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Sure, sometimes eyeballing it in the kitchen works just fine. But for tasks like baking, brewing the perfect pour-over, or generally keeping close tabs on your calorie or macro intake? Precision matters, people.

That’s where food scales come in. These small but mighty devices offer a way more specific alternative to measuring by volume. That can go a long way toward helping you lose weight, improve your fitness, or just achieve peak deliciousness.

But different scales excel at different purposes, so the right model for you definitely depends on the job you have in mind. Here’s a roundup of the top picks, no matter your needs or your budget.

No one wants to spend 5 minutes trying to weigh an ingredient only to find that the weight is definitely not right. So, foremost, the scales we considered had to be quick, easy to use, and accurate (though some scales offer a higher degree of precision than others).

Another must-have feature: the ability to easily convert to different measurements, like going from ounces to grams. Most of the scales we sought out also had a weight capacity of at least 11 pounds, though we were willing to make an exception for one model specifically geared toward measuring smaller amounts.

As kitchen tools go, kitchen scales definitely fall into the affordable category. Most top-rated models come in under $40, and you can find some sweet basic options for less than $20.

  • $ = under $19
  • $$ = $19–30
  • $$$ = $31–$40
  • $$$$ = over $40

All food scales essentially do the same basic task: weigh your ingredients or food. But a bunch of models have extra features that make them especially suited to specific tasks like baking or keeping tabs on your calorie intake or macros. Let’s take a look at the top picks.

1. Best all-purpose food scale: Escali Primo Digital Kitchen Scale

Virtually every major product review publication has ranked this workhorse as a top performer, and it’s racked up more than 2,000 enthusiastic write-ups on Amazon. The digital interface is easy to use (two buttons!) and easy to clean, and a spill guard keeps the display protected. All around, it’s solid.

Cons: With just two operating buttons, it doesn’t have much in the way of additional features.

Price: $$

Buy the Escali Primo Digital Kitchen Scale online.

2. Best food scale for baking: MyWeigh KD-8000 Kitchen Scale

With a 17-pound capacity, this scale can handle ingredients for megabatches of dough. But the feature that really seals the deal? The percentage weighing function, which makes it a cinch to scale recipes up or down with pinpoint precision.

Cons: It’s kinda bulky, so not a great choice for small spaces.

Price: $$$$

Buy the MyWeigh KD-8000 Kitchen Scale online.

3. Best food scale for weight management or diabetes: Etekcity Smart Nutrition Food Scale

You can sync the scale with your phone to calculate calories and macros so you know exactly what you’re eating. Not sure about the nutritional deets of a certain food? No worries — you’ve got easy access to a database with info for some 270,000 foods.

Cons: Any food you want to log on the app has to be weighed. So if you want an accurate picture of your food intake, everything’s gotta go on the scale.

Price: $$

Buy the Etekcity Smart Nutrition Food Scale online.

4. Best scale for bodybuilding or keto: GreaterGoods Nourish Digital Food Scale

If you’re into lifting or you follow a superspecific diet, chances are you’ve got a lot of your own recipes that work just right for you. In addition to tracking your macros and calories, this scale lets you add custom entries and calculate your daily totals to see where you come out on things like protein or carbs as the day goes on.

Cons: The searchable food database isn’t huge.

Price: $$$

Buy the GreaterGoods Nourish Digital Food Scale online.

5. Best analog food scale: Taylor Stainless Steel Analog Kitchen Scale

Consider it the kitchen equivalent of an analog alarm clock or a retro wooden record player: It just looks cool. But it’s also still super precise, offering measurements in 1-ounce or 50-gram increments. Bonus: You never have to worry about batteries dying.

Cons: Without a digital screen, reading very specific measurements might be a little tougher.

Price: $$

Buy the Taylor Stainless Steel Analog Kitchen Scale online.

6. Best food scale that comes with a bowl: Etekcity Food Scale with Bowl, Timer, and Temperature Sensor

The stainless steel mixing bowl, which fits right onto the scale base, means you never have to worry about setting a tare weight. The built-in temperature sensor and timer are nice extras, too, especially when a cooking project calls for precision.

Cons: It’s hard to fit a different bowl or container on the base.

Price: $$

Buy the Etekcity Food Scale with Bowl, Timer, and Temperature Sensor online.

7. Best food scale for small spaces: Ozeri ZK14-S Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale

Compact and lightweight, this one will take up minimal counter space and can easily be tucked into a cabinet or drawer. And judging by its nearly 40,000 glowing Amazon reviews, the small size has zero impact on performance.

Cons: It might not be super durable. Some users complain that their scale broke down after just a couple months of regular use.

Price: $

Buy the Ozeri ZK14-S Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale online.

8. Best budget food scale: Etekcity Portable Digital Kitchen Scale

Here’s a serious performer that costs about as much as a week’s worth of coffee drinks. It toggles to metric or liquid volumes, and the stainless steel looks sleek.

Cons: It’s not as sensitive for tiny amounts (like a spoonful or two of flour or spices) as more expensive models are.

Price: $

Buy Etekcity Portable Digital Kitchen Scale online.

9. Best food scale for precision measuring: American Weigh Scales Precision Digital Kitchen Weight Scale

Serious coffee or tea drinker? This mega-precise scale gives you measurements down to 0.1 gram, so you can get your drink exactly right.

Cons: It can go small but not too big — the upper limit for this baby is just 6.6 pounds.

Price: $$$

Buy American Weigh Scales Precision Digital Kitchen Weight Scale online.