People have been using weighing scales for thousands of years, but only until recently have very accurate weighing methods been available. The original scales were developed to enable accurate commerce along major trading routes, which is still an important function today. However, aside from commerce, weighing scales are now also crucial parts of the work of medical and scientific professionals.
In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about weighing scales, including its history, its uses, benefits, and more.
Weighing Scale Description
A weighing scale is defined as “a measuring instrument for determining the weight or mass of an object. A spring scale measures weight by the distance a spring deflects under its load. A balance compares the torque on the arm due to the sample weight to the torque on the arm due to a standard reference weight using a horizontal lever. Balances are different from scales, in that a balance measures mass, where as a scale measures weight.
Weighing scales are used in many industrial and commercial applications, and products from feathers to loaded tractor-trailers are sold by weight. Specialized medical scales and bathroom scales are used to measure the body weight of human beings.”
History of Weighing Scales. The history of weighing scales dates back to Ancient Egypt, with a simple equal-arm balance on a pivot which compared two masses. Around 1,000 BC, societies in Asia and the Mediterranean acknowledged the need for a standardized weighing system.
Traditionally, a weighing scale was a device that displayed weight by measuring a ‘deflection’, such as a spring scale. However, in modern weighing machines, scales generally use springs or strain gauge load cells.
Weighing Scale Benefits and Features
Today, there are many types of scales from analogue weighing scales to digital weighing scales, as well as scales used for different industries – from commercial uses to medical uses. Below, we list down some types of weighing scales, as well as their features and benefits.
- Digital Kitchen Scale
Digital kitchen scales are used for weighing food in a kitchen during cooking. These are usually compact and light-weight.
- Electronic Counting Scales
Electronic Counting Scales are ideal for anywhere an exact count is necessary. For example, manufacturing plants use counting scales to count the number of bolts, screws, washers and more.
- Digital Bathroom Scales
A digital bathroom scale is a scale on the floor which a person stands on. The weight is shown on an LCD or LED display. Some digital bathroom scales show more than just weight – it can also calculate and display body fat, lean mass, muscle mass, and BMI.
Also, some bathroom scales are cellularly or wirelessly connected and have features like fitness tracking and smartphone integration. They are typically powered by a button cell, or battery of AA or AAA size.
- Crane Scales
Crane Scales are typically used in the manufacturing and transportation of cargo. Knowing the weight of a load is vital when transporting large amounts by plane, ship, or train because the weight may change the distribution of the freight. If it’s not monitored properly, this could endanger the crew and the rest of the cargo being transported.
- Precision Electronic Scales
Precision Electronic Scales are used to describe a digital weighing scale that is accurate and precise in its measurement. They are suitable for use as high-quality medical scales within a laboratory or medical setting because of its precise nature and advanced technology.
- Supermarket and Other Retail Scales
Supermarket and Other Retail Scales are used in modern grocery, bakery, produce, seafood, meat, and other perishable goods departments. Supermarket scales can print receipts and labels, mark mass and count, unit price, and total price. Also, some modern supermarket scales print an RFID tag that can be used to track the item for returns or tampering.
In most cases, these types of scales have a sealed calibration so that the reading on the display is correct and cannot be tampered with.
- Washdown Scales
Washdown Scales can be washed thoroughly, as they utilize stainless steel parts and watertight seals. This type of scale is ideal for use in many industries, and they are well-suited for weighing chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, or for any application requiring a sealed scale for wet or dusty environments.
Since it can be thoroughly washed, this enables the removal of any lingering particles after weighing, which reduces the risk of cross-contamination, removes dirt build-up, and helps eliminate the growth of mold, bacteria, and other toxins.
Weighing Scale How to Use
As mentioned above, there are many different types of weighing scales available. Each scale comes with its own set of instructions on how it can be used.
In this section, we’ll be discussing how to use a bathroom scale. Whether you have an analog scale, a digital scale, or a smart scale – we’ve got you covered.
- How to Use an Analog Weighing Scale
To use an analog weighing scale:
- Put the Analog Weighing Scale on a hard surface.
- Calibrate the scale.
- Check the scale and make sure it’s on zero.
- Step on it and let it calculate your weight.
Clean your analog weighing scale from time to time. Also, don’t allow it to be used by too many people cause the springs will start to loosen up.
- How to Use a Digital Weighing Scale
To use a digital weighing scale:
- Place the Digital Weighing Scale on a hard, flat surface.
- Switch it on and wait for it to show a constant zero.
- Set the weight mode to pounds or kg.
- To calibrate the device, step on and step off of it once.
- Step on it and stand still for 3 around seconds so that the digital weighing scale can measure your weight correctly.
- Step off of the device and see the result. Most of the devices automatically turn off after 10 seconds of weighing.
Clean your digital weighing scale with a soft and dry piece of cloth. Don’t use any soap, detergent, or any cleaners. Don’t immerse the device in water. Keep the digital weighing scale away from humidity and moisture. If the device is showing a low battery sign, change the batteries.
- How to Use a Smart Weighing Scale
To use a smart weighing scale:
Note: Different smart weighing scale brands have different methods for connecting the device to your smartphone. Check out the user guide of your smart weighing scale for more information on syncing the device with the phone.
- Remove any plastics, packaging, and other materials.
- Set the batteries in the device to start the machine. Align the negative and positive side contact properly.
- Start and calibrate the machine.
- Connect the smart weighing scale to your phone through WiFi or Bluetooth.
- Set up a profile for yourself on your phone, including your name, age, gender, height, and other information.
- Select the weight mode to pounds or kg.
- Place the device on a hard and level surface for accurate results.
- Step on to the smart weighing scale barefoot on the sensors.
- Wait until the device is done measuring your weight and compositions.
- Step off of the device to see the result on the smart weighing scale or your phone.
Don’t step on to your smart weighing scale with shoes on as the sensors will not work. Also, make sure to clean your feet before stepping on to the smart weighing scale. Dirt on your feet can cause miscalculation or altered results. Clean the machine with a soft and clean piece of cloth. Change the batteries when it needs to be changed. Store in a clean and dry place.
Weighing Scale User Reviews
Here are some reviews from people who have used weighing scales:
“Very, very nice weighing scale. Very accurate. And it’s really brand new and the price is amazingly affordable the non-digital ones are 600 at the mall. I am very pleased with this digital scale. Have been using it for almost a week now.” – Indygo, Weighing Scale LED Digital Body Fat Weight Scale Electronic
“The app downloaded easily, synced easily to the scale, and even easily synced with my fitbit app. Works like a regular scale, except there are a whole bunch of measurements on the app (I’m not very knowledgeable on what they all mean) and they all have descriptions.
It seems really cool and I can’t wait to continue using it to collect more long term data and see the patterns that emerge.” – Courtney, FITINDEX Bluetooth Body Fat Scale, Smart Wireless BMI Bathroom Weight Scale Body Composition Monitor Health Analyzer with Smartphone App
“The Etekcity bathroom scale is used daily in our home. We love the weight and durability of the scale, and how sleek and stylish it looks. We have only had this scale for a week and the accuracy had been bang on each time. We also love the LED backlight and size of the numbers…no more straining to see our weight.
Other scales we have had in the past, did not last very long…maybe a year if we were lucky and not very accurate. Hopefully this scale will last us for a long time. We are happy that we picked this model and would highly recommend the Etekcity Digital Body Weight Bathroom Scale to anyone looking for a quality scale.” – John, Etekcity Digital Body Weight Bathroom Scale with Step-On Technology
“Perfectly working and is very accurate! May pa free batteries pa. Maganda ang quality, I like the design and magaan lang din siya! Thank you! Super sulit!” – Judy, Weighing Scale LED Digital Body Fat Weight Scale Electronic.
“Once you get the scale set up, all you have to do is stand on it, and it will turn on automatically and tell you your weight. It’s a very nice, basic, easy to use scale. The screen is easy to read, it’s sturdy despite how slim and flat it is, and it’s consistent and accurate. If it gets moved or shifted, re-calibrating it is simple. However, the directions say that it shouldn’t be stood or sat on for long periods of time when not in use.
I think it affects the calibration if you do that, so I’ve had to cover it with a wooden box to keep my cats from sitting on it. They’re very curious about it! It might be a good idea if you have small children or pets to keep it in a shut room, or under something. I’ve really enjoyed using this scale, and it will definitely be a great tool for maintaining my ideal weight.” – Sarah Lea, Etekcity Digital Body Weight Bathroom Scale with Step-On Technology
“I not only cook and bake a lot at home but am a pastry chef and can tell you this is my go to scale for smaller jobs! I love it so much! Always consistent and accurate, easy to clean and care for, has a super long battery life, I don’t even recall changing batteries.
And stores conveniently in any drawer. I bought one and then bought another as a backup just in case I accidentally drop it, because… I can’t live without this thing! Weighing food, ensures your cooking and baking comes out right and consistently so! Look no further!” – Jedi, Amazon Basics Stainless Steel Digital Kitchen Scale with LCD Display, Batteries Included
“Weekly kami nag titimbang, kaya bumili kami nito, bale nung araw na dumating nasa bahay pa yung hiniram namin na timbangan, kaya kinompare namin, hindi sila parehas. Pero dahil weekly naman, yung basis nalang namin eh yung una naming timbang dito sa product. Okay parin ito sa price, affordable.” – JA, Clear 2003B High-Precision Personal High- Quality Weighing Scale
“This is an amazing digital weighing scale!! It’s compact and light and can be slid under almost anywhere. Setup and connecting it to the app was super easy. All the info calculated and shown on the app are pretty accurate. I really advise to choose athlete mode on the app setup only if you workout more than 4 days a week.
I love this scale and I’m looking forward to shed those extra pounds.” – Vegito, FITINDEX Bluetooth Body Fat Scale, Smart Wireless BMI Bathroom Weight Scale Body Composition Monitor Health Analyzer with Smartphone App
“Really good quality, it also has a really cute design. Seems fragile, dahil manipis lang pero it serves its purpose lalo na kung minsan lang naman gagamitin. Good buy, overall.” – DG, Iscale Digital LCD Electronic Tempered Glass Bathroom Weighing Scale
Weighing Scale Price
The cost of a weighing scale can vary, depending on the type and brand that you get. Bathroom weighing scales can range from Php 199 to Php 1,000+; while commercial weighing scales can be more expensive.
Where to Buy Weighing Scale
You can buy weighing scales from most department stores, commercial stores, medical suppliers, as well as online.