Are Digital Scales Accurate For Measuring Weight?

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Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Precision Scale and Reloading Case for those who want to get down to business right away, they are made of good and strong material, which makes them durable.


Precision is basically the amount of decimal places a scale can display your weight to. If you can see your weight as 175lbs scale A and 174.89lbs on scale B, scale B is more precise. Again, precision is how effectively accuracy can be communicated.

In this regard, digital scales have the upper hand. An accurate scale is going to give you a better idea of your weight, and a more precise reading than an analog scale. They are also much easier to read, by using decimals instead of lines in between numbers. Pretty much all scales these days go to at least 2 decimal places, with most going up to 4 decimal places.

In precision, there is no doubt that digital scales are better. With that being said, stressing out about a hundredth or thousandth of a pound is just downright silly.

Maybe your hair grew an inch or you have belly but

Maybe your hair grew an inch or you have belly button lint. The human body is not precise, and there are MANY factors that play into your weight, so don’t place so much emphasis on those smaller decimal places.


What is accuracy, and why is it important?

First, a couple of definitions: By “accuracy,” we mean how close the measurement comes to your actual weight. We also talk about “precision,” which means how reproducible the measurements are: when you weigh yourself several times, how much do the measurements differ?

A scale that is miscalibrated will still give the same results. Weight measurements are inaccurate, but reproducible.

Accuracy issues in bathroom scales may impact the estimation of people who are classified as overweight or obese. In a BMC Public Health study, “Impact of instrument error on the estimated prevalence of overweight and obesity in population-based surveys,” researchers found that “the estimated prevalence of overweight and obesity increased systematically with the size of instrument error.” In other words, accuracy errors may lead to an overestimation of the prevalence of overweight and obese individuals.

Some experts have said inaccurate measurements could potentially lead to improper medical treatment. In a February 2017 paper from the National Nurses Nutrition Group, “Obtaining an Accurate Body Weight Measurement in Adults and Children in Primary and Secondary Care Settings (not babies),” the authors state that an accurate body weight measurement is needed to assess and monitor nutritional status, calculate safe doses of medication, and establish and monitor fluid and nutritional status in a clinical setting.

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Why does my scale keep changing?

#1 Every time a digital scale is moved it needs to be calibrated. Initializing the scale resets the internal parts allowing the scale to find the correct “zero” weight and ensure accurate readings. If the scale is moved and you do NOT calibrate it, you are likely to see fluctuations in your weight.

How do you calibrate a digital scale with coins?

Place your chosen coin on the scale and read the output. If you placed a penny on the scale, you should read 2.500 grams. If you place a quarter on the scale, the output should read 5.670 grams. If the scale read 5.671 grams, clearly there is a 0.001 gram difference in the reading and the known mass.

What To Look Before Getting A Scale

The Scale Itself

Mainly, there are two factors that we want to emphasize in finding an electronic scale. The first one is accuracy with response time and convenience. There might include other factors you sought such as design, power source, portability, etc. and we will briefly touch on those subjects.


Our recommendation would be to get under 0,2 grainsof accuracy. Which makes it easy to be precise in weighing the powder and getting the results that you want with a minor margin of error.

Power Outlet

A digital that operates mostly on batteries will have a better time with this. But if your gear is plugged in the whole time, you want to make sure that the electrical current going in is stable. Unplug any device or electronic items that take up a lot of power such as the fridge or heater.

Material Construction

You have to take a look at the substances which were utilized to build the best reloading scale. Some substances may respond with powder. This may endanger the gliding reloading process.


You have to get a digital scale that supports the sort of power that’s offered from the surroundings in which you place it. If you’re here in America, then you will need to be certain the device which you’ve got supports 110V AC. It supports both 110V power supply and 240V AC.


Grain capacity decides how much the electronic scale could weigh. Even when you’re a reloading newbie, then it is ideal to go for a top grain capacity item since your requirements might quickly grow.

A wonderful thing about scales is they generally have greater grain capacity compared to mechanical scales. Whilst manual scales possess a grain capacity between 300 and 1000 grains, electronic scales possess a1,500 grain capacity or even 2000 grains.

Easy-to-Read Display

The LCD screen ought to be big, and in addition, it needs to have backlighting. It’s great for those who also secure high contrast so a quick glance lets you know that the weight straight away.

Different Weight Units

Usually, the best reloading scale offers units such as grains, grams and ounces. Some also offer a carat weight unit, which is great for weighing gemstones.

Tips to Get Accurate Readings Every Time

You want your digital scale to provide correct, consistent readings that you can rely on. That’s why you should always strive to operate and store your gadget correctly. The proper measuring and maintenance techniques will keep your scale reading accurate measurements every time. Also, please pay attention to your specific unit’s user guide to keep it in tip-top shape.

  • Always use your digital scale on a hard, even, flat surface.
  • Always allow your digital scale to recalibrate after you pick it up or move it.
  • Always weigh items at the center of the scale.

Why Your Kitchen Scale Isn’t Accurate

Digital scales tend to lose their high accuracy levels over time. The more you use it, the more likely the calibration is to deteriorate. The electronic components in the scale can also wear out as the machine gets older.

If your scale is dirty, that could also be impacting its accuracy. 

The scale might be attempting to read the dust layer on top of it, leading to inaccurate measurements. Or, the internal parts of the scale can rust, especially if you live in a humid place.

Scales naturally become inaccurate as they age, so you will want to replace it with a newer model when recalibrating the scale doesn’t seem to do the trick like it used to.

If you are looking for a cost-efficient and reliable scale, I would recommend the Greater Goods Digital Food Kitchen Scale from It’s compact, light, and accurate, it measures in grams and is very simple to use. Plus, this product comes in a variety of colors to match your kitchen space.

Shopping Guide: What You Should Know About Digital Scales

You made it this far, so you’re probably thinking of buying a digital scale, are we right? In that case, do not miss this section, in which we will try to solve the most frequent doubts among consumers.

A digital scale is more accurate than a mechanical
A digital scale is more accurate than a mechanical scale, but, in addition, it can offer us varied and diverse measurements that help us keep track of our general state of health.

Why do you need a digital scale?

Nobody remembers scales until they need to lose a few extra pounds or decide “seriously” to get in shape. Well, it is better to buy an afternoon than never, but one of these scales can help you keep track of the day — and not lose it — so you don’t get caught in a rush. Do you need more reasons? Don’t worry, we have more:

  • They allow you to measure different parameters in addition to weight.
  • They are more reliable and extremely sensitive, taking advantage of the most innovative advancements in the industry.
  • They hardly have any margin for error.
  • They are very easy to use and even calibrate, they are usually very intuitive.
  • Its weighing platforms are adequate and comfortable.
  • They hardly take up space: their design is modern and compact, they are very light.

Today’s balances are capable of much

A modern digital or smart scale has practically nothing to do with the mechanics of yesteryear. Not only do they indicate the weight, but they offer different metrics. The most common is the body mass index and the percentage of fat in the body, but they are not the only ones. There are also models that measure muscle mass or hydration level, for example.

All of them support multiple users, who are automatically remembered and recognized. The most advanced models are linked to mobile applications that allow us to exhaustively monitor our values, our evolution and that offer us personalized recommendations.

Did you know that Lord Byron is reported to have struggled his entire life to stay slim and fed himself exclusively on biscuits and potatoes dipped in vinegar? Had there been smart scales in your day, we are sure you would have been among the first to have one.

What types of scales are there?

Although within each type there are different subtypes, the truth is that we do not believe that it is necessary to complicate things so much. In summary, in the current market you can find four types of scales:

  1. Analog or mechanical scale: although they are very resistant and easy to use, they are not the most recommended if you want very precise results or want to measure other parameters in addition to body weight.
  2. Electronic scale: although their precision depends on the model, they are usually more precise than the mechanical ones. They are normally battery-powered and do not need to be calibrated. There are models capable of remembering multiple users.
  3. Bioimpedance or body analysis scale: electrical bioimpedance (or BIA) is “a simple, fast and non-invasive technique that allows the estimation of total body water (…), of the fat-free mass (…) and fat mass ». The scales based on this technology are among the most complete on the market.
  4. Smart scale: this type of scale is synchronized with cell phones, usually with an application that is installed on smartphones or tablets. They incorporate wifi or Bluetooth technology.
There are different types of scales on the market:
There are different types of scales on the market: simple electronic, bioimpedance, or smart. The type we choose will depend on its price, the accuracy of its measurements, and its functionalities.

How do you use a digital scale correctly?

So that the scale does not become your worst enemy, it is important that you use it well. To “face” it and for the experience not to be traumatic, it is not enough to get on top and wait for the weight to mark, do you know what aspects you should take into account when weighing yourself?

  1. Always do it on the same scale, since each device is different.
  2. The best time to weigh yourself is fasting, waking up, and right after using the bathroom.
  3. Don’t weigh yourself after exercising, as some of the weight lost could be from sweat. Also, do not panic if, after drinking alcohol the night before, you find that your weight has increased: this substance contributes to fluid retention.
  4. The best thing is that you weigh yourself without clothes or with as little clothing as possible because clothes are heavy.
  5. It is not recommended that you weigh yourself every day.

Which is better, an electronic scale or a smart one?

Although all smart scales are electronic, not all electronic scales are smart. Are you in doubt about buying a scale of one type or the other? We tell you what are the main characteristics of each one so that you can compare with the information in hand:

Electronic scalesDigital scale
PriceInexpensive, around twenty dollars.More expensive than electronic.
ConnectivityThey cannot connect with cell phones or with the computer.They are connected through an app with your cell phone or a website with your computer.
MeasurementsFewer parameters.More parameters, even more than a dozen.
UsersCapable of memorizing the profiles of between one and five users.They memorize numerous profiles and automatically recognize each user.

Are digital scales reliable?

Sure, they are usually much more accurate than mechanical scales. Now, you must bear in mind that there is always a small margin of error, even if it is minimal. Additionally, measurements may fluctuate based on humidity and other environmental factors, such as the slope of the ground. Therefore, it is recommended that, as far as possible, you do not move the scale.

Normally, the most accurate parameter is always going to be weight. Bioimpedance scales, while offering very comprehensive measurements, can be affected by ‘body position, hydration, ingestion of food and drink, ambient air, skin temperature, recent physical activity, and site conductance where they are used ».

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Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a seasoned health and fitness writer, Lindsey Lanquist understands how vital quality product recommendations can be. She is careful to recommend products that are reliable, user-friendly, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them. 

When looking for the right scale, Lindsey prioritizes data storage, ease of use, and display and readability. It’s nice to have a scale that tells you more than just your weight. But if that extra info is hard to find, it isn’t worth the time and effort. Lindsey would be willing to splurge on a pricier scale if it meant getting a better user experience. After all, no one wants to get stressed out when reading their weight.

Additional reporting contributed by Emily Stone.

Emily Stone does ample research on the best health and fitness gadgets on the market and only recommends the top ones. In a world with seemingly endless gadgetry, bathroom scales can now gather precise health information on one device, which previously required multiple units.


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