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May10April

Kitchen Scale Recommendations, 2011–

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Don't know if this has been mentioned upthread, but whatever scale you get, make sure it takes normal, easy to find batteries like AAAs or something like that. My first scale used some sort of strange battery, and when it ran out I was unable to replace it. Had to get another scale.

I agree, and for that reason I'm only looking at scales that take AA or AAA batteries.


 ... Shel


 

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I'm heading to the local 3B as soon as I finish my coffee. Taking a handful of coupons with me. I'll look at scales as part of my shopping spree.

I like the idea of the scale I mentioned in my post because the tray is stainless steel, but I like the price of the one you mentioned, and maybe it'll be good enough for my needs, especially since I can't say for sure how much I'll use it. Thanks for the link.


 ... Shel


 

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Done! I got the scale you mentioned and now I'll see how clever I was to get the lower capacity unit. I like the somewhat smaller size compared to the 11-lb scale - it'll be easier to store, and the price with the ubiquitous coupon and Gov. Brown's cut was easy on the wallet. If it doesn't work for me, I'll switch to the 11-pounder. Gotta love BBB. Thanks again for the pointer.


Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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I'd like to find a small digital scale that I can carry with me when shopping.  The immediate need would be to weigh small amounts of bulk items like herbs and spices, dried mushrooms, grains, and such.  I'd be happy with a small capacity, such as a pound or so, and being able to weigh in grams and ounces.  If it were small enough to fit into a pocket, perhaps about the size of a men's wallet or a pack of cigarettes, I'd be thrilled.  Any suggestions?  Does anyone carry a scale with them when shopping?


 ... Shel


 

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I use a jeweler's scale. Cost ~$15AUD. Close to ~$15USD, in other words. Accurate--supposedly--to a tenth of a gram. It's cheap and a bit flimsy but it was a $15 scale. Handles up to a couple pounds. It's just some crappy no-name brand but it'll do. I've used it for modernist applications, even, and had no failures of the sort I'd attribute to inaccurate measurements. It's pocket-sized.

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Chris Taylor

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I use a jeweler's scale. Cost ~$15AUD. Close to ~$15USD, in other words. Accurate--supposedly--to a tenth of a gram. It's cheap and a bit flimsy but it was a $15 scale. Handles up to a couple pounds. It's just some crappy no-name brand but it'll do. I've used it for modernist applications, even, and had no failures of the sort I'd attribute to inaccurate measurements. It's pocket-sized.

 

Something along the lines of what you've described would be just fine.  I had a similar idea a short while ago.  Thanks!


 ... Shel


 

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I'd like to find a small digital scale that I can carry with me when shopping.  The immediate need would be to weigh small amounts of bulk items like herbs and spices, dried mushrooms, grains, and such.  I'd be happy with a small capacity, such as a pound or so, and being able to weigh in grams and ounces.  If it were small enough to fit into a pocket, perhaps about the size of a men's wallet or a pack of cigarettes, I'd be thrilled.  Any suggestions?  Does anyone carry a scale with them when shopping?

Shel, check out Harbor Freight. I recall they had some small portable jewelers scales for not much money. I'm curious though as to why you need this. Every place I've bought tne items you're describing has a scale right there and they'll either be using that weight or the scale at the register to charge you.

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Shel, check out Harbor Freight. I recall they had some small portable jewelers scales for not much money. I'm curious though as to why you need this. Every place I've bought tne items you're describing has a scale right there and they'll either be using that weight or the scale at the register to charge you.

 

Thanks for the tip about Harbor Freight.

 

You'd think that there would always be a good, accurate scale by the bulk bins, but such is not the case at three places that I shop.  In order to get an accurate weight, I have to go to the checkout, and that's a PITA as it means I may have to go back to the bulk area and adjust my purchase.  One store just completed a $5,000,000 renovation and addition, but still uses old fashioned, spring action postal scales in the bulk section, and they are not at all accurate, especially when weighing items of just a few ounces.


Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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http://www.oldwillknottscales.com has a great selection and prices and service. You can easily narrow down your choices with the tools on the site.

 

I found a scale there that looks just about perfect ... http://www.oldwillknottscales.com/proscale-simplex-500.html

 

I love the "Olde Tyme" look of the site <LOL>


Edited by Shel_B (log)

 ... Shel


 

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Getting back to the question at hand: I wonder if there's another scale configuration that would be as portable without seeming too suspicious: for instance, a fish-weighing scale or a small-animal scale. Some of the fishing scales I've looked at would fit in one's pocket, but you'd have to wrap the hook so you didn't stab yourself. :-)


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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I'd like to find a small digital scale that I can carry with me when shopping.  The immediate need would be to weigh small amounts of bulk items like herbs and spices, dried mushrooms, grains, and such.  I'd be happy with a small capacity, such as a pound or so, and being able to weigh in grams and ounces.  If it were small enough to fit into a pocket, perhaps about the size of a men's wallet or a pack of cigarettes, I'd be thrilled.  Any suggestions?  Does anyone carry a scale with them when shopping?

 

What grains are you weighing in grams?

 

Thanks for the tip about Harbor Freight.

 

You'd think that there would always be a good, accurate scale by the bulk bins, but such is not the case at three places that I shop.  In order to get an accurate weight, I have to go to the checkout, and that's a PITA as it means I may have to go back to the bulk area and adjust my purchase.  One store just completed a $5,000,000 renovation and addition, but still uses old fashioned, spring action postal scales in the bulk section, and they are not at all accurate, especially when weighing items of just a few ounces.

 

Have you spoken to the store manager, written a letter to the company making the suggestion, anything like that?  Can you estimate an ounce or two?  

 

It seems to me that this is making a mountain out of a molehill.  

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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What grains are you weighing in grams?

 

I can't speak for Shel, but I actually wanted a microgram scale when making a batch of bitters this weekend. 1g was far too coarse of a measurement for various spices.

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Anybody want to address how one weighs loose herbs, on the run, on a scale that has a flat surface, is inherently sensitive to even a breeze, etc., etc. Aside from the risks associated with carrying drug paraphernalia (which I think you are being entirely too cavalier about) these small scales are impractical in my opinion for the task you think they can do. YMMV.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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I can't speak for Shel, but I actually wanted a microgram scale when making a batch of bitters this weekend. 1g was far too coarse of a measurement for various spices.

And at home with a stable surface to work on, and an appropriate container, a gram scale is perfect.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I have a lovely little microgram scale that I bought from Lee Valley here.  Used only in the privacy of my own home for bitters production etc.  Would not really be comfortable trying to deal with weighing small quantities of things in a spice or bulk store.  

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Is it that important that you get an EXACT weight of something like 1.3 grams of whatever you are weighing out?  What recipes are you following that specify "this much exactly, no more, no less" to one decimal place?  Does it matter if you get a bit more than what is strictly called for in such a recipe (if it exists) such that you can use it another time, in which case one might get somewhat more than the recipe amount when shopping...I would, anyway.  Surely it cannot be that important that one knows EXACTLY how much of a herb or spice one has taken from a bulk bin, down to the 1st decimal place...

 

On a related note, the warnings about a small digital scale being found on one's person by a cop- is not to be trivialized.

 

I might also mention that this is botanically a herb, while this is "spice"; if one is intending to plead that one is using such a scale for measuring out small quantities of herbs and spices.

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Anybody want to address how one weighs loose herbs, on the run, on a scale that has a flat surface, is inherently sensitive to even a breeze, etc., etc. <snip>

He'd have to be measuring into a bag or small container first,which is why the fishing scale might work as well but be less, well, fishy.

I have the same question as others here about the need for such precision and accuracy, but this may be a case of "one wants what one wants".

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Thanks to all for the warning about my possibly being mistaken for a drug dealer.  Without getting into a lot of details that have nothing to do with cooking and food, I'm not overly concerned about it, but I will consider your admonishments. 

 

As for needing precision in grams, well, I don't need to be extremely precise, but I do have a need to fairly accurately weigh small amounts of what can sometimes be rather expensive (for me) ingredients.  Grams does a better job for me and some of the things I'm starting to experiment with, than ounces.   Plus, I like to fool around with new ideas and ways of doing things. 

 

Since I know the stores quite well, I know where and when I can weigh the ingredients in quiet ... I am not concerned about weighing "on the run."


 ... Shel


 

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Anybody want to address how one weighs loose herbs, on the run, on a scale that has a flat surface ...

 

In a small bag ... no need to run.


 ... Shel


 

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Thanks to all for the warning about my possibly being mistaken for a drug dealer.  Without getting into a lot of details that have nothing to do with cooking and food, I'm not overly concerned about it, but I will consider your admonishments. 

 

As for needing precision in grams, well, I don't need to be extremely precise, but I do have a need to fairly accurately weigh small amounts of what can sometimes be rather expensive (for me) ingredients.  Grams does a better job for me and some of the things I'm starting to experiment with, than ounces.   Plus, I like to fool around with new ideas and ways of doing things. 

 

Since I know the stores quite well, I know where and when I can weigh the ingredients in quiet ... I am not concerned about weighing "on the run."

 

Shel, if you care about accuracy, I can definitely recommend the Jennings scales (I have the JS–100XV, and one of their larger kitchen scales too) but their precision hinges on their sitting on a flat, stable surface, which you won't necessarily find in most shops. There are scales that are less fussy, but they also tend to be less accurate.

Also, although I definitely get wanting to accurately weigh tiny quantities, and not wanting to blow a bundle on a pricy ingredient of which you'll use only a small portion, I'd stick with getting an approximate amount (I believe most shops have a minimum amount they'll sell, of most things), and doing your weighing when you get home.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
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As I said, I bought one of those cheap ($10) eBay pocket scales.
 
I have a set of laboratory calibrated weights for a balance. I used those to check the digital scale.
 
The cheap scale was very accurate. 
 
I replaced the batteries in the scale with much weaker old batteries, and the measurements were still accurate.
 
dcarch

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As I said, I bought one of those cheap ($10) eBay pocket scales.

 

I have a set of laboratory calibrated weights for a balance. I used those to check the digital scale.

 

The cheap scale was very accurate. 

 

I replaced the batteries in the scale with much weaker old batteries, and the measurements were still accurate.

 

dcarch

 

I don't know what my scale cost (and didn't look it up), because it was a gift; I'm guessing with a 10-year warranty, it probably doesn't fall into the 'cheap' category, but that wasn't a dig at cheap scales, it's simply that this model is the only scale of this sort I've used, and it's a good one.

 

My points were A) sitting the scale on a flat surface is apparently important to ensure accuracy, but might not be possible, and B) I wasn't getting why the level of precision that would involve a pocket scale was crucial, particularly since most places have a minimum amount they'll sell of most goods.


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

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Last evening my friend who works at the local health food store phoned to discuss a project on which we both are working. 

 

I mentioned to her (they sell a lot of herbs and spices in bulk) your concerns and desire to weigh what you are purchasing with an accurate scale.

 

She said unless you are buying from a chemist, or a specialty spice shop (in which case they do the measuring), not to bother.  The scales at the checkout counter are the only ones that count because they are tied into the computer system that records the sale of each item so they can check it against inventory.

They have a minimum amount they will sell - half an ounce - of dried herbs or spices - if you take less you will still be charged for half an ounce and if it over half an ounce, it goes to one ounce and that includes the weight of the baggie - which is why they use very thin ones. 

 

I hadn't considered this - I do buy herbs and spices in bulk from them but just measure out the volume I think I need. 

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"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

 

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Come to think of it, I need to perform one more test to check linearity of the scale's measurements.

 

I need to find out if the scale measures the same in cold temperature and in hot temperature. 

 

If you are really interested in accuracy, there are another two things you can do.

 

1. Please the weight on different locations of the scale's platform and see if it measures the same.

 

2. Get a small object, such as a quarter, measure the weight and store the quarter away.  Once in a while, measure the same quarter again and see if you get the same reading. The transducer and electronics in the scale can age.

 

dcarch

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