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Are Digital Scales Better than Analogue Scales?

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When it comes to baking and preparing dishes, measuring your ingredients accurately is crucial. Too much salt or not enough flour, and your cake and cookies are sure to put a grimace on your customers’ faces. So which scales are best? Which type of scale gives you most accuracy?

Baking has its many pulls. From throwing flour around and whisking to decorating and, of course, the delicious treat at the end. But we all know the struggle of adding too much of one ingredient and having to counter it with more of another. And then the balancing act starts. You add a little more of this to counter a little too much of that. Which isn’t the best use of your ingredients, or the most cost effective. This is why measuring accurately is key to ensuring the perfect bake and maximizing profits.


What are the Main Differences between Dial and Electric Scales?

Size

Dial scales usually feature a large circular dial and a large bowl for holding contents. This make them fairly large compared to comparable electronic scales. Electric scales have a small LCD or LED screen, making them much more compact, easier to store and easier to transport. The ‘best’ scales here will depend on the amount of space you have or want to save. Dial scales take up a lot of storage space and work surface space when in use, whereas their digital counterparts can be kept in small areas, such as drawers and cupboards.


Weighstation Kitchen Scales - F172


Capacity: 5kg


Size: 21.7(H) x 14.2(W) x 20.4(D)mm








Weighstation Electronic Round Scales - GG017


Capacity: 5kg


Size: 1.5(H) x 18.5(Ø)mm

Appearance

Many chefs and bakers prefer the traditional look the dial scales offer. Their large dial brings a rustic and authentic feel to baking and keeps it feeling like a hand-made and hands-on activity. Electronic scales on the other hand, lack that authentic look. Digital scales may not hold this nostalgic look, but they do offer something unique in its own right. Baking is often referred to as a science, and digital scales often look like science equipment. The difference in appearance, and which one you choose, is down to your own taste.


Accuracy

Dial scales often use a spring mechanism to measure the weight of contents. This makes them less sensitive than digital scales and usually need 10g or more to even move the dial. Electronic scales, on the other hand, can register as low as 1g, making them extremely accurate. Dial scales also require you to get to the right angle to see the measurement correctly, and even then, how can you be sure? Digital scales show you the measurement on a screen that you can see from any angle and without any uncertainty as to what it says.


Professional chef, Mark Veale, says ‘...It’s worth having a number of different size scales for the kitchen. Nowadays, certain foods require very fine accuracy with measurements, so you need a standard set as well as a small set to ensure you get an accurate measurement.’


Uses

An advantage of using digital scales is weighing things other than ingredients. The large bowls of analogue scales limit what you can easily weigh, but the flat surfaces of digital scales mean you can measure containers, glasses, jars, meats and much more. This allows you to increase or decrease the price of what you’re selling based on the overall weight of the finished product.

Most digital scales don’t include a bowl. This means you’ll have to use one you already own or buy a new mixing bowl to fit. Some digital scales do come with a bowl, combining elements of both types, such as the Add and Weigh Digital scale from Weighstation



Digital scales can also be used in customer facing areas, such as butchers or grocers. The Weighstation Electronic Platform Scale has a screen on the front and back of the unit. This allows both you and your customer to see the weight of produce. 

There are pros and cons to both digital and analogue scales. Whether you prefer one over the other or use both, each has its place in commercial kitchens and bakeries. Which type do you use? Do you prefer digital or analogue? Let us know in the comments section below!

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