Looking for good, reliable scale

Apr 29, 2020
96
1
Hi;
I am looking for a reliable digital scale for measuring coffee and water for French Press.
Last Sept I bought a cheap generic brand on Amazon, but now the scale has been acting up, and is anything but reliable or accurate.

Is there anything that stands out as accurate/reliable, but will leave me enough cash to buy the coffee I enjoy?

Thanks for your help
Ultrarunner
 
Last edited:

MntnMan62

New member
Nov 15, 2019
445
1
New Jersey
Don't go too crazy looking for a scale. Any kitchen scale will do for french press. I searched Amazon and found one with as good reviews as I could find for the money. I paid $15 for an Etekcity digital food scale. I don't just use it for coffee. I weigh out portions of food like individual portions of fish for fish pockets. I weigh out food to be sure I'm following the recipe properly. I bought mine back in November 2018 and it has worked fine for me for well over 2 years. Just make sure it has the ability to measure different weights like ounces, grams, etc. Also, you want to be able to put something on the scale and then zero it out so you can weigh whatever you putting into the vessel. That capacity is essential for french press since you want to weigh both the coffee as well as the water. Before I was weighing the coffee and water I was drinking some bitter coffee. Now I've got it down to where I love the coffee it makes. Good luck.
 
OP
U
Apr 29, 2020
96
1
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
I thought the scale I purchased back in Sept '20 was decent. I paid $20 for it, but now it is acting up. This morning the internal lithium (maybe it's really just a NiMh) battery was dead, so I plugged in the 5V USB charger. The scale powered on, but would not change from oz to g, no matter how many times and for how long I 'pressed' the units button. I was only able to get it to change by... and get this - dropping the scale a couple inches onto the table. Each time I dropped it, the units advanced. I did this enough times and got grams. I was able to make my measurements for my coffee.
When I tried the units button later, it worked fine. I now suspect that the problem was the dead (internal) battery. Perhaps my little PSU has too much ripple on it. I'll have to check it out on my scope sometime.
This little scale also has a holder for three AAA batteries, so I am going to install them and see what happens.

That said, I might try an Etekcity model. I have an IR thermometer made by them, and have been quite happy with it.
It just bugs me when things that should be so simple to use, aren't. It is an epidemic these days - I'm talking about junk products from China, not COVID!
Buyer beware!!

Edit: I just tried installint three AAA batteries. I used Eneloop rechargeables, since that's all I have - don't use alkalines anymore (except in smoke alarms) due to their leakage.
When I installed the AAA's and powered the unit up, I could not switch from oz to g. The Units button did not work. Neither did any of the other buttons, including power. So I removed the batteries, leaving the internal Lithium to power it. It worked fine.
So now I suspect that the issue is the chips used in the circuit are very sensitive to voltage, and when I had plugged the charger in this morning, the internal battery was totally drained, and therefore putting a significant load on the charger, causing its voltage to drop below that minimum required.

I am going to buy the Etekcity and see what I get. I'll hold onto the one I have as a backup...
 
Last edited:
OP
U
Apr 29, 2020
96
1
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
I am done with these cheap generic products from China.
I purchased a replacement (generic) digital scale on Amazon back in March after the original one I purchased in Sept 2020 started acting up. The new one was fairly reliable until June, then it too started acting up.
One of its glaring faults is that it will shut down after about 2 minutes - even if the timer is running! What is the point in having a timer that will shut down after 2 minutes?
Then, while measuring coffee beans into the grinder, I needed to take care of something else. Of course the scale shut down after 2 minutes and my weight was lost. Lucky for me, I had noticed the weight reading before I turned away, so I was able to resume where I had left off.

As it turns out, I don't even need the scale to measure the beans into my 1ZPresson JX Pro grinder, as I simply fill it to the top.
But pouring water into the French Press can be a problem without the scale. I suppose I could use the volume method - after having recorded the volume of water I need for the weight. But that is a problem with the electric pot I am using. Not very easy to pour exactly the correct volume, unless I use a secondary measuring pitcher.

Having become extremely frustrated with the second digital scale, I decided to try to fix it myself. But upon removing the four screws on the bottom, I found that I could not open the case. In the process of attempting that, I must have pulled a wire off inside, as when I reassembled the unit it failed to even turn on (with fresh batteries).
So I went out to the garage where I had put the original scale for later recycling, and rescued it. It still works, so I will use it until I can find another product.

I am willing to spend $50 on the Hario V60, but from the reviews on Amazon, it's really no better than the generic $20 ones.
I thought maybe I could get a commercial/industrial scale, but when I looked at Ohaus, they were way out of my price range - $600 for a 'laboratory' scale.
Perhaps I can get one used on Ebay. I don't know.
Another thing I could do is mark the inside of the French Press so I know how much water to pour in. But that would be very difficult to see while pouring water into the pot, and I don't want to put a deep gouge into the stainless steel pot.

So I guess I'm back in the market for a digital scale that may last a full year?
If anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks
Ultrarunner
 
OP
U
Apr 29, 2020
96
1
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #5
Update:
Well, I searched Ebay, and found an Ohaus Scout Pro SP202 (pre-owned but 100% functional) for $90 and grabbed it.
The seller states that it is fully functional, and the picture for the item shows that, so hopefully he will pack it properly and it will arrive in working condition.
This thing has communications options (RS232 or USB) which I probably will never use, but hey - it should last me a lot longer and be more consistent/'accurate than any of the cheap ones sold on amazon.
I trust this brand, as I have used them at work in the past. Very expensive bran-new.
 

Musicphan

Active member
May 11, 2014
1,508
2
Kansas City
Since your not doing espresso extraction it's not uber critical to have a 'fast' scale... that's where the Hario's fall down. They don't read the weight fast enough to weigh espresso while being brewed. But for Pour overs, french press, etc they seem to be pretty rock solid. I use my Hario scale for daily pour overs, customer events, etc... they get good use and seem to keep ticking.
 
OP
U
Apr 29, 2020
96
1
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
Maybe that's why they get the bad reviews. But some reported quality issues, which I am not surprised to see, as just about every consumer grade product sold on this planet today is lacking quality.

Unfortunately, after I placed my order for the Ohaus Scout Pro SP202 scale I realized that it has a max capacity of 200g, not 2,000 as I thought i had read. I should have been wearing my reading glasses when I read the spec.
So that scale will be useless for my French Press, since I use 360g of water alone, and with the pot and coffee, the weight probably comes to about 500g.
I am trying to cancel the order, but if I am unable, I guess I'll have to re-sell it myself.
So my quest for a good scale continues...
 

Musicphan

Active member
May 11, 2014
1,508
2
Kansas City
Check out Escali as well - I have had one of their cheap kitchen scales for years and it has lasted some abuse. The only challenge is the model I use has a pretty limited max capacity as well.
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,592
4
Central North Carolina
I've had a few scales over the years and by far the best for my use is this...
Have had it about 2.5 yrs now and it's used multiple times daily and never a single issue. I use it for weighing dry doses as well as for determining my moisture loss for green/roasted coffee for every batch. Very fast response, consistent accuracy, nice neutral display and rechargeable battery that lasts many months between charges. I scored it for just $30 for a Christmas sale and it's been worth every penny. No clue how readily available it is these days, but if I ever needed another scale I wouldn't hesitate to find another one. It's been that good... It's supposed to be designed for use around water, but I don't subject it to that so no comment.
 
OP
U
Apr 29, 2020
96
1
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #10
Check out Escali as well - I have had one of their cheap kitchen scales for years and it has lasted some abuse. The only challenge is the model I use has a pretty limited max capacity as well.
Thanks. Escali was also recommended by one of the online review sites. But the particular model they recommended didn't get such great reviews on Amazon. I guess I shouldn't take Amazon reviews so seriously though, as there are some pretty boneheaded people writing them...
I've had a few scales over the years and by far the best for my use is this...
Have had it about 2.5 yrs now and it's used multiple times daily and never a single issue. I use it for weighing dry doses as well as for determining my moisture loss for green/roasted coffee for every batch. Very fast response, consistent accuracy, nice neutral display and rechargeable battery that lasts many months between charges. I scored it for just $30 for a Christmas sale and it's been worth every penny. No clue how readily available it is these days, but if I ever needed another scale I wouldn't hesitate to find another one. It's been that good... It's supposed to be designed for use around water, but I don't subject it to that so no comment.
Thanks;
I had a hard time finding the My Weigh Barista scale in the U.S.
Amazon UK has them in stock, but not Amazon U.S., nor did any of the retailers listed on the My Weigh site for this item.
I checked out some of their other scales, but none with a 3Kg capacity had the 0.1g accuracy, which I really like.
I finally did find it on Ebay. Bran-new for about $50, so I ordered it.
 
OP
U
Apr 29, 2020
96
1
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #11
Update:
I received the My Weigh Barista scale today.
The scale appears to work fine except for one very troubling problem:

When I first placed an item (my 1ZPresso grinder) on the scale, I noticed that as my hand approached the scale or the grinder, the display changed. This happens before my hand ever contacts the item or the scale.

After some experimentation, I found that bringing my hand near - but not touching - the scale will cause the displayed weight to change by as much as 3g!
The change is larger when there is something on the scale, but occurs when nothing is on the weigh platform.

In addition, I found that relocating the scale changed the effect.
Originally, i had the scale on top of my mini-fridge. This is where I have been brewing my coffee for nearly a year and where I have always weighed my beans and water.
The fridge has a metallic enclosure, but I am unsure of whether or not the enclosure is bonded to electric ground.

The effect appears to be larger when the USB charging cable is attached, but it does not appear to matter whether the other end of the USB cable is plugged into a wall-wart power supply or not.
That said, if I connect the USB cable to the scale, and then plug the other end into my computer's USB port, the effect is higher than it is when the cable is connected only at the scale end.

If I touch and hold a grounded outlet plate at the time I am powering on the scale and continue to keep myself grounded while measuring, there is no problem with the display.
This all indicates to me that the unit is extremely sensitive to EMI (electromagnetic interference).

I have sent a message to My Weigh, and also to the Ebay seller.
At this point I am afraid that the problem is a poor design. I have never experienced anything like this with even the $20 scales I have used in the past.
 
OP
U
Apr 29, 2020
96
1
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #12
Update:
It appears that the problem was that the internal battery was not fully charged.
After allowing the battery to reach full capacity, the scale appears to be operating properly with no sensitivity to EMI.
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,592
4
Central North Carolina
Update:
It appears that the problem was that the internal battery was not fully charged.
After allowing the battery to reach full capacity, the scale appears to be operating properly with no sensitivity to EMI.
Only thing I've ever noticed is that the scale is EXTREMELY responsive... as in breathing near it can cause it to register. Good that charging it seemed to have corrected whatever the issue might have been.
 
OP
U
Apr 29, 2020
96
1
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #14
In all the years I have been using electronic devices, I have never had this experience. I guess, so long as the battery will remain at a sufficient state of charge for a while, it won't be a problem. As it is, I have the USB cable plugged into a hub connected to my PC. I can switch off the power to any of the USB sockets on the hub, so the scale won't be floating on charge 24/7. I don't like doing that with any of my electronics. When I see that the battery level has dropped to 2 bars (out of 3) I will switch on the USB power to recharge it.
 
OP
U
Apr 29, 2020
96
1
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #15
Does anyone calibrate their coffee scale?
After I received the My Weigh Barista scale and had read the manual, I was interested to find whether it would be beneficial to calibrate a coffee scale.
From the info provided with my scale, I knew that it had been calibrated before leaving the factor. But how long does a good calibration last? Should a scale be calibrated every year?

In order to calibrare my My Weigh Barista scale, I needed a 2000g weight.
I don't know what I was thinking, but I decided to purchase a 2000g calibration weight on Ebay. It cost me $25.
I now realize what a fool I was for paying half the price of the scale for a calibration weight.
Since I'm brewing French Press, there shouldn't be any need of absolute weight. Being that the brew depends on the ratio of coffee to water, and (to a point) not the absolute weight of the two, a coffee scale should be accurate enough once it has been initially calibrated at the factory.

In any case, I performed the calibration of the My Weigh Barista scale.
So, considering the fact that I will probably never again use the 2Kg weight I purchased, I may try to re-sell it on Ebay.
 

Latest posts

Top