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Digital or Dial scale???


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well i weighed myself at my grandmothers and her dial scale was off 3 pounds under but i checked that by putting a weight on and it said an 8 pd weight weighed 5 pounds so i weighed myself and it said i weighed 211 so i added 3 pounds so i weigh 214 now, 6 pounds lossed apparently, but today at walmart i stood on a digital scale and it said i weighed the same and some said i weighed 222, which is two pounds more than i started out...ack should i trust the digital scale or the dial scale, which one is more true, and accurate?- lala
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I have the same question - I've had a dial scale for years but found out recently..it's off by 20 pounds!  I bought a digital scale today and I weighed less in the kitchen than I do in the bathroom (go figure!) I assume the floor isn't flat in one of those rooms.  I get my solid weight scores from a medical scale at the gym - can't seem to trust anything else!
have you tried going to the gym weighing yourself, then coming home and adjusting your dial scale to off set what the difference is so its equal to what the gym shows you? its an idea so you know its always right....
I hate personal home scales. Unless you spend a lot of money on one, they're going to give you a problem.

Dial scales work on springs. The problem is that tension isn't always the same over time, or under different temperatures, so if the temperature in the room is different, or the scale is old, your weight will be inaccurate. New scales are decent, assuming the temperature and moisture is always the same. But since most dial scales use levers to reduce the amount of weight on internal peices by a ratio of about 1:12, the more weight, the more it will be off. Pretty much your dial scales are off by a percentage rather than a weight. So a percentage of an 8lb weight is less of a discrepency than a percentage of a person. I can't explain that part too well, but its due to the spring inside and the levers.

A digital scale is the same as a dial scale except for the way it displays the reading. Instead of moving a rack and pinion to display your weight, it triggers an electronic response on a chip. So the spring still does the same thing and offers the same problems. Perhaps a digital scale is a little more accurate because its one less mechanical peice that could fail, but I don't see a drastic reason to choice one over the other, unless you want a big bright number instead of a crude dial reading.

Also, a scale uses 4 levels to equalize the weight on the spring. So if one lever is higher than the others, it will change the reading. That's why having your scale on a level surface is important. Its also one reason why you would have different readings in different rooms. Also, a bathroom tends to be hot and moist after a shower, which would change the tension in the spring, and would change the reading you get. Scales are a "you get what you pay for" product. If you don't want to buy an expensive one, do what lalathestylist suggested. Weigh yourself at the gym or doctors, and go back immediately and weigh yourself on your own scale. I would suggest moving your scale out of the bathroom so its not all hot and moist sometimes and dry and cold other times. That will definately give you different readings. Well, theoretically ;)

I just bought a new dial scale a few days ago. Mainly because I didnt have the $85 to spend on a digital one. I dont know whats better as in dial vs scale. If its a bad brand its going to give you troubles no matter what and after time they are all going to become inaccurate I think.

This one is working for me for now, see how it goes lol 

You can get a nice digital for around 50 bucks- and if you do some research you can probably find a reliable brand for around 30 online.

I don't trust dial scales.  It seems like more people use digital for accuracy.

We have a fairly expensive digital scale that works for me. My primary concern is that I am losing ... slowly but surely.  We put it in the exact same spot every Monday when I weigh-in .... then my DH hides it from me the rest of the week so I don't freak out.... hee hee hee.

=^..^=  MOLLY

Oh gosh, now I'm scared.

I've been using a dial scale. Lately I started to increase my calorie intake. I've always thought that I've been maintaining my weight, but now who knows?? T_T

Maybe I do need to fork over the money for a digital scale *sigh*
my bathroom has tiles on the floor so the number on the scale varies when i put it on different tiles( I KNOW!), now i just put it on the same piece of tile everytime i weigh myself. after all, it's the trend you should be worry about, not the actual number.
I check mines accuracy by weighing my daughters every now and then. unless they have a growth spurt their weight isnt going to change much week to week so if I see weight is the same I know my scale is accurate.
I used a dial scale for a while until I found out that it was off by over 5 pounds.  I spent $40-50 on a digital scale that has turned out to be quite accurate so that's what I'm sticking with for now.
Original Post by pmorgan2:


A digital scale is the same as a dial scale except for the way it displays the reading. Instead of moving a rack and pinion to display your weight, it triggers an electronic response on a chip. So the spring still does the same thing and offers the same problems. Perhaps a digital scale is a little more accurate because its one less mechanical peice that could fail, but I don't see a drastic reason to choice one over the other, unless you want a big bright number instead of a crude dial reading. 

 I was under the impression that some modern digital scales use piezoelectrics.  For example I don't see where the spring would be on those ultra-thin scales that are transparent.

Some older doctor scales use a counterweight system however the lever assembly is similar in operation to your home scale.   I'm under the impression that doctors scales can be significantly off if they haven't been calibrated in a while.

oh wow this is really intense information lol, i dont know what to choose now or if i even did loose those 6 pounds hmpf okay well with people that are happy with the brands they have now and that is accurate could you name off a few brands so i can give them a looksie? thanks- lala
Digital scales are junk.  I am a freak about my weight, so I went out and bought a top of the line digital scale.  I can stand on it twice 5 minutes apart and it will give me different weights.  DRASTICALLY different weights.  (Think 10 lbs or so.)  I am also wearing 2 sizes smaller than I wore in high school (15 years ago) and yet the scale is saying I weigh nearly 20 lbs more than I did then.  The nail on the coffin for me was when my kids had a physical at school and came home to tell me that our scale was off by 10-15 pounds.  So to summarize, they are J-U-N-K.  Save your money and your sanity and go with a mechanical scale.  (And you can always tell if you've lost weight on those because if the weight changes, you have.)
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