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A kitchen scale is only for pro chefs, right? Not so fast. We’d like to make the case that in any home kitchen, a scale is just as important as (if not more than) measuring cups.

That’s because weighing ingredients is by far the most accurate method of measurement. Many dry ingredients are easily compressible—like flour or brown sugar—and depending on how you pack that cup, it could contain two different amounts. Plus, it’s easier: For example, instead of carefully spooning flour into a measuring cup and trying not to spill it on the counter, place a bowl on a kitchen scale and simply dump everything in. Most modern baking recipes now call for the weights of ingredients in addition to the volumes

Kitchen scales aren’t just for baking, though. Many savory recipes list a weight for produce and grated cheese. And if you’re eyeballing a ratio—say, one part onion to two parts celery in that chicken soup—a scale can guide you. Even brewing coffee can benefit from a scale.

How to choose the best kitchen scale:

There are plenty of options when it comes to kitchen scales; which one you choose will depend on a few factors. Are you using it for ultra-precise recipes, or just to portion out your meals? Is it for coffee or cooking? What’s the maximum (or minimum) capacity you need? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • For baking, consistent accuracy is important. You’ll also want a scale that offers measurements to the nearest hundredth, and that can display weights in grams. (Ignore features for measuring in fluid ounces—it’s neither accurate nor essential.) It’s a good idea to choose one with a higher maximum capacity, like 11 pounds.
  • If your scale is for measuring food portions or losing weight, accuracy is less important. A simple, small analog scale will get the job done.
  • Most standard scales aren’t meant to measure anything under 5 grams—if you need ultra-precision for small amounts, a jeweler’s scale is the best bet.

Investing in a scale might seem intimidating, but we sifted through all the different options to bring you the very best kitchen scales for home cooks.

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Amazon

1. Escali Primo P115C Precision Kitchen Food Scale

Best Overall Kitchen Scale

If you want to know what the pros use, look no further than this humble kitchen scale, which you’ll find in restaurant kitchens and chef recommendations alike. It’s more expensive than some budget options but just as accurate and effective as high-end models. (Plus, it comes in fun colors.)

Pros:

  • Weighs amounts up to 11 pounds
  • Display is fully sealed to protect against spills
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Platform is on the small side

$20 at Amazon

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Amazon

2. Powlaken Food Digital Kitchen Scale

Best for Precision Weighing

When you’re only measuring a small amount of an ingredient but still want precision, this baking scale is your BFF—it’s meant for measurements up to 6.61 pounds. The tempered glass construction and sleek stainless-steel surface make it easy to use and clean, and it has an easy tare function that easily subtracts the weight of the container from the readings.

Pros:

  • Has a clear and bright LED display
  • Tempered glass is easy to clean
  • Good for measuring small amounts

Cons:

  • Can only be used for weight up to 6.61 lbs

$9 at Amazon

Amazon

3. Kiaitre Digital Food Scale

Best USB-Rechargeable Kitchen Scale

Most digital kitchen scales run on some form of battery, but this option can also be recharged via USB. (Let’s face it: We don’t always have batteries on hand.) The stainless-steel platform is easily wipeable, and the small, lightweight design makes transporting it a breeze. The one drawback? It can be finicky, sometimes showing varied readings for the same ingredient on second measure.

Pros:

  • Small and lightweight design makes it easy to place anywhere
  • Stainless steel surface can be wiped clean
  • Can be recharged using the USB cable

Cons:

  • It shows varied readings for the same ingredient

$10 at Amazon

Amazon

4. RENPHO Digital Food Scale

Best Smart Kitchen Scale

Weighing out chocolate chip cookie ingredients? There’s an app for that. This kitchen scale is digital and smart—you can hook it up to your phone with an app that records measurements like calories and nutrition. The stylish glass surface also means you don’t have to stow it in a cabinet if you don’t want.

Pros:

  • Has a stylish and durable glass platform
  • Waterproof surface is easy to clean
  • Connects to your phone via app

Cons:

  • Reviewers complain that the app isn’t intuitive

$20 at Amazon

Amazon

5. Etekcity Food Kitchen Scale

Best for Small Kitchens

If storage space in your kitchen is minimal, this slim baking scale has your name on it. It takes up minimal space and is easy to tuck into a drawer or cabinet. The LED display is visible from all angles and the buttons are easy to navigate. It also measures up to 11 pounds of weight but isn’t super sensitive to lower weights.

Pros:

  • Has simple and easy to navigate buttons
  • Ultra-clear LED display is visible from all angles
  • Ultra-slim design is easy to store anywhere

Cons:

  • Not sensitive to lower weights

$13 at Amazon

Amazon

6. My Weigh Baker’s Math Kitchen Scale

Best Kitchen Scale for Baking

Serious home bakers, this scale is for you. While on the expensive end, it’s packed with features that smaller, cheaper scales just don’t have. Think baker’s math and percentage measurements (in baker’s percentage, ingredients are written as a percentage of the flour weight, which makes it easy to scale recipes up or down), and a 17.6 pounds capacity.

Pros:

  • Can measure in baker’s percentages
  • Holds up to 17.6 pounds
  • Stainless-steel platform is removeable

Cons:

  • Large and hard to store

$46 at Amazon

Amazon

7. Ozeri ZK14-S Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale

Best Cheap Kitchen Scale

This streamlined workhorse scale is ideal for beginners and those looking to save. It has two buttons for ease of use and the large display is easy to read. The base feels sturdy and the whole thing weighs less than a pound but can measure up to 11.24 pounds.

Pros:

  • Features a large weighing platform and two easy-to-use buttons
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Not as many features as other models

$10 at Amazon

Amazon

8. OXO Good Grips 11-Pound Stainless Steel Food Scale with Pull-Out Display

Best Splurge-worthy Kitchen Scale

If you’re willing to spend a little more, OXO’s kitchen scale is worth the money. (It’s also our food editor’s favorite pick.) It has an ample base for even the largest mixing bowls and an easy-to-read backlit display that detaches from the base, so there’s no awkward maneuvering to read the measurements. It also runs on a long-lasting lithium battery that’s replaceable.

Pros:

  • 11-pound capacity
  • Meter shows how much of the scale’s capacity remains
  • Display pulls away from base to prevent shadowing from large plates or bowls

Cons:

  • Expensive

$50 at Amazon

Amazon

9. OXO Good Grips 1-Pound Healthy Portions Scale

Best Analog Kitchen Scale

If your goal is to shed some pounds or get your portions under control, this analog scale has your name on it. While it only measures up to one pound, it has a tare function and both gram and ounce markings for easy measuring, and the platform is bowl-shaped for holding ingredients and foods. The scale is designed to be portable, too.

Pros:

  • No need for batteries or charging
  • Bowl-shaped platform holds ingredients
  • Easy to transport
  • Small capacity is great for portion control

Cons:

  • Some reviewers complain the display “sticks” when measuring small amounts

$13 at Amazon

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