How to tell if your weighing scales are accurate?

Updated April 17, 2017

Whether you are using scales for measuring ingredients in your kitchen, using a scale for recording weight loss or gain or you use scales to measure items for a business you need to know that your scales are above reproach. Unreliable scales can mean that you are shortchanging customers or you are losing money. In any even the best way to provide for accuracy in weights is calibrating your scales frequently. Keeping your scales clean and calibrated will assure accurate weights in every endeavour for which you use your scales.

Place the scale on a flat level area of the floor away from the toilet or sink so it cannot be jarred when others use the bathroom.

Put two of the 5-pound bags of flour in a pillowcase or mesh grocery sack. Bring the scack or case with the flour into the room where you have placed the scale.

Check to see that the scale's reading line is on "0." If it is electric, tap the scale with your foot and wait for the scale to read "0."

Place the sack or case with the flour on to the scale. Within seconds the needle or digital reader should appear on a number. Since you are using two 5-pind bags, the needle or readout should say 4.54 Kilogram.

Find the adjustment knob located on the top or side of the scale and adjust it to 10 if the reading is not 10. If the scale starts out at "0" the chances are that your scale is calibrated correctly, but double checking this way will give you peace of mind. If you have a digital scale, change the battery if the scale starts behaving poorly.


Weigh yourself at the same time and with the scale in the same position.


If you use your scales for business, check the regulations for calibrating scales in your locality.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 pound bags of flour
  • Pillow case or mesh grocery sack
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About the Author

Based in West Windsor, N.J., Sarah Silverman has been writing computer- and electronics-related articles since 1990. Her articles have appeared in “Wired” and “Ericsson” magazines. She received the Kim Swiss Award in 2006. Silverman holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Rochester in New York.