How to Calibrate a Digital Scale? – A Very Useful Guide


Is calibration necessary for your digital scale? This is the subject we will delve into in this blog article.

Digital scales are widely used in businesses since most of them calculate the cost of items based on their weight, for example, the cost of vegetables and fruits, and having accurate measurements is of utmost importance.

Now, most digital scales are calibrated by the manufacturer, but with time, you may find the scale’s reading drifting slightly; you need to re-calibrate the scales to maintain their accuracy. In this guide, we will show you how to calibrate your digital scale with these easy to follow steps.

What you’ll need

  • Calibration weight
  • A stable surface

What is calibration?

Calibration can be defined as checking the accuracy of a specific digital scale by comparing it with a standard weight, known as a calibration weight. Over time, digital scales become less reliable due to wear, tear, and other variables, that’s why you need to re-calibrate your digital scale monthly for accurate measurements. Each digital scale model comes with its calibrating instruction, that’s why you need to refer to the manual, but the calibration protocol is the same for all digital scales.

When should you calibrate your digital scale?

It depends on factors such as the frequency of use, the environment, how important the weight is to your business, and the manufacturer’s recommendation or manual. Most scales are calibrated weekly, monthly, and even yearly, depending on those variables. More importantly, if you use your digital scale often, you need to increase the frequency of calibration to maintain its accuracy. It’s because of the wear and tear which may cause the digital scale reading to drift slightly.  Always refer to the manufacturer’s manual and recommendations on when to calibrate your scale.

The environment of the scale affects the accuracy of the measurement, for example, if you use the scale in areas containing dust particles, excess humidity, and fluids, they may build up slowly and affect the normal functioning of the scales resulting in low performance. Also, if the scale is used where there are vibrations, mechanical shocks, and static electricity, they may take a toll on the scale’s accuracy. Frequent calibrations ensure that your scales are not affected by these environmental factors.

Finally, if the digital scale is vital for your business, you can’t afford even the slightest inaccuracy. A good example is a pharmaceutical company or lab where the slightest measurement error could lead to the loss of lives due to an overdose or an underdose. Also, if you notice that your digital scale requires calibration always, it might be a sign of a bigger mechanical problem that needs additional troubleshooting.

How to calibrate a digital scale?

It’s easy to calibrate a digital scale with the right calibration tools and the know-how; we came up with these easy to follow steps for you. Here is how to calibrate your digital scale;

  • Make sure the calibration surface is firm and stable, as a wobbly surface may impact the accuracy of th4 calibration. Also, the location should be draft-free.
  • Use a standard calibration weight, there is no point in calibrating your digital scale using approximation.
  • Next, you need to locate the calibration button which is usually denoted as “Cal”, “Mode”, or “Cal/Mode”.
  • Press and hold down any of these buttons till the reading on the LCD screen reads “0”, “Cal”, or “000”.
  • Now the scale is in calibration mode
  • Place your calibration weight at the center of the digital scale and not at the edge, as it would affect the reading accuracy. Also, this weight should not move or wobble during the calibration process.
  • Enter the weight similar to the calibration weight on the screen and lock in the calibration button, if the weight is shipped with the scale, the weight is usually pre-programmed in the digital scale.
  • Leave the scale to take in the measurement
  • Press the calibration button to end the calibration session and the scale will display the following words, “End”, “Cal”, or “0”.
  • The scale will reset automatically in most digital scales models
  • If it doesn’t, you are advised to switch off the scale for about 2-3 minutes before switching it on again
  • Your scale is now calibrated and rest assured that the next measurement will be accurate

Since most models require different calibration techniques, we are obliged to share another calibration technique as an alternative to the one listed above.

  • Turn your scale on and leave it to stabilize till it reads 0.0g
  • Hold down the mode button which is usually denoted as “M” in most digital scales
  • The display should read “Cal” at this point
  • Press the MODE button to confirm that the reading on the screen is 0.0g
  • Place the calibration weight at the center of the weighing platform
  • Most models are pre-programmed, so they will display the calibration weight shipped with the product
  • If the calibration is successful, the words “Pass” will be displayed

What is the best digital scale for my kitchen?

After hours of research and testing, we were convinced that the Escali Primo Digital Scale is the best for your kitchen as it measures in increments of 0.05 ounces. Plus it has a maximum weighing capacity of 5 kilograms, which is good for a small to the medium-sized kitchen, and it takes up less space on your kitchen counter. Also, the user interface is pretty easy for beginners as it comes with only two buttons, one to power on/off the scale, and the other one to switch the measurements. Plus, it will only stay on for about 4 minutes before automatically switching off which saves on power. We highly recommend this digital scale for your small to medium-sized kitchen for all your weighing tasks like weighing your recipe ingredients.

How to calibrate my digital scale without a weight?

At times, the calibration weight can be lost or misplaced and may be expensive to replace. You have to calibrate the digital scale without a weight. In this case, we will show you how to calibrate your scale using items lying in your house like nickels or coins. Follow these steps;

  • Make sure the scale is clean; remember dust and fluids inside the scale take a toll on the measurement accuracy
  • Reset the scale reading to zero, make sure there is nothing on the weighing plate
  • In most scales, the calibration weight is usually 100 grams, in the absence of this calibration weight, we can use a substitute like nickel coins
  • Each nickel coin is 5 grams, so if you need to calibrate the digital scale with 50 grams you need 10 nickel coins
  • Press the calibration button before placing the nickel coins on the scale
  • The display will flash during calibration
  • Once it stops, the calibration is complete
  • Turn off the scale for a few minutes and test it again

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What coins equal 200 grams?

The best coins to use in this case will be nickel coins. Each nickel coin weighs 5 grams, so if you want to calibrate using 200 grams, you’ll have to use 40 nickel coins.

2. How do you calibrate a Weighmax scale?

You can calibrate a Weighmax scale using the package’s calibration weight or any object with a known mass. The maximum weight you can use for calibration will be 500 grams, above this weight, the scale will be overloaded and the following words “OUTZ”, “EE”, and “EEE” will be displayed on the screen. Don’t overload the scale as it would damage it permanently during the calibration process. Here is how you should go about it;

  • Place the scale on a flat surface, devoid of draft and very firm and stable
  • Turn on the Weighmax scale and let it stabilize till it reads “0”
  • Press and hold the calibration key or button denoted as “CAL”
  • The display should read 0.0g at this point
  • Press it again and hold for about 4 seconds and the scale will display the full calibrating weight, in this case, 500 grams.
  • Place a similar calibration weight on the scale, in this case, 500 grams
  • Wait for the scale to stabilize, about 3 seconds before pressing the “CAL” button
  • The display will now read “PASS” and it will show the mass of the calibration weight
  • Calibration is now complete

Watch this YouTube video for more information.

3. Can low battery affect scales?

A low battery or an unstable power supply causes the digital scale to malfunction. One sign that your battery has drained is fluctuating readings and screen sluggishness, both of which result in inaccurate measurements. When troubleshooting your digital scale, start by examining the batteries.

4. Does moving your scale affect its accuracy?

Moving your scale affects its zero weight balance and the weight fluctuates a lot, affecting its dependability and accuracy. You need to re-calibrate it after moving it to reset its internal parts.

Final Verdict

We’ve shown you how easy it is to calibrate your digital scale with calibration weights or without, and we also explained the factors affecting the accuracy of your scale. We also recommend the Escali Primo Digital Scale for your kitchen as it gives you accurate measurements when weighing ingredients for your recipe. Also, it is lightweight and it takes less space on your kitchen counter. Visit our website for more information on how to calibrate different digital scale models, plus you can share your experiences with us in the comment section.