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"Seven Precision Pocket Scales Compared"


 After lots of requests by consumers, we finally agreed to do a comparison of high precision 0.01 gram digital pocket scales.  Comparing high precision 0.01 gram scales is more difficult then normal 0.1 gram scales due to the increased sensitivity.   We brought together 7 digital pocket scales that read to 0.01 gram:

My Weigh Durascale 50
My Weigh MX-50C
Generic A / Digiweigh 50
Generic B/ Escali 50
Generic C/ Rite weight 50
JScale JS-50X
JScale HP-50

Why did we choose these 7?  We checked the major scale sellers and eBay to see what models are being offered regularly.  Then we requested samples from each manufacturer or purchased samples to test.  We wanted to review the most common scales in the market.

We tested these seven digital scales under various conditions to simulate normal use.   Tests were done at many capacities and we performed adding and subtracting weight tests.  Each scale was recalibrated twice before testing.   Five of the seven digital scales tested were accurate enough to be considered 0.01 gram scales.  However two of the seven scales were truly 0.02 gram scales (as this was their best performing accuracy). 

The designs of these 7 scales varied dramatically from modern PDA styled devices, rugged "Hummer" like designs and bland square utilitarian shapes.  Here's how we categorized the seven:

  • Modern PDA Styling:  JScale JS-50X,  Generic B
  • Rugged "Hummer" like styling: Durascale 50
  • Bland "Utilitarian" square shapes: MX-50C, Generic A, Generic C,  HP-50

The two "problem" scales were the Generic B and Generic C (sold in the USA as Rite Weight & Escali). These were frustrating to test because they don't read below 0.03g and were terribly inaccurate.  This means that if you were weighing items that weigh 0.02g and put them on the scale,  they don't show anything.   This was done because these scales are quite inaccurate, and with cheaper sensors come ZERO POINT PROBLEMS.   This means that with cheap sensors, if you put an 50g item on the scale, then remove it, you'll see a leftover value on the display (such as 0.02g).  While a small leftover value is quite common (0.01g),  a larger leftover value is unacceptable and makes the consumer feel like their digital scale is inaccurate.

To overcome this problem without using better quality sensors,  the manufacturer "rigged" those digital scales so that they simply won't show 0.02g (instead any number below 0.03g is shown as 0.00 on the display).  It's a bit of scale tom-foolery that is inappropriate on precision instruments.

Here's a quick synopsis of our tests in order of which scales we preferred:

1) Durascale 50

The Durascale digital pocket scale is a rugged design with large rubber "bumpers" on the front and back of the scale. These are quite functional and act to cut back on table vibrations and provide a more stable weighing surface.  When we put the Durascale on any surface it always gripped and felt quite solid.  The housing is solid rubberized ABS. The Durascale performed very well for accuracy and readability, tying for first place with the MX-50C.  It also offered a lot of advanced features such as parts counting, adjustable auto off times, adjustable hold (stabilization) and reads in 7 standard modes.  The Durascale uses HBM German-made sensors and this shows in it's accuracy and repeatability.  The heart of a scale is it's sensor.

2) JS-50X

The JS-50X digital pocket scale is the nicest looking scale in our test group.  It has a nice modern shape that we simply adore.  Accuracy was good but not quite at the standards of the Durascale or MX-50. We found that this scale was more accurate in the low to mid range of weighing with slight deviations in the upper range (above 30g).  The JS-50X also had an easy to use parts counting feature with multiple sample sizes and nice soft rubber keys. The housing is made from ABS and felt sturdy during weighing.  We're fans of the JS series since our test of the whole JS series in a previous article. 

3) MX-50C

The MX-50C digital pocket scale is the only scale in our test that wasn't made in China.  This is probably why the cost was much higher then the other scales.  The MX-50 tied for first place in accuracy and repeatability.  It has a proven track record of many years of being in the market.  This is important because all of the "bugs" have undoubtedly been worked out of this model during the past 5 years of sales.  We have an original 1999 MX-50 in our collection of scales and it still works perfectly. In 2002 My Weigh released the MX-50C which reads in Carats (thus the C designation). There is no real difference between the normal MX-50 and the MX-50C other then the default modes. We can set our MX-50 to also read in Carats by using the manual.    The MX-50 is definitely a good choice, but the cost is high and it's an older design.  We see no reason to spend the extra money to purchase an MX-50 when compared to the Durascale and JS-50X.

4) HP-50

The HP-50 digital pocket scale is truly bland in appearance.  It's a box shape with keys that are sort of difficult to press.  The good thing is that it's got a great bang for the buck.  Lots of accessories are included and it's backed by a major brand name.  Accuracy was mediocre but at this price range it was more accurate then we'd expect. The HP-50 performed mediocre in the temperature tests with medium fluctuations.  The housing is a cheaper ABS (felt cheap) but it is thick. We didn't feel very confident that this scale would hold up to years of weighing.  However it is a low cost scale and is certainly an excellent value.

5) Generic 50 "A" (Sold as Digiweigh, US Balance & many others)

The Generic "A" digital pocket scale is really made by XCH sensor in China.  It was bland in appearance and has a shape that seems to resemble the MX-50.   We found the slow speed and sudden measurements a bit difficult to work with.  Accuracy was about the same as the HP-50 (in some tests it was better, in some it was worse).  In the lower and upper range we experienced many readings within 0.01g but in the middle spectrum we obtained readings that were as inaccurate as 0.04g.  The Generic A fluctuated wildly during the temperature change tests. The biggest fault with this scale is that it doesn't register adding weights well.  If you slowly add 0.02g weights to the scale, it never reads them. You can pile many 0.02g weights on this scale one-by-one and it will continue to display 0.00g.   This is because the software of the scale is set to overcompensate for fluctuation.  (*NOTE: with any scale small amounts of weight won't be detected, for this scale any weight lower then 0.01g would normally not be detected. However this scale wouldn't detect adding weights of 0.02g).  As with all generic scales the big question is who stands behind the scale if it breaks?   In this case we feel uncomfortable with the small trading companies that offer this scale under their new brand names.  To understand this,  you should read up on Digiweigh and US Balance.  The housing is made from a flimsy feeling plastic,  we could bend the cover in our hands by lightly twisting on it.  This is important to note because a scale should have a rigid thick base for maximum accuracy.  Otherwise the housing will flex during weighing and cause fluctuations.

6) Generic 50 "B" (Sold as Escali,  HCP and others)

The Generic B & C digital pocket scales are both made by Tronno in China.  They share the same type of software where the scale won't read below 0.03g.  The shape of the Generic B was nice,  and we liked the metal weighing tray.  However accuracy and repeatability were both poor.  This scale should be sold as a 0.02g scale instead of 0.01 due to it's true best normal accuracy.   This scale was very susceptible to temperature changes.  When the scale was cold, it would drift upwards.  We put a 50g weight on the scale and waited 30 seconds. It would show 49.98, then 49.99, 50.00, 50.01, 50.02, 50.03, 50.04 and continue to drift upwards. The housing is made from a flimsy feeling plastic,  we could bend the flip-up cover in our hands by just twisting on it. The color coded buttons also had a nice looking appeal but were unevenly set (differing heights).

7) Generic 50 "C" (Sold as Rite Weight and others)

The Generic B & C digital pocket scales are both made by Tronno in China.  They share the same type of software where the scale won't read below 0.03g.  We preferred the Generic B because the shape and look of the Generic C was quite bland.  We liked the blue backlight of this scale but the backlight seemed to interfere with weighing.  Whenever the light would turn off, the numbers on the display would change by as much as 0.02g.  This is probably due to power fluctuations, but needs to be addressed. Accuracy and repeatability were both poor, beyond the fluctuation condition caused by the backlight. This scale should also be sold as a 0.02g scale instead of 0.01 due to it's true best normal accuracy.    When the scale was cold, it would drift upwards.  We put a 50g weight on the scale and waited 30 seconds. It would show 49.98, then 49.99, 50.00, 50.01, 50.02, 50.03, 50.04 and continue to drift upwards. The housing is made from a similar ABS material to the HP-50 (cheaper plastic but thick, not thin like Generic A or B scale).  This scale has a cheap feel to it and makes a "creak" sound when opened or closed.

 

*Models Compared*
Durascale 50 MX-50c Generic 50 (A) (XCH Sensor Scale sold also as Digiweigh and others Generic 50 (B)  Tronno Scale sold as Escali, HCP, and Others Generic 50 (C)  Tronno Scale sold as Rite Weight, and Others JScale JS-50X JScale HP-50
Maximum Capacity
50g
50g
50g
50g
50g
50g 50g
Modes & Max Resolution
50g x 0.01g
1.76oz x 0.0005oz
250ct x 0.05ct
775gn x 0.1gn
1.61ozt x 0.0005ozt
32dwt x 0.01dwt
1.33t x 0.005t
50g x 0.01g
1.76oz x 0.001oz
250ct x 0.05ct
775gn x 0.2gn
1.61ozt x 0.001ozt
32dwt x 0.01dwt
50g x 0.01g
1.76oz x 0.0005oz
250ct x 0.05ct
775gn x 0.1gn
50g x 0.01g
1.76oz x 0.001oz
1.61ozt x 0.0005ozt
32dwt x 0.01dwt
50g x 0.01g
1.76oz x 0.001oz
1.61ozt x 0.0005ozt
32dwt x 0.01dwt
50g x 0.01g
250ct x 0.05ct
775gn x 0.1gn

 

50g x 0.01g
2.1oz x 0.0005oz
250ct x 0.05ct
775gn x 0.2gn

 

Recalibration
Yes, with standard weights (included)
Yes, with standard weights (included)
Yes, with standard weights (NOT included)
Yes, with standard weights (included)
Yes, with standard weights (included)
Yes, with standard weights (included) Yes, with standard weights (included)
Best Accuracy as tested (g) +/- 0.01g +/- 0.01g +/- 0.01g +/- 0.02g +/- 0.02g +/- 0.01g +/- 0.01g
Worst Accuracy as Tested +/- 0.02g +/- 0.02g +/- 0.04g +/- 0.09g +/- 0.09g +/- 0.02g +/- 0.03g
Stabilization Time
3 seconds
3 seconds
5 seconds
5 seconds
5 seconds
3 seconds 5 seconds
Warranty
Lifetime
Lifetime
5 Years
5 Years
3 Months
5 Years 5 Years
Included Accessories
Calibration weight, Cover/Expansion tray, Pouch, Scoop
Calibration weight, Expansion tray, Pouch, Scoop
None
Calibration weight, Pouch
Calibration weight, Pouch
Calibration weight, Pouch Calibration weight, Expansion tray, Pouch, Scoop
Parts Counting Feature Yes No No No No Yes No
Tare Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Auto-Off Yes, adjustable & programmable Yes, fixed Yes, fixed Yes, fixed Yes, fixed Yes, fixed  Yes, fixed 
LCD size 13mm x 32mm 18mm x 36mm 11mm x 30mm 13mm x 30mm 13mm x 30mm 13mm x 30mm 15mm x 35mm
Avg Retail $70 $90 $50 $65 $60 $65 $60

 

Recommendations:
We feel that overall the Durascale was the best value.  It offers the highest precision, longest warranty, most features, and most rugged design.   The MX-50 was overpriced and the Generic B & C performed less then acceptable.   It's important that you shop around for the best price. When we checked, the best deal we could find on the Durascale was at Balances.com BUT prices change and other merchants offer price matching guarantees.

Learn More about these Scale Brands:

 

Feedback?
FeedbackWe encourage you to provide feedback on this article and/or tell us your personal experience with a scale.
*Within reason - we stepped on the platform,  dropped the scale from 4 ft, all without any damage except for cosmetic.

Important Disclaimer: Scales are sometimes difficult to compare. Our results are just a sample of tests done at random conditions. The actual operating conditions of your scale may vary from our test conditions and your results may differ from our results. We did our best to test the scales in a blind and unbiased manner. We receive advertising and other consideration from companies that support this site. We do our best to not allow this to affect the results of our tests and evaluations. However, we strongly recommend that you do your own comparison tests in your actual operating environment to determine which scale is best for your needs.
The terms PalmScale 7.0 and all are trademarks or trade names of their respective parties. Names are used for comparison purposes only and for the purposes of this article.
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