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Kitchen Scale Recommendations (2003 – 2010)


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I agree. I've been fiddling with mine a bit and it seems great. I don't have a manual: what does the "S" in the upper left corner mean?

The so-called "English" in my little pamphlet is less than helpful, but it comes on when the scale settles into a single value, so in my head I tell myself it stands for "steady."

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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MyWeigh sent me an ibalance 5500, which will probably be the foundation of the baking percentage scale. It's pretty close to ideal for a serious kitchen scale.

-5.5kg capacity

-0.1g resolution

-simple interface

-easy to clean

-professional quality components

It also fixes my major gripe with the i5000: the auto-off feature can be disabled.

I have two minor gripes:

-the bubble level built into this particular scale is completely wrong.

But it doesn't seem to matter ... the scale has been accurate on every surface I've tried.

-the display backlight actually makes the display harder to read (in some cases impossible),

depending on viewing angle. But it doesn't matter much, because the backlight can be disabled.

This scale is otherwise perfect for anyone who has the budget ($180 to $200) and who doesn't need higher capacity. It's great to be able measure all ingredients by weight, right down to salt and leavening.

Notes from the underbelly

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  • 1 month later...
I agree. I've been fiddling with mine a bit and it seems great. I don't have a manual: what does the "S" in the upper left corner mean?

The so-called "English" in my little pamphlet is less than helpful, but it comes on when the scale settles into a single value, so in my head I tell myself it stands for "steady."

My 100g x 0.01g "pocket scale" has a similar "feature" : :smile:

"When the "s" shows on left up, the scale is showing the weighing value of the object."

So I'd go with Chris H's "Steady".

======

Different matter.

Digital consumer goods prices need to be read with their date stamp!

My kitchen digital scale weighs 5kg (or 11lb - just push the button) by 1g (or 1/4oz) and cost just £7.99 from a UK supermarket (almost a year ago).

It works fine, but lacks an off button (it just times out).

Presumably such things are readily available in the US around the $15 mark, maybe less.

But they don't get much mention. Not enough, anyway.

Such super cheap and plenty accurate general purpose scales (costing way way way less than most cook books) are surely the conclusive argument against those dinosaur North American editors claiming that weighing ingredients involves disproportionate and unnecessary expense.

Never mind the "Styling by Porsche" or whatever -- how cheap can a practical digital kitchen scale be in the USA nowadays?

Just exactly how low is this supposed "barrier to adoption"?

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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"When the "s" shows on left up, the scale is showing the weighing value of the object."

So I'd go with Chris H's "Steady".

yep ... or "stable," as the manual says.

I think the biggest barrier to people getting down with scales is habit. Using a scale sounds more complex to people, so they don't give it a chance (and find out how much simpler it is).

And there's a chicken and egg issue. People say "why do I need a scale? my cookbooks are all in cups and teaspoons." And the cookbook people say, "how can we sell books that use weights? Nobody owns a scale."

Notes from the underbelly

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  • 1 month later...

I'm looking for a reasonably priced kitchen scale. The requirements and preferences are:

Able to set tare weight;

Weight given in ounces and grams;

Digital would be ideal;

Not too big or heavy;

Available in many designer colors

Any suggestions gratefully appreciated. Thanks!

scb

 ... Shel


 

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  • 4 months later...

Just checking in to say that I love my new Ohaus ScoutPro 4001 that I bought after recommendations of Ohaus on the Alinea Mosaic website. I originally bought the 401 because I'm cheap, but sent it back and upgraded to the 4001. I've been able to do my very light measures of sodium alginate at the .1 g increments, and hold my 6-loaf sourdough with its 4000g capacity. It reads very quickly and has been nothing but a good investment for me. Its a small car payment, but I anticipate it lasting for quite some time.

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Just checking in to say that I love my new Ohaus ScoutPro 4001 that I bought after recommendations of Ohaus on the Alinea Mosaic website.  I originally bought the 401 because I'm cheap, but sent it back and upgraded to the 4001.  I've been able to do my very light measures of sodium alginate at the .1 g increments, and hold my 6-loaf sourdough with its 4000g capacity.  It reads very quickly and has been nothing but a good investment for me.  Its a small car payment, but I anticipate it lasting for quite some time.

Holy smokes, look at that price!

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I'm still pretty happy with the My Weigh KD-7000. Weighs 1gr - 7Kilos. Costs about $90. (Canadian) with shipping.

The new KD-8000 that replaces it is about the same price, weighs up to 8 Kilos and has the baker's math calculation as well.

In a perfect world I would like a slightly faster on time and find that it is very sensitive to vibration (i.e. mixers on the same table). The old KD models weren't quite as sensitive but all in all it's amazing bang for the buck.

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  • 3 months later...

I recently ordered all sorts of chem's and powders online to start messing around with molecular gastronomy. I am trying to find a digital scale that wont cost me a fortune, but will also be accurate. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them so i don't wast my money, thx.

Wait a minute Doc. Are you telling me this thing runs on Plutonium?

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I actually bought mine from Lee Valley (leevalley.com),100 grams capcity, accurate to 1/10 of a gram, think I paid $16 CDN for it.

Though I don't want to say it, and am definately NOT part of that scene, the small, accurate, and cheap scales can be found at uh...""alternative lifestyles" shops, I.e. shops that sell drug paraphanelia. Shouldn't cost you more than $20 or $30 for something decent, albeit a max capacity of under a kg.

Hope this helps

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Edward J writes with wisdom.

Check eBay. Search for "pocket scales".

There's a vast choice of styles.

These things are not "kitchen scales" - but they are great for stuff that needs to be measured in small quantities. In my case, yeast and salt for bread-making, cure No 1 and saltpetre for charcuterie.

I recently wrecked my first such scales (after a couple of years) - internal corrosion seemingly resulting from setting it down on a worktop puddle.

I didn't grieve, just went to eBay and found a newer better spec in the same format/appearance (now for rather less money) and upgraded from 100g x 0.01g to a 200g x 0.01g. The new one has a backlit (more legible) display too.

And still uses ordinary AAA batteries.

I reckon that getting the 0.01g version means I can confidently expect it to be accurate to 0.1g. Precision and accuracy aren't quite the same thing!

For maximum accuracy (you don't need it) choose a model with a calibration facility and invest a couple of dollars in a calibration weight. This is probably more important for high value cash deals than for cooking. But its nice to know you can do it. Easily.

My opinion: Phenomenal bargain. Not a waste.

Then, just find yourself some Dixie Cups for use as scale pans.

But don't get the thing wet and fail to notice. :rolleyes:

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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  • 1 month later...

I have this scale:

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.3390

It's not designed perfectly. One example of this is the fact that you can easily open the latching display/control panel when you only want to remove the protective cover. It is, however, quite cheap, handles up to 2 kg, and displays tenths of a gram.

I do not know how well they calibrate each scale before shipping it out (they do claim to calibrate at the factory), nor have I calibrated my scale myself.

Edited by HowardLi (log)
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Howdy,

I'm just looking for some advice for scales for some accurate measuring of hydrocolloids. I've noticed some good products from MyWeigh such as their palmscale 5, 6, and 7. Do people feel that accuracy to 0.01 grams is needed or does 0.1 grams suffice.

Cheers

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I can't answer you question about 10ths or 100ths for your application, but wanted to mention a point about these scales. I have one that I use for tea and it works well, but do be aware that they are vulnerable to very slight breezes and vibrations. That may be an issue in your kitchen and may not. Do get one of their vibration damping mats to place it on. For measuring tea, I just don't have equipment running near it and check the display to make sure it's not fluctuating when I am measuring.

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Before I had my .01 scale, the .1 was enough. Now, I love my .01...but its probably not really necessary. What's more important is the ability to be, and continue to be accurate. For this, look for scales that provide a weight to re-set your zero out. I'm sure I overdid it with my ScoutPro 400, but it hasn't failed me in any application yet.

Edited by gfron1 (log)
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As I've suggested on other threads, check eBay for "pocket scales" if you don't fancy supporting your local 'head shop'.

Some scales have a calibration facility which sets the top end exactly (calibration weight needed).

Perhaps more usefully reassuring is to obtain a 'check weight' that is of the same order as the typical quantities you actually measure.

I prefer to have a more sensitive scale, and then use the least significant digit mostly just for rounding purposes. That way, I can believe that my expectation of accuracy is justified.

Agreed absolutely about real accuracy needing a well controlled environment.

My first scale died after it was accidentally exposed to moisture. So add 'dry' to the environmental requirements!

I've found disposable plastic cups (or picnic 'glasses') to be useful as lightweight scale pans. Paper cups tend to sometimes catch some stuff in the seams (throwing off your accuracy). Or you might prefer to shape some aluminium foil.

The weight of your scale pan is included in the maximum range of the scale. So, to measure say 95 gram quantities - you probably need a scale with a 200 (not 100) gram maximum.

If you don't already know, learn how to use the Tare function!

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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I think a 0.1g scale is great for most applications. It lets you weigh all standard ingredients, including leavening. Most people get by with 1.0g resolution, but that usually means measuring things like salt and baking powder with spoons. Unless you're always making commercial quantities.

If you're getting into products like gums, I think a .01g scale would make a lot of sense. Many of these chemicals work in minute amounts, and accuracy is important. Especially if you're experimenting and want to get consistent results.

The trick would be getting something like a pocket scale ... a low capacity scale that you use just use for these ingredients.

The price of a scale is mostly determined by the number of divisions--meaning, the capacity multiplied by the resolution. A scale with a 1kg capacity with 1g resolution has 1000 divisions. It's a way of saying that there are a thousand possible increments from its lowest to its highest reading.

You'd expect to pay about the same for a scale with 10kg capacity and 10g resolution, or a scale with 10g capacity and .01g resolution. They all have 1000 divisions. So you can keep the price down on a high resolution scale by choosing one with a very low capacity.

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Notes from the underbelly

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  • 5 months later...

Given Fat Guy's post on scales, I want to recommend the Taylor TE10C. The scale measures up to 10lbs at .1lbs or 5kg at 1g intervals. One nice feature is that it includes a power supply. After 2 years of use at home, it is still in great shape.

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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