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American Weigh Scales AMW-SC-2KG Digital Pocket Scale
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- Digital kitchen scale with large stainless steel platform, measuring 4 by 4 inches
- Blue, backlit LCD screen is easily readable even in low light conditions
- Measurements in standard and metric in 0.1 gram/0.01 ounce increments
- Operation buttons include an on/off switch and a tare function
- Powered by 2 AAA batteries (included); 10-year warranty
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The SC Series from American Weigh is built tough for big jobs. The SC features one of the largest platforms sizes for a precision pocket scale (4 by 4-inch). You can also use the two included weighing trays as a protective case when the scale is not in use.
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First, it has an auto-shutoff feature rather aggressively set at 30 seconds, probably to save the batteries from the drain of the backlight. This might be fine for some applications, but for pouring coffee it's a real pain, as it likes to shut itself off while you're waiting for the coffee to bloom, and then re-zeros itself when you turn it back on. The solution, as others have discovered, is to lightly press down on it now and then to keep it awake.
Second, the backlight is always on and can't be turned off. I'd be willing to bet that the backlight uses far more power than the actual scale, so it's a shame that it's not optional. I may eventually go in and disconnect it, since I don't often have any need to use the scale under cover of darkness.
Finally, although it reads out in 0.1g increments, the input filtering on this unit can make it hard to measure out small amounts of anything. It's nice that the reading doesn't constantly jitter all over the place, but I often find myself overshooting because small increases in weight often don't register at first. Once the reading has settled, it seems to want to hold there until it sees a significant change. For example: grab a handful of beans, drop them on the scale, and see a reading of 13.7 grams; drop two more beans on, and nothing happens; take all the beans off the scale and then put them back, and *now* the scale reads 14.0 grams. The obvious workaround is to pick up your measuring container or gently prod the platform with your finger every time you add more material, but it would be nice not to have to do this. If you're mostly measuring small quantities and don't need the 2kg capacity, you might be happier with a 100g scale that reads out to two decimal places.
Positives: The scale is a nice size -- just big enough to support a Chemex, a reasonably sized mixing bowl, etc. but much more compact than some other scales I've seen in the 2kg range. It comes with a cover that fits nicely over the platform to protect the load cell, as well as a tray that the whole scale nests neatly inside. Together they do a good job of protecting the unit for transport or storage, and each can also be used as a weighing container.
One more note, to those considering this for pour-over use: This scale will drift when you put hot things on it. With a container of near-boiling water, I've seen the reading creep down by a few grams in half a minute or so. Load cells are inherently temperature sensitive and you're subjecting it to a pretty significant thermal gradient. If this is a problem for you, just put some kind of a standoff (a cork coaster comes to mind) between the platform and your carafe.
Finally it dawned on me and sure enough, there were two pieces of cardboard in between the scale and the base for shipping purposes. I removed those and the scale works perfectly. Another thing is that the manufacturers website says there must be a 1g minimum in order to weigh. This isn't true. It weighs from .1g up with no problems.
It really is a beautiful scale. Very accurate, I reweighed several objects and they were dead nuts. The weighing platform is 4"x4". It's not the least bit chintzy and in fact has a very pleasant display. Moreover it comes with a hard plastic case that double as weighing trays!
I cannot speak for weight accuracy up to milligrams, but numbers seem consistent with some pre-measured vessels and final results are great too. It was a great addition to kitchen gadgets I have, but it found its usage in other areas as well!
This is an updated review. Customer service is horrible. I had to buy a second unit which stopped working shortly after amazon return window was closed, so I tried using lifetime warranty. No email reply from customer service for more than a week, so i called them and representative "just got my email". There was supposedly an RMA opened, but I didn`t receive any further instructions. No reply after several follow-ups, so jut be aware.
The size and shape of the scale are nice. The small display is recessed so it won't get in your way. The two covers give you two options for a weighing tray. You can throw one away, if having two is a bother. The readout settles faster than my previous scales. My previous scales had 0.1g resolution but maxed out at 1kg. This scale has twice the max weight with the same resolution. (This is good in theory, but in practice it means this scale probably isn't quite as accurate. For my purposes, I'm happy with this tradeoff.)
Even though this is essentially the same stuff with the same features as my other scales, I can see the evolution in ergonomics and firmware. I'm glad my other two scales broke. For the price, I won't be sad if this one breaks in a year or two, either. Maybe the next one will be even better.
Another reviewer noted that the scale doesn't change right away while adding weight to it. This is correct, and it is a downside. But OTOH, with my previous scales the numbers would change immediately, but they took a long time to actually be correct. IOW, if I added a nickel to what was already on the plate, the weight would gradually increase to +5.0 grams over ~2 long seconds, going up by a couple tenths at a time. This scale usually takes just a (small!) fraction of a second to show ONLY the final decision. For most of my purposes, this is a major positive. The only downside comes if you are pouring small things onto the scale. You may have to actually stop for that fraction of a second every now and then to get a reading.