How Accurate Should My Scale Be?
When it comes to measurements, you want to be accurate. Otherwise, what are you measuring for?
It’s frustrating when you consistently get an inaccurate reading, but it all depends on your scale. The more accurate your scale is, the more accurate your measurements will be.
The importance of accuracy
Accuracy is the most important quality for scales and measuring tools, and that includes the methods for testing and calibrating them.
Inaccurate weight measurements could mean a defective scale or a dud result. No matter what you’re measuring, a scale’s precision and resolution both contribute to the scale’s accuracy.
Accuracy, precision and resolution
There are three main qualities to determine the functionality of your scale.
Accuracy means that your scale will provide a result that is as close to the actual value as possible.
You didn’t think you could only get as close to the actual value as possible, did you? There’s more to it. While accurate scales are great for accurate measurements, there are also precise measurements.
Precision gives you the absolute closest value when repeating measurements of the same quantity. Meaning, measuring something over and over and getting the same value, also known as repeatability.
Pro Tip: A scale can be extremely precise but not necessarily be accurate.
Finally, resolution is the value that tells you how close your scale can read to the object’s true weight. For example, if a scale has a resolution of 1 gram, and the object weighs 50 grams, then the scale will provide a reading for up to one gram above or below the object’s true weight.
How accurate should your scale be?
Of course, scales and measuring tools should always be accurate, but like every other object, they will capitulate to normal wear and tear and become unbalanced.
Once your scale has become unbalanced, it needs to be recalibrated for accuracy.
How to know if your scale is accurate
Like we mentioned above, testing and calibrating your scale is important when it comes to accuracy. Calibration is the only way to know how accurate your scale is measuring. Follow our tips for accurate weight measurements here.
At Truweigh, we offer most of our scales in at least two readability options. This means they measure to either 0.1g or 0.01g.
- Scales measuring to 0.1g typically can handle a larger weight capacity. See scales here.
- Scales measuring to 0.01g are more accurate and precise than 0.1g (and slightly more expensive). See scales here.
In most cases, 0.1g is plenty accurate, especially if you’re using it in the kitchen, as most recipes will only measure to 0.1g. However, if you are dosing medication, your scale needs to be more precise with a more precise measurement, so a milligram scale is the best option.
Always make sure your scale can accurately and precisely measure your items and don’t forget to calibrate your scale.