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Are digital weight scales accurate?
Old 10-08-2010, 04:24 PM   #1
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Are digital weight scales accurate?

So, are digital weight scales (bathroom scales) accurate? Are they more accurate than old-fashioned spring weight scales?

Seems with regular spring weight scales, they are usually off (over or under) by a few to several pounds.
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:38 PM   #2
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Simple answer is..... depends.....



The one I have was reviewed and was within .5 lbs every time.... I would think that all of them would be relatively close....
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:44 PM   #3
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Yes, I think so. My digital scale (Eat Smart "Precision Premium", $35 at Amazon) is quite consistent, and although I've never checked accuracy by comparing to some standard device, some user reviews at Amazon say this scale is accurate, as well.
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Old 10-08-2010, 04:57 PM   #4
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Thanks. Looks like I'll have to look into the Eat Smart. The reviews are high at amazon.

I tried my regular bathroon scale (a cheap one I picked up years back). Before going on, I recalibrated it buy placing two 20lb dumbells on. When I stepped on, it added 8 lbs to my weight normal weight. I don't think the discrepency is me because lately folks have been saying how they've noticed I lost weight.
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Old 10-08-2010, 05:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
Thanks. Looks like I'll have to look into the Eat Smart. The reviews are high at amazon.

I tried my regular bathroon scale (a cheap one I picked up years back). Before going on, I recalibrated it buy placing two 20lb dumbells on. When I stepped on, it added 8 lbs to my weight normal weight. I don't think the discrepency is me because lately folks have been saying how they've noticed I lost weight.
As has been said "it depends". Digital versus analog tells you nothing about the actual accuracy, repeatability, aging, drift, etc. Often, extra digits are thrown in to impress, but they mean nothing without accuracy.

Also, Calibrating at 40# may mean next to nothing at 175# (or whatever). Now you're talking linearity. Cheap devices usually have poor linearity (but... "it depends").

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Old 10-08-2010, 06:44 PM   #6
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I have a Taylor digital scale I bought at Amazon. It is probably accurate to within a half a pound. I weighed myself the other morning and a couple of hours later and my weight had gone up .4 pounds. I didn't eat anything or do any weight lifting in the interim two hours so I'm guessing me weght hadn't really changed by that much. Overall though each morning it seems to track well with how much I've been dieting and exercising the previous day or two.


I wouldn't use it to verify a gold bullion purchase, but on a day to day basis it is probably good enough accuracy for people like me who are dieting and trying to lose a pound or two each week.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:06 PM   #7
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I've tested mine with known weights and it is accurate to within about 2 ounces.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:46 PM   #8
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I think ours, a Tanita 2 person with body fat % readings, is very accurate. We use it to weigh US Postal packages too. Just sent one today. Took it to the Post Office and it came back the same weight and cost that I calculated at home.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:49 PM   #9
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Our spring scale always weighed us at about 10 lbs less than the doctor's balance scales. When we got our digital scale it weighed us at pretty much exactly the same as the doctor's scale. It's odd that both the digital and the balance scales could be off by 10 lbs.
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:33 PM   #10
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How much difference does it make. Or, put another way, how far off could it be. I have a spring scale and a balance scale. They are about 5 pounds off. Now my ideal weight is some where between 165 and 180 for my height. I am a little over 200. If I got down to 180 on one scale would it really make any difference if was 185 or 175? Health wise, they both are a lot lower than where I am now, and they are both way below anywhere I will ever get to. If I am dieting, it is where did I start and where am I now. As long as you weigh on the same scale with the same bios, I don't see it any big deal.
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:38 PM   #11
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Our spring scale always weighed us at about 10 lbs less than the doctor's balance scales. When we got our digital scale it weighed us at pretty much exactly the same as the doctor's scale. It's odd that both the digital and the balance scales could be off by 10 lbs.
I know that our doctor's scale is always off. They admitted their scale isn't calibrated on a regular basis, so they take our reading from home instead. You should ask your doctor if their scale is accurate and how recently had it been recalibrated.
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Old 10-10-2010, 06:59 AM   #12
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A scale simply gives a reading for the one instance. It's accuracy really isn't all that important. If you just sit in a room and do nothing for an hour or two your weight should go down due to water loss. If you have a drink it should go up. If you eat food, again, it should go up. If you really want to see how much your weight changes each day and the irrelevancy of your weight, take your weight after you do various types of activities. The accuracy of your weight is really nothing more than an estimate (which is why using it in a calculation of how healthy you are is not very accurate), even if the scale is accurate enough to be used in scientific experiments. When I wake up in the morning I'm classified as obese. After my morning business and my workout I'm simply overweight, even though my body fat estimates put me solidly in the normal range and I have a heart rate >60 and "ideal" blood pressure.
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