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One of the most important tools for precise measurements is a kitchen scale. Rather than leaving your fate in the hands of an oftentimes inaccurate measuring cup, let a kitchen scale do the measuring for you. You can tare the scale so that you can measure directly into mixing bowls and pots, and most scales give you the option to measure in ounces or grams.
Not only do they improve accuracy, but kitchen scales make for a more streamlined and efficient method for measuring a lot of ingredients at once. “For a home cook, scales save the trouble of using and washing measuring cups and spoons," says pastry chef Abigail Rose. "It’s much easier to weigh all of the ingredients into fewer bowls because you can zero out a scale rather than have a bunch of extra dishes.” Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice cook, having a kitchen scale can make your next cooking task much easier and more reliable.
Here is our list of the best kitchen scales to help you choose the right one for your culinary needs.
Best Overall: Etekcity Digital Multifunction Stainless Steel Kitchen Food Scale
Can weigh up to 11 pounds
Compact and stylish
Small LCD screen
Etekcity’s ultra-popular stainless steel scale has a chic, classic design at an affordable price point. This particular scale can weigh items up to 11 pounds, and it has the capability to read in ounces, grams, fluid ounces, or milliliters. The glossy silver finish and well-lit screen make for a stylish addition to your kitchen and an easy appliance to clean. The scale is designed with an auto-shutoff feature, so you don’t need to worry about losing battery. It is powered by AAA batteries (included) and comes with a one-year warranty.
The scale is 7 x 5.5 inches and just shy of an inch thick, making it extremely compact and easy to safely stow away in a drawer or cabinet when it’s not in use. It has a flat scale surface and tidy, laminated buttons that are easy to clean with a damp rag and soap. Some users note that the small LCD screen can be hard to read when there are large items like bowls or plates on the scale, but most are extremely satisfied with their purchase.
Size: 7.3 x 5.7 x 0.6 inches | Capacity: 11 pounds | Increments Value: 1 gram/0.04 ounces
Best Analog: Taylor Precision Products Stainless Steel Analog Kitchen Scale
Doesn't require batteries
Large and easy-to-read display
Ability to tare the removable bowl
Measures in ounces and grams
Large and bulky
If you’re in the market for a scale that is not battery operated, this analog option is the way to go. It boasts a classic scale look and offers a removable, stainless steel 5-cup bowl, which allows for easy measuring and cleaning. The black and white dial completes the vintage, retro look and is super clear and easy to read.
The scale can handle weights up to 11 pounds, and the expansive 5-inch display can read measurements in both ounces and grams. Just like any traditional scale, it requires you to tare underneath the measuring bowl using the dial, which can sometimes create readings that aren’t as accurate as that of a digital scale.
The base of the scale measures 8 x 9 inches, which means that you’ll need a decent amount of counter space while you’re using it, as well as some designated storage space for when it’s not in use. Compared to other more compact versions, this scale is definitely on the larger side. It comes with a one-year warranty should any parts malfunction.
Size: 7.8 x 9 x 8.9 inches | Capacity: 11 pounds | Increments Value: 50 grams/1 ounce
Best Budget: AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Digital Kitchen Scale with LCD Display
Wide platform is easy to clean
Not the sleekest design
If you’re not looking to overspend on a kitchen scale purchase, this affordable option from Amazon is a popular choice. It doesn't offer all of the design features as some other models, but it will be a reliable tool that you can use to measure ingredients. It has a clean, LCD screen that produces clear, visible readings. The wide circular platform maxes out at 11 pounds, though you can tare bowls and plates on it.
The large weighing platform is sturdy and able to hold a variety of items, and it’s very easy to clean. The scale can read measurements in both ounces and grams, while the tare function allows you to reset the weight at any point during usage. The automatic shutoff (after two minutes of inactivity) ensures that you won’t be wasting any battery power. Two AAA batteries are included with your purchase. Reviewers love that this affordable scale can still produce reliable, accurate results at such an appealing price point.
Size: 8.7 x 7 x 1.2 inches | Capacity: 11 pounds
Best App-Enabled: Etekcity Food Kitchen Scale Smart Nutrition Scale
Great for measuring macros and nutritional numbers
Can connect to your health apps
Easy-to-read LCD display
Tech-savvy cooks might require a kitchen scale that can hook up to your phone. This bluetooth-enabled smart scale can be linked to an app in your phone and will not only provide a basic weight measurement, but it can also give eight different nutritional stats, such as calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein. If you use your scale for portion and nutritional measurements, this feature could be extremely convenient for you.
The sleek, stainless steel platform has the capability to measure up to 11 pounds in grams, ounces, or milliliters. The large LCD screen not only displays measurements, but it can also display nutritional macros once the scale is connected to the corresponding free app, VeSyncFit. This app can sync with Apple Health and FitBit.
If you’re looking for a tool to help with a nutrition plan but want to take some of the mental math out of it, this scale can do it all for you. The adjustable auto-shutoff feature is convenient to help you conserve the AAA batteries. The scale is sold with a one-year warranty.
Size: 9. 2 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches | Capacity: 11 pounds | Increments Value: 1 gram/0.04 ounces
Best Hanging: South Bend Digital Hanging Scale
Great for large proteins and heavy items
Can weigh up to 110 pounds
No platform to measure awkwardly shaped items
If you find yourself with a lot of large, cumbersome proteins, such as meat or fish, having a hanging scale is a great way to measure these items, rather than trying to fit them on a tiny platform. Unlike the platform scales that typically max out around 11 pounds, this scale can measure up to 110 pounds.
The scale runs on two AAA batteries (included with purchase), and the scale can read in ounces and grams. The auto-shutoff function ensures that you won’t unknowingly drain your batteries. Because of its light weight and compact size, this scale is extremely easy to store and highly transportable.
(Bonus use: Not sure if your luggage is under the 50-pound threshold? Use this hanging scale.)
Size: 5.6 x 3.5 x 1.4 inches | Capacity: 110 pounds
Best Baking: My Weigh Bakers Math Kitchen Scale
Can measure by percentage
Can measure up to 17 pounds
Removable, easy-to-clean platform
Heavy and bulky
If you are looking to weigh ingredients for multiple recipes at once, this baker’s scale would be a great tool for you. Not only is it extremely accurate and heavy duty, but it allows you to measure items by percentage, which takes the tough baking math out of the equation for you. Breads, cakes, cookies, and other ratio-driven recipes are simplified by this scale that does the baking math for you.
The scale can measure up to 17 pounds (a little bit more than the 11 pounds that most of its competitors can handle), and it's also outfitted with a removable and easy-to-clean stainless steel platform. The adjustable backlit display is designed with a removable cover, so you can protect it from messy ingredients. The auto-shutoff is convenient so that you don’t have to worry about using up your battery.
Bakers love this scale, though the biggest drawback is its bulky size and nature. It is 10 x 7.5 inches and weighs 2 pounds, which means it will require a lot of counter space as well as a large place for storage. The AA batteries are included, though the AC adapter is sold separately.
Size: 9.84 x 7.48 x 3.54 inches | Capacity: 17 pounds | Increments Value: 1 gram/0.05 ounces
Best for Beginners: Escali Primo P115C Precision Kitchen Food Scale for Baking and Cooking
Available in multiple colors
Compact and chic
Buttons are sealed for easy cleanup
If you’re new to the world of measuring ingredients on a scale, you’re going to want one that’s user-friendly. It doesn’t get more streamlined or easy to use than this colorful Escali model. Like most scales, it can measure up to 11 pounds and provide readings in 0.05-ounce increments. The buttons are sealed (in case any liquid spills on them), and the large LED screen provides clear, easy-to-read measurements. For times that you need to measure multiple ingredients in the same bowl, you can take advantage of this scale's tare feature. Another highlight? All these features come in a small package—the compact body takes up a small amount of space on your counter, and it’s convenient to store.
Size: 8 x 6 x 1.25 inches | Capacity: 11 pounds | Increments Value: 1 gram/0.05 ounces
"My scale is my most-used tool in the kitchen and is extremely helpful both at home and at a bakery/restaurant to save time and improve consistency. My favorite is the Escali scale. I have it in several colors and never bake without one. I like this scale because it’s relatively small and easy to use plus super durable. A scale shouldn’t be overly complicated. I prefer one that’s easy to move around, especially when professional kitchens are notoriously tight spaces." —Abigail Rose, Pastry Chef
Best Pocket Scale: Weigh Gram Digital Pocket Scale
Extremely precise measurements
Great for herbs and spices
LCD blue screen is easy to read
Batteries not included
If you need something to measure lighter, smaller items (think herbs, spices, and coffee), a pocket scale like this is a great tool to have in your drawer. It's super small and compact, making it easy to store and transport. Its small size doesn't crimp its usefulness, though; it can measure up to an accuracy of .01 grams. The LCD blue backlit display is easy to read, and the scale maxes out at 100 grams. There is a power button, tare button, and unit measurement button. The protective cover keeps the platform clean and safe. The scale is designed with a 60-second automatic shutoff so you don’t have to worry about burning through your batteries (not included with your purchase).
Size: 5 x 3 x 0.8 inches | Capacity: 100 grams | Increments Value: 0.01 grams
Best for Coffee: CozyBlue Digital Coffee Scale
Comes with added alarm function to time your brew
Ultra precise measurements up to 0.1-ounce accuracy
Batteries and heat-resistant mat included
Any java lover knows that the art of brewing pour over, espresso, French press, or any coffee is all about precise weights and times. The scale can measure in ounces and grams as well as liquid measurements, such as milliliters and fluid ounces. The tare function allows you to start a fresh pot any time. The clear LCD readings are both easy to see and clean, and the scale also comes with an alarm function so that you can time your brew perfectly.
Lucky for you, the heat-resistant silicone mat (which protects the scale from heat or hot liquid spillage) and batteries are included with your purchase. The high-precision sensors are able to measure with up to a 0.1-ounce accuracy. Unfortunately, the scale is not water-resistant, so you will need to be careful about damaging the electric parts.
Size: 9.29 x 6.02 x 2.05 inches | Capacity: 3,000 grams/6 pounds | Increments Value: 1 gram/0.1 ounces
The Etekcity Digital Kitchen Food Scale (view at Amazon) gets the top spot because it's accurate, easy to use, lightweight, and best of all, affordable. Think batteries are a hassle? Go for the Taylor Precision Products Stainless Steel Kitchen Scale (view at Amazon). This analog model features an easy-to-read display and a classic design.
What to Look for When Buying Kitchen Scales
Arguably the most important characteristic of any kitchen scale is its accuracy. If it's not reading accurate measurements, then it’s not doing its primary job. Even though a milligram of difference might not make a huge impact when you’re measuring flour or coffee grounds, if the scale is off by even a gram, this can start to affect whatever it is that you’re making. While some scales offer recalibration options, this is not common, and oftentimes the recalibration is not totally accurate. In order to preserve the accuracy of your scale, make sure not to put any items on the scale that are heavier than what it can measure, and always replace the battery if you notice that measurements start to become inconsistent. Some scales come with one- to five-year warranties, which is great on the off-chance that you find that your scale starts to display inaccurate readings. Keep in mind that a lot of warranties will not cover you if the cause of the broken scale is due to overloading it with an extremely heavy item.
Units of Measure
Not all scales have the same reading capabilities, so look for a scale that can measure in both metric and imperial units. Additionally, it is more precise when a scale reads in decimal points versus fractions because decimal numbers are more specific. It’s also worth noting that some scales will translate a heavier weight to "2 pounds, 4 ounces" versus "36 ounces," for example. In the same vein of units of measure, you should also take note of the weight range that a scale can read. Most scales commonly weigh in increments of 1 gram or 0.05 ounces. Anything with increments larger than this can result in inaccurate readings.
Weight Capacity Range
As far as the capacity range, most kitchen scales can support anywhere from 6 pounds to 12 pounds, depending on the model that you choose. If you will be weighing lots of dry ingredients for large baking projects, make sure that the scale you’re using can support such measurements. Most kitchen scales offer a tare button, but some models combine the tare and on/off features into one button, which can sometimes lead to accidentally powering off the scale when trying to tare the weight. If you need to measure larger cuts of proteins that might not sit easily on a countertop scale, opt for a hanging scale to ensure the accurate weight of these products. Similarly, if you’re going to be measuring extremely small quantities of food like spices or baking ingredients, then having a pocket scale handy is a great way to grab these measurements, because measurements less than a gram do not read as accurately on a basic kitchen scale.
Like anything that you’re going to purchase for your kitchen, the price varies greatly. A new kitchen scale can run you anywhere from $10 to $60, so knowing what you’re looking for is crucial. If you’ve never owned a scale before and want to dabble with baking by measurements or portioning out your weekly meal prep, then a cheaper, more basic scale will certainly do the trick. If you’re going to be measuring large batches of food for big groups, large occasions, or more professional cooking settings, then opting for a scale with a large weight range and improved accuracy will definitely be worth the extra investment.
Types of Kitchen Scales
This is the most common type of kitchen scale and will be the most useful for the average home cook. These scales typically weigh items anywhere from 0.5 ounces to a maximum of 6 to 12 pounds. They are battery-powered (which means you will need to replace the batteries eventually) and can read in 0.05-ounce or 1-gram increments. They offer taring capabilities and are relatively compact and lightweight. Most models can produce a reading in less than a second or sometimes a few. They operate best when they are securely sitting on a flat, level countertop. Some digital scales might feature a glass platform, which may seem cool and chic at first; however, these models are extremely fragile and oftentimes prove difficult to clean and maintain. A good digital scale will also come with rubber feet on the bottom, which should prevent the scale from moving around on the counter while you’re using it. Usually, digital scales are available in a wide variety of colors if you’re looking for a fun pop of color while you bake.
A somewhat outdated version, analog scales do not require any battery power. Instead, these classic scales have a large base and a bowl or surface on top to place the item that you are wanting to weigh. They are much larger in size and heavier than a classic digital scale, so plan to make room in your cupboard for this model. Rather than a digital display, the weight is presented on an analog reading. While you might find an analog model that can support more weight than a digital model, there is no real advantage to weighing items with an analog scale versus digital. They do have a fun, vintage aesthetic if you are wanting to keep it on your counter as a way to subtly decorate your kitchen and fill the space.
If you are going to be measuring smaller items, like spices, coffee, or baking ingredients, it may be a good idea to look into a pocket scale. These small, lightweight tools are a great way to get a precise measurement for something that weighs less than 1 gram or 0.05 ounces. This scale is battery-powered and can read in both metric and imperial units. If you’re not going to be measuring very tiny amounts of an ingredient, then there is no need for you to buy a scale of this caliber. It is extremely compact and affordable, so even if you don’t get a ton of use out of it, it’s not a huge burden to purchase and store.
Lastly, a hanging scale is another way to get an accurate reading, specifically for a large cut of protein or any large item that is awkwardly shaped and may not fit on a countertop scale. Compared with a digital kitchen scale, which typically cannot support more than 12 pounds, a hanging scale can read upwards of 100 pounds (and it can also read in metric units). Keep in mind that this is going to be a very large piece of meat or a whole fish. Most home cooks aren’t braising a protein larger than 12 pounds, but if you are, then this is the scale for you. It is battery-powered and can easily hook onto whatever you’re measuring.
Kitchen Scale Maintenance
Never load a scale over its weight capacity because this can cause the calibration to be off and even break the scale. Don’t weigh messy, wet items directly on a scale; instead, lay a piece of parchment or plastic wrap down for easier cleanup. When the scale is off, do not store it or let it sit with items on it, because this can also cause great damage. While some scales have recalibration capabilities, these are often not totally accurate, so don’t rely on them. If you think your scale may be giving you inaccurate readings, it’s likely time to replace the batteries. Always keep your scale on a firm, flat surface for the most accurate readings. When the scale is off, wipe the buttons and the platform down with a hot washcloth to clean up any remaining food particles or grease. Never place a scale directly under running water to clean.
How do you use a kitchen scale?
Using a kitchen scale is extremely straightforward. To start, place a bowl or plate on the scale to measure your item. Next, tare the scale so that it registers a zero weight measurement. Select the unit of measurement that you want to use (e.g., grams or ounces), then add your item to the bowl or plate until you’ve reached a desired measurement. They are extremely helpful for baking because of their ability to measure ingredients precisely.
What is a kitchen scale used for?
Kitchen scales are used to improve precision and accuracy in measured items. From measuring flour to sugar to butter, these scales are extremely adept at accurate readings. They can help you easily determine the weight of any given object, though if the object is heavier than 15 pounds, it is best to keep it off of your kitchen scale because heavy weights can damage the measuring mechanism.
How do you calibrate a kitchen scale?
You should calibrate your kitchen scale somewhat frequently to ensure that you’re getting accurate readings. Always calibrate on a flat, level surface. Each scale is different, so always defer to the owner’s manual that comes with your scale. Use calibration weights or any item with a known exact weight to determine if your scale is reading weights correctly. Your owner’s manual will tell you how to adjust the scale if its measurements are off.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Sara Tane has written dozens of buying guides for The Spruce Eats, understanding what consumers and cooks need to consider before making a new purchase for their culinary adventures. She is a professionally trained chef, now working as a private chef and writer. Because of her traditional culinary background, she understands the importance of a kitchen scale for precise measurements. After researching different kitchen scales and their characteristics, she chose the best kitchen scales for all of your culinary and pastry needs. She also interviewed Abigail Rose, who attended the International Culinary Center and was previously the pastry chef at Fox in the Snow in Columbus, Ohio.