Tips for Purchasing a Scale

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Scale purchases are considered to be a business necessity and not an enhancement when maybe they should.  Unlike a new sports car, latest electronic gizmo or manufacturing robot; scales lack pizzazz. Seldom is a new scale purchase discussed amongst friends or shown to colleagues.  But the scale is the ‘cash register’ for many businesses.  Selecting the appropriate scale should not be based solely on the initial purchase price; but future expenses that result from purchasing a unit that fails to meet your needs.

  • The wrong scale can significantly reduce or impede worker productivity
  • Materials used in the scale’s construction may have a reduced life span when placed in certain environments
  • Scale lacks the required certification(s) for use in buying or selling goods.
  • When the scale requires repairs:
    • Are parts readily available?
    • How is warranty work handled?
    • Can it be repaired locally or must it be shipped back the manufacturer for evaluation/repair?
    • How long can you be without the scale?
    • When returned from repair will a local scale company service call still be required to place the scale back in service with the state.

Additional guidelines and considerations are mentioned below.  As always, our experienced staff is available to assist you in identifying the best scale for your business.


  • What type of product is going to be weighed?
    • Can the scale increase your efficiency?
      • Will it be used for weighing, counting or check weighing?
      • Does the scale need to be wheeled, movable or static?
      • Is in-motion weighing desired?
      • Would an automated recipe batching system increase productivity and reduce your costs?
    • What is the size and weight of the container, package or vehicle that will be weighed?
    • Are goods to be bought or sold based on the scaled weight?
      • Does the scale need to calculate price totals or print labels/tickets?
    • Would communicating with your computer or inventory control system be ideal?
    • Are peripherals needed or required under state law(s), such as:
      • Remote display
      • Stoplights
      • Barcode reader
      • Wireless communication system
    • Would an unattended kiosk system save on labor expense while expanding your work day?


  • What type of setting will the scale be housed or used in?
    • A climate controlled area, a clean room or outside subjected to the elements?
      • Will the scale require:
        • regular wash downs;
        • be sanitized with aggressive cleaners; or
        • come in contact with materials that are corrosive or acidic?
      • Are flammable or explosive compounds present?
      • Are your processes subject to USDA guidelines?
      • How much space is available?


  • What is the maximum weight to be weighed?
    • The scale capacity needs to exceed the maximum weight applied to reduce repairs and prevent permanent equipment damage.
      • Dynamic and shock loading can easily exceed the safety threshold of a scale. For example; 200 lbs. dropped 4 feet onto a scale is the equivalence of an 800 lbs. load.  Therefore, a 500 lbs. capacity scale would be damaged if the overweight threshold rating is 150%.
    • What weight unit will be measured?
      • Pounds
      • Grams
      • Grains
      • Carats
      • Ounces

What Should Be Considered if Buying Used?

Buying used equipment can save your company money: if the scale fulfills your needs; is in good operating condition and parts are available should repairs be needed.  Depending on the scale size and weight, how easily can it be moved. Is a crane or special lifting equipment needed to move the scale from its current location and then set it at the new location?  Larger scales require proper preparation prior to and during disassembly. Cutting or damaging cables, torching bolts and not properly labelling parts may lead to the necessity for expensive replacement components.

Scales when new, are shipped with safety blocks and other specialize packaging to prevent damage during transit.  The same care is needed during movement of a used scale.

We offer an evaluation service for large scales systems; such as, truck scales, batching systems and hoppers. Please contact our Sales Group to inquire about this service.