How to Test Your Digital Scale with Change

Coins can be used to determine the accuracy of a digital scale.
Coins can be used to determine the accuracy of a digital scale. (Image: diet scale image by sparkia from <a href=''></a>)

Digital scales have multiple household and business applications and users of digital scales rely on their accuracy. Factors including temperature changes, condensation, electrical malfunction, and regular wear and tear can affect a scale's accuracy over time. Coins are manufactured to be precise weights according to exact standards. This makes them a reliable and easily accessible reference to find whether the amount of weight on the scale matches the amount displayed.

Things You'll Need

  • Digital scale
  • 5 quarters
  • 25 dimes

Turn on the scale and activate the "tare" or "zero" setting.

Place five quarters on the scale. The weight should be 1 oz. or 28.25 g.

Remove the quarters from the scale and again press the button for "tare" or "zero" on the scale.

Place 25 dimes on the scale. The weight should be 2 oz. or 56.7 g.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid using coins that are chipped, nicked, or visibly worn, as they weigh less than they did at the time of production. Use other coins for reference if you do not have access to the recommended coins. The other weights, as reported at the time of production by the United States Mint, are 2.500 g or 0.0088 oz. for a penny, 5.000 g, or 0.176 oz. for a nickel and 11.340 g, or 0.400 oz for a half dollar.

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