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Uses Of An Electronic Scale

Updated on January 10, 2010

Electronic scales are used by both individuals and industries to precisely measure objects. The advantage the digital scales have over manual varieties of the ease of use and very accurate readings. Internal sensors utilize electrical resistance to measure the weight of the object on the platform. Readings can be automatically converted into different units such as ounces, pounds and grams. Most digital scales used in homes are used for weighing packages and food ingredients. More heavy duty varieties can measure hundreds of pounds and feature large platforms to accommodate oversized objects. The diamond industry uses scales every day to precisely measure the weight of their gems, with the common unit being the “carat” or “gram”. Veterinarians use a special type of scale to keep track of animals’ weight over time to monitor health patterns. We will discuss the many uses of the digital scale in this guide.

High Quality Electronic Scale
High Quality Electronic Scale


Whether it’s at home or at your local post office, an electronic scale weighs packages in preparation for shipment. Warehouses often use the “tare” feature on the scale to neglect the packing materials from the item to be shipped. This is done by first placing the open package onto the scale and then pressing the tare button which resets it to zero. The item is then placed in the box and the weight of the item appears on the screen. This is done to estimate the packing material and item weight for similar items of that size.

It is important to properly weight your items before shipment. Quoting the shipping carrier too low will result in your package being returned to sender. Some carriers will ship the item but request reimbursement from the recipient. Over quoting a shipping carrier will result in you paying too much for shipping. The only way to completely eliminate these errors is to use a digital scale.

For people on the go, there are pocket sized scales available that run off of batteries. This kind of compact technology just isn’t possible with manual scales.

Gem Scale
Gem Scale


Diamonds and gems are high end items that must be carefully weighed to determine their value. The gemstone industry takes this very seriously, and only uses high tech scales to measure their stock. Small items like gems are hard to keep contained on a flat weighing platform, so they are placed in small containers which the operator will tare before placing gems in. The price difference between a one carat and two carat diamond is significant, which is why operators will request a very precise measurement from the scale.


While teaspoons and measuring cups may do the job for most recipes, sometimes a more precise measuring device is needed. Electronic kitchen scales have their place in high end restaurants and bakeries that need to mix ingredients with exacting standards. Some recipes have little room for error, as the slightest change can offset the taste. Chefs will zero out the scale after each ingredient is placed on top. This allows chefs to measure each ingredient without using separate containers. You can use this method at home, too. Any digital scale will work if it has the proper units for cooking such as the ounce. Liquid ingredients are commonly weighed using the ounce. If your electronic food scale does not automatically convert units, it will have to be done manually using a calculator. Keep this in mind when purchasing a scale.

Pocket Sized
Pocket Sized

Pet Care

If you have a pet such as a dog or cat, you may notice that your veterinarian weighs them whenever they are brought in. Monitoring the weight of an animal over time can create statistical data that shows trends. If an animal loses weight over time, it could be caused by a parasite or sickness. This could otherwise go unseen without this measurement. The digital scale at the vet is different from the one at home. It features a large base and rubber grip so your pet will stay on during measurement.

Human Weight

An electronic bathroom scale is a common sight in many homes. Used to measure human weight, these scales help people reach weight goals and monitor weight over time.

Electronic scales are used in such abundance because of their great accuracy and dependability. Most often you can find a single scale to fit a variety of needs. A high quality scale can last many years of use.


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