How to Calibrate a Digital Scale? - A Very Useful Guide (2023)

Is it time to calibrate your digital scale? That is what we shall cover in this post.

Digital scales are widely used in businesses since most of them calculate the cost of items based on their weight, for example, the cost of vegetables and fruits, and having accurate measurements is of utmost importance.

Now, most digital scales are calibrated by the manufacturer, but with time, you may find the scale’s reading drifting slightly; you need to re-calibrate the scales to maintain their accuracy. In this guide, we will show you how to calibrate your digital scale with these easy to follow steps.

What you’ll need

  • Calibration weight
  • A stable surface

What is calibration?

Calibration can be defined as checking the accuracy of a specific digital scale by comparing it with a standard weight, known as a calibration weight. Over time, digital scales become less reliable due to wear, tear, and other variables, that’s why you need to re-calibrate your digital scale monthly for accurate measurements. Each digital scale model comes with its calibrating instruction, that’s why you need to refer to the manual, but the calibration protocol is the same for all digital scales.

(Video) How To Calibrate Digital Pocket Scales WITHOUT a Calibration Weight

When should you calibrate your digital scale?

It depends on factors such as the frequency of use, the environment, how important the weight is to your business, and the manufacturer’s recommendation or manual. Most scales are calibrated weekly, monthly, and even yearly, depending on those variables. More importantly, if you use your digital scale often, you need to increase the frequency of calibration to maintain its accuracy. It’s because of the wear and tear which may cause the digital scale reading to drift slightly. Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual and recommendations on when to calibrate your scale.

The environment of the scale affects the accuracy of the measurement, for example, if you use the scale in areas containing dust particles, excess humidity, and fluids, they may build up slowly and affect the normal functioning of the scales resulting in low performance. Also, if the scale is used where there are vibrations, mechanical shocks, and static electricity, they may take a toll on the scale’s accuracy. Frequent calibrations ensure that your scales are not affected by these environmental factors.

Finally, if the digital scale is vital for your business, you can’t afford even the slightest inaccuracy. A good example is a pharmaceutical company or lab where the slightest measurement error could lead to the loss of lives due to an overdose or an underdose. Also, if you notice that your digital scale requires calibration always, it might be a sign of a bigger mechanical problem that needs additional troubleshooting.

How to calibrate a digital scale?

It’s easy to calibrate a digital scale with the right calibration tools and the know-how; we came up with these easy to follow steps for you. Here is how to calibrate your digital scale;

  • Make sure the calibration surface is firm and stable, as a wobbly surface may impact the accuracy of th4 calibration. Also, the location should be draft-free.
  • Use a standard calibration weight, there is no point in calibrating your digital scale using approximation.
  • Next, you need to locate the calibration button which is usually denoted as “Cal”, “Mode”, or “Cal/Mode”.
  • Press and hold down any of these buttons till the reading on the LCD screen reads “0”, “Cal”, or “000”.
  • Now the scale is in calibration mode
  • Place your calibration weight at the center of the digital scale and not at the edge, as it would affect the reading accuracy. Also, this weight should not move or wobble during the calibration process.
  • Enter the weight similar to the calibration weight on the screen and lock in the calibration button, if the weight is shipped with the scale, the weight is usually pre-programmed in the digital scale.
  • Leave the scale to take in the measurement
  • Press the calibration button to end the calibration session and the scale will display the following words, “End”, “Cal”, or “0”.
  • The scale will reset automatically in most digital scales models
  • If it doesn’t, you are advised to switch off the scale for about 2-3 minutes before switching it on again
  • Your scale is now calibrated and rest assured that the next measurement will be accurate

Since most models require different calibration techniques, we are obliged to share another calibration technique as an alternative to the one listed above.

(Video) Calibration of the AMIR 0.01g/500g (KA8) Scale

  • Turn your scale on and leave it to stabilize till it reads 0.0g
  • Hold down the mode button which is usually denoted as “M” in most digital scales
  • The display should read “Cal” at this point
  • Press the MODE button to confirm that the reading on the screen is 0.0g
  • Place the calibration weight at the center of the weighing platform
  • Most models are pre-programmed, so they will display the calibration weight shipped with the product
  • If the calibration is successful, the words “Pass” will be displayed

What is the best digital scale for my kitchen?

After hours of research and testing, we were convinced that the Escali Primo Digital Scale is the best for your kitchen as it measures in increments of 0.05 ounces. Plus it has a maximum weighing capacity of 5 kilograms, which is good for a small to the medium-sized kitchen, and it takes up less space on your kitchen counter. Also, the user interface is pretty easy for beginners as it comes with only two buttons, one to power on/off the scale, and the other one to switch the measurements. Plus, it will only stay on for about 4 minutes before automatically switching off which saves on power. We highly recommend this digital scale for your small to medium-sized kitchen for all your weighing tasks like weighing your recipe ingredients.

How to calibrate my digital scale without a weight?

At times, the calibration weight can be lost or misplaced and may be expensive to replace. You have to calibrate the digital scale without a weight. In this case, we will show you how to calibrate your scale using items lying in your house like nickels or coins. Follow these steps;

  • Make sure the scale is clean; remember dust and fluids inside the scale take a toll on the measurement accuracy
  • Reset the scale reading to zero, make sure there is nothing on the weighing plate
  • In most scales, the calibration weight is usually 100 grams, in the absence of this calibration weight, we can use a substitute like nickel coins
  • Each nickel coin is 5 grams, so if you need to calibrate the digital scale with 50 grams you need 10 nickel coins
  • Press the calibration button before placing the nickel coins on the scale
  • The display will flash during calibration
  • Once it stops, the calibration is complete
  • Turn off the scale for a few minutes and test it again

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What coins equal 200 grams?

(Video) How To Calibrate A Digital Scale

The best coins to use in this case will be nickel coins. Each nickel coin weighs 5 grams, so if you want to calibrate using 200 grams, you’ll have to use 40 nickel coins.

2. How do you calibrate a Weighmax scale?

You can calibrate a Weighmax scale using the package’s calibration weight or any object with a known mass. The maximum weight you can use for calibration will be 500 grams, above this weight, the scale will be overloaded and the following words “OUTZ”, “EE”, and “EEE” will be displayed on the screen. Don’t overload the scale as it would damage it permanently during the calibration process. Here is how you should go about it;

  • Place the scale on a flat surface, devoid of draft and very firm and stable
  • Turn on the Weighmax scale and let it stabilize till it reads “0”
  • Press and hold the calibration key or button denoted as “CAL”
  • The display should read 0.0g at this point
  • Press it again and hold for about 4 seconds and the scale will display the full calibrating weight, in this case, 500 grams.
  • Place a similar calibration weight on the scale, in this case, 500 grams
  • Wait for the scale to stabilize, about 3 seconds before pressing the “CAL” button
  • The display will now read “PASS” and it will show the mass of the calibration weight
  • Calibration is now complete

Watch this YouTube video for more information.

3. Can low battery affect scales?

(Video) Digital Scale Calibration

A low battery or an unstable power supply causes the digital scale to malfunction. One sign that your battery has drained is fluctuating readings and screen sluggishness, both of which result in inaccurate measurements. When troubleshooting your digital scale, start by examining the batteries.

4. Does moving your scale affect its accuracy?

Moving your scale affects its zero weight balance and the weight fluctuates a lot, affecting its dependability and accuracy. You need to re-calibrate it after moving it to reset its internal parts.

Final Verdict

We’ve shown you how easy it is to calibrate your digital scale with calibration weights or without, and we also explained the factors affecting the accuracy of your scale. We also recommend the Escali Primo Digital Scale for your kitchen as it gives you accurate measurements when weighing ingredients for your recipe. Also, it is lightweight and it takes less space on your kitchen counter. Visit our website for more information on how to calibrate different digital scale models, plus you can share your experiences with us in the comment section.


What is the best way to calibrate a digital scale? ›

6 Steps to Calibrate Your Scale
  1. Clean the Weighing Scale. It's important to keep your weighing scale clean and well-maintained to ensure accurate readings. ...
  2. Change the Batteries. ...
  3. Turn the Scale On a Few Minutes Before the Calibration. ...
  4. Position the Scale Properly. ...
  5. Place a “Known” Weight. ...
  6. Use the Calibrated Weighing Scale.
Aug 23, 2022

Is there a way to adjust a digital scale? ›

How to calibrate your digital scale?
  1. Prepare the required calibration weight for your scale.
  2. Find a flat and level surface to perform calibration and let the scale adjust to room temperature.
  3. Press ON/OFF to turn the scale on and wait for the scale to stabilise.
  4. Press the CAL key.
Feb 20, 2020

How do I make sure my digital scale is accurate? ›

For the best results, step onto the scale, stand completely still and count to three. Three seconds is the ideal amount of time for the scale to obtain an accurate reading. Moving around and shifting your weight while standing on it, may cause inaccurate readings.

Why is my scale not calibrating correctly? ›

AN UNBALANCED LOAD. If there is an imbalance in the weight being placed on the scale, it can also cause the scale to give inaccurate readings. For example, if there is a heavy object on one side of the scale and a light object on the other side, the scale may give an inaccurate reading.

How to calibrate a digital scale without calibration weights? ›

Coins as Calibration Weights

Coins are minted to precise specifications, including weight, so they can serve as calibration weights. For example, a U.S. nickel weighs 5 grams. A penny weighs 2.5 grams. These numbers easily multiply, so 10 nickels can serve as a 50-gram calibration weight.

Why is my digital scale not reading correctly? ›

Check and make sure the floor where the scale is being used is level. If scale is still reading incorrectly, it may be out of calibration. To double-check take a known weight and place it on the scale to see what it is reading. If the scale is not within tolerance, the scale may need to be calibrated.

How do I know if my digital scale is calibrated? ›

With one foot, press the platform of the scale so that numbers appear on the display. Once you see zeros or dashes remove your foot. Wait for the scale to turn off again. Your scale is now calibrated.

What can I use to calibrate my scale? ›

Using certified calibration weights, or test weights, is the most accurate method for calibrating a scale and should be your first choice. This is also the only Legal for Trade method you can use to calibrate your scales.

Does it matter how you stand on a scale? ›

Why is Position Control essential? Not standing right on a bathroom scale is a common reason for mismeasurement. Even leaning a little bit on your toes or heels, or to the side, can distort the measurement. The weight displayed might be higher or lower than your real weight.

Why do digital scales give different readings? ›

Scale Is On An Uneven Surface

Always weigh your items on an even surface. If it's uneven in any way, the legs of the scale will shift towards sloped parts, which means more pressure will be put on certain parts of the scale as well. This results in bad and inaccurate readings all the time.

Can a digital scale be off by 10 pounds? ›

That is a large amount to be off by, but it could happen. Make sure you've checked that the scale is calibrated and that could fix it. However, even if it is off by 10 pounds it can still be of some use, in regards to tracking changes. You could say that the scale is “consistently inconsistent”.

How do you calibrate a scale step by step? ›

Perform Span Check: Place the verification weights in the center of the scale. Record the weight to readability of the scale. Confirm repeatability by placing one of the weights on the scale a second time to obtain the same weight. Confirm that the reading returns to zero when the weights are removed.

What weighs 1000 grams to calibrate a scale? ›

Bottled Water as a Reference Standard

If you are looking for something in your house to calibrate your scale that weighs within the range of 250 grams to 1000 grams, you can use a bottled water.

Is it possible to calibrate a scale? ›

To calibrate a scale, the technician utilizes certified test weights to apply the recommended applied load amount to the scale, then ensures that the scale indicator displays the correct amount of weight. The key to proper scale calibration is having the correct tools for the job.

What household item can I use to calibrate a digital scale 100 grams? ›

If you have 20 nickels, or 40 pennies, you have 100 grams that you can use for calibration. Place the coins on the scale and observe the reading. The mass should read 100.000 grams exactly.

What can I use instead of scale calibration weight? ›

If you don't have calibration weights, you can use a candy bar, since the outer wrapper does not have much mass. Alternately, you can use coins: Pennies made after 1983 weigh exactly 2.5 grams (0.088 oz). Nickels made after 1866 weigh 5 grams (0.18 oz)

Why does my digital scale say I weigh more? ›

It doesn't mean you're getting inaccurate readings; it's just normal fluctuations in your body weight throughout the day. That's why it's important to control for this variation by weighing yourself at consistent times and wearing similar clothing.

How often should digital scales be calibrated? ›

A scale that is used multiple times a day or every day of the week is subject to more wear and tear than a scale that is only used once every few days. If your scale is being used frequently, it's calibration should be checked more often - once every month, or perhaps even every week.

How many grams does it take to calibrate a scale? ›

It is recommended you check the calibration of your scale at least monthly. To check the calibration, weigh the calibration weight that comes with the scale (usually 500 grams). The reading should be within . 2 of 500 grams.

How many quarters weighs 100 grams? ›

If you divide 100 by 4, you will get the answer of 25. This means that 25 quarters weigh 100 grams.

Where is the most accurate place to put a scale? ›

The best surface for a scale is a hard surface such as a flat bathroom or kitchen floor. It may be cushioned too much by carpet or other soft surfaces, which can make the scale off balance and give you inaccurate readings. Weight an object or yourself in the location you have your scale.

When should you not weigh yourself? ›

A person should also avoid weighing themselves on the days before their period. During the week leading up to menstruation, hormones cause fluctuations in weight. These fluctuations can temporarily affect weight measurements.

Should you lean forward when weighing yourself? ›

The right position. Once you are on your scales, try to keep your back straight and feet flat, spreading your weight evenly. Don't lean forward. Tip: weigh yourself on the same scales, not every scales are set the same and this could alter your results.

Why is my weight different every time I step on the scale? ›

Daily weight fluctuation is normal. The average adult's weight fluctuates up to 5 or 6 pounds per day. It all comes down to what and when you eat, drink, exercise, and even sleep. Read on to learn more about how these factors affect the scale and when to weigh yourself for the most accurate results.

Can a scale be wrong if battery is low? ›

Low Battery Power Affects Accuracy

Low batteries and poor battery connections are the leading cause of scale malfunction and inaccurate readings when recording measurements on digital scales. For accurate measurements, it is essential that the scale's components receive the required amount of power.

What affects digital scales? ›

6 Factors that effect scale accuracy
  • Response Time. The response time of a load cell is how long the load cell takes to stabilise and present an accurate reading. ...
  • Creep. ...
  • Hysteresis. ...
  • Temperature Changes. ...
  • Non-linearity. ...
  • Non-repeatability. ...
  • Gravitational Effect. ...
  • Vibration.
Jun 4, 2021

Why don t doctors use digital scales? ›

Factors like humidity, temperature, altitude, calibration, and even location can show you inaccurate metrics. In addition, a digital scale's calibration method can sometimes be opaque and error-ridden, which is another reason why most doctors use analog scales.

How many pounds do you take off for clothes on a scale? ›

The authors concluded that women can subtract 1.75 pounds and men can subtract 2.5 pounds for their clothing (don't wear shoes). So, next time you're getting weighed in a clinical setting, be sure to mention to whomever weighed you to subtract 1.75 pounds on your record!

How much weight do you take off with clothes on scale? ›

Men can lop off nearly 2.5 lbs to account for their clothing while women can only subtract around 2.

Why does my scale show different weights when I move it? ›

#1 Every time a digital scale is moved it needs to be calibrated. Initializing the scale resets the internal parts allowing the scale to find the correct “zero” weight and ensure accurate readings. If the scale is moved and you do NOT calibrate it, you are likely to see fluctuations in your weight.

What can I use at home to calibrate my scale? ›

Calibration weights normally range anywhere from 1 mg to 30 kilograms (66 lb). If you don't have calibration weights, you can use a candy bar, since the outer wrapper does not have much mass. Alternately, you can use coins: Pennies made after 1983 weigh exactly 2.5 grams (0.088 oz).

Do digital scales lose accuracy over time? ›

Electronic scales may suffer malfunction in the circuitry over time that can cause loss of accuracy. Even new scales may become inaccurate in certain conditions especially in extreme temperatures. For this reason, the most accurate scales will have high-temperature stability.

How long does it take to calibrate a digital scale? ›

It only takes a few minutes, and when done correctly, guarantees the measurements you are taking are accurate each and every time.

Why does my digital scale give me different readings? ›

Scale Is On An Uneven Surface

Always weigh your items on an even surface. If it's uneven in any way, the legs of the scale will shift towards sloped parts, which means more pressure will be put on certain parts of the scale as well. This results in bad and inaccurate readings all the time.

What weight should I calibrate my digital scale? ›

Generally, you will need weights that equal at least 12.5% of the scale's capacity, though some lower capacity scales may require weights equal to the full capacity. For example, if you have a scale with a 50-pound capacity, Handbook 44 recommends using calibration weights equal to 50 pounds to calibrate the scale.

What is the uncertainty of a digital scale? ›

This is a measure of how well a scale can be read. For an analogue scale, the uncertainty is ± half of the smallest scale division. For a digital scale, the uncertainty is ± 1 in the least significant digit.

Why do I look like I ve lost weight but the scale is the same? ›

It's possible to gain muscle and reduce body fat without actually seeing a change in your weight. This happens when you lose body fat while gaining muscle. Your weight may stay the same, even as you lose inches, a sign that you're moving in the right direction.

Why does my scale say I weigh more than I ever have but I don t see it? ›

1. You have gained muscle mass. If you've been training hard and get on the scales and see you've gained a few kilos (but still feel the same weight, or slimmer), chances are you've gained muscle mass, which is much more dense than fat.

Why does the scale say I weigh more but I look the same? ›

One easily forgotten reason is that your weight only indicates your body mass index (BMI), not your body composition, which is the amount of muscle versus fat you have on your body. Your body composition makes a huge difference in what you look like even though it can't be measured by the scale.


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