Kitchen scales reviews

We put electronic and mechanical kitchen scales to the test.
 
 
 
 
 
  • Updated:5 Oct 2008
 

01 .Introduction

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Test results for scales priced from $17-$160

If you’re the kind of cook who likes to work from a recipe then a good set of kitchen scales can be a real asset. Rather than having to try and convert grams to cups, or worse just hazard a guess at the amount of ingredients needed, a kitchen scale will make your cooking experience easier by providing an accurate measure.

If you are looking to buy a set of kitchen scales, you’ll need to consider the type of foods you like to cook before making a decision on which model to buy. If you tend to make dishes that require small amounts of some ingredients, such as bread, then a digital scale is the way to go.

They allow you to measure small amounts of ingredients precisely and accurately, usually providing a tare function to allow for continuous weighing. Digital scales are also more practical if you are on a diet where your calorie intake needs to be strictly monitored and relies on precise measurements of ingredients and meals.

On the other hand, mechanical scales can be useful if you are just looking to measure larger amounts of ingredients and don’t need to measure out small precise amounts.

Please note: this information was current as of October 2008 but is still a useful guide to today's market. 



Brands tested

Electronic

  • Breville Ikon BSK500
  • Kenwood Animation DS700
  • Propert Glass Top Digital 1350
  • Salter 1004SSDR
  • Salter 1020BKSSDR
  • Target Modern Living EK8250
  • Terraillon BOOK
  • Terraillon T898W+JUG
  • Tupperware Bake 2 Basics

Mechanical - Continuous Weighing

  • Kenwood Cuisine DS403
  • Propert with Microwave Bowl 930
  • Salter Aqua-weigh 800
  • Target Modern Living KCI-SSP

Mechanical - Non-continuous Weighing

  • Salter 094
  • # Terraillon Tradition 500

# Discontinued but may still be in stores.

 
 

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The following models scored the best results in our test.

What to buy
Brand Price
Tupperware Bake 2 Basics $93
Salter 1004SSDR $160
Target Modern Living EK8250 $40

Results table

Full results for all models are shown in the table below.

  Electronic Scales
Brand / Model Overall Score  Ease of Use Score  Performance Score Maximum Capacity Metric &/or Imperial Battery Low indicator Time before auto power off (min) Weighing platform Price ($)
Tupperware Bake 2 Basics 
www.tupperware.com.au
89 87 91 3 Both Yes 3 Plastic 93
Salter 1004SSDR
www.salter.com.au
88 83 96 5 Both Yes 1 Stainless steel 160
Target Modern Living EK8250
www.target.com.au
86 83 91 5 Both Yes 2 Stainless steel 40
Breville Ikon BSK500
www.breville.com.au
83 83 83 5 Both Yes 2 Stainless steel 100
Salter 1020BKSSDR
www.salter.com.au
83 77 91 5 Both Yes 1 Stainless steel 80
Terraillon T898W+JUG
www.albi.com.au
82 73 96 5 Both Yes 1 Plastic (A) 65
Propert Glass Top Digital 1350
www.propert.com.au
79 70 92 3 Both Yes 3 Glass 40
Kenwood Animation DS700
www.kenwood-australia.com
74 70 79 3 Both Yes 3 Glass 80
Terraillon BOOK
www.albi.com.au
69 77 58 5 Both Yes 2 Plastic 139
 

* All electronic scales tested have 1 g increments.
(A) Platform and Jug/bowl

  Mechanical Scales
Brand / Model Overall Score Ease of Use Score
Performance Score  Maximum Capacity Metric &/or Imperial Weighing platform Weighing bowl Price ($)
Continuous Weighing

Salter Aqua-weigh 800
www.salter.com.au

66 63 71 4 Both Plastic Large, plastic 60
Target Modern Living KCI-SSP
www.target.com.au
66 50 91 3 Both Plastic Medium, plastic 17
Propert with Microwave Bowl 930
 www.propert.com.au
64 63 66 3 Both Plastic Large, plastic 20
Kenwood Cuisine DS403
 www.kenwood-australia.com
50 63 31 3 Both Plastic Large, plastic 30
Non - Continuous Weighing
Salter 094
www.salter.com.au
75 60 97 5 Both Metal Medium, stainless steel 150
Terraillon Traditional 500 (B)
www.albi.com.au
71 57 93 5 Metric Metal Medium, stainless steel 70
 

(B) Discontinued, but may be in some stores.

Using the table

Overall Score is made up of:

  • Ease of use: 60%
  • Performance: 40% (accuracy: 60%, continuous weighing: 40%)

How we tested

Our CHOICE Home Economist conducted a series of tests to check the accuracy of the scales over the claimed range for both the mechanical and electronic scales. A scales accuracy is measured by how close its measurement is to the true weight of the item. She also checked how consistent the performance was over a number of repeat measurements.

Continuous weighing of each model was also tested by using the tare function where it was available.

Our tester also assessed the labelling or the ease of reading the measurements, using the controls, the continuous weighing function if it was available and ease of cleaning.

Profiles - What to buy

Tupperware Bake 2 Basics

Price: $93Tupperware Bake 2 Basics

Maximum capacity 3kg

Good points

  • Best performer overall.
  • Excellent result for performance and very good ease of use.
  • Automatic turn-off screen.
  • Non-slip base.
  • Has a clock

Bad points

  • No weighing bowl.

Salter 1004SSDR

Price: $160Salter 1004SSDR

Maximum capacity 5 kg

Good points

  • Very good performance overall.
  • Equal best in performance.
  • Battery low indicator.
  • Non-slip base.
  • Good sized weighing platform.
  • Automatic turn-off screen.
  • Very good ease of use.

Bad points

  • No weighing bowl.
  • Most expensive model tested.

Target Modern Living EK8250

Price: $40Target Modern Living EK8250

Maximum Capacity 5kg

Good points

  • Scored very well overall.
  • Excellent results in performance and very good ease of use.
  • Automatic turn-off screen.
  • Battery low indicator.
  • Non-slip base.
  • Has a room temperature readout.
  • Has a timer.

Bad points

  • No weighing bowl.
  • This article online October 2008.

Profiles - the rest (electronic)

The remaining models - not included in the What to buy list - are profiled below in rank order.

Breville Ikon BSK500

Price: $100 Breville Ikon BSK500
Maximum Capacity 5kg

Good Points

  • Performed very well overall and for ease of use.
  • Automatic turn off screen.
  • Battery low indicator.
  • Non-slip base.
  • Has a temperature probe.
  • Has a timer.

Bad Points

  • No weighing bowl.

Salter 1020BKSSDR

Price: $80Salter 1020BKSSDR
Maximum Capacity 5kg

Good Points

  • Performed very well overall.
  • Excellent performance.
  • Easy to use.
  • Automatic turn off screen
  • Battery low indicator.
  • Non-slip base

Bad Points

  • No weighing bowl.
  • Smaller weighing platform.

Terraillon T898W+JUG

Price: $65 Terraillon T898W+JUG
Maximum Capacity 5kg

Good Points

  • Equal best performance.
  • Good ease of use.
  • Battery low indicator.
  • Non-slip base.
  • Weighing jug provided.
  • Automatic turn off screen

Bad Points

  • Metric measurement readings only.

Propert Glass Top Digital 1350

Price: $40 Propert Glass Top Digital 1350
Maximum Capacity 5kg

Good Points

  • Excellent performance.
  • Good ease of use.
  • Automatic turn off screen.
  • Battery low indicator.
  • Non-slip base.

Bad Points

  • No weighing bowl.
  • Smaller platform.

Kenwood Animation DS700

Price: $80 Kenwood Animation DS700
Maximum Capacity 3kg

Good Points

  • Good performance and ease of use.
  • Automatic turn off screen.
  • Battery low indicator.
  • Non-slip base.

Bad Points

  • No weighing bowl.
  • Smaller weighing platform.
  • Most weighing dishes/bowls will cover the readout so can be annoying to use.

Terraillon Book

Price: $139 Terraillon Book
Maximum Capacity 5kg

Good Points

  • Good ease of use.
  • Battery low indicator.
  • Non-slip base.
  • Automatic turn off screen.

Bad Points

  • Lowest overall for electronic scales.
  • Lowest for performance.
  • No weighing bowl.
  • One of the more expensive models tested.

Profiles - the rest (mechanical)

The remaining models - not included in the What to buy list - are profiled below in rank order.

Continuous weighing

Salter Aqua-weigh 800

Salter Aqua-weigh 800Price: $60
Maximum capacity 4kg

Good Points

  • Good result for performance.
  • Non-slip base.
  • Hand grip for base rotation.
  • Large weighing bowl.

Bad Points

  • Just OK for ease of use and overall.

Target Modern Living KCI-SSP

Target Modern Living KCI-SSPPrice: $17
Maximum capacity 3kg

Good Points

  • Excellent result for performance.
  • Cheapest model tested.

Bad Points

  • No non-slip base.
  • Difficult to zero (with no weight) as the scale slides along the bench.
  • Smaller weighing bowl.
  • Not easy to use.
  • Difficult to read the measurements.

Propert with Microwave Bowl 930

Propert with Microwave Bowl 930Price: $20
Maximum capacity 3kg

Good Points

  • Non-slip base.
  • Large weighing bowl.
  • Weighing bowl is microwave safe.

Bad Points

  • Just OK overall, for performance and ease of use.

Kenwood Cuisine DS403

Kenwood Cuisine DS403Price: $30
Maximum Capacity 3kg

Good Points

  • Non-slip base.
  • Large weighing bowl.

Bad Points

  • Lowest overall with a ‘borderline’ result.
  • Poor performance.
  • Just OK for ease of use.
  • Difficult to zero

Non-continuous weighing.

Salter 094

Salter 094Price: $150
Maximum capacity 5kg

Good Points

  • Best mechanical scale overall.
  • Excellent performance.
  • Non-slip base.

Bad Points

  • Just OK for ease of use.
  • Smaller weighing bowl.
  • Most expensive mechanical model tested.
  • No tare function.

Terraillon Tradition 500

Terraillon Tradition 500Price: $70
Maximum capacity 5kg

Good Points

  • Second best mechancal scale overall.
  • Second best for performance.
  • it is the only mechanical scale that had a minimum of 10g increments.

Bad Points

  • Borderline ease of use.
  • Metric measurement readings only.
  • Smaller weighing bowl.
  • No non-slip base.
  • No tare function.
  • Adjusting screw used to zero is small and difficult and uncomfortable to use.
  • Scale increments are very close together an can be difficult to read.

What to look for

  • Capacity The maximum weight the scales can hold for the domestic kitchen; 3 – 5 kg is sufficient. Bear in mind that the maximum weighing capacity of the scales includes the total weight of the ingredients and the weight of the bowl/tray.
  • Weighing bowl Some kitchen scales come with a lightweight bowl or measuring jug, which are handy and practical - particularly when using the tare function with heavy ingredients (you're less likely to reach the maximum capacity before you finish weighing). All bowls in this test are removable so you are free to use any container if you wish.
  • Weighing platform You want to have a large enough platform area to hold most of your ingredients, but it is OK if some of it hangs over the side as long as it is balanced and centred on the platform and you can still see the readout (e.g. the KENWOOD DS700 electronic scales had this problem) . Also your ingredients should never rest against anything other than the scales weighing tray, otherwise your readout will be inaccurate.
  • Tare is used to reset the scale to zero and allows for continuous weighing. To use the tare function, place the container on the scale and press the tare button or realign the measurement scales to zero for mechanical types. Your scale returns to zero allowing you to now add items to the scale and only see the weight of those items within it.
  • Imperial and metric measuring system Handy for using older recipes or gives you the option to use whichever system you’re most comfortable with.
  • Non-slip base This is more important for mechanical scales where the base is used to reset the scales to zero.
    Storage Mechanical scales can be bulky especially if they have a bowl attached, however the SALTER and TERRAILLON mechanical scales have an appealing, old-fashioned look that would sit nicely on a bench top in the right style kitchen. Electronic scales are quite compact and flat and can be stored away easily.
  • Liquid measure feature You can weigh liquids on any scale using a kilogram readout providing that they are of similar density to water. Weighing more or less dense liquids like honey or oil will give you a measurement either slightly more or less than the required amount, unless the recipe lists a liquid amount in grams rather than millilitres – which would be very unusual.

Electronic scales

  • Screen Easy to read digital display with clear labelling.
  • Automatic turn off screen Turns the screen off saving the battery when not in use. If you do lots of batch weighing, choose a model that has a longer time period before it switches off.
  • Battery Low indicator Digital display signal shows life of battery.

Mechanical Scales

  • Easy to read increments: the numbering should be clear with a contrast colour needle.
  • Easy to zero either by base rotation or dial.