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March 9, 2009

The TOP mistakes that most Digital Scale Buyers Make

As you may know, there are many unique hobbies, crafts, and other special applications that require the utilization of a digital scale.

Unfortunately, the biggest mistake that most digital scale buyers make is they simply do NOT know which digital scale features they need for their application.

In order to make your digital scale selection FAST & Successful, we have provided you with the following “Digital Scale Checklist”. Simply use this check list to determine which scale features you need for your special application.

  1. Design
  2. Size
  3. TARE Feature
  4. Capacity vs. Accuracy
  5. AC/DC – Battery and/or 110V
  6. Spill Protection
  7. Weighing Units (lb, oz, kg, g)
  8. Removable Platform
  9. Manufacturers’ Warranty
  10. Price

DESIGN
Precision scales are available in a variety of designs (i.e. styles and colors). However, for most applications, you should consider style and color a LOWER priority.

SIZE
One of the higher priorities you should note is the scale’s dimensions. As you know, a pocket scale and a high capacity scale will be very different in size. You simply need to select a scale size that meets your unique application.

Your scale’s platform size is also an important feature and should be based on the size of the items to be weighed. However, as you will read in the next section you may be able to increase the size your digital scale’s platforms by using the Tare Feature.

TARE FEATURE
Most digital scales have a valuable feature called TARE. This feature simply removes the weight of any item placed on the platform. You can use this feature to increase the size of the platform and/or place items in a container, and then obtain the exact weight of the items.

Platform Example: If you need to weigh an item that will not stay on your scale’s platform, you can increase the platform size by placing a flat item – such as a piece of plywood – that is larger than the platform and pushing the TARE button. This will remove the weight of the plywood and you will now have a larger weighing platform.

Container Example: Place your container (i.e. box, bowl, cup, etc.) on the scale’s platform that will hold the item(s), then push the TARE button. Your scale’s display will reset to 0 by subtracting the weight of the container. Then simply place the item(s) in the container and your scale will display the actual weight of the item(s) in the container.

If you need to weigh additional items in the same container, you can simply keep pressing the Tare button to reset the scale’s display to zero and then add the next item.

CAPACITY vs. ACCURACY
Before you purchase any scale, you will need to answer the following two (2) questions:

  1. What is the maximum amount that you will ever need to weigh (i.e. 100g, 5lb, or 200lb)?
  2. What is the minimum increment (i.e. smallest amount) you will measure (i.e. 1g or 0.5oz, 2oz, etc.)?

Once you have determined this information, you will simply need to select a scale that meets your capacity and accuracy requirements.

BATTERY and/or 110V POWER
Digital scales are powered by either battery or 110V Power, some units offer both options. The battery operated scales will be more portable. However, the 110V scale will eliminate the use of batteries.

You will find that most digital scales will operate via battery power. Since digital scales only use a small amount of power and most units have auto shut off, the batteries will keep going and going and going.

SPILL PROTECTION
Will your scale be weighing liquid, powder, or wet substances? If so, we recommend that you purchase a unit with a sealed LCD display and user buttons. This simple spill protection will prevent the substances from leaking into the electronics and voiding the manufacturer’s warranties.

SUGGESTION: If you are looking to save a few dollars, you can also use a clear plastic bag or a sheet of clear plastic to cover the entire scale and prevent damage – however – doing this will probably make reading the display and pushing the buttons more difficult.

WEIGHING Units (lb, oz, kg, g)
Many scales offer both weighing units – pounds/ounces and kilogram/grams. However, you need to make sure that the scale has the weighing units you need.

REMOVABLE PLATFORM
Some scales offer a removable Stainless Steel or glass platform, which allows for FAST & EASY clean-up. If you plan to weigh items that will cause a mess if spilled, then you may wish to consider a scale with a removable platform.

MANUFACTURERS’ WARRANTY
You will discover most manufacturers offer at least a one (1) year warranty. In addition, you will find some who offer 2-5 year warranties.

SPECIAL NOTICE: We highly recommend you AVOID any scale manufacturer that offers a so-called “lifetime warranty”. We have discovered that most of these companies require a substantial fee for processing your warranty claims.

As you know, common sense says… “If it sounds too good to be true – it probably is”.

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