4 Expert Tips to Buying the Right Counting Scale for Your Business

counting scale with bin of items on top being weighed with report being printed and more product in the background

Counting scales come in all shapes and sizes, including large floor scale counting scales and high-precision balances. If you need help picking the best counting scale, keep reading for some tips.

What Is a Counting Scale?

Counting scales are weighing machines that let you count objects while weighing them. They’re handy for checking an object’s weight against a preset limit or automating counting procedures. You can get counting scales to use on a worktop bench or the floor, depending on the size of the items you measure.

Some industries in which you might use a counting scale include:

  • Quality control centers
  • Factory environments
  • Production facilities
  • Retail warehouses

How Does a Counting Scale Work?

To use a counting scale, you first set a sample weight. This could be a weight you enter on a keypad or the first item you weigh. Then, the scale divides the weight of the load you place on it by the sample weight to find the number of items.

It’s important to note these scales can accurately count multiple items with the same weight, but you must count differently-sized items separately because they may not all match the sample weight.

Benefits of Counting Scales

This type of scale is a great option for many reasons:

  • High accuracy. There’s an increased risk of human error when manually counting a high volume of products. Counting scales are far more accurate.
  • Streamlined efficiency. Because you don’t need to count each item individually, a counting scale can speed up your processes.
  • Inventory management. With accurate high-volume counts, you can collect precise inventory data that improves your inventory and stock management.

When Are Counting Scales a Better Choice Than a Standard Bench Scale?

Standard bench scales are a space-efficient way to weigh objects in a commercial or industrial environment. They occupy just a few square feet on a workbench or countertop. Usually, their maximum weight capacity is several hundred pounds, though they can be much smaller. They’re very useful for determining the weight of a single unit, such as checking weight limits or measuring a large quantity of a product to determine its value. 

A counting scale helps you with more complex operations, like verifying that you have the correct quantity. This makes it useful for quality assurance departments and retail warehouses to ensure they have the right number of pieces in a lot.

You could also use a counting scale to quickly count a large number of items, like the change in a cash register at the end of each day, and print the results.

4 Tips for Buying the Right Counting Scale

If you buy a scale to use in your business, you should ensure it’s “Legal for Trade.” This means a recognized body has certified it for accuracy and consistency. Here are some other tips to help you find the correct counting scale.

1. Know Your Capacity Requirements

B-TEK HRCS High Resolution Counting Scale measuring items
B-TEK HRCS High Resolution Counting Scale

Many factors affect the capacity you need for a scale. It may be tempting to pick the highest weight capacity within your budget, but it’s generally advisable to pick a scale that is double the capacity of the maximum weight you’ll place on the platform.

You should not exceed that weight because scales with a high capacity often have a lower internal resolution, meaning its total capacity divides into fewer pieces. Internal resolution determines the minimum piece weight or the smallest item the scale can count. If the internal resolution is too low, your scale may not be able to calculate the number of items on it accurately.

You can generally afford a lower internal resolution for larger or heavier items. For instance, it’s OK if your scale increases in steps of 100 grams to weigh a person, but it would need smaller increments to weigh candy bars accurately.

You should also consider the number of items you need to count and the weight limitations. If you have to weigh large quantities or need a variety of results, you should choose a scale that includes useful features like:

  • Unit weight
  • Tare weight
  • Piece count
  • Total weight

2. Keep the Weighing Environment in Mind

Ohaus Ranger™ Count 3000 Series, Ohaus Compact Balance
Ohaus Ranger™ Count 3000 Series, Ohaus Compact Balance

It’s best to select a weighing environment with few disturbances because many factors can affect the accuracy of the readings. Some factors to consider include:

  • Heating and cooling systems
  • Vibrating machinery
  • Doors that open and close often
  • Heavily trafficked areas

If you discuss all these factors with a seller — and maybe even have them take a look at your weighing environment — they can help you figure out which scale is best. They’ll also provide insight into the best placement for the scale within your environment.

3. Check the Portability

DIGI® DC-782 Series Portable Counting Scale
DIGI® DC-782 Series Portable Counting Scale

Depending on the purpose of the scale, you should consider certain portability factors. 

If you don’t need to move your scale around, you could buy one that has to be plugged into a power source. If you want a portable scale instead, you should consider how long it will run without external power. A rechargeable option is great if there is an accessible power source nearby, but a battery-powered scale may be more useful if a power source is unavailable for long periods. You could also look for features like an auto-off function to conserve battery life.

You should also consider whether the scale will often be outdoors or indoors. If it’s outdoors, you should prioritize durability because environmental factors are more likely to wear your scale down.

4. Consider Software Systems

B-Tek C100 Compact Bench Piece Counting Scale showing how software can be used to create a whole weighing system with documentation
B-Tek C100 Compact Bench Piece Counting Scale

Counting scales today often include software systems that help streamline business operations even more. For instance, you could automate different processes to reduce your staff’s menial work so they can focus on work that actively grows the business. You could even get a custom software weighing solution

Some features that might help include:

  • Label printing
  • Results printing
  • Display or keypad panels suited for harsh environments

Finding the Best Counting Scale for Your Needs

Counting scales are an essential part of many businesses, yet choosing the right one can be difficult. If you think this type of scale could benefit your business, make sure to pick the best one for your needs. Contact American Scale for help finding the best option for your needs. We are a one stop shop with a wide variety of counting scales for different requirements and budgets as well as custom equipment and programming and scale service calibration.