How to calibrate a digital scale

Updated February 21, 2017

There are all kinds of digital scales that can be used to weigh objects. Smaller scales can be helpful while cooking or performing a scientific experiment. Individuals step on larger scales in order to see how much they weigh. Regardless of what kind of scale you own, it's important to calibrate the scale a few times a year to ensure that you receive accurate information when you do attempt to weigh an item.

Turn the digital scale on and wait for roughly 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Locate the correct calibration button on your digital scale. For most digital scales, it will be one of the following: "Function" or "FUN," "CAL," "MODE" or "CAL/MODE," "LB" or "KG."

Press and hold the calibration button until the screen on your digital scale changes. It will most likely first change to "0," "000" or "CAL." Continue holding the button until the scale goes into calibration mode. You will know this has occurred when the screen reads "CAL" followed immediately by a number. The screen may also simply display a number.

Place the correct test or calibration weight onto the scale. This will be the weight that came with your digital scale. If you have misplaced this weight, you can purchase a new one wherever you bought your digital scale or directly from the manufacturer of your digital scale.

Allow the weight to rest on the scale for roughly 3 to 5 seconds.

Press and hold the proper calibration button. Your screen will either change to "CAL," "0" or "END." Once this has occurred, turn your scale off. Let it rest for half a minute and then turn it back on. Your digital scale will have been calibrated and will be ready to use.


You will know unit of test weight to use (kg, lb., g, etc.) by looking in the bottom corner of the screen of your digital scale. This is normally where the units are displayed. If the units aren't displayed on the screen, you can usually find this information written somewhere on the scale, on the box of the scale or by looking your scale up on the Internet. Calibrate your scale anywhere between one to three times a year (depending on how often you use the scale) to ensure accuracy.

Things You'll Need

  • Calibration or test weight
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About the Author

Andrew Smith has been a freelance writer since 2006, specializing in sports and technology. His work has appeared on various online sites. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Pennsylvania State University.