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The Uses Of A Gram Scale

Updated on January 10, 2010

 Gram scales are extremely precise weighing tools most commonly used in the medical and gem industries. A gram scale is effective at measuring small quantities of materials such as medication, food, precious gems, and chemicals. Powered by batteries or an adapter, these scales are lightweight, portable and can tackle a variety of jobs. A digital display shows the exact weight of the object. Unlike manual gram scales, digital varieties have very little moving parts, which lead to extended lifespan and high accuracy. Most scales are capable of accuracy down to a decigram or even milligram, depending on the intended use. Most small items are placed in a container before measurement. A digital scale can “zero out” the weight of the container to provide only a weight reading of the material being measured. We will discuss some of the many uses that a digital gram scale can fulfill.


Both professional and casual chefs appreciate the accuracy of digital gram scales for a variety of purposes. When putting together an exacting recipe, for example, there is no better way to tell if you have the proper amounts than measuring it. A small, convenient scale on the countertop provides a quick way to measure out ingredients. In many recipes, the smallest deviation from the instructions can drastically alter the taste.

A common use of the “tare” or “zero” button on the scale is to zero the scale after each ingredient is added. For example, a bowl is placed on the scale and cake ingredients are added, one after another. After each ingredient is put in, the chef zeros the scale and adds the next. This allows for each ingredient to be added consecutively and avoids individual measurement. Incorporating a scale into cooking regimens reproduces the recipe the way the creator intended.

Individuals who own small business that make food products such as dog treats and home made beef jerky can use these scales to measure out portions to be packaged.

Pocket Sized Scale for Gems And Coins
Pocket Sized Scale for Gems And Coins


The gemstone trade relies on exacting standards and measurement in the distribution of expensive gems. There are four units of measurement used in the gem trade, which includes the carat, grain, gram and momme. A gram scale can measure gens in units other than grams if you know the proper conversion ratio. For example, one carat is equal to 0.2 grams. A conversion factor can be used for just about any weight unit of measurement, which opens up many more uses for a gram scale. Actually, the gram is only used for measurement on gems that are of the less expensive variety. If the scale includes built in conversion factors, it makes it far easier to convert to the more precise values.

Amateur gem enthusiasts use scales to measure out gems to determine the value. Gems are often bought in lots than come with many sizes, colors and types. Knowing the carat or gram values of a gem can help determine proper resale value. Diamonds, gold and other valuables can be measured at home before taking them for appraisal or to be sold.


Pharmaceuticals are often measured in milligrams, which is 0.001 gram. A small quantity to be sure, but an electronic gram scale is more than capable of measuring this amount. Your local pharmacy uses a similar weighing system to make sure each patient gets the proper quantity of pills. At home, a prescription often calls for only half or a quarter of a pill to be taken. While you can use a pill cutter to bisect the pill, it is only a rough cut. A gram scale can make sure the quantity is correct. Capsules can also be measured by removing the casing and placing the contents into a container. The container can be zeroed out beforehand to give an accurate measurement.

Pocket Scale
Pocket Scale

Product Examples

Fast Weigh M-500 Portable Gram Scale

The Fast Weigh M-500 is an affordable and economical gram scale that fits in your pocket. Carry it around for measurements on the fly. A removable cover keeps the unit safe and can also be used as a tray expander for larger objects. A large LCD display clearly shows the measurements you take. It even has a built in tare function.

Food And Jewelry Scale
Food And Jewelry Scale

American Weigh Digital Bench Scale

This scale is designed for measuring food and jewelry. The stainless steel tray is durable and can accommodate large objects. Four different units of measurement are built in, including ounces, grams, troy ounces, and pennyweights. This is the perfect unit for use at home or the office. The sleek design will not take up excessive space, and looks great too.


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      Gina 7 years ago

      Loved this article as I'm looking for gram measurement for herbal remedies. thanks!