The Best Kitchen Scale of 2020
In testing and comparing compact, digital kitchen scales, the Azeus was the best in our review. When we tested accuracy by weighing calibration mass pieces, the Azeus measured each test piece precisely the same as its marked value. When we "raced" every combination of tested scales to assess their boot-up time, the Azeus came out just above the middle of the pack. We like that it uses a USB rechargeable battery. The large, lit screen is easy to see, and the variety of units available, for liquid and mass measurements, is much appreciated.
The Azeus controls are done with touch buttons. When you activate any of the button changes, you get no tactile feedback. Our test team liked buttons with positive feedback better than these non-moving touch-style buttons. At the time of selection, we liked the promotional pictures that suggest that the Azeus scale could be rinsed off or washed like dishes. However, a sticker on the device itself and the instruction manual indicates that the scale is to be protected from getting wet. That particular and widespread promotional picture is misleading.
The Nicewell Kitchen Scale is solid, cleanly designed, and has a capacity much greater than most. At 10 kg (about 22 pounds), the maximum capacity is more than enough for most home tasks. The base of the Nicewell is sticky, and the overall mass of the scale itself is pretty heavy. The result is that this scale doesn't get pushed around your counter or desk. We like this.
The large, smooth, stainless steel top of the Nicewell show smudges and fingerprints more than others. Cleaning is only possible with gentle wiping; no liquids allowed. In our accuracy testing, the Nicewell was decent, but couldn't register the smallest loads. Only a few scales in our review could differentiate well between masses under three grams or so.
The Ozeri ZK14-S kitchen scale is versatile, compact, inexpensive, and as accurate as it claims to be. It boots up quickly and is available in many different colors. It uses standard AAA batteries. In our accuracy testing, it, along with just a few others, weighed every calibrated load exactly as advertised, to the nearest whole gram. The six kilogram capacity of the Ozeri is greater than average.
Our primary complaint with the Ozeri is its small platform. The weighing platform is round. There is a small lip around the edge, which we like. Further, the unlit display screen lags behind the backlit versions on higher scoring models.
The AWS Pocket Scale is about the same size as a thicker version of your smartphone. It weighs small loads to the nearest tenth of a gram and displays that mass on a clear, lit screen. Its weighing function is similar to that of a typical kitchen scale. We especially like that, in the battery compartment, there is space for an extra set of AAA batteries. Why other consumer electronics do not include this attribute is a complete mystery to us.
The American Weigh Scales Pocket is much, much smaller, in every way than the other products we tested. One of the most limiting factors is the low maximum capacity. Six hundred grams, or about 1.5 pounds, isn't enough to weigh many of the things you really want to weigh. In our day-to-day use of scales, we have found that 5000g (or about 11 pounds) is a reasonable threshold for shipping estimates and recipe use. The AWS is a much lower capacity than that. For precise measurement of smaller loads, the AWS beats the rest of the competition.
The MyWeigh KD8000 is a robust, full-function kitchen scale. It delivers the results of your weight examinations in a wide variety of formats, including bakers-preferred percentage calculations. If you want to double (or halve or triple or adjust by 137%…) a recipe with great accuracy, this scale will do exactly that for you. Measure out the initial amount and then add or remove the ingredient until the screen reflects the mathematical change you desire.
Decades back, the KD8000 might have been compact and simple. With sensors, electronics, and power sources getting more and more compact all the time, other offerings are definitely smaller than the MyWeigh. Bulk and complication is our primary complaint with this Top Pick winner. It takes up more than four times the space of any of our other award winners. The power cord alone is only a little less bulky than the entire Top Pick AWS Pocket Scale.
The Etekcity Stainless kitchen scale features all the types of units you might want in your kitchen, is small, and looks clean and simple. It'll weigh for you in grams, ounces, and pounds. It will estimate the volume of water and milk (and liquids of respective and similar density) by these fluid's mass.
We performed four different weight accuracy tests with each tested scale. Some got every single test correct to the nearest tenth of a gram. None had more than two errors, and when they did the error was never more than one gram. The EtekCity missed two weights. One measurement was too much by one gram, and another was too little by one gram. In all but the most precise of applications, the errors we found with the EtekCity will be entirely unimportant.
The Oxo Good Grips scale is clean and simple. A couple of things stand out. First, especially in this age of enhanced attention on sanitation, we are glad to see the removable, washable weighing surface. You can replicate this on any scale with a plate, but for some reason, it is nice to see included and integrated on the Oxo. Next, the screen of the Oxo includes a timer. This timer counts up from zero. It is better than nothing, but for kitchen use, we wonder why it doesn't count down and include a basic alarm.
The construction of the Oxo is pretty lightweight. In use, we definitely liked the stability afforded by heavier scales. It is a minor difference, but heavier scales stay put between and during use better than the light ones. Also, in the realm of minor complaints, we generally prefer positive "click" buttons. The touchscreen style of this Oxo requires a little more attention than buttons that give clicking feedback.
The GreaterGoods Digital Food Scale is small and sleek. The small construction and grey color scheme virtually disappears in any kitchen; we appreciate this. In our accuracy test, it performed average.
The CR2032 battery is fairly common, but not as standard as the AAA batteries that others employ. In our repeated, head-to-head boot-up races, the GreaterGoods scored near the bottom of the pack. It differs from our leader by almost one second. This may seem minor, but in application, this can mean the difference between actually using your scale for portion control versus skipping that step in your meal preparations.
The Primo P115C scale from Escali is simple and basic. It perfectly measured all four of our calibrated accuracy test loads. It looks like you expect a scale to look. If you have a guest in your kitchen or office and ask them to grab the scale, they'll identify this Escali right away. Some of the other products do not look nearly as 'scale-like'.
The initial purchase price of the Escali is more than we'd expect for a product with this level of performance. We also wish the surface were a little larger. Finally, and especially at this price range, a lit screen would be very appreciated with the Escali.
The AmazonBasics Stainless kitchen scale is simple and clean. It isn't perfect, but it'll do most kitchen and office jobs just fine. Given the overall storage size and round surface, it has a relatively large weighing surface area. Small items on that surface won't necessarily roll over the lip at the edge.
The unlit screen is easy to read, but it would be even easier to view with a backlight. In our accuracy test, during which we weighed four known loads, the AmazonBasics scale misjudged by one gram each time, the weight of three of them. In actual application, a one gram error isn't a huge deal. However, when another competitor has measured, exactly, all four weights right to the nearest tenth of a gram, the Amazon product's performance stands out.
Why You Should Trust Us
We have been testing home, office, and recreational equipment for many years. We do so with a rigorous, objective, repeatable protocol and employ experts in the field. For these digital scales, we employed a team consisting of long time GearLab contributor Jed Porter and his girlfriend, Rosie De Lise.
Jed is a full-time mountain guide known for spreadsheeting everything. He loves weighing things and the scales required. He has one that records weights of every piece of gear in his possession, to the nearest gram. Rosie is a full-time eBay reseller, weighing packages for thrice-weekly shipping all around the world. She lent valuable insight into actual usability and efficiency. The testing protocol we developed mimics your actual use; we tested for accuracy, aesthetics, and ease of use. Within ease of use, we tested for, among other things, boot-up speed, button and screen use, units available, range, and ease of cleaning.
Analysis and Test Results
We applied our proven, flexible, customized, rigorous, and repeatable testing procedure to these kitchen scales. The result is confident, authoritative results that combine to truly give you actionable recommendations.
Ease of Use
For a kitchen scale to be of actual utility, it has to be easy to use. If it is easily stowed, fast to boot up, the right size, washable, and consisting of buttons and screens that are easy to activate and interpret, you will use it more often and with greater confidence. Ease of use is the most important consideration. They all look good enough, and all are accurate enough. How they differ in terms of ease of use is what truly differentiates them.
Let's look first at the display. We like large, lit displays. Half the scales have lit displays. It is no coincidence that most of our award winners have lit screens. The Etekcity Stainless is the only scale with a lit screen that didn't win an award. The Best Buy Ozeri ZK14-S is the only award winner that didn't have a lit screen.
Next, let us talk about boot-up speed. This wasn't a criterion on our radar at first. It wasn't until we had tested for a while that we realized how much this varied and how much it informed our overall impressions. To test, we simply performed a series of "head to head" tests and compiled a ranking. The Top Pick AWS Pocket scale is definitely the fastest. There is virtually no significant delay between the on button and weigh-readiness. At the other end of the spectrum, the Oxo Good Grips and Top Pick MyWeigh KD6000 are slow enough that we found ourselves waiting somewhat impatiently to gather basic data. The Editors' Choice Azeus is about average. The otherwise unremarkable GreaterGoods Scale is very fast to boot up. It does so almost as fast as the AWS.
Our test team preferred buttons with a positive "click". This could be a matter of personal preference. Some tested scales have "touchscreen" style buttons. This feels modern and innovative, but it makes for clumsier use. Tactile feedback from the buttons is definitely helpful. Of the award winners, only the Editors' Choice Azeus and Top Pick Nicewell scales had non-positive, "touchscreen" style buttons.
If your scale will sit out in view, you want it to look good. We collected a couple of opinions and found there to be enough patterns to draw conclusions. Our team preferred low profile, rectangular, steel, or glass scales, and the Editors' Choice Azeus was unanimously the best looking. The appearance of the Top Pick Nicewell is part of what earned it that award. Testers also liked that the Best Buy Ozeri ZK14-S comes in a whole bunch of different colors. Few of the others come in any different colors, much less the plethora of options that Ozeri gives you.
We tested accuracy by weighing calibration masses of known weights. We did so across a range of weights over a total of four tests with each scale. The most accurate scale got the "answer" right, to the nearest tenth of a gram. The least accurate scale missed three of the weights by one gram. In the grand scheme of things, given what we're typically weighing with these scales, this isn't a huge variation in accuracy. In short, for typical kitchen and office use, all the scales we tested are accurate enough.
If you demand absolute accuracy for small loads, the Top Pick American Weigh Scales Pocket scale is the absolute best. It has one-tenth gram resolution and weighed all our calibration weights exactly as marked. For reference, 1/10 of a gram is a little more than the weight of one typical grain of popcorn. One gram is seven grains of popcorn, roughly.
The Oxo Good Grips scale also has one-tenth gram resolution, but it wasn't quite as accurate as the AWS. Only when rounded to the nearest gram, did the Oxo get all the masses correct.
All the rest of the scales had one gram resolution. Among them, the Escali Primo P115C and Best Buy Ozeri got all four test rounds correct. The Azeus, Nicewell, MyWeigh, and Greater Goods scales were accurate with three of the four weights. For all four of these scales, the only one they missed was when weighing the one gram calibration mass. This is the hardest mass to get right, and arguably the least important. We aren't often using a scale like this to weigh exactly one gram of something.
We've summarized the options and detailed our testing. We found real and essential differences between these scales. The most important differences are amalgamated within the "ease of use" category. User interfaces and efficiency are the best differentiators of performance. Accuracy and aesthetics vary across the sample set, but you will have to decide for yourself exactly how significant the minor differences in these latter categories are, and proceed accordingly.
— Jediah Porter