A good scale is one of the essential pieces of equipment needed to start making your own products. You may be thinking, “But I have plenty of measuring cups and pitchers, can’t I use those?”
Unfortunately, no. Measuring cups and pitchers measure in volume. Cosmetic ingredients need to be measured in weight (even liquids!). This is because measuring cups are not reliable to consistently measure the same amount of ingredient each and every time. When measuring by weight, the same amount of ingredient can be measured time and time again, regardless of what shape or format the ingredient comes in.
Investing in a scale doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are three scales we have purchased, tested, reviewed and can recommend for your beginner's lab.
AMW Weigh ScaleWe love the simplistic nature of American Weigh Series scale and its generously sized weighing platform that’s 6” x 6”. Simply turn the scale on, tare, and weigh. This scale displays one decimal place, meaning it can read in 0.1 gram increments. This is a great feature for weighing colorants or essential oils that are dosed in smaller amounts than ingredients like oils, butters or waxes. We like that this scale also reads up to 2,000 grams so you can experiment with making bigger batches.
- Model: AMW-500I
- Price: $24.61 at Amazon
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 2,000 grams
- Increments: 0.1 grams
- Power: 9V Battery
- Precision: We tested varying weights across all scales and found this one to be very good at all weights.
Pros: 0.1g increments make this a perfect scale to upgrade to. It also has a nice platform size compared to other entry level scales.
Cons: Requires calibration as some users report varying weights.
Bonus: Small rubber feet on the scale keep it from sliding around.
Etekcity Food Kitchen ScaleThis sleek, stainless steel scale from Etekcity is the smallest scale of the three tested and is recommended if you are brand new to making products. The price is incredibly hard to beat if you aren’t sure if making products is for you. It is the least accurate of the three scales tested as it only weighs in 1 gram increments. This means if you are measuring items that are less than one gram, you won’t be able to weigh those items - it needs at least one gram to register a weight change. We think this scale is perfect for making serums, butters and scrubs, items that typically don’t require adding small amounts of ingredients.
- Model: EK6015
- Price: $8.99 at Amazon
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 5,000 grams
- Increments: 1 gram
- Power: 2 AAA Batteries
- Precision: We tested varying weights across all scales and found this one to be very good under 1,000g and only 1g off above this weight.
Pros: Sleek, small design. Great entry level price for beginners.
Cons: Only weighs in 1g increments.
Bonus: The scale turns off after 2 minutes of non-use to conserve battery power.
CJ-4000 Compact Digital ScaleSurprisingly light in weight, this scale from Jennings can plug into the wall or be used with just batteries for more freedom. If you don’t mind measuring in just 0.5 gram increments, this scale is a perfect step up from Etekcity. The display can be backlit if necessary, and has an audible feature so you choose whether or not to hear when pressing buttons.
- Model: Jennings CJ-4000 Compact Digital Scale
- Price: $30.80 at Amazon
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 4,000 grams
- Increments: 0.5 grams
- Power: AC Adapter
- Precision: We tested varying weights across all scales and found this one to be very good at all weights with little to no error
Pros: Less than 1g increments but can handle a larger capacity for bigger batches.
Cons: Scale does not register the first 0.5g increment.
Bonus: The scale comes with a 20-year manufacturer warranty and a protective cover.