The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

Best Kitchen Scale of 2020

Precision eating requires precise measurements. A great kitchen scale is really an investment in a great diet.
By Jediah Porter ⋅ Review Editor
Thursday September 17, 2020
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Whatever it is you might be weighing, a kitchen scale is handy. In 2020, we investigated 25 of the best, purchasing and testing the top 11. We evaluated each one for aesthetics, accuracy, and ease of use. Within ease of use, we further subdivided our testing to consider, among other things, boot-up speed, ability to clean, units, and display characteristics. Our first-hand, comparative review flexibly follows our rigorous protocols. We tested scales objectively and critically, with consideration as to how you will actually use it.

1

Best Overall Kitchen Scale


AZEUS USB Rechargeable Digital


Editors' Choice Award
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$24.99
(4% off)
at Amazon
See It

Surface Area (sq in): 40 | Lit Display?: Yes
Accurate
Visually appealing
Mixed messages on water resistance
Imprecise "touchscreen" style buttons

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, it measured each test piece precisely the same as its marked value. When comparing start-up speeds, the Azeus came out just above the middle of the pack. We like that it uses a USB rechargeable battery. In months of semi-regular use now, we haven't had to recharge the battery at all. The screen large and well lit, making it is easy to use and see. The scale offers a wide assortment of measurement units for both liquid and mass measurements.

The Azeus controls are done with touch buttons, but when you activate any of the button changes, you get no tactile feedback. Our test team preferred buttons with positive feedback better than these non-moving touchscreen-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 not meant to get wet. That particular and widespread promotional picture contradicts the product information we received with the product itself. We did not get the scale wet to verify one perspective against the other but is certainly a confusing message to send to consumers.

All a scale does is measure mass. However  it can be programmed to do internal math that deduces other things. In this case  measuring milk volume by measuring its mass and correcting for the average density of milk.
All a scale does is measure mass. However, it can be programmed to do internal math that deduces other things. In this case, measuring milk volume by measuring its mass and correcting for the average density of milk.

2

Best High Capacity Scale


Nicewell 22-lb Digital Kitchen Scale


Editors' Choice Award
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$25.98
(44% off)
at Amazon
See It

Surface Area (sq in): 45 | Lit Display?: Yes
Heavy and stable
Clean design; no visible brand
Ten kg capacity
Expensive
Touchscreen buttons

The Nicewell Kitchen Scale has a clean aesthetic and offers a capacity much greater than most other options. At 10 kg (about 22 pounds), the maximum capacity is more than enough for almost any home kitchen project. The base of the Nicewell is sticky (in a good way), and the overall mass of the scale itself is pretty heavy. This makes for a highly stable scale that doesn't get pushed around your counter or desk.

The large, smooth, stainless steel platform of the Nicewell show smudges and fingerprints more than others. Cleaning is only possible with gentle wiping; no liquids allowed, according to product instructions. In our accuracy testing, the Nicewell was decent but couldn't register the smallest loads. Only a few scales in our review could differentiate between masses under three grams or so.

The NiceWell scale is sturdy and stable. For Rosie's busy desk and fast-paced shipping  she liked that it stayed put through the jostling.
The NiceWell scale is sturdy and stable. For Rosie's busy desk and fast-paced shipping, she liked that it stayed put through the jostling.

3

Good Performance at a Great Price


Greater Goods Digital Food and Kitchen


Best Buy Award
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$13.95
(13% off)
at Amazon
See It

Surface Area (sq in): 39 | Lit Display?: No
Thin and compact
Unobtrusive look
Non standard battery
Slow boot up

The GreaterGoods Digital Food Scale is small and sleek. The small construction and grey color scheme virtually disappear in any kitchen; we appreciate this. In our accuracy test, it was an average performer. Average accuracy, in this case, is pretty darn good. A one gram error here and there will hardly be noticed in any normal kitchen or home use.

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. Boot up time is one of the biggest differentiators in this otherwise pretty comparable category of consumer electronics.

4

Best Bang for the Buck


Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction


Best Buy Award
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$13.96
(13% off)
at Amazon
See It

Surface Area (sq in): 24.5 | Lit Display?: No
Available in many colors
High capacity
Small platform

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 weighing platform. The round platform doesn't provide a lot of space to fit things onto the scale. The higher than average load capacity doesn't amount for much because you don't have space to put bigger items on the scale. One feature we did find to be useful is the small lip around the edge. Additionally, the unlit display screen was less pleasant to use than the backlit versions on higher scoring models. Overall this is a basic but high-quality scale being offered at a good price.

The Ozeri scale is simple  compact  and comes in a variety of colors. It can be had for a very low price.
The Ozeri scale is simple, compact, and comes in a variety of colors. It can be had for a very low price.

5

Best for Meal Preppers


GreaterGoods Nourish Digital


Top Pick Award
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$39.95
at Amazon
See It

Surface Area (sq in): 54 | Lit Display?: Yes
Large surface area
Can calculate nutritional content
Small display screen
Only offers grams and ounces as units

The GreaterGoods Nourish digital food scale is a niche option for those who want to get serious about meal prep and nutritional content. This scale comes with a handbook of over 2000 foods that, in conjunction with weighing your food, lets you enter a corresponding code that will tell you the nutritional content of whatever you weighed. The display, though small, is well backlit and easy to read. The scale is also equipped with rubberized feet on the bottom that keeps the scale from sliding around while in use. It had decent bootup times, going from off to weigh ready in about two seconds. It's accuracy, although not perfect, was in line with all the other scales we tested.

The nutritional content function makes the scale more complicated to use than most and is entirely reliant on having the food code bank manual on hand. With its focus on nutritional content and meal prep, the only units it displays are grams and ounces. While you could use this to weigh anything, we found the nutritional content display to be visually distracting and too specialized for everyday use.

The GreatGoods Nourish displaying the weight and nutritional content of a sweet potato.
The GreatGoods Nourish displaying the weight and nutritional content of a sweet potato.

6

Excellent Percentage Calculations


MyWeigh KD-8000


Top Pick Award
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$54.04
(4% off)
at Amazon
See It

Surface Area (sq in): 45 | Lit Display?: Yes
Wall plug or battery-powered
Removable, cleanable platform
Large and bulky
More moving parts complicate usage

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, this scale will do exactly that for you. You can measure out the initial amount and then add or remove the ingredient until the screen reflects the mathematical change you desire. We like that it will run on batteries or on wall power. No other scale we tested could be plugged into a wall outlet.

Compared to the other offerings in 2020, the KD8000 is neither the most compact nor the easiest to use. With sensors, electronics, and power sources getting more and more compact all the time, other offerings are definitely smaller than the MyWeigh. Bulky and complicated to use, it takes up more than four times the space of any other award winner. The power cord alone is only a little less bulky than the entire AWS Pocket Scale.

The MyWeigh has a unique "percentage" feature. Here we measured out one serving of peanuts  and then removed half. Actually  we've removed 51.5%; 48.5% of the original serving remains. This is helpful in many food and recipe contexts.
The MyWeigh has a unique "percentage" feature. Here we measured out one serving of peanuts, and then removed half. Actually, we've removed 51.5%; 48.5% of the original serving remains. This is helpful in many food and recipe contexts.

7

Excellent Mini Scale


American Weigh Scale Digital Pocket


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$8.90
(11% off)
at Amazon
See It

Surface Area (sq in): 7.5 | Lit Display?: Yes
Tiny
Accurate and precise
Small surface area
Small range (max 1.5 lb)

The AWS Pocket Scale is just a little thicker than your average 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; it is just much smaller, with tighter resolution and a lower max weight. One of our favorite features is the additional space for an extra set of AAA batteries in the battery compartment. Why other consumer electronics do not include this simple and appreciated 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 AWS Pocket Scale is tiny and very accurate at low ranges. Here we weighed exactly one gram of popcorn kernels. We are confident in the mass because we had just tested this scale's calibration with a known 1g mass.
The AWS Pocket Scale is tiny and very accurate at low ranges. Here we weighed exactly one gram of popcorn kernels. We are confident in the mass because we had just tested this scale's calibration with a known 1g mass.

8

Kitchen Ready Units


Etekcity Kitchen Digital Scale


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$13.99
(26% off)
at Amazon
See It

Surface Area (sq in): 30 | Lit Display?: No
Lots of units options
Fast boot up
Smaller platform
suffered a little in our accuracy test

The Etekcity Stainless kitchen scale features a wide selection of measurement units, is small, and looks clean and simple. It'll weigh for you in grams, ounces, and pounds. It will accurately deduce the volume of water and milk (and liquids of similar and respective 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. This makes it the poorest performing scale, in terms of accuracy, in our test. One measurement was too much by one gram, and another was too little by one gram. This may sound dramatic, but it isn't. In all but the most precise of applications, the errors we found with the EtekCity will be entirely unimportant. If you commonly operate in such precise situations, a science-grade balance is going to be required; consumer-grade kitchen electronics like this don't stack up.

9

Removable Silicone Surface


OXO Good Grips 6-lb Precision


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$49.99
at Amazon
See It

Surface Area (sq in): 32 | Lit Display?: No
Compact
Removable, washable surface
Light and easily bumped
Touchscreen buttons

The Oxo Good Grips scale has a minimalist design. 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 it is nice to see this feature 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. Bumping and chasing your scale around the kitchen counter is a minor annoyance, but an annoyance nonetheless. 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.

10

Simple, Uniform Performance


Escali Primo Digital


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$33.99
(15% off)
at Amazon
See It

Surface Area (sq in): 22 | Lit Display?: No
Traditional round look
Accurate
Expensive
Unlit screen

The Primo P115C scale from Escali is simple and basic and 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 it right away. Some of the other products do not look nearly as 'scale-like'.

The initial purchase price 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. Value and usability concerns like these are minor, but are the things that truly differentiate products like this.

11

Excellent Price


AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Digital Kitchen Scale


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$10.99
at Amazon
See It

Surface Area (sq in): 33 | Lit Display?: No
Lip on weighing surface
Above average boot-up time
Accuracy issues

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.

Larger  lit numbers are easier to view. We measured all the numbers on every scale.
We employed and compared every function of every scale we tested. Here  the only two that will measure the volume of both milk and water. Both scales gave equal results for each glass.
Most of our testing took place in "real world" use. Here  the NiceWell on the kitchen counter  ready for action.

Analysis and Test Results


We've summarized the options and detailed our testing. We found real and essential differences between these scales.

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.

Perhaps you already know this  but you can "tare" each of these scales with an empty container (in this case  the bowl) and the scale will measure just the weight of the apples. The scale does the subtraction for you.
Perhaps you already know this, but you can "tare" each of these scales with an empty container (in this case, the bowl) and the scale will measure just the weight of the apples. The scale does the subtraction for you.

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 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 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 MyWeigh KD6000 are slow enough that we found ourselves waiting somewhat impatiently to gather basic data. The Azeus is about average. The otherwise unremarkable GreaterGoods Scale is very fast to boot up. It does so almost as fast as the AWS.

Boot-up speed isn't absolutely crucial  but you will notice a slow processor. Here lead tester Jed Porter "races" every combination of scales to deduce relative boot up speeds.
Boot-up speed isn't absolutely crucial, but you will notice a slow processor. Here lead tester Jed Porter "races" every combination of scales to deduce relative boot up speeds.

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 Azeus and Nicewell scales had non-positive, "touchscreen" style buttons.

Measuring water volume by measuring its mass is more precise and faster than doing so with a measuring cup. The Azeus does this internally. With the slightest bit of math skills  you can deduce water volume from raw weight numbers.
Measuring water volume by measuring its mass is more precise and faster than doing so with a measuring cup. The Azeus does this internally. With the slightest bit of math skills, you can deduce water volume from raw weight numbers.

Aesthetics


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 Azeus was unanimously the best looking. The appearance of the Nicewell is part of what earned it that award. Testers also liked that the 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.

When the scale will sit out and visible in your kitchen you want it to look nice.
When the scale will sit out and visible in your kitchen you want it to look nice.

Accuracy


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 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 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 tested weighing accuracy with a set of calibrated steel masses purchased for exactly this task.
We tested weighing accuracy with a set of calibrated steel masses purchased for exactly this task.

Conclusion


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. 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