We really like scales here at the Adafruit factory, we use them extensively for weighing packages for shipment. We also like scales for counting components, especially small ones, like LEDs or pogo pins. There's nothing more tedious than counting out bunches of LEDs for SpokePOV kits or LED packs. Using a scale is both fast and precise, leaving us more time for designing kits and writing tutorials!

Our favorite scale

We use a MyWeigh i601 and it is by far our favorite counting scale. I'm so in love with it, I'm going to get another. Its an ideal counter for small components!

Things we like about this scale (and you should look for in a comparable scale):

  • Big clear display - some scales have tiny displays, with confusing indicators. This one is very clear and has a nice little matrix on the side so it can display, for example PCS when counting
  • Easy to put into counting mode. This one has a single button (the triangle pile of parts) that puts you into count mode, other scales can be confusing and complex to get into the right mode
  • High precision - this scale has 0.01g precision, so you can count items that weigh 0.1 grams or even a little less
  • Good capacity - this one goes up to 600 grams, which means its also good for counting heavier items or even boxes (we tare-measure kits/boxes to check that they arent missing anything)
  • Battery powered? AC powered? - Battery powered means that you can take it anywhere without cords. AC powered means you're not constantly changing batteries. This guy has the best of both, an internal rechargable lead acid battery, you can run it all week and then recharge it on the weekend. Our last scale had AAA's that it just ate through every week and it was a hassle to keep replacing them
  • Computer tether - Its not super important but I really dig the RS232 port on the side - perhaps one day we will have computer assisted inventory control (!)

The only downside to this scale is its not really cheap - at $200 or so, its an investment. However, getting 0.01gram accuracy will always cost at least $100 and I think that the extras of a good capacity, nice display and the internal battery make it a good value.

Be sure to check out the rest of the MyWeigh site for other scales, they have a version in the same form factor but with 1Kg capacity if you need it, etc.

This guide was first published on Jul 17, 2013. It was last updated on Jul 17, 2013.

This page (Counting) was last updated on Jul 17, 2013.

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