Balance Scales

balance scales

Balance scales have a nostalgic appeal that take you back to years gone by. Not only do they look good they are considered very accurate and for that reason are the preferred kitchen scales of professional chefs like Delia Smith. They work by compairing an unknown weight placed in a pan on one side of the scale to a known weight placed on the other side until an equilibrium is found. Good quality balance scales are made of cast metal and these days can come in a variety of colours with either brass or polished stainless steel pans (bear in mind brass can tarnish over time). Weights for these scales often need to be purchased separately and are avilable in both in metric and imperial. There are two main styles of wieghts; either the traditional bell shape or round weights which can be stacked.

The down side to balance scales are that they can be fairly expensive - a good quality set of scales will set you back around £60 plus weights. Balance scales also tend to be large and heavy and for that reason are more easily stored on the kitchen worktop, so if space is tight this might not be the best option for you. You will also have to find somewhere to store the weights when not in use. Balance scales wont provide you with the instant results that a digital scale would. But consider them an investment - they're metal and mechanical so won't wear out or break down. Look after them and its unlikely you'll ever have to replace them.