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How Digital Scales Work


Most digital scales use Strain Gauge technology as the underlying methodology for determining highly precise measurements. Strain Gauge technology uses transducer beams that are specially engineered to bend in proportion to the weight of the load placed on the weighing platform. Modern digital scales are designed with thousands of transducer beams depending on the technical specifications. The precision level of a digital scale that uses Strain Gauge technology is directly correlated with the number of transducer beams under the weighing platform. This group of transducer beams as a singular unit is commonly referred to as the Load Cell of a digital scale.

Tip: Load cells perform the more accurately in the center of the weighing platform because it is where the greatest number of sensors can detect external pressure. Weigh your items in the center of the weighing platform whenever possible for more consistently accurate readings.


When an item is placed on a digital scale’s weighing platform, the bending of the transducer beams causes a change in electrical resistance. The change in electrical resistance is measured by an Analog to Digital (A/D) Converter, which then relays the reading to the microcontroller via the unit’s circuit board. The microcontroller then analyzes stored calibration data alongside the data received from the readout to provide a precise calculation. After processing the data, the microcontroller relays a final measurement to the scale’s display. This entire process that occurs within the electrical components of a digital scale happens almost instantly on most modern weighing instruments.


Digital scales are precise instruments that must be handled delicately. Mishandling your scale by dropping, throwing, or banging the scale can cause permanent damage to the fragile sensors and microcontroller. The accuracy of a digital scale is dependent on the condition of the scale’s internal components, which can be damaged with even slight reverberations.