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Advice on a Digital scale


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  • #3442061
    Jerry A
    BPL Member

    @gradymaci

    I got a gift card from Amazon and I’m looking to weight my gear.any suggestions..The scale should have a larger surface area I assume and go up to 15-20#’s. Any suggestions would be appreciated.Thanks Jerry

    #3442095
    Adam G
    BPL Member

    @adamg

    Get a digital luggage / fishing scale that can measure as low as 10 g. I like the ones with the hook. They cost between $10 – $20 and can usually measure to > 100 lbs. They’re also useful if you actually need to weigh luggage or an entire pack. If the gear has a hook, it’s easy to weigh. If the gear doesn’t, just put it in a bag and tare it, then add the item. If you really want precision more than that, then you can get a kitchen scale. I don’t really see why you would do that unless you are using it for cooking as well.

    #3442098
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    A large surface is good, although taring (zeroing) it with a medium or large bowl or a chunk of plywood or cardboard on it lets you easily weigh bigger things.  I use mine a LOT more to weigh individual items than my entire pack.  For my entire pack, (and bigger, bulkier things in general) I use a digital luggage scale.

    A better use of Amazon money might be on gear itself.  Generally no-name consumer electronics are so much cheaper direct out of Shanghai or Taiwan off of eBay.

    I’ve been using this $5.45 digital luggage scale off of eBay for a few years now (news flash: works on your airline luggage, too!):

    I’ve got hook screws all over the ceiling of my garage to hang bicycles, kayaks and other gear from and that luggage scale works really nicely suspended from one of those (some other styles don’t have a good hanging attachment point).  Smaller or weird-sized objects can be easily weighed by taring the scale with a stuff sack hanging from it and then placing the object in the stuff sack.  I can find a lot of the same models (but not this one, easily) on Amazon, at 50%-100%-2x more than on eBay.  Amazon stuff does show up sooner, though.

    For a scale to weigh individual things “digital kitchen scale” generally brings up bigger models than “digital scale” which show lots of tiny little models for drug-dealers. (In my era, only two groups of high school students knew the metric system: the honor students who took all the science classes and the burn-outs who bought their drugs by the gram).  I prefer one with the readout angled forward (not up) for when I’ve got bigger objects on it.  We’ve got this one in the kitchen (so I’m not allowed to use it to weigh epoxy and other chemicals):

    Although there are lots of other options around $10 that also weigh to 5 kg (you have no single piece of BPing gear that weighs over 11 pounds).  That and a smaller 1000g x 0.1g (resolution) covers everything a BPer needs.

    #3442108
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    David – Does that Amazon Basics scale stay in grams after it powers itself off? I have a scale that powers itself off after ~30 seconds with a gram/ounce button on the bottom and it defaults back to ounces each time. It’s infuriating.

    #3442111
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    I have the same unit as David. Works very well too. Got it from eBay.
    I also have a ‘small’ silver kitchen scale from eBay, 0  –  3kg. It too works very well.

    Cheers

    #3442115
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    Matthew: Good point, I too like the ones that remember your preferred units.

    That Amazons Basics scale woke up ounces (from kitchen use), I set it to grams, let it go to sleep and it woke up in grams.  Twice.

    #3442117
    Jerry A
    BPL Member

    @gradymaci

    Thanks guys.. This gives me some options, might get both scales since they are cheap..

    #3442120
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    Oh, and there are a few tricks for weighing things over the scale’s supposed limit.  You can usually tare a 5-kg scale to -2 or -3kg sometimes to -5kg by taring it with an object on it, then removing the object.  Empty, it will then read, say, -3,333g.  Then weigh your object, and get, perhaps, +4,444g.  Add the (absolute value of) the two numbers, e.g. 7.777kg for the item’s weight.

    A board connecting two or three scales can be tared (or the readings simply subtracted off) and then the item can be weighed by adding the reading from all the scales.  In this way, multiple bathroom scales designed for most humans can be used to do a crude weight&balance on airplanes, weigh motorcycles, and really big people.  It also gives you a bigger platform for awkward objects.

    Multiple luggage scales in tension can weigh larger objects.  Including some bungie cord in the rigging makes it easier to get some weight onto each of the scales.  Or suspend a beam between the scales, hang the object in between and remember to subtract off the beam’s weight.

    #3442179
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    David, thanks for testing the units preference!

    #3442244
    Adam G
    BPL Member

    @adamg

    I have the same one as David. I couldn’t remember exactly what the name was. It works great. Highly recommended.

    #3442320
    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member

    @rex

    Locale: California

    I have both a kitchen scale (5 kg/1 gram), and a digital luggage scale (50+ lbs/0.2 lbs)

    The small scale is the most critical for recording and scrutinizing every gram you carry. To quote a co-worker: “Spreadsheets are a gift from the gods.”

    The digital luggage scale lets you easily weigh a fully loaded pack, which provides a good cross check of your spreadsheet totals. For me, it’s usually “why does my pack weigh an extra pound?” This leads to a search for spreadsheet errors or (more often) a few more overlooked items.

    Buy both – they’re cheap now.

    — Rex

    #3442359
    JCH
    BPL Member

    @pastyj-2-2

    Agree wholeheartedly with Rex.  I have this scale for weighing each item to the 1/10 of a gram :)  and this hanging scale for the entire loaded pack (cross check).

    #3442636
    Jerry A
    BPL Member

    @gradymaci

    Bought both scales.One from Amazon came in today and is perfect for small gear and ordered the digital luggage scale and will be here next week.. Thanks guys

    #3442641
    Dan Durston
    BPL Member

    @dandydan

    Locale: Canadian Rockies

    For years I’ve been preaching about the 2000g digital pocket scales on eBay. They weigh to 0.1g and go high enough to weigh any single piece of gear. You can get them for $5 shipped:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pro-Digital-Pocket-Weighing-Balance-300g-0-01g-2000g-0-1g-500g-0-01g-Lot-N-DP-/112157238731?var=&hash=item1a1d17a5cb:m:mXnKrqAmUisLJHednx0T7zQ

    A higher capacity scale is nice for things like weighing your food bag, but less important. Just today I was out shopping for gear with my digital pocket scale – found 10% weight variation in MSR’s Titan mugs. Saved .5oz just by weighing a few.

    #3442647
    David Thomas
    BPL Member

    @davidinkenai

    Locale: North Woods. Far North.

    “found 10% weight variation in MSR’s Titan mugs. Saved .5oz just by weighing a few.”

    Good idea.  I’ve long looked at all thermometers on display to pick the one that at least was most accurate at ambient temperature.
    Just last week, I brought home some MSR fuel canisters from Sportsman’s Warehouse.  And weighed them all to mark them with full weights as I always do.  They ranged from 277 to 281 grams.  I was thinking I could score 4 grams more butane/propane by weighing them all in the store, but maybe I’d only get more steel?  Hmmm. . . .

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