The 10 Best Jeweler's Scales
This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in November of 2018. When it comes to some applications, pocket digital scales are often favored over their analog counterparts because of their compact size and easy readability. These models are ideal for users who don't want a cumbersome device, or sometimes need to take their unit on the road. Our picks for this category range from basic gram scales to instruments offering readouts down to milligrams. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 06, 2020:
A lack of recent development in the category made for a fairly uneventful round of updates, with the vast majority of our selections still proving to be well-equipped picks competitively outfitted with the prices, features, capacities and accuracies one hopes to find in these devices. That being said, we did decide on replacing the Newacalox Multifunction with the Newacalox Mini — an alternative offering from the company that’s specced similarly, but lacks the gaudy gold exterior that we thought many of our users would find off-putting. And, we also removed the Askali Portable Jeweler, which we noticed was having some availability issues, and replaced it with the Pollux GEM20 — a three-point scale with a 20-gram capacity that comes with a leather carrying bag.
A few things to think about for this category:
Capacity: How much do you need to weigh? While some models – like the Pollux GEM20 and Hochoice High Precision – have capacities as low as 20 grams, these tend to be highly accurate instruments with a design focus on how little they can weigh, not how much. Others can weigh significantly more. For instance, the Triton T3 has a 400-gram capacity, while the American Weigh Scales AWS-1KG can weigh up to 1,000 grams, and the Tanita 1475T was the most capable scale we ranked, with a 1,200-gram capacity.
Accuracy: This consideration is two-fold. When it comes to accuracy, you need to consider tolerance and display.
While these instruments are designed to be as accurate as reasonably possible, it’s generally accepted that, for the most part, especially in this niche category, no device is perfect. With that in mind, every scale should have a rated tolerance, which essentially describes its acceptable margin of error. For example, the Newacalox Mini purportedly has a five-milligram tolerance, but unfortunately, not all companies in this category are as forthcoming as Newacalox, so each device’s tolerance may not be offered to you as you shop. In this case, your next best clue is the scale’s display: The more decimal places it displays, the more accurate it’s likely to be.
Options in this category are typically equipped with LCD screens, usually with room for four to six characters, depending on the particular unit's maximum capacity and accuracy level. On the basic end, digital gram scales like the Tanita 1475T, which are typically depended on for relatively heavy applications, round up to the nearest gram, with no decimal places displayed. But precision instruments, sometimes referred to as point scales, can be much more accurate. Two-point scales – like the Euone Mini Herb Balance and Weighmax RA100 Dream Series – are plenty accurate for the needs of most people, but users weighing things like medications might want to invest in a milligram scale – like the Newacalox Mini or Hochoice High Precision – that offers a three-point readout.
Extras: What else should you be looking for, besides those basics? That depends on your intended use for the device. Users who plan on often packing their scale up and taking it on the road should consider an option with a protective flip-up cover, like the Triton T3 or American Weigh Scales AWS-1KG. Some models – like the Hochoice High Precision and Pollux GEM20 – come with a calibration weight, and both those offerings also include windshields, which allow you to put a dome over specimens while you weigh them, as precision instruments like these can have their readout spoiled by something as slight as your breath. The Hochoice High Precision also includes a built-in level, to help ensure that it’s positioned properly during operation, which is a nice touch.
November 05, 2018:
This is a category filled with a lot of foreign factory duplicates, so the focus was on reliable brand names as much as possible. Even among those brand names, most of the options provide similar features, so priority went to accuracy and max capacity, though in the case of the Tanita model, incremental measurement was lacking enough to push it back despite is impressive max load.