Digital Scales

typhoon digital scales

There is a huge range of digital kitchen scales to choose from, but the mechanics of how they work is pretty much the same and basically uses something called a strain gauge with the weight being displayed on an LCD.

Your choices include slimline platform based scales that can be stainless steel, glass or plastic. They can be circular, square or rectangular in shape. Your ingredient, or item to be weighed, is ether placed directly on the platform or in your own bowl. These kitchen scales are great for a minamalistic look on the worktop or if storage space is short they can be slid into the side of a cupboard or draw. Alternatively, there are more chunky looking digital kitchen scales that come with their own bowl. Again these can be various colours and shapes, can have a state of the art look or a retro feel. Some have fixed bowls, others a removeable bowl which will make cleaning much easier. Also, if you're short on space look for a scale that, when not in use, will fit inside its own bowl .

The average capacity of digital scales tends to be around 5kg with 1g (1/8oz) incriments although high capacity scales around 10 kg are available as are smaller portable pocket scales. Check out our page on speciality kitchen scales for more details of these alternatives.

Even at the cheaper end of the digital scale market (£10 - £15) expect to have functions such as imperial or metric weight choice and add and weigh, (where you weigh your first item then re-set the scale without removing your first item and then add and weigh your next item and so on). Other functions available can include liquid measuring; timer; clock; automatic switch off; temperature; measuring calorie and colestoral content of food. Another thing to bear in mind when buying digital scales is the size of the LCD. Remember you'll need to be able to see this clearly even when a large bowl or plait is placed on top of the platform. Also check what type of buttons are on the scale. Seamless buttons are best from a hygine point of view as there is no space around the button to trap spilt ingredients or dust.

Good quality digital kitchen scales are precise, quick and easy to use. The down side is that they can be inaccurate when battery power is low or can run out of power altogether (look out for scales with a low battery indicator and or mains adaptor). Some also have the tendancy to switch themselves off at the wrong moment - inconvenient when in the middle of an add and weigh function and you've gone to get another ingredient from the cuboard! One last thing to bear in mind is that digital scales can be affected by radio transmiting devices such as mobile phones or by microwave ovens. If you have problems with your digital scale not working properly its worth moving the scales / phone / microwave (whatever's easiest) then removing and reinstalling the batteries.