adjustment knob at the bottom.

The scale has a large front circular face that accommodates a lot of measurement units. It has a red/black contrasting design for all the units, which makes it slightly easier to read. However, certain numbers and units aren’t very big, making them a bit harder to see. The dial can show you measures in pounds, kilograms, ounces, and grams. The weight limit is 11 lbs (5 kg) which isn’t great but the scale isn’t very big either, so the capacity is adequate. What’s really not great, however, is the measuring accuracy. The scale measures in 1 oz increments (50-gram) which is 50 times more than some digital scales out there. As a whole, for this price, there aren’t a lot of analog scales that will bring a better build quality and usability to the table.

Pros

  • Decent price
  • Durable construction
  • Reliable operation
  • Removable tray
  • Traditional design
  • Measures in 4 units
  • Easy to calibrate

Cons

  • Low weight limit for an analog scale
  • Some units are too small to see
  • Large increments

Best for Baking – Etekcity Food Scale with Bowl


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

When you’re baking and trying out different recipes, you will need to have a bowl to easily measure large amounts of substances. This Etekcity Food Scale has everything you need at a bargain price and then some. With a 1 1lbs capacity and low increment measurements, this high-precision scale can measure your ingredients in multiple units and make the whole process easy as pie.

The whole construction of the scale is made out of stainless steel. This includes the removable bowl which fits perfectly to the platform. The scale measures things in lbs, kg, oz, and mg and shows the results on its large LCD display. On it, you will see the weight value, weight unit, the tare, and auto-zero models, as well as the timer set and value. The bowl fits 2.06 qt which makes mixing and pouring easier. As with most other digital scales out there, this one has an auto-off function that turns it off after a minute.

One cool quirk of this kitchen scale is that it has a temperature sensor that measures the environment temperature (in either Fahrenheit or Celsius). In conclusion, this is a solid option if you’re looking for a scale with a removable tray that is well-built and has a lot of features compared to other budget options.

Pros

  • Auto-off feature
  • Great price
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Mixing bowl
  • Temperature sensor
  • Timer
  • Reliable

Cons

  • Batteries don’t last long
  • Zeroing can be troublesome
  • Very loud alarm sound

Best for Coffee – ERAVSOW Coffee Scale with Timer


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

If you’re into brewing coffee and are in need of a digital scale, the Eravsow coffee scale with timer is one amazing accessory at a bargain price. It has all the ingredients needed to be a good coffee scale with its stainless steel tray and silicone bottom to prevent it from moving around. The compact yet practical kitchen scale comes with a large 2.4 inch LCD display that has the weight on the right and your important timer on the left. It can measure up to 3000 ml (or g) and has measuring increments from 0.1 oz or 1 g. It uses ounces, grams, and fl oz/ml, without having kg or lbs.

On both sides of the screen there are tare, units, and start/stop buttons that are sealed to not allow any water damage to the scale. It also has overload and low-battery indications. The scale can sit idle for 5 minutes before it auto shuts off. This is invaluable for people that don’t want their kitchen scale to turn off every time they aren’t using it for a few minutes. The scale also has a hanger that lets you hang it around your kitchen just as you would with other utensils. As a whole, this is a great option for coffee lovers at an even better price.

Pros

  • Perfect for brewing coffee
  • 5 minutes idle time
  • Built-in timer
  • Measures in fl oz/ml and oz/g
  • Very rpecise
  • Easy-to-read LCD display
  • Stainless steel tray

Cons

  • Low weight limit
  • Doesn’t have kg and lbs

Best Waterproof – Nicewell Digital Kitchen Stainless Steel Scale


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

Digital scales are often super practical thanks to their multiple measuring units, high accuracy, and easy-to-read displays. Despite many of them having stainless steel constructions, almost none of them are waterproof. For people that want a scale that is easy to clean under the sink, the Nicewell Digital Kitchen Stainless Steel Scale offers a great solution at a good price. It works and is constructed like other kitchen scale models from the brand with the exception of being waterproof from the top. The model isn’t fully submersible but can be easily washed under running water. The top is made out of stainless steel which is not only hard to stain but also won’t discolor or catch any fingerprints over time, making it very easy to maintain clean.

As for its weighing capacities, unlike other models on this list, this one can measure up to 22 lbs. It does so with a 1 g accuracy resolution, which is quite impressive for a budget scale. It uses 5 units of measurement, including kg, g, lb/oz, fl oz, and ml. There is a bright LED display that is very easy to see even in bright conditions. It has three touch-sensitive buttons on its sides that control the units, tare, and on/off functions. The scale works with 2 AAA batteries that, unfortunately, don’t last very long. There is an auto-off function that turns the scale off after 2 minutes as well but that doesn’t do enough to save the batteries. As a whole, this scale offers something that most others don’t at a good price while still competing with the rest of the scales in this price class in terms of accuracy and weight capacity.

Pros

  • Decent price
  • Accurate
  • Measures up to 22 lbs
  • 5 units of measurement
  • Stainless steel platform

Cons

  • Batteries don’t last long
  • Not fully submersible

Best Pocket Scale – Weight Gram TPO-100 Digital Pocket Scale


Our Rating: (4/5)

The Weight Gram TPO-100 Digital Pocket Scale is one of the most iconic models on the market and one of the first commercialized digital scales. Its Top-600 variation is one of the most commonly used kitchen scales and has one of the most widely recognized designs, just like the TOP-100. This one right here is meant for people that want to accurately measure smaller ingredients such as spices. The readability of the scale goes down to 0.01 gram which is as accurate as it gets in the world of digital kitchen scales.

The stainless steel platform is located on the left of the model and is covered by its protective flip cover. This design makes the scale highly portable and also highly pocketable. On the right, you have a small LCD blue backlit display that is easy to read no matter the lighting conditions around you. It shows you the weight and the weight mode. You can measure in g, oz, ozt, dwt, and others. There is also a tare function that allows you to easily reset the weight back to zero if you use a small bowl to put your ingredients in. The 60-second auto shut-off function preserves the battery life quite significantly but it is annoying in cases where you have to use the scale constantly and it keeps shutting off every minute.

Speaking of battery life, the Top-100 uses 2 AAA batteries which last you quite a while. One of the major downsides of this pocket scale is that it can measure only up to 100 grams which is around 3.5 oz, making it practically useless for anything bigger than that. There are also no overweight or low-battery notifications. As a whole, this pocket-sized scale is great for its intended purpose but is slightly overpriced and is severely restricted by its weight limit.

Pros

  • Excellent for spices
  • Pocketable form-factor
  • Very precise
  • Measures in 4 units
  • Easy tare function
  • Stainless steel pad

Cons

  • Low weight limit
  • No low-battery warning
  • Not practical for baking

Kitchen Scales Buyer’s Guide

Having a good kitchen scale at your disposal is going to be quite helpful for cooking various recipes. Being able to accurately and reliably measure up different ingredients for your meals is going to take you a step closer to perfecting your craft. This is especially valid if you want to learn how to bake since baking is much more sensitive to ingredient percentages.

In this section of the guide, we will talk about the different types of kitchen scales and the various features that you have to look for. We will also discuss how to calibrate and test out the accuracy of different scales based on their type and functionality.

Types of Kitchen Scales

Based on the way the scales work, there are two major types of models out there. These are:

  • Digital kitchen scales
  • Analog kitchen scales

There are also scale types such as balance scales, mechanical scales, hanging scales, top-loading dial scales, and more. These, more or less, fall into the two major categories we listed so instead of talking about each and every kind, we will sum them up and measure up their pros and cons.

Digital kitchen scales

In the world of kitchen scales, digital models reign supreme. This is for one main reason – they are highly versatile. While an analog scale will be able to give you the (approximate) weight of your ingredient, digital scales do much more than just that. They can give you the weight in multiple measurement units, can provide additional functions such as auto-reset, addition, baker’s percentages, and more. Another very strong suite of these scales is that they are incredibly accurate when it comes to weighs past the decimal point. Most digital scales will give you the weigh down to the hundredths, meaning they are accurate enough to pinpoint weighs for different low-weighing spices.

Unfortunately, these scales have some obvious downsides such as the need for batteries. Additionally, they are often quite expensive, especially if you want to go for a higher-end model. Also, while they are relatively simple, compared to analog models, they have a steeper learning curve.

Pros

  • Can be more accurate
  • More adjustable
  • Highly functional
  • More compact
  • Typically smaller design
  • Can work with multiple measurement units

Cons

  • Need batteries
  • More expensive
  • More complex to use

Analog kitchen scales

Analog kitchen scales use centuries-old technology to measure your ingredients. They rely on basic physics and are, therefore, much less complex to use. However, their accuracy is often a bit off and certainly not as good as the one of digital models. They are great for basic cooking where the proportions and different volumes won’t matter as much. Another thing they are great for is bigger volumes and weights. On average, analog scales can handle almost twice as much weight as a typical digital model.

Analog models are also cheaper in general and are slightly more reliable, even though they are less accurate. Apart from accuracy, their other weak sign is that they can’t have a ton of measurement units built into them, although some models have faces that show you a lot of scales and units. However, they have a much flatter learning curve and are relatively easy to reset back to zero if something happens.

Pros

  • Don’t require batteries
  • More reliable in the long-run
  • Easier to calibrate
  • Easy to work with
  • Typically have higher weigh capacity
  • Cheaper

Cons

  • Don’t work with a lot of measurement units
  • Do not have a ton of functions
  • Not as accurate as some digital kitchen scales

Now that we’ve covered the different types of scales you can get, let’s talk more about the individual features that you should pay attention to…

How to Pick a Kitchen Scale

Vintage Kitchen Scale

When you’re looking for a new kitchen scale, the first thing that will make a huge impression on you is the vast sea of models out there. To be able to filter the good ones from the bad, you will need to know more about each of these scales’ features. The most important ones are:

  • Type
  • Accuracy
  • Capacity
  • Measurement units
  • Display
  • Practicality
  • Ease of use
  • Build quality
  • Price & Warranty

Type

We already discussed the types of scales out there, so let’s quickly sum things up. If you want something that emphasizes on the accuracy, get a digital scale. However, these can be more expensive than analog and are also a bit harder to use. They also rely on batteries. Analog scales, on the other hand, age better and are great for any home cook that doesn’t rely on strict measurements. They are capable enough and can usually deal with much larger ingredient volumes. With most models being top-loading with a measurement cup, analog scales are also easier for baking.

Accuracy

In terms of accuracy, it goes without saying that digital scales will give you more numbers after the decimal points. There are however inconsistencies and some models are simply better than others. While there is no easy way to tell which model will be more consistent and accurate, typically the price is the main tell-tale. The reason for that is because more expensive models simply use better sensors. They are also better insulated in order to prevent damage down the road. Thanks to those better sensors and chipsets, more expensive scales are also much faster and have a better display refresh rate, meaning they will give you near real-time data.

The accuracy of the scale is also determined by the measuring increments. Scales that have large increments aren’t very practical. Look for models that have close to 0.1-gram increments.

Capacity

The weight capacity (or weight limit) of the scale is another important feature. It will, more or less, determine what and how much you can cook with that scale. As I mentioned earlier, analog scales can typically handle larger loads, although there are some digital models that have 15+ lbs weight limits. Typically, the higher the weight limit of the scale, the less accurate it will be in the lower weights, and vice versa.

Just like the maximum capacity is important, so is the minimum capacity. There are scales that won’t go lower than 10 grams, which is a huge disadvantage if you want to measure ingredients. Instead, look for models that go down to as little as 1 gram, or better yet – a tenth of a gram.

Measurement units

Scales that are versatile in the measurement department are incredibly useful. For instance, if a scale can measure grams, oz, lbs, milliliters, and other units for volume, mass, and weight, it will be basically irreplaceable. They will also be everything you need in terms of measurement. Analog scales often fall behind in this department because they only have one face with a dial and can’t display all the units at the front. Digital scales, on the other hand, have displays that give them a much wider range of possibilities when it comes to what they read and what they show you. Speaking of displays, let’s discuss that now…

Display

When it comes to the display of the scale, we can obviously rule out analog models. Digitals, on the other hand, have a large variety of options in this department. There are scales with LCD displays, as well as ones with LED ones. Obviously, the LED models will be more expensive but will also have a better contrast ratio. LCD displays are more generous on the batteries and will bring the overall price of the model down. As a whole, no matter the type of display, what you want out of it is to be clearly visible with large numbers. Another thing to be desired is higher brightness in case your kitchen is brightly lit or you’re cooking outdoors.

Practicality

Pasta with digital kitchen scales

There are quite a lot of features that add to the overall practicality and convenience of a kitchen scale. The most important ones are:

  • A tare button
  • A long auto-off duration
  • Small measurement increments
  • Rubber feet
  • Large and removable platform
  • AC adapter or rechargeable batteries

Tare button

Having a tare button makes things a bit simple when it comes to re-setting the scale. We will go over that in a bit more detail further down when we discuss the resetting process. Long auto-off durations are helpful when you want to have your scale turned on during the whole cooking process without having to manually press the on/off button every time you want to measure something. Typically, digital scales will turn off every minute they’re being unused in order to save battery life. Analog ones don’t have such issues, giving them a slight edge in practicality in this regard.

Small measurement increments

Having small measurement increments is helpful when you measure spices and other low-weight or low-volume ingredients. Normally, all modern digital models have their increments down to one-tenth of a gram.

Rubber feet and removable platforms

Rubber feet, large removable platforms, and other features around the body of the scale are going to make it easier to work with. Analog scales typically come with measuring cups that can slot into the top of the scale. Digital models, on the other hand, often have flat platforms that aren’t even always removable.

Batteries and adapters

Lastly, if you’re set on getting a digital model, look for ones that can be used with batteries and an AC adapter, depending on your needs. If you have your scale plugged in the entire time, you won’t worry about your batteries leaving you stranded in the middle of a cooking day. Better yet, look for models with rechargeable batteries. These could be both reliable and portable, and can also be used with their charger plugged in to prevent battery drainage.

On the contrary to all these useful features, there are also things which you should try to avoid. Models that have glass tops (or platforms) are one of them. These will be harder to clean and maintain. Furthermore, there is always the risk for them to break if you aren’t careful.

Ease of use

By now you should have a pretty good idea that analog scales are much easier to use. They don’t have any fancy displays or functions. Rather, you just put the food or ingredient on top of their scale and read what the analog dial tells you. Some digital scales have smart features integrated into them. These are generally hard to use, and honestly, a bit useless. The fact that they are much more expensive than the normal digital scales also makes them a worse value for your money.

Build quality

The build quality of your kitchen scale might seem unimportant at first. However, it is of significant importance when it comes to the long-term durability of any model. Look for things like stainless steel trays (or platforms), and durable bodies. Scales that have their buttons laminated will have better insulation against water and temperature.

This will prevent their internals from burning or deteriorating over time. Analog scales are much easier when it comes to longevity as they have no digital components are solely mechanical. Models that have their mechanical parts exposed, on the other hand, will be much more prone to damage and deterioration. Ultimately, how well a scale is sealed will allow the better functioning for longer periods of time and will also keep it accurate.

Price & Warranty

While cooking scales aren’t the most expensive cooking appliances out there, they can get quite pricey. Cheaper models will often cost around 20-30 dollars, while more expensive (digital and analog) ones can set you back up to one hundred dollars. These more expensive models, however, will have tons of useful features that will more or less make up for the higher price tag. These can be a stainless steel body (and platform), high weight capacity, higher accuracy, and more.

Warranty-wise, there aren’t many models that have a warranty longer than 2-years. Typically, the more expensive scales coming from trusted brands like OXO can have replacement programs as well as better and longer warranties.

If you want to learn how to make spritz cookies without a press, click here to read my full article on the topic!

How to Calibrate a Kitchen Scale

Since kitchen scales measure things on a much smaller scale than bathroom models, they are much more sensitive to changes. And just like bathroom scales are important to keep a track of your weight, kitchen scales are equally as important to measure your calorie intake.

The very first thing you need to do in order to see if your scale measures accurately is to turn it on and see if it starts at 0. If it doesn’t, then you can push it slightly down and release it. In most scales that will trigger the sensors and let them return to 0 once you’ve released the pressure. If the scale doesn’t go back to 0 and remains at another (negative or positive) number, you need to tare it.

For most models, taring will have its own individual button. Press it down and see if the scale goes back to zero. What taring does is that it resets the base level of the scale to the current one. So, if your scale measures 1 oz empty for some reason, when you press the tare button it will take that 1 oz as its new base 0, ultimately resetting its measurements. Ideally, you wouldn’t want your scale to show anything then 0 when not in use. If it does, there might be another issue that will be worth checking out. If you can’t find any potential and obvious issues it isn’t a bad idea to return the scale if it’s still under warranty.

Calibrating a digital scale

Resetting a scale is one thing but it often might need further calibration to make sure it measures accurately. The steps for properly calibrating a digital scale at home are the following:

  • Turn on the scale and let it rest for up to a minute
  • Press down on the calibration button and hold it (can be called “Mode”, “CAL”, “Fun”, etc)
  • Wait for the scale’s display to turn into calibration mode. Typically, it will give you a sign such as displaying “CAL” or any number/weight on it. Once you’re in calibration mode, place a calibration weight on the scale. Most digital scales will come with their own small calibration weight that is designed for this specific purpose.
  • Let the weight stay on the scale for up to 10 seconds
  • Press and hold the calibration button again until the screen gives you the same message as before or “END”
  • Once this is done, turn the scale off and let it stay like that for a minute
  • Turn the scale back on and test it

Calibrating an analog scale

Analog scales are slightly different when it comes to calibration and most of the process is going to be done by you instead of the scale itself. They are also much easier and faster to calibrate than digital kitchen scales. Here are the steps on how to do it:

  • Stand directly above the kitchen scale
  • Look at its dial and see where its positioned
  • If it isn’t at 0, you have to find the calibration dial. It is a small dial that typically sits behind the scale
  • Once you find it, turn it around until you see the main dial align with 0
  • Finish the calibration process by testing the scale

Before you do any type of calibration or weigh testing, make sure that the kitchen scale is completely clean and free of small debris. These can ruin the results and efficacy of the resetting process. Either way, let’s talk more about testing the scale now…

How to Test Your Kitchen Scale

Knowing whether or not your kitchen scale is accurate right from the box is important. We already learned how to calibrate and zero those but it is also important to know how to test them and see whether they’re already factory calibrated.

After you’ve tared or reset the scale back to its base 0, it is time to test it out. The best way to test out scales is by using dollar coins. The reason for that is because we already know the weight of each coin. They are:

  • Nickels weigh 5 grams
  • Pennies weigh 2.5 grams
  • Quarters weigh 5.67 grams

Each of those weighs has a strategic use when it comes to testing scales. You see, by having different numbers after the decimal point, these coins are ideal for scales that have different levels of accuracy. For scales that round up to the nearest gram, use nickels as they weigh exactly 5 grams. However, some scales will be accurate enough to measure up to the tenth of a gram. For these, you can use pennies. Place a penny and see if the scale shows 2.5 grams. Then place two more consecutively and see if there are any deviations from the next two results (which should be 5.0 and 7.5 grams respectively).

Lastly, use the quarters to test scales that are accurate enough to weigh down to the hundredth of the gram. The more quarters you use the better. The first quarter should show you 5.67 grams, while the second should read 11.34 grams, the third 17.01, and so on.

How to Clean & Maintain A Kitchen Scale

Cleaning your kitchen scale and maintaining it clean is going to be crucial for its accurate readings. Kitchen scales often accumulate food debris that can ruin the accuracy of the results or will, at the very least, require you to re-calibrate the scale constantly. Dust that settles on the scale can get in its sensor openings and ruin the internals of the scale as well. While digital scales are typically well-sealed, analog ones aren’t. This means that they will have more parts exposed to the elements and will require more frequent maintenance.

The simplest way to clean a digital and analog scale is by using a universal cleaner or any other alcohol-based cleaner like Cleanex with a damp cloth. Don’t spray directly onto the scale as that can damage it. Instead, spray the cleaner on the soft cloth and wipe down the scale. Don’t press too hard as that can also damage the sensors which are quite sensitive (even if the scale isn’t turned on). With analog scales, you can typically remove the cup or weight holder to clean it separately.

A part of the scale maintenance that is often overlooked is also swapping the batteries. In fact, this can also cause inconsistencies in the scale’s readings. That is why you should always keep an eye on the battery levels of the scale or set a regular schedule in which you swap them out. These batteries could be typically used for remotes after that as they will still hold some charge.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of scale do professional bakers use?

The one thing that most bakers need in their kitchen scale is for it to show baker’s percentages. This helps them adjust their recipes on the go. Most new digital scales have this function, meaning they are all more or less good for baking. If they have a built-in cup, that’s going to make things even easier.

Which scales are more reliable for cooking measurements?

Electronic scales are often pinpoint accurate. Still, as with any other piece of tech, they are prone to damage. Analog scales are also prone to wear and tear thanks to their mechanical parts being often exposed. In the long run, however, they are better than digital scales and will still have similar performance even after years.

Do digital scales lose accuracy over time?

If your scales are constantly exposed to moisture and high temperatures, they might lose accuracy over time. The reason for that is because their internal circuits are often badly insulated. That leads to malfunctions on their electrical circuits and motherboard, slightly putting the results off as time goes on. Still, what’s good is that most of these electronic scales can be re-calibrated.

Are cheap kitchen scales accurate?

Surprisingly enough, cheaper models don’t particularly lack in the accuracy department, at least not when they’re new. They are, however, built with subpar quality which can lead to increased wear and tear over time. This on its own will lead to decreased accuracy in their measurements, hence their lower price and bad reputation.

How do you balance a digital kitchen scale?

While kitchen scales are much smaller and don’t typically need balancing, some models might make good use of it. Place the scale on a flat surface and turn it on until you see its readings on the display. Once it stables out, press the reset button and give it a minute. Make sure that the surface you put it on is completely flat otherwise the resetting might result in inaccurate measurements.

Final Words

When choosing from some of the best kitchen scales you will have to take a closer look at some of their specific features. First, you need to decide whether you want to get a digital or analog scale. Then, start looking at things like overall accuracy, sensitivity, and versatility. How versatile a kitchen scale is will be primarily determined by the measurement units it can work with. Having baker’s percentages is another must-have feature if you’re into baking!