The humble weighing scales have been a trusted piece of kit for cooks and bakers since the 1800s and are paramount for perfecting precise recipes and aiding in weight loss. However, getting one that does exactly what you want can be difficult, particularly if you haven't weighed up exactly what that is yet. That’s why we’ve put together this foolproof buying guide to point you in the right direction.
We've scoured the internet to pull together the best bargain buys from Amazon, John Lewis, and Argos. Whether you’re looking for an electronic, hi-tech digital set of scales for total baking accuracy or a traditional mechanical set with a bowl for adding a touch of vintage to a retro kitchen, we’ve got options here for everyone. Moreover, we have partnered with chef Ryan Yen for reviewing and fact-checking the article to deliver you the best information.
Ryan is a trained chef with experience in several restaurants (with various kitchen supplies across the restaurant experience) and hotels, he also attended le cordon bleu to further his training in cuisine and patisserie and focus on creating simple and delicious dishes. Ryan is now formally working as a chef tutor.
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Ryan is a trained chef with experience in several restaurants (with various kitchen supplies across the restaurant experience) and hotels.
He also attended le cordon bleu to further his training in cuisine and patisserie and focus on creating simple and delicious dishes. Ryan is now formally working as a chef tutor.
By far the most common type of scales found in kitchens across the UK nowadays, digital scales are incredibly precise both with and without tare weight (which we’ll talk about later). They’re also much more accurate when it comes to smaller measurements, which serious bakers or those on strict diets will prefer.
Some other points to consider are that they can be more expensive, both in initial price and the fact they will need new batteries every now and then. They also tend to have a lower maximum capacity, which isn’t great if you’re cooking in large batches; however, this isn't always the case.
If you’re looking for something more traditional as a style statement, how about mechanical weights? A tried and tested robust and durable appliance, they use a dial to show you how much your ingredients weigh and don’t require any niggly batteries or power outlets.
The downside is that they aren’t as precise as their digital counterparts, particularly at lower weights. They’re also often bulky and heavy, making them more challenging to move from cupboard to worktop and less suited to smaller kitchens.
It’s always good to know how much your scales can take before purchasing them. You don’t want to overload and break them or get misleading readings that mess up your recipe. Most kitchen scales will have a maximum weight range of 4-10 kg (141–352 oz).
While cooking or baking at home, most people won’t measure over a couple of kilos at a time. However, it is nice to have some leeway in case you want to whip up a large batch of banana bread for the week or even weigh up a pork shoulder for dinner guests. With all this in mind, we’d recommend picking up a product that can hold up to 5kg of ingredients, as this provides a little extra should you ever require it.
Timing is everything so take a look at our top 10 kitchen timers.
It may seem obvious, but we bet there are a few people out there that have purchased scales, only to get them home and realise they need a calculator to use them. You may come across recipes that use different units depending on their country of origin, so being able to switch the scales to whichever is required is certainly more convenient.
That’s why we’d recommend picking up a set that displays both grams and kilograms and pounds and ounces. Furthermore, if you often make recipes or cakes that use milk and other liquids, look for those that can measure millilitres or fluid ounces, too.
A feature that we hold in the highest regard and that will make your whole cooking experience a lot easier is 'tare'. This is for measuring the weight of a substance inside of a vessel without measuring the vessel itself.
By simply placing your mixing bowl on the scales, it will give you its weight. But if you click the tare button, it will remove the weight of the vessel and return the scales to zero. It also means you can add your ingredients one at a time accurately whilst 'zeroing' between each one, and you won't have to get all mathematical trying to work out your totals.
If you’re in the market for a digital kitchen scale, beware that cleaning can be a little inconvenient because many can't handle a spillage and will become damaged when exposed to moisture. Fortunately, a few are protected from liquid so it's useful to check if the scale is waterproof if you want one that's fully washable or submersible for easy cleaning under running water.
The mechanical scales usually come with the addition of a dishwasher-safe bowl which makes for easy maintenance. So while the scale itself might be wipe-cleaned only with a damp cloth, the waterproof bowl can be put in the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning.
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Dual Platform Precision Scale
Dual Base Scales Capable of Weighing Larger Items as Well as Coffee and Spices With Precision
A Timeless Classic in Sturdy Steel That Will Stand the Test of Time
Waterproof Electronic Kitchen Scales
Scales That Can Be Put in the Sink When It's Time to Wash Up
Digital Kitchen Weighing Scales｜1036
A Fantastic All-Rounder That Will Stand the Test of Time
Scales For Those Whose Space Is at a Premium
3-in-1 Digital Scales with Jug
Mix Measure and Weigh, All in One Place
Nostalgia Mechanical Kitchen Scale
A Classic Retro-Chic Set of Scales for the Style Conscious
A Popular French Kitchenware Brand Capable of Measuring Metric, Imperial and Fluid Weights
Max Chopping Board
Scales With a Huge Weight Capacity, Great for Batch Bakers
Retro Kitchen Scales
A Simple, Lightweight and Budget-Friendly Set of Scales for the Casual Cook
The science chef Mr Blumenthal has done it again. Here, he's teamed up with Salter to create the ultimate at-home kitchen scales. There are two different weighing areas, one for larger items with a maximum weight of 10kg and a smaller area for spices, coffee or herbs with a 200 mg max. Both are extremely precise, of course!
Not surprisingly, they're ultra-responsive and accurate and have all the functions you'd want: tare, the ability to measure all units and auto shut down. For these reasons, we think Heston and Salter have created the best scales on the market today, and that's why they've taken our number 1 spot.
Made of stainless steel, these surprisingly affordable scales will stick with you for years to come, seeing you advance as a baker and cook. They'll undoubtedly add a touch of authentic vintage to your kitchen yet remain chic enough to never look out of place regardless of decor.
Moreover, you're also gifted with a steel mixing bowl you can pop in the dishwasher, while the scales themselves require just a light wipe with a soft cloth. Our top choice for mechanical scales, Terraillon's reliable set, is available in black or cream.
When we have to do the washing up, we want it to be as easy and pain-free as possible. That's why we love this set of scales – simply put them in the washing bowl with everything else, and they'll be fine, for half an hour at least.
We also rate the slick and elegant design that'll slide right into a modern-style kitchen. And to finish off, there's a large, easy-to-read LCD display as well as simple touch-sensitive buttons that allow for measuring in all the necessary units.
Any product with 4.5 out of 5 on Amazon after almost 5000 reviews has got to be doing something right. These Salter scales are straightforward and supposedly the UK's best selling digital kitchen scales. They have a slim classic shape with accurate measurements no matter which unit you choose.
While these aren't the latest model, they're still absolutely one of the best, in no part thanks to their supremely durable design. One reviewer even claims to have had a set for 9 years without fault!
These clever scales are perfect for kitchens with limited space, as they fold down to practically nothing and can even be comfortably stored in a kitchen drawer alongside your cutlery. But as you'd expect from the brand, there's no compromise on quality, and they're just as accurate and durable as any bigger appliance.
They're also very responsive, capable of measuring whatever you need and have an automatic shutdown function. Balancing larger bowls on the centre area takes a few goes, but it's a small price to pay for the brilliant convenience.
Fancy mixing, measuring and weighing all in one place? Morphy Richards seem to think it's a great idea, and if it cuts down on washing up, so do we! This set is accurate and capable of metric, imperial and fluid measurements, as well as having auto shutdown after around 1 minute.
Yet, there are a couple of things we'd like to point out. Firstly, the screen is a bit dull and therefore could be difficult to read for some people. Secondly, it can be rather fiddly getting the bowl in and out. However, there is a trick to it, and we're sure you'll pick it up!
If you're looking for scales that tick all the right retro boxes, KitchenCraft has got you covered. They come in several different vintage colourways (we've gone for antique cream here) that will all look the part and effortlessly add a bit of charm to your decor.
Furthermore, they measure in both metric and imperial, and you get a stainless steel, dishwasher-friendly mixing bowl, too. Remember, as with many mechanical scales, reading them can be tricky as the weight can change depending on which direction you look at the dial.
Terrallion is a massive name in the French kitchenware game. Having been around since the early 1900s, it's fair to say they know a thing or two about reliable appliances. The 'Macaron' set is ideal if you're looking for a no-frills, affordable and accurate set of scales.
Capable of measuring in metric, imperial and fluid weights, this baby will have you covered no matter the recipe. Some reviewers have stated that it can struggle with smaller weights, so whilst most people won't be too concerned, expert bakers and nutrition enthusiasts may find it a problem.
If you're looking to save countertop space, this 2-in-1 chopping board and weighing scales can help. Simply weigh out your ingredients, then get to work chopping, all on one surface. As with most digital scales, it can also be used with a mixing bowl and has a tare function.
This beast also has a massive 15kg weight capacity, which should be more than enough for any home cook. Our dispute, however, is that it isn't waterproof, which could pose a problem if you've been chopping things such as raw meat and want to wash it down thoroughly.
This practical and simple model has a host of positive reviews on Amazon. Made from plastic, the scales display metric measurements that are easily read on a dial. With it, you'll get a dishwasher-friendly mixing bowl, so you're not adding to that ever-growing pile of washing up.
We like the funky design, and the shiny black or rich red colour will add some character to any kitchen. The only pitfall is that the scales only weigh up to 5kg – but if you're not looking to make large batches of food, then these budget-friendly scales should work just fine.
No. 1: Heston Blumenthal｜Dual Platform Precision Scale
No. 2: Terraillon｜Traditional Scales
No. 3: Salter｜Waterproof Electronic Kitchen Scales
No. 4: Salter｜Digital Kitchen Weighing Scales｜1036
No. 5: Joseph Joseph｜Tri-Scale
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