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May10April

Kitchen Scale Recommendations, 2011–

153 posts in this topic

Here are a few other questions:

1. How important is it to have a scale measure fluid ounces?

2. What about measuring lbs. oz (for example 6 lbs and 4.2 ounces)

3. Is it important to have a scale measure in bakers %? I'd like to learn how to do these and have a cookbook that shows them next to the measurements. I'm not sure if this is something most people can figure out on their own or it would be handy to have them on a scale. The MW KD-8000 does this.

A scale can't measure fluid ounces, so forget about that. Most scales allow you to choose different units. I use mine metric 99% of the time. There are some kinds of things that I still think about in pounds ... like the weight of a whole chicken ... so I'll ocasionally switch units for that. But it's unimportant.

To my knowledge, there aren't any scales that use baker's percentages. You have to do the math yourself (super easy if you're working with metric units). I designed a baker's percentage user interface for MyWeigh a few years ago. They gave me a nice scale in exchange for my efforts, but it seems there wasn't enough demand for them to actually make the thing.

I'm sure all the Myweigh scales that people are recommending will do the job. They're a great value. I got one that goes to 0.1g. It's a nice convenience for things like leaveners and colloids, but it's much more cost effective to get a high capacity scale that reads to 1g, and then a second low capacity scale that reads to 0.1 or finer.

+1 on using metric...As Im sure you do, it even works well for liquid measure,Only problems is giving non "weigh"folks recipies...

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A scale can't measure fluid ounces, so forget about that.

If what you're measuring is close in density to water, it's the same thing. Beyond that, some scales do claim to "measure" fluid ounces from among a limited selection of common liquids, but they're not really measuring, they're converting.

I'm sure all the Myweigh scales that people are recommending will do the job. They're a great value. I got one that goes to 0.1g. It's a nice convenience for things like leaveners and colloids, but it's much more cost effective to get a high capacity scale that reads to 1g, and then a second low capacity scale that reads to 0.1 or finer.

The two-scale solution is the way to go. Affordable scales that weigh to ten or eleven pounds won't be accurate below a gram. But in fact, a scale that reads to a particular resolution is going to be inaccurate in its finest displayed measurement because it has to round.

I still stand behind my Taylor scale. It has all of the features you mentioned, except that it measures to 10 lbs, not 11. It comes with an AC plug, which is a nice feature to have if you use it regularly.

Taylor Scale

I'm sure the Taylor is a fine piece of equipment, but it won't measure down to 0.1 gram, let alone mcdiarmid's need for 0.01 gram.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Hello, I am looking for a recommendation for a precision scale and wanted some opinions. First some ideas of what I am looking for:

-accurate

-at least 0.01 if not 0.001 gm measurements (the 0.001 would only be used for error measurement)

-relatively inexpensive (an almost universal desire for everything in life)

-available in Canada (or tariff free under NAFTA)

-tares

-calibrates

-won't break if something too heavy is put on it (not sure how much a concern this is)

I have come across web sites and have looked at the following and was interested if anyone has and dis/likes them:

Proscale Simplex Series

Jennings Mack 20

Jennings JS-XV series

Precision Digital Pocket Scale

Thank-you for any advice/info.

I have the Precision Digital Pocket Scale. I only need to weigh things to the tenth of a gram, and it works great. If you really want to weigh .001g, such a small fraction of a grain, you are going to have to put out some money. You'll need a controlled environment, too. If you really only need tenths of a gram, the PDPS works great and it's cheap.

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To my knowledge, there aren't any scales that use baker's percentages. You have to do the math yourself (super easy if you're working with metric units). I designed a baker's percentage user interface for MyWeigh a few years ago. They gave me a nice scale in exchange for my efforts, but it seems there wasn't enough demand for them to actually make the thing.

The MyWeigh i5000 (not sure about others) has a count feature that works pretty well for baker's percentages. Load the 100% ingredient and set it as 100 units (switch to count mode, press NW/GW until it registers 100 units, press mode to calibrate). All measures from that point on are percentages of the original ingredient. Edited to add: it only displays integer counts and the resolution can be even coarser for samples less than 100g (where 1% is less than the scale's 1g resolution). This hasn't been an issue for me in practice.

It seems to hold the calibration even if it shuts down due to inactivity (just switch back to count mode). However, it will lose the tare as it goes to 0 when powered on. My only complaint about this scale is that it's apparently not possible to disable the auto-shutoff (even with the AC adapter). It's still a very good scale for general usage.

For precision measurements, I have a ProScale Simplex 300 (300g capacity by 0.01g resolution) which seems to work fine (display doesn't update quite as fast as the i5000 when weight is changing but this hasn't caused any problems for me).


Edited by Sharif (log)

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I have the Precision Digital scale mentioned several times above, and it's been flaking out lately. The weight constantly floats upwards when empty, and I have to tare it several times before it'll settle down. The batteries were over a year old, so I replaced them hoping that would solve the problem but no dice. I've checked the accuracy with some coins and it seems to be spot on, but it's still annoying and makes me doubt the readings. Any thoughts on what could be going on?


 

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I have the Precision Digital scale mentioned several times above, and it's been flaking out lately. The weight constantly floats upwards when empty, and I have to tare it several times before it'll settle down. The batteries were over a year old, so I replaced them hoping that would solve the problem but no dice. I've checked the accuracy with some coins and it seems to be spot on, but it's still annoying and makes me doubt the readings. Any thoughts on what could be going on?

How old is the scale, and what sort of internal mechanism does it have?

If the mechanism includes a spring of any description (rather than sensors only), I suspect it has become fatigued, and I don't know that there is anything that can be done to fix that; I'm fairly certain that a sensor would have a defined life-span, too.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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About 18 months old. It's the same inexpensive pocket scale several folks mention above (this one) - I would assume pressure sensors only.


 

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I got one and it works well, handy having the readout on the wall and it's a neat solution, one thing to note as it's infra red then scale does need to be vaguely pointing at the wall mounted section also loads of clutter round the scale cat prevent it working. That said i really like mine, looks good on the wall as clock, thermometer etc and does it's job as a scale well when needed.

Anyone recommend a good gram scale on sale in the UK ideally 0.01 resolution from 0 to 100g that takes ordinary batteries, my current one (0.1 resolution) needs 3 odd lithium ones I can't get so have to jury rig it with paper and tin foil and wrong size batteries to get it to work


Edited by ermintrude (log)

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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About 18 months old. It's the same inexpensive pocket scale several folks mention above (this one) - I would assume pressure sensors only.

I notice that the specs mention that the scale updates every 200ms, perhaps some muck got in, which is affecting the sensor?


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Entirely possible, as I'm pretty messy with it and use it a lot. I'll go over it with a fine-tooth comb and see if things improve.


 

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I've used a My Weigh KD-600 nearly every day for about six years, and it's worked well for everything I've needed it for. Now I am tempted by one of the newer models that has the baker's percentage feature, but even though it is not very expensive to so, I am reluctant to upgrade a piece of gear that still works just to get a new feature.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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Our regular digital kitchen balance only measures in 5g increments. For recipes in Modernist Cuisine it is often necessary to measure ingredients in 100 mg increments. We are planning to buy an additional digital balance for that. So which one are people using since there are numerous available.

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I've been using the Escali L-125. It does .01g increments up to 125g. I've had good luck with it.

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My Taylor TE22 hasn't failed me yet. Stupid-ly simple to use, too.

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I finally bought a new 0.1g/500g kitchen scale: Soehnle Ultra 2.0. It comes with a 200g calibration weight and features an auto-calibration function.

With my old 1g/5000g Kuhn Rikon VC-10356 auto shut-off (1½ min) is a nuisance. The Soehnle Ultra 2.0 stays on for 4 minutes.

Below are the calibration results. With the 1g/5000g scale weighing just a few grams was virtually impossible.

Calibrating digital kitchen scales.jpg


Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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Now if only most people and most recipes would adopt a metric based weight measuring system for listing ingredients life would become so much easier.

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Resurrecting this thread:

Any opinions on the best digital scales? Just managed to break mine in a move, and looking to replace it. Have several recommendations but all are several years old now. I've already got a nice jewelers scale for the properly small measurements, so am really looking for something that will work for more general duty.

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Cook's Illustrated rated EKS, Terrailon and Cuisinart as tops for electronic scales. I did not see any in this link that were rated by CI. They rated based on accuracy, precision (how is that different???), and design. In the design category they looked at things like being able to see the read-out with stuff on the weighing platform.

accuracy is about external consistency, precision is about internal consistency. If you had a scale that always read 10 grams over, then you would have an precise but inaccurate scale. If you had a scale that sometimes read 5 grams over and sometimes 5 grams under, you would have an accurate but imprecise scale.


PS: I am a guy.

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Mjx, which model do you have? I'm looking at the CJ-600 as a pretty good fit for my needs. (Single person, cooks for groups relatively infrequently). 20 year warranty is a very nice touch, I gotta' say, though their description doesn't say anything about being able to plug it in.

Thanks for the reply!

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I did a bit of kitchen scale research a while ago, so I thought I'd write what I discovered in case someone finds it useful. Sorry about the length (inexperienced poster warning). TL;DR buy a lab scale without auto zero tracking).

The price depends on the number of scale divisions. A scale with a capacity of 1kg in 1g increments can show 1000 steps. So can a scale with a 100g capacity with 0.1g precision, or 10kg capacity with 10g precision. (This is just examples; scales use more levels internally.) The scales use cushion (load cell) that is deformed by pressure, and the deformation is what is measured. All that is needed to change precision is to use a cushion with a different firmness, but increasing the range requires more sensitive electronics (and a higher quality cushion). That makes it cheaper to buy two scales with different precision if both precision and capacity is wanted (but not at the same time).

Most (all?) scales have overload protection, as excessive force would permanently deform the cushion. Even with this protection, overloading is still a problem. MyWeigh cites it as the most common source of fatal error. Even if the scale doesn't die from it, accuracy might degrade. Be careful with them, and never store anything on top of them.

It is normal for measured values to drift. This happens due to things that affect the internals (temperature, humidity, voltage fluctuations) and the thing being measured (evaporation, dust, air currents). I guess temperature affects the elasticity of the load cell. To quote the manual of my scale, it says that it requires 30 minutes "worming up". (It also comes with an AC adaptor to supply power from "mines".) The feature to combat this drift is generally called auto zero tracking (AZT).

AZT means that small measurement changes gets rounded off, and the tare value is updated. Any change in weight that too small to show on the display is discarded, which means the display will show a stable value even though the measured value changes over time. If the drift is faster than the scale updates the display, you can see the value change a little or run off a lot (which is what happened to an earlier poster in this thread). AZT may be fine if you're weighing discrete items (such as apples) or counting nails, but makes the scale useless for powders and slowly drizzling liquids.

When buying a scale, I made it a requirement that it should be possible to disable AZT. I keep it off all the time. Some people might find it disconcerting that the values changes every now and then, but I prefer that the scale doesn't hide these errors from me. The measurement error when adding items incrementally is reduced, clouds of powders settling on the surface isn't rounded off, and I can drizzle liquids as slowly as I want.

If you don't find a scale without AZT, there are some things that will reduce its effects. Higher precision is good, as it leads to smaller rounding errors. The second thing to look for is the display update rate. The faster the display updates, the more frequently it can introduce rounding errors. Some scales allow setting the AZT filtering level. Reducing it will make the display update less often, but you'll get better accuracy.

Kitchen scales falls into the bigger category bench scales. Don't restrict yourself to scales with "kitchen" in the name, as difference is just in visual appearance and advertising. If you want a quality scale, I recommend looking at the ones designed for laboratory use. Unlike kitchen scales, they generally come with a large number of features and an RS232 port. They are made in series with varying capacities and precision, but with identical design and features. Find a manufacturer that has the settings you need (no AZT or auto shut-off timer!) and pick the desired combination of capacity, precision, accurace and price. Stores usually only carry on or two from a series, and generally not the cheapest ones. I guess more research on where to buy those is needed.

Apart from the stove, I think the scale is the appliance I use the most in my kitchen. It's a lot easier than using measuring cups and spoons (and less to clean up afterwards). I've tried confining it in a cupboard, but it inevitably finds a way to escape within a day. I've used it twice today, but I haven't started making dinner yet. It has one downside: it beeps when turned on or off. I'm considering surgery. Or maybe I should just keep it on a permanent spot in the kitchen, always plugged in and all wormed up using the power from mines...

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To my knowledge, there aren't any scales that use baker's percentages. You have to do the math yourself (super easy if you're working with metric units). I designed a baker's percentage user interface for MyWeigh a few years ago. They gave me a nice scale in exchange for my efforts, but it seems there wasn't enough demand for them to actually make the thing.

Actually, the MyWeigh KD-8000 does do baker's percentages. Weigh out the flour, then set it to baker's percentages, then everything after that will show up as percent of the flour's weight. Very easy. It's a good home scale, and costs under $40. http://www.amazon.com/My-Weigh-Digital-Weighing-Scale/dp/B001NE0FU2. Another plus, no strange batteries to buy - it runs off AA batteries (or an optional power cord, which I don't have). I use mine a lot and it is still on the first set of batteries, after well over a year.

I got a small scale off ebay made for jewelry for small amounts, such as the salt, yeast, etc in bread.

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I've had several KD scales, currently using a KD7000 and the KD8000 which I bought specifically because it has the Baker's Math/Percentage Weighing function.

I always check a new scale against my triple beam precision balance scale with certified hanger weights.

And from time to time I check the calibration using the old scale to be sure they are still correct and so far none of the KD scales has been inaccurate and they are in constant use.

I've found they are accurate even with very small amounts. I use disposable plastic "sample" cups for weighing spices and etc., I think a sleeve of 125 costs less than $2.00. A few years back I bought a case because I have many uses for them, not just in the kitchen. At that time the case price (still on the box) was 29.95 and there were 20 sleeves in the box.

I have a tray with stickers identifying the various ingredients and as I weigh them out, I put the cup on the sticker as that way it is easy to check the cups against the list to be sure I'm not missing anything.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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