Electric Kitchen Scales: good ones, bad ones?

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Joined Dec 10, 2010
[h3]I'm not a cook myself, however, my boyfriend is a line cook (works for a 2 Michelin star restaurant -- French, fine dining). He's been mentioning how he wants a kitchen scale for work and I'm thinking of buying him one for Christmas. I've been looking up different types and am interested in getting him the Terraillon Supreme Electronic Kitchen Scale. I wasn't able to find too many reviews on it, but I would love to hear some of your opinions if you know anything about this product or have any other product suggestions. [/h3]
 
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Joined Feb 1, 2007
There are an incredible number of reliable scales in the $30-70 range (not to mention much more expensive ones). For instance, I paid 35 bucks for my Salter, which has never failed me in three years of constant use. So it really boils down to features. And for that you'll have to get more info from him. Among the things to consider:

1. Number of measuring scales. Mine can read in grams, kilograms, ounces, or pounds & ounces. Does he need that sort of range?

2. Range of weight. Mine will register from .05 oz (2 g) to 11 lb (5 kg). Does he need that much range? Greater range?

3. Configuration. Mine happens to have a flat plate, which is one of the reasons I choose it. Others have built-in bowls and platforms. What's his preference.

4. Power source. It should operate on standard, easy to obtain batteries. Most work on either double As or 9 volts. But make sure your selection doesn't use a weird size or power.

5. Automatic shut-off. Not all of them have this feature, and it's one of the more important ones in a busy kitchen, because it's too easy to forget you've turned it on. For those with an auto shut-off, what's the time period before it closes down?

6. Lighted screen. This may or may not be important, but people tend to have distinct preferences.

This should get you started.

When you've made your decision be sure and order it through Cheftalk's direct links to Amazon. To do so, look up the unit in the product guide, and click on the "buy me" button in the upper right hand corner. That will take you right to Amazon.
 
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Joined Dec 7, 2010
I have had 3 inexpensive scales recently, all purchased for around $30 from eBay.  All worked well for my purposes, which not only includes cooking, but also I spin yarn, raising angora rabbits for that purpose.  I've weighed everything from exactly 10 grams of fiber to a 10 lb box going to the mill to be spun and found each of the scales to be very accurate.  If you can believe UPS's scales as a standard, my 10 lb box (actually more than that, it was 10 lbs of fiber, but the filled box weighed more, of course.) - only differed from the UPS scale by a few grams. 

When I weighed out an ounce of yarn, to estimate how much in pounds I needed to cover a certain # of square inches of fabric from a small square, the finished project only differed from my estimate by less than an ½ ounce.  (I was a math major, so figuring out the curves was not difficult for me.)

So I say either I've been extraordinarily lucky, or most scales are pretty accurate.

(BTW, I dropped the 1st one and broke it.   the 2nd one was never returned to me, and I now have the 3rd one.)

UPDATE: Jan 30, 2011  I just tried to use the last one I purchased and it won't work. :(  Guess my luck did not hold.  Will have to investigate new one.
 
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Whoops!

Graveflower, I left out an important feature in my list. Make sure that whatever scale you choose as a tare-out feature. That will allow him to discount the weight of bowls, etc. and actually weigh only the product.
 
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Joined Dec 23, 2000
KYH raises a very important point.  The "tare" feature lets you put in your first ingredient, then reset to zero and add a second, third, and so forth. You can also use it to put any kind of container on the scale, get rid of its weight, and start weighing ingredients.  Those little scales are really great. My Soehnle can be found with a little web research for in the mid-$40 range. A really good appliance.

Mike
 
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Joined Nov 24, 2010
One other important factor, for me, was the increments of the scale.  I think a lot of scales increments 1/8 oz or 1/4 oz.  I needed ones that can increments with less weight 1/16 oz or even 1/32 oz.  My scale isn't good enough for, say, molecular level of cooking but is more than adequate for all home cooking needs (and shipping needs).

I think that's something to consider as well.
 
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Joined Feb 27, 2008
There's remarkably little difference between electronic scales.  they're all using the same load cells, and generally use the same analog-digital conversion circuitry.  (Well, there are a small number of commonly used circuits, but they're pretty close to being identical.)  Unless you're spending a huge amount of money, shop on price, looks, and feel -- can you read the display with a bowl on it, does the @#$ auto-power off cut in in the time it takes you to find the next ingredient, does it use a sane battery size. 

5 kg capacity is what most models intended for home use are, and there are plenty of very nice scales available for less than 50 bucks.  If you really need 10kg, which is what the linked scale is, you'll pay a premium, because they're not as common.  Make sure you get one that has a 1 gram resolution; many 10kg scales don't. 
 
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Joined Sep 28, 2010
I have had 3 inexpensive scales recently, all purchased for around $30 from eBay.  All worked well for my purposes, which not only includes cooking, but also I spin yarn, raising angora rabbits for that purpose.  I've weighed everything from exactly 10 grams of fiber to a 10 lb box going to the mill to be spun and found each of the scales to be very accurate.  If you can believe UPS's scales as a standard, my 10 lb box (actually more than that, it was 10 lbs of fiber, but the filled box weighed more, of course.) - only differed from the UPS scale by a few grams. 

When I weighed out an ounce of yarn, to estimate how much in pounds I needed to cover a certain # of square inches of fabric from a small square, the finished project only differed from my estimate by less than an ½ ounce.  (I was a math major, so figuring out the curves was not difficult for me.)

So I say either I've been extraordinarily lucky, or most scales are pretty accurate.

(BTW, I dropped the 1st one and broke it.   the 2nd one was never returned to me, and I now have the 3rd one.)

Thanks a lot for sharing all these features to check out while buying food scale. It is very useful information. Thank you.
 
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Joined Mar 13, 2014
Hello, I agree with you Simon completely and thank you for the link. Buying a scale is a tough decision. The discussion here is very useful. As Simon said, you will get what you pay for, we must not compromise any of its feature just because of cost. Buy one but buy the most efficient one. look around for various options to choose from. :)
 
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One caution needs to be made concerning scales (mechanical or electronic).  If you are going to be using the scales for commercial purposes, and for the sale of products, some jurisdictions may require the scales to be either capable of being calibrated, or being certified.  This is a jurisdictional issue and the certification process will vary from place to place.

Galley Swiller
 
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Yep totally although scales like mine you can't calibrate them as they are level weighing, the glass plate helps a lot and you can set it to zero to not count the bowl weight, they might need a certificate though from some places but i doubt they will find anything wrong with them at all, they are the best type of scales you could get on the market and use the cheapest small round batteries so not only are they budget scales but work like expensive scales, they haven't died on me yet and i've had them since last year. They might make a fuss over the glass though but they are really easy to clean, just twist the plate off and you can wash it then wipe the scales and complete portable too.
 
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Hello emmbai90, your scale seems to be perfect as it does not count the bowl weight. I bought a digital ingredient scale. That is also very efficient and I just love using it. :) It helps me  a lot. The scale provides an audible confirmation of zero. Detecto’s PZ series allow convenient units switching between most commonly-used measurements and each measurement can easily be turned disabled if the operator is not interested in using it. Audible confirmation is the best feature I love about my scale. :)
 

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