When you are weighing an item for shipping, getting an exact weight is essential to making sure you budget the right amount of money to pay for the shipping service. There are two primary types of scales: digital scales and the ones with little lines on them that you have to manually determine how much an item weighs. Sometimes reading those lines is confusing. Here are some steps on how to read the lines of a weight scale.

Place the item you're weighing on the scale. See where the needle points. The weight of your item is going to be the number represented by where the scale's needle landed.

Note the two nearest numbers on the scale to where the needle is. Perhaps your needle has landed between a number 4 and a number 5. If your scale is based on kilograms -- like most in the UK -- this means that your item weighs somewhere between 4 and 5 kilogram (8.8 and 11 lb).

Count the number of little lines between the two main numbers nearest the needle.

Consider that there are 1000 grams in a kilogram. If there are 10 lines between the two main numbers nearest the needle on your scale, each little line counts as 100 grams. So if your needle is on the ninth line from the big number 4, your item officially weighs 4.9 kg, (about 11 lb).

Do some maths, if there are fewer than 10 little lines between your main numbers nearest the needle on your scale. If there are only five little lines on your scale and your needle falls in the middle of your fourth and fifth lines, your item weighs 4.9 kilograms (11 lb) as each line represents 200 grams of weight. To arrive at this figure, divide 1000 grams in a kilogram by 5 lines. You should find that each line represents 200 grams. The needle landed between the fourth and fifth line, so the maths determined that the weight was 4.549 kilograms (11 lb).