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Thread: Cheap Digital Scales?

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    Member Sako Workhorse's Avatar
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    Default Cheap Digital Scales?

    Has anyone tried any of these cheap digital "Pocket" scales available on eBay for about $10? Any experience with their accuracy? Reliability for handloading?

    I don't have supreme confidence in my old balance beam powder scales because of the problem of precise bearing allignment with each weighing. (I do not use a powder measure when I am loading for accuracy.) But, I am pained at the idea of buying a high quality, name brand digital scales because they are so expensive. Do I need to just "bite the bullet," so to speak, and shell out the big bucks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sako Workhorse View Post
    Has anyone tried any of these cheap digital "Pocket" scales available on eBay for about $10? Any experience with their accuracy? Reliability for handloading?

    I don't have supreme confidence in my old balance beam powder scales because of the problem of precise bearing allignment with each weighing. (I do not use a powder measure when I am loading for accuracy.) But, I am pained at the idea of buying a high quality, name brand digital scales because they are so expensive. Do I need to just "bite the bullet," so to speak, and shell out the big bucks?
    I would never try such an scale for reloading my ammo, since it's too easy to have a gun blowing up from an improper powder charge. There are several reloading digital scales that cost under $100.00, and non-digital reloading scales around $60.00.

    Reloading is not necessarily cheap. The initial cost of buying the loading equipment can be very high. In many instances, the advantages primarily relate to the enjoyment of reloading than to saving money, specially now that you can buy a box of premium factory ammo that has already been tested for you by the company.

    Just spend the money to buy a quality scale. It's much safer, and cheaper in the long run.

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    Member Sako Workhorse's Avatar
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    Default Price Not a Reliable Guide to Quality Anymore

    I am not suggesting sacrificing safety for the sake of saving money, but I have found that because of weird monetary exchange rates some imported goods, especially from China, are really good quality for incredibly low prices. Since these little digital scales are supposedly instantly calibrateable (I'm not sure that's a word), they ought to be easy to check for accuracy and precision. I was just wondering if anybody has actually had any experience with them and how it worked out.

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    Default Test Plan

    OK, I just spent five bucks and bought a digital powder scale on eBay (shipping $15). Accuracy claimed is "0.1 grain." Calibrating weight included. I will do some testing and report back over time.

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    Default midway usa

    I just bought this one from midway http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=713372
    not quite as cheap (inexpensive) as the one you guys are talking about on ebay. But I trust it will be just fine.

    -Tsi

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Some items should never be skimped on, and scales are one of them. I've heard numerous stories of folks getting unreliable readings from the electronic scales. Measuring powder charges is one thing I dont' want to get unreliable results on.

    Personally I use a good powder thrower and a scale to confirm my charges. A good powder thrower is a good investment. I get reliably and accurately thrown charges, and am not spending all my time measuring each charge weight.

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    Member Sako Workhorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Some items should never be skimped on, and scales are one of them. I've heard numerous stories of folks getting unreliable readings from the electronic scales. Measuring powder charges is one thing I dont' want to get unreliable results on.

    Personally I use a good powder thrower and a scale to confirm my charges. A good powder thrower is a good investment. I get reliably and accurately thrown charges, and am not spending all my time measuring each charge weight.
    If your are loading for accuracy, don't you still have to weigh each load after throwing it?

    What do you consider a "good" powder thrower?

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    Default cheap digital scales

    I also bought the cheapie Frankford Arsenal digital scale from Midway. I don't use it to make final weighing on my loads. The cheap digital scales are just too touchy and sensitive. It was an impulse purchase. The "Tare" weight of mine changes in use, meaning that the weight of the empty powder pan on the scale changes, as much as 3-4 tenths of a grain. I recalibrate, but it changes anyway. That may not seem like much, but when it comes to weighing powder, you should know what you're getting. It is also sensitive to any air movement, even breath. Also, the information with the scale states that you should never replace a good beam scale with a digital, but to use it for checking your beam scale. I have had a 5.0.5 RCBS scale for over 20 years and it still measures well. I personally don't think it is appropriate to either try to "cut corners" or not be willing to take the time to create accurate safe loads. Sometimes the old technology still works just fine, even if supposedly a little slower. Just because something is new doesn't always make it better.

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    Default cheap scale

    I put new batteries in mine and it holds zero just fine now. If you read the reviews on midway's site many people say throw away the batteries it came with... I bought mine primarly to adjust the charge bar on my shotshell reloader, sorting cases and stuff like that. I agree that powder charges for accuracy should be verified on a good ballance scale. But for plinking, pistol (like 40S&W), and shotshell I dont really care if its off by .1-.2 grains and its worth the time saved.

    -Tsi

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    Quote Originally Posted by tsidorus View Post
    I put new batteries in mine and it holds zero just fine now. If you read the reviews on midway's site many people say throw away the batteries it came with... I bought mine primarly to adjust the charge bar on my shotshell reloader, sorting cases and stuff like that. I agree that powder charges for accuracy should be verified on a good ballance scale. But for plinking, pistol (like 40S&W), and shotshell I dont really care if its off by .1-.2 grains and its worth the time saved.

    -Tsi
    But if you use a "quality" digital scale there is no problem. I have been using a Pact digital scale, and have only had one problem (mentioned above) since I bough it back in 1990. I could buy a Pact electronic powder dispenser that works with this scale, but instead I weight every powder charge when reloading. The electronic dispenser communicates with the scale via an infrared port on the side of the scale, so all I have to do is to enter the amount of powder I want on the keyboard, the dispenser automatically drops the correct powder charge on the scale's pan, and the scale in turn weights the powder charge. If the scale finds a problem with the powder charge dropped by the dispenser, it will show it on the screen.

    I only use the reloading digital scales with the names Lyman, RCBS, Pact, etc. These cost more, but in the long run save you cash and problems in the long run.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sako Workhorse View Post
    If your are loading for accuracy, don't you still have to weigh each load after throwing it?

    What do you consider a "good" powder thrower?
    No, in fact most target shooters use the powder measure and don't weigh each charge. I use a Redding bench rest powder thrower, and I've been quite pleased with it. I use my scale to confirm the powder thrower settings, but once set I throw all my charges. It is a huge time saver, and my loads shoot very well.

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    Yes I have tried cheap digital "Pocket" scales buy not from eBay but available from digitalscalesaz. They provide the best scales at reasonable prices according to customer needs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sako Workhorse View Post
    If your are loading for accuracy, don't you still have to weigh each load after throwing it?

    What do you consider a "good" powder thrower?
    Harrell works fine. Has clicks and is repeatable. I use that one the most for rifles laoded on the single stage press.

    Belding and Mull works fine as well. I like that for H4831 loads.

    Star Loader has bars for pistol powder. No adjustment for powder mass within the charge bar.

    RL15 bridges in the Dillon PM on the 550 platform, but throws fine in an RCBS PM.


    Recommend shield digital scales in a clear box when in use. They are sensitive, like when the furnace comes on in the garage.


    The Ohaus/RCBS 1010 is a good scale, keep the knife edges clean.


    Verify scales with check weights.

    The problems I have had with powder has been me not paying attention.

    While light charges and double charges are a concern for me when loading 45 ACP, rifle powders charges seem less sensitive. Shooting more offhand rifle seems to improve my performance the best. Hope that helps!

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    I got mine from digitalscalesaz.com and i think they were cheaper and are of best quality scales then that to be honest answer. If you trust then have it from there.

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    I got one of the cheap digital scales fm Midway, normally bout $35.00 for $19.99, and it worked so well for me, that when they put it on Sale again, I got a nother'n.

    The same charge always weighs the same, or within .1 of a grain. When I add or subtract from the pan, I tap it to help it get the new reading.

    I trust my older Redding analog scale completely, but the digitial is WAY faster.

    I can't bring myself to pay over, or even just under 100 bucks for one now.

    If I blow myself up, I'll post about it here, or you can just use THIS one.

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