How To Calibrate A Digital Pocket Scale

How To Calibrate A Digital Pocket Scale

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Last updated on September 22nd, 2023 at 05:56 pm

Digital pocket scales are small, easy to transport, and incredibly accurate. They’re a fantastic option for anyone who uses a scale regularly in their daily life, whether you need to measure precious metals and stones, teach a class, or measure food or medicines.

Before using the scale, though, it’s important to ensure that it is correctly calibrated.

Ukrainian hryvnia coin on scales, shows zero weight. Currency inflation concept.

How do you calibrate a digital pocket scale?

To calibrate a digital pocket scale, you’ll place an object that you know the exact weight of on the scale.

You’ll then adjust the scale to ensure that the object weighs correctly, which in turn ensures that the scale will weigh other objects accurately.

Before you begin, though, there are a few important steps to take.

To make sure that you’re calibrating your digital scale as accurately as possible, place the scale on a flat, level surface.

Many people suggest placing a mousepad, non-slip pad, or even a folded hand towel under the scale to ensure that the scale remains level and in place.

This will also help to eliminate any vibrations that might change the scale’s reading. Make sure that whatever is underneath the scale isn’t too thick, though.

If you use a pad or towel, you’ll want to ensure that the scale is still level and stable.

You may also want to brush off or clean the top of the scale before you begin. Digital pocket scales are very accurate, and even a bit of dust can affect the weight displayed on the scale.

Exactly how you calibrate a scale will depend on the scale model itself. You’ll need to read the scale’s instructions to enable the calibration mode.

Most scales require you to push a sequence of buttons to enter calibration mode, but some scales may have a switch on the bottom or back.

Once you have entered calibration mode, place your chosen item on the scale. It’s always a good idea to become familiar with the scale’s weight limits before choosing an object.

Digital pocket scales are quite small, so an object that’s too heavy can damage the scale. Small objects are often the best choice.

Once you’ve placed the item on the scale, you may need to enter the correct weight. Some scales will display a weight that you can adjust if it isn’t accurate.

Once the correct weight has been entered, you can add or subtract items to get a new weight reading.

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Make sure that the displayed weight matches the weight of the objects, and make adjustments if necessary.

Once the scale is calibrated, you can exit calibration mode or turn the scale off. The next time you use the scale, it should give you accurate readings based on your calibrations.

digital scale on an open book with a pencil


There are several options for objects to use when calibrating a small digital scale. The most common and accurate objects are scale weights.

These small weights are specifically designed for calibrating scales, and they can be purchased in a range of sizes.

Each weight will usually have its specific weight printed on it, so you can calibrate your scale without any guesswork.

calibration weight set


If you don’t have scale weights, the next best option is coins. When coins are minted, they must all weigh an exact amount.

Coins can become worn or dirty, and this can affect their weight slightly, but this change is usually so slight that it’s negligible.

Which coins to use to calibrate a scale depends on how big your scale is. Pennies are a good option, as each penny must weigh exactly 2.5 grams.

You can, therefore, calibrate your scale to 10 grams by placing four pennies on its surface. Nickels each weigh 5 grams, so they’re another great choice.

If you want to calibrate your scale to ounces, you can use a quarter. One quarter weighs 0.2 ounces, so you can place 10 quarters on the scale to add up to 2 ounces, for example.

High precision professional microscales isolated on the white background

Paper Clips

Paper clips are another household item that can be used to calibrate a scale, although they may not be quite as accurate as scale weights or coins. One regular paper clip usually weighs almost exactly 1 gram.

Be careful not to use a large paper clip unless you know its exact weight, though. Large paper clips usually weigh about 1.5 grams, but some can weigh as much as 2 grams.

paper clips on white background


One AAA battery weighs just over 0.4 ounces, while one AA battery weighs almost exactly 0.8 ounces, so either of these batteries can be used to calibrate a scale.

Remember to only use full batteries that have never been used. After a battery is used, it will weigh slightly less, so this could throw off your scale calibration.

AAA batteries

Jelly Beans

Jelly beans can vary in size and, therefore, weight, so they’re not an accurate calibration tool, but they can be used in a pinch.

One jelly bean usually weighs about 0.04 ounces, so you can place 25 jelly beans on the scale to reach 1 ounce.

jellybeans in a cup

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