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Digital Scales - Jack Berry's Review
Posted: June 24, 2002, 8:45pm
review rating: 3.7
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
Digital Scales
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More About This Product
Arrow The Digital Scales has 36 Reviews
Arrow The Digital Scales has been rated 9.22 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Digital Scales reviews have been viewed 187,417 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Jerry Kalpin 10.00
Marshall Schmidt 10.00
James Bacci 9.66
Katherine Gingliss 9.44
Bryan Wray 9.25

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.8
Product Reviewed: A&D HL-400
Manufacturer: A&D Company, LTD Quality: 10
Average Price: Varies Usability: 8
Price Paid: $99.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Precision Weighing Balances Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 6 months Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: Just starting Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: It weighs, it displays, itís accurate and itís easy. And it's resonably priced.
Positive Product Points

This is a very accurate, easy to use scale at a very fair price. A large removable platform and good range of features makes it versatile.  You can get the full specs on this scale at www.balances.com.

Negative Product Points

Personally I wish the maximum for the scale were 1 kilogram. I would like to be able to weigh 2 lb bags of coffee but it's a small thing compared to the strong features the scale offers.

Detailed Commentary

I bought the scale after searching the web and reading reviews of other scales. I knew I wanted better than 1 gram resolution in a scale. If I would be striving for consistency in my efforts it seemed to me that a 14% margin of error was too great (7 gram scoop with an error of 1 gram). The problem was to find a scale of 0.1 gram resolution that was reasonably priced. Most were in the range of $125 - without the AC adapter.

The HL-400 has a couple of features I really appreciate. You can get more information than you probably want at the web site but the short list for me is:
  1. Dual scales, ounces or grams, switchable without shutting off the  scale
  2. Weighing resolution of 0.1 gram or 0.01 oz., Range = 400 grams or 14 oz.
  3. Tare by subtraction
  4. Weighing platform of plastic which is large, square and removable.
  5. Easy calibration

Most of these features are self-explanatory. Tare by subtraction was one I glossed over Ė I didnít know what it was so how important could it be? Turns out itís a very convenient feature to have. The benefit of ďtare by subtractionĒ is that I can press the Ďre-zeroí button and take the weight of a container out of the equation. Simply place the empty scoop, weighing boat, empty bean bag or whatever container is used to hold coffee on the scale and, hit re-zero. The scale sets itself to zero thus making whatever you add to the container the only weight being reported in the display. And this happens automatically if the container is sitting on the platform when you turn the scale on. No more subtracting odd digits for the boat, scoop or whatever. I think many digital scales have this feature but it was new to me.

The display is of adequate size, 1/3 inch 7 segment characters and faces up so there is no need to lean over or squint to read it. There are only 3 function keys to operate. I hate when electronics manufactures add 307 programmable functions to a product only because the chip that handles the primary functions has the capability for the other 300! The result is normally a product so complicated to operate it takes your eight year old kid to figure it out Ė a humbling experience. A&D kept it simple and on target. It weighs, it displays, itís accurate and itís easy. It doesnít slice, dice or chop.

The HL-400 has a pretty low profile. Turns out to be the one coffee roasting, brewing, enhancing piece of gear my wife hasnít found to be in the way. That she uses it to weigh outgoing mail from time to time probably helps.

One unforeseen use for the HL-400 has been to track moisture content of beans. I measure 100-gram batches, roast and reweigh and find most beans loose about 15% of their weight during roasting. Not rocket science but itís interesting to a coffee geek.

Buying Experience

Included in the $99 promotional price was the AC adapter, normally a $29 item. This dealer is including 6 plastic weighing boats in the deal and I added 2 of the 200-gram calibration weights for an additional $20.
Precision Weighing Balances offers a huge range if balances and information at their web site (www.balances.com) and great service. I used PayPal to pay for the scale and shipping was fast.

Three Month Followup

This has been an excellent purchase. Still my only very slight fault is the maximum range of the scale at 400g but it's less of an issue than I thought 3 months ago.

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review rating: 3.7
Posted: June 24, 2002, 8:45pm
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
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