What Is the Accuracy of a Scale?

This post contains affiliate links. As an amazon associate, I earn affiliate commission, from qualifying purchases.

In a world where we need our products and equipment aligned to meet a particular requirement, accuracy is a growing consideration by many industries. Accuracy is the capability to show a value, such as the weight of an item, that corresponds to the real value of a known item. The scale also referred to as the level of measurement refers to how numbers are categorized and defined to give a precise measurement. This article will explain the question, what is the accuracy of a scale? to equip more knowledge related to it.

It is a general topic that requires us to have a good grasp of why accuracy is very vital in businesses, manufacturing industries, and even in hotel catering services. Measurements obtained are used in doing analysis, testing goods, and creating hotel recipes as part of a plan in every business.

You can imagine having the wrong quantity for a recipe due to inaccurate specification of spices or ingredients to be included. It can be probably an unappetizing diet for your customers. Similarly, for student research or project, recording inaccurate data can lead to failure. For you to get a deeper understanding of accuracy and measurement scale, continue reading this article.

Accuracy, Precision, and Resolution

When dealing with any scale, these three qualities indicated above are entwined together in that single idea. They all play a vital role with which one quality cannot be achieved best in absence of another quality. Of all the three qualities, accuracy is considered the parent or the prime factor in taking measurements.


Accuracy is the key in scale since it determines the final recordings for any measurement taken with the respective equipment. It varies differently depending on their purpose. For instance, the scale needed in recording farm or livestock products is different from scientific scales. The latter requires high precision to prevent any harm that could occur in a scientific laboratory setting.


Different from accuracy, precision is required all the time. Precision in a scale is defined to be the repeatability of a particular weight of an object after measuring it multiple times. To explain this further, if the same object is measured at different times but gives different results continuously, then the scale is considered to have low precision. High precision is achieved if the scale respects the initial measurements.


Resolution refers to the minimum increment to the normal weight that can be detected in the scale. It is the value that gives users a hint of how close the scale can read to the real value. For instance, if a scale has a resolution of 1 gram and the object is weighing 25 grams, then the scale readings will increment either way from the object’s real value by 1 gram.

As with the above properties of weighing scales, we should not confuse them with one another. In addition to that, they should not be used independently of one another as long as we want to get the exactness in the output. They are just key to helping us understand all the possible factors affecting the output of a scale.

Reasons That May Cause A Scale to Be Inaccurate

Though most scales are more accurate when new, they lose their accuracy over time. This allows us to even deep down on this topic and to answer the question, what is the accuracy of a scale?

As we know, scales are required to maintain their original standards for accuracy over time. This is not only for small-scale businesses or individuals but also for major manufacturing industries, research centers, and scientific laboratories.

Regular use day after day is among the general reasons why scales lose their accuracy. Regular use causes wear and tear to internal components responsible to maintain precision as we defined above. Hence, within the time the equipment is even susceptible to losing balance. This calls for calibration.

For Electric Scales

Circuitry malfunction is among the major causes that may affect the accuracy of any equipment. This is not only tied to old equipment but also to new ones too. Malfunction in the circuitry causes extreme temperatures due to unequal heat distribution thus affecting their stability.

The best measure necessary to curb such problems is to clean all your equipment well, especially for critical measurements that require high precision maintenance. With time the scales corrode due to moisture and get dirty depending on the surrounding condition. Stainless steel should be considered when making or buying a cylindrical scale because of its repeated exposure to fluids over time.

Having understood what may affect the accuracy of a scale and what measures you should put in place to minimize or eliminate those problems for a high precision rate; we now see how you can test whether your scale is still effective to perform the prime purpose.

Testing A Scale for Accuracy

For a low precision scale, we use common objects with known measurements for testing. An example of such an object is a dumbbell. We should place it on a leveled flat ground before testing. We start by setting it to zero and placing the object of known weight on it.

If the scale does not give the correct readings, adjust it to the correct one either through calibration for digital scales or through the scale if there is no such option.

For testing high precision scales, it is advisable to use calibration weights certified by the manufacturer. Moreover, it is done in special rooms with a moderated temperature to minimize interference from the external environment.

Why use verified calibration weights? They are used in operations requiring exemplary high accuracy such as engineering, scientific, and manufacturing firms.


As we have seen in this article, the accuracy of a scale in measuring equipment has not been preserved for a particular group or field in society. Thus, understanding the basics and causes of inaccurate scale will help us to have clear answers on what is the accuracy of a scale, and make informed decisions in our everyday life.

Leave a Comment