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Types of Kitchen Scales

Mukta Gaikwad
Cooking in the truest sense of it is a mathematical formula. A delicious dish is a mélange of measured ingredients. To get it absolutely right, some form of a calculator is very essential. This is the reason why we require kitchen scales.
How much cheese is a handful? How much more or less is a cupful? What is the capacity of a glass, a tumbler, or a soup ladle? What is the difference between a suspicion and a pinch? How much more is a good pinch? How much wine is a little, how many olives a few? 
...When a book says a tin of chopped almonds or pomegranate juice what are you supposed to understand by that?
― Elizabeth David, Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen
Kitchen scales are extremely useful, especially at restaurants as they ensure exact use of expensive ingredients, such as spices so that there is minimal wastage. Various types of kitchen scales help in reducing the food cost and saving raw material.
The other beneficial use of kitchen scales is for people who are on strict diets. A simple measurement tool can help you ensure that the exact amount of food is being consumed.
So, whatever your reason maybe, having a kitchen scale in a five-star restaurant and simple kitchen at home has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Digital Kitchen Scale

Digital kitchen scales are modern scales. They have a flat platform on top and come with an embedded meter to measure the weight placed on it. According to editors of America's Test Kitchen, these scales are the most accurate and easiest to understand.
Digital scales require charging from time to time or a change of battery and can be adjusted to measure an increment of weight to one-hundredth of a gram. Digital scales are compact, and their measurements can be converted to kilograms too. However, it would not be possible to use the scale in case of a battery discharge and no power to charge it.

Balance Scale

The traditional balance scales are still widely used even today. With two plates suspended on either sides, the simplest way of balancing the weight is by keeping something of equal weight on the other side. Some of these scales come with predetermined weights.
In case you are looking for different weights, you can buy them separately. These scales are extremely easy to use, and any kind of weight can be measured easily. But, balance scales are slightly out-of-date scales, and hence, the measurements are not accurate.

Mechanical Scale

Mechanical scales use a platform mounted on a heavy spring to measure weight. The platform is used to hold the ingredients, which presses the spring down due to the applied force.
Such scales are usually used to measure heavy material; thus, they may not be able to measure small amounts. An advantage of mechanical scales are that they are considerably cheap and easy to use. However, as the springs wear out with usage, the measurements do not remain accurate over time.

Large-capacity Scale

This kitchen scale is best suited for commercial kitchens, like in restaurants. Small kitchen scales can measure only up to 5 lb.
However, if your requirement is of a big scale to measure big weights, then large-capacity scales are the ones for you. These scales make measuring heavy weights very easy. However, measuring small amounts is not possible.

Metric System Scale

While cooking, we come across recipes which sometimes provide measurements in pounds and ounces or in grams. A metric system scale allows you to weigh ingredients in grams too.
This is a great way of making your eastern recipes without any hassle of converting the measurements. You can also find scales that can measure both in pounds and grams.

Top-loading Dial Scale

These are the most convenient scales, and are hence, seen in most kitchens. This scale has a small plate or tray on top of its dial, which is used to hold the items to be measured.
The dial below gives you the exact reading once you have placed the weight on top. These scales come with weight increments of ¼ lb, but you can also find scales that have increments of tenth of a gram in the market.
This scale is effective for measuring day-to-day ingredients. Its compact size makes it a popular scale amongst most of the homemakers. But, measuring heavy weights is not really an option on this weighing scale.

Hanging Scales

Hanging scales are usually seen in places where heavy weights need to be measured. These can be suspended from the ground so that food stock to be measured can be hung properly.
These scales can measure weights of up to 600 lb. Since, these scales are meant for measuring big amounts, measuring smaller units becomes slightly difficult. You can use baskets to measure the material you intend to weigh. These are must-haves for most of the restaurant owners.
A kitchen scale is one of the important gadgets in your kitchen. It can become the item which makes or breaks your culinary skills. After all, a good cook is the one who knows exactly how much to mix and exactly how to fix.