Updated: August 05, 2020

If you are a person who creates your own ammunition you probably have realized that there is a big savings in reloading your own cartridges. Not only is it away to create ammunition that is often times more accurate than what you would get from the manufacturer or in the store, but there is a considerable savings that can be made when you were buying the materials to make your own cartridges.

However, that savings can quickly be lost if you are not accurately measuring out such things as gunpowder. Your great cost-saving endeavor can quickly turn against you and this is why it is important that you get the best powder scale for reloading that will assist you in making sure that your gunpowder is not wasted.

It is for this reason that I have done much of what you’re doing right now. I have read reviews, tried out many different products, and consulted friends and family looking to find the perfect equipment, including the perfect scale for measuring out powder. This is why you can have some confidence that the information I am providing is something that is of value to you. I have taken my personal obsession and expertise and written this review to assist you in finding the best scale for yourself, I don’t make any money off this, I just get satisfaction being able to provide what I have learned to you.

How to Choose the Most Accurate Reloading Scale?

Before discussing the best options for scales, it is important for you to understand what makes for an accurate and good quality scale. So here are some things to pay attention to:

  • Type of Scale. There are two primary types of scales that you can purchase: digital and mechanical or balance beam. The digital scale is one that is measuring your powder electronically, while the mechanical or balance beam scales are allowing you to do this manually. Some find the manual more accurate, it’s really a question of what you like best. Just make sure you take the time to decide on what works best for you – digital or mechanical, as well as other factors – and you will have the scale that can work for you for a decade or more.
  • Sensitivity. No matter which kind of scale you are speaking of, you want to look for something that provides you with a great deal of sensitivity, at least 1/10 grain inaccuracy. This will give you great precision and ensure that you don’t have waste. This review was intended to give you some good information, and I hope I’ve done that. Just remember to be smart and safe in everything you do surrounding the use of your weapon, including the reloading of your cartridges. Do that and your experiences will be better than ever and you will have great ammunition, great equipment, and great fun.
  • Capacity. Whether you are planning on doing a small number of cartridges or a big batch, being able to weigh the amount you are looking for at any time is an important consideration. Make sure you get a capacity that fits how you reload your cartridges.
  • Durability. That was a lot of information for you, but it was good stuff that should help you on making the right decision on the kind of reloading scale you need. If you are a person who reloads your cartridges while you’re out at the range or out on a hunting trip, then you need something that’s going to be durable. The more mobile you need your scale to be more durable you needed to be.
  • Price. Of course price is always a concern. While you want the highest possible quality scale, you also want to get one that works well within your budget, so having an idea of the other kinds of factors that matter to you most will help you to determine what you can afford.

6 Best Digital Electronic Scales on the Market!

Now that you have some ideas about important factors to pay attention to when choosing a scale. For those who are deciding that they would like the digital scale option, here are my top six digital scales that I discovered.

  • Skip to the best mechanical or balance beam scales
  • #1 RCBS Chargemaster Combo 1500, 110V-AC

    RCBS Combo 110V-AC Chargemaster Review This was my personal favorite digital electronic scale that started with a fantastic design. It was easy for me to be able to load in the gunpowder and then choose the display screen to set exactly how much powder was to come through the device and onto the scale. It was able to hold at least 1 pound of powder in the hopper and is perfect for those using smokeless powder.

    The precision of this scale is +/- 0.1 grains and I was able to dispense anywhere from between two up to 300 grains. The precision of the scale is amazing, ensuring I got an accurate amount of powder for every time that I measured, perfect for those who want to ensure they are not wasting powder during reloading.

    Extremely fast in terms of your ability to get the powder amount you want to weigh out correctly, and the display is easy to use so that you can get the exact kind of measurements you are looking for. You will be amazed at how quickly this cuts your reloading time, and you are able to use it with the multitude of different kinds of powders.

    A great design that is extremely durable. You can easily take this anywhere, and it allows you to use batteries to keep it charged on the go. Absolutely loved it.

    #2 Hornady 050108 Electronic Scale, 1500 Grain

    Hornady 050108 Electronic Scale Review If you are looking for a well-designed scale that has the capacity of 1500 grains, here’s the choice for you. It is perfect for any reloading bench, and comes with a plug that gives you three different kinds of outlets to use in almost any kind of socket. You can literally take this anywhere, and I mean anywhere across the globe.

    There is a large LCD display, which makes it easy to read and it is lit, so even if you were out creating cartridges as the sun is going down, you can still get a good reading with your powder without giving away your position. Plus, it gives you precision up to one tenth of a grain. You can easily weigh bullets, powder, cartridges, cases, and much more.

    Included with the scale are a variety of measuring tools, which not only include micrometers and calipers, but you also get tools that allow you to measure rim thickness, the seating depth of your bullet, and other tools that help to create uniformity in each cartridge you make. This is a great scale built to give you an accurate card each and every time. You also like the fact that is so small that it easily fits on your workbench area without taking up much room.

    #3 RCBS Scales Chargemaster Lite 120/240 Vac-US/Intl

    RCBS Scales Chargemaster Lite 120/240 Vac-US/Intl Review This is a great 300 grain powder dispenser, which has an accuracy up to 0.1 grains. It is specifically built for everyone, no matter whether you are right-handed or left-handed, and you will love the fact that it is easy to get an accurate amount of powder with each setting. Dispensed from the hopper, powder comes onto the tray as you determine, giving you the exact accurate measurement you want each and every time.

    The LCD display is easy to read and easy to use. This is one of the things that I really loved about the scale, because it took a very short learning curve for me to be able to get the amount of powder I needed and every time. The interface is just excellent, and you will love how responsive it is.

    Setting the calibration is easy. It is a durable device that enables you to be able to take it with you wherever you want. Battery-operated if you so desire. I personally like the fact that it was built as a rather small device, making it easy to store on my workbench or to take with me. Really ideal for the on the go hunter.

    #4 Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Precision Scale with LCD Display and Case for Reloading

    Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Precision Scale Review If you want something that is much more than just a scale, then this Frankford option is exactly what you are looking for. Not only do you get a fantastic case to protect your scale and make it easy to take with you, but you get incredible calibration at this, as accurate as .01 g. The capacity is 1500 grains or 100 g and you have two different calibration weights making it so that you can measure in either grains, grams, carrots, or ounces. This is a fantastic scale.

    This is one of the easiest scales you will find to use, which can either run on 110 V, 220 V, or by using for AAA batteries. It will automatically shut off after 180 seconds of idle time making sure that your power is not wasted. Plus, you will like the fact that its size makes it that you could store it virtually any place, even when it is out of the case.

    Included with the scale and case, are calibration weights, a metal powder Pam, a storage case, the adapters for power supply, and a clear protective cover. This is a scale that is specifically built to give you maximum potential in terms of the hand loads you are creating, and you will love the fact that you can take this with you anywhere you go. Plus, it has a large black lit display that makes it easy to read no matter where you are.

    #5 American Weigh Scales GEMINI-20 Portable Milligram Scale

    American Weigh Scales GEMINI-20 Portable Milligram Scale Review This is a great portable scale, powered by the use of two AAA batteries. This is a very small digital scale that weighs up to about 20 g of any substance, allowing you to increase or decrease in increments of 0.001 g.

    Included with the scale is a carrying case that also provides you with such things as tweezers, calibration weight, and a tray. They flip down shield protects the scale, so not only do you get accurate measurements but you do not have to worry about the scale being damaged, as this is an extremely durable and hard plastic.

    There are six different weight units that you can use, including ounces, grams, and grains among three others. The diameter of the scale is 1.3 inches, and is made of a strong stainless steel to give you a great scale. There are separate on and off buttons, along with an easy to read LCD display. The user guide is easy to follow, and included are two different 10 g calibration weights.

    What many have liked is that the company has completely redesigned the weighing platform, making it much more accurate and easy to use. Not only can you weigh powder and cartridges, but virtually any kind of material you would like, as I was even able to weigh tea extract and different supplements I have been using to improve my health.

    6 Best Mechanical or Balance Beam Scales to Buy!

    While the digital scales can be a great option, as you have seen many have issues with their ability to zero out. This is why there are those who are much more comfortable with using either the mechanical or balance being scales and here are six you may want to consider.

    #1 Ohaus 30332167 10-10 Reloading Scale

    Ohaus 30332167 10-10 Reloading Scale Review If you are a person who prefers to do things manually and wants what is the best reloading scale on the market, then you are really going love this one. This comes with a 511 grain plus a 500 graying counterweight that enables you to be able to weigh over 1000 grains. The 10-10 has a lockable micrometer that makes the accuracy of the weighting system even more accurate.

    This scale is made of an extremely rugged, diecast foundation, with a leveling foot that provides a great deal of stability. You are not going to find much that will disturb the accuracy of your weighing outside of an earthquake, and you will love that each scale is made so that it can be leveled quickly by adjusting the scale at one single point. Here’s how you can measure powder with Ohaus reloading scale:

    There is no need for a battery or any kind of power source. You get an accurate scale out-of-the-box that is dependable and ensures that every measurement you take is exactly what the weight is. Also, because of how durable it is, you can take this scale anywhere you go making it ideal for those who like to create their cartridges while they are out on the range or out in the field.

    For those who love the accurate measurement of doing things mechanically, this is one of the best you’re going find and, best of all, you can use this to measure just about anything. No limitations here.

    #2 RCBS 98916 M1000 Mechanical Scale

    RCBS 98916 M1000 Mechanical Scale Review This is a great reloading scale, which comes with a sharp design and easy to read values that make it the perfect choice for a person who is looking for accurate measurements. This scale allows you to measure up to 1000 grains and the places are easy to adjust, making calibration and determination of weight you desire a snap.

    The grooves on the scale are the perfect depth, ensuring that they hold in place without skipping from one value to the next. It’s perfectly made for a person who is either left or right-handed and it comes with a clear plastic cover that will help to protect it during transport.Here’s a short video how you can operate your RCBS Mechanical Scale:

    The base ensures that you get an accurate measurement each time, as it provides great stability. You are able to level the scale easily and its total weight is just 2.4 pounds. That makes transport even easier, which is ideal for those who love to take their scale with them while they are out for the day.

    This is one of those kinds of scales that a person can buy and hang on to for years, as it provides great accuracy, with a 0.2 grains margin of error, and it is built of durable materials that will enable you to use the scale for years to come. This is truly one of those purchases that you can hang onto for decades.

    #3 Redding Reloading – Powder & Bullet Scale #2 Master

    Redding Reloading - Powder & Bullet Scale #2 Master Review If you are looking for a smaller sized reloading scale that still provides you with great accuracy then this is one you will really like. This scale is much smaller than many of the other balance beam reloading scales I observed, but still gives you a lot of bang for the buck.

    It has a capacity of 505 grains and yet still divides an accuracy of 1/10 of a grain. It is built with an extremely simple design, giving you two counterpoise systems which make use of the scale extremely simple, but also with a high degree of sensitivity so you get accurate measurements.

    This scale weighs less than a pound, making it absolutely ideal to take with you anywhere. In fact, you are likely to find that it could fit in a small bag or in whatever case you use when you go hunting. It’s extremely durable, so it can handle a little wear and tear and re-zeroing it takes a matter of a couple of seconds before you are ready to use.

    #4 RCBS M500 Mechanical Scale

    RCBS M500 Mechanical Scale Review Here is another smaller size scale, weighing just 1.2 pounds, which is ideal for those who are looking for a little bit larger scale to measure their powder, yet still one something a little larger that is better suited for those with bigger fingers and hands.

    This scale is made of the highest quality materials, ensuring that you’re getting a durable scale that will last you for years, and you will love the fact that the leveling knob is underneath the scale, making it easier for you to be able to stabilize the base. Here’s a quick video on RCBS Mechanical Scale:

    The granulation marks, at 1/10 intervals which is perfect for getting an accurate measurement, and I love how easy it was to be able to get the pan off the scale. While you can measure up to 500 grains, it is better equipped for no more than 300 to get the best level of accuracy.

    Extremely sensitive scale, which provides you with accurate results each time. The magnetic damping settles down quickly, making it so that you can have a repeatable process each time with great accuracy. You simply can’t beat how great this scale is for the price you are paying.

    #5 LEE PRECISION Safety Scale Red

     LEE PRECISION Safety Scale Review This is one of the simplest reloading scales I found, although, it is also one of the best constructed. It weighs less than 1 pound, and is built with a tough phenolic that lets you know it will last.

    What I liked about it, and many of the reviews I read about it seem to like as well, is that this is a no-frills scale. It is built to look very much like a teeter totter, where you are able to determine the measurement by monitoring the leveler. It provides an incredible level of accuracy up to 1/20 grain, but still is able to handle the capacity of 500 grains on the beam.

    I found the scale to be extremely easy and quick to use, giving me accurate measurements each and every time. I will say it takes a little practice to get used to using it, but once you do you’re going to be amazed at the measurements you receive. Truly a fantastic product. One I actually use to confirm the values I’m getting from my portable electronic scale.

    Comparison Chart

    Powder ScalesProsCons
    #1 RCBS Chargemaster Combo 1500
    • Made of extremely high quality materials that keep it stable and make it durable
    • Perfect scale for those who were on the go
    • Great capacity area
    • Display screen makes it easy to choose exact measurements
    • High precision accuracy
    • Did have some issues with getting it to zero out
    • Some report that the electronic portion will have issues
    #2 Hornady 050108 Electronic Scale
    • A high quality scale which gives you great precision in measurement
    • LCDs display is large and easy to read, and it is easy to use the controls on scale
    • Comes with additional tools that make it easier to get accurate cartridges
    • Easy to set up and you can plug it in to an outlet virtually anywhere you go
    • Can be a real challenge to get the scale to initially zero
    • Does not weigh the water volume of cartridges
    • Must be careful of where you set the scale as even a small breeze can cause inaccurate readings
    #3 RCBS Scales Chargemaster Lite
    • Provides great accuracy
    • Durable design that makes it easy to take with you wherever you are going
    • Easy to use and read LCD interface and display
    • If you have used an RCBS scale before, you will find that this is a great improvement over previous models
    • Very difficult to be able to initially calibrated it to zero
    • You must allow the scale to warm to get an accurate reading
    • I was dissatisfied with the level of service the company provided
    #4 Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Precision Scale with LCD Display and Case for Reloading
    • A great-looking scale that comes in a fantastic case
    • Accessories included in the kit make it a worthwhile investment
    • Fantastic accuracy, and you can calibrate in four different forms of measurements
    • Easy to use, and allows you to keep it powered in three different ways
    • Molded plastic storage case protects this scale and helps to keep it durable
    • Can be difficult to get it to zero and keep it that way
    • The smallest air currents can cause challenges with getting accurate readings
    #5 American Weigh Scales GEMINI-20 Portable Milligram Scale
    • Easy to use scale that is portable
    • Weighs materials accurately and the platform is stable
    • Can weigh in six different units
    • Easy to read LCD display
    • Some report that weighing is not consistent
    • Weighing things under 1 g may not register
    #6 Ohaus 30332167 10-10 Reloading Scale
    • Great scale that is durable and provides you with accurate measurements every time
    • Enables you to be able to measure over 1000 grains
    • Easy-to-read scale which makes your ability to determine the amount of grains needed easy to determine
    • Great design that is portable and easy to store
    • Weighs only 2.8 pounds, making it the perfect on the go scale
    • You will likely have to oil the micrometer poise out-of-the-box to get it to turn more efficiently
    • Some report finding rust on their brand-new scale
    #7 RCBS 98916 M1000 Mechanical Scale
    • Great, durable design that will give you a scale that will last for years to come
    • Accuracy is a key, giving you a margin of error of no more than 0.2 grains
    • Only 2.4 pounds and comes with a cover, making it easy to take with you
    • You’ll love how easy it is to use the scale
    • When you pull the pan off the scale, you will find that the metal slider will move up the bar. It’s a jerking motion that takes a little getting used to
    • The design is great and provides great accuracy, but has a little learning curve to understand exactly how to measure things properly
    #8 Redding Reloading – Powder & Bullet Scale #2 Master
    • Fantastic lightweight scale that gives you accurate measurements every time
    • Pan is made with a convenient pour spout making it easier to pour gunpowder into your cartridges
    • Comes with a magnetically dampened beam that provides great stability and accuracy
    • Solid foundation that is easy to level
    • The way that the pans sits on the flat holder is not convenient for removing from the scale
    • The leveling screw is positioned so that a person with larger hands is going to have some difficulty turning it
    • If you are a person with bigger hands you’re going find this scale a little challenging because of how petite it is
    #9 RCBS M500 Mechanical Scale
    • Fantastic rugged scale that is durable and accurate
    • Built for portability, enabling you to take it and go
    • Easy to adjust and use
    • Much better than standard digital scales
    • Takes a little reading to be able to grasp how to zero the scale out
    • After each removing and resetting of the pan you need to tap the beam to get it to move
    #10 LEE PRECISION Safety Scale
    • Built of a lightweight aluminum that is durable
    • Once you have mastered it, it is easy to use and accurate
    • You can’t beat the measurements you will get for the price you are paying
    • Easy to adjust
    • It takes some getting used to using this scale. Don’t plan on having great success with it on your first 10 tries or so
    • Can be very slow and it is super sensitive to vibrations, including the tiniest breezes. Best used indoors
    • The plastic beam does look like it would snap fairly easily
    • Honestly, this is a fairly ugly looking device

    Most Frequently Asked Questions

    I am frequently asked questions by friends and family related to issues or purchases, and so I have put together a list of some of the common questions I receive related to reloading scales. Hope these help.

    Why you need a reloading scale?

    If you are going to be creating your own rounds then a reloading scale is absolutely essential. You have to be able to accurately measure the amount of powder you are using in each cartridge, and a scale is the only way you can do that. This also helps you to prevent wasting powder which can become a costly mistake.

    Why does everyone measure powder in grains?

    The reason behind this is simple. To throw charges with a minimal amount of variation, you want to make sure that you have the same charge for the powder each and every time. To do so, you are looking to get as accurate of a measurement as possible and grains is far more accurate than any other standard unit, especially that of grams or ounces. As an example, there are more than 15 grains in every gram, which would be much harder to determine if you only needed one fourth of a gram. It makes much more sense to simply go with the grain measurement to get the more accurate value.

    What else can I measure with the reloading scale other than powder charge?

    The truth is that you could measure just about anything. It really depends upon the kind of scale you’re using, as some are not able to measure liquids, but we have seen in this review that I actually used a couple of the scales to measure other kinds of substances. Something not allow you to measure the water volume for cartridges, and you will likely find that in many of the digital scales this will be an issue. Far less of an issue in the balance beam or mechanical scales. However, it is important to note that you should not be using your scale to measure others kind of substances than the charging powder. The reason behind this is simple. Even the smallest amount of residue from another substance can deteriorate or corrupt your charging powder, which could have catastrophic results. Make this a single-purpose scale.

    Digital vs balance beam reloading scale - what to choose?

    There are those who choose the digital scale simply because it is the easiest to use. No argument with that whatsoever. Once you have zero the machine, these can become the easiest things to use. With some scales you simply choose the amount of powder you wish to have dispensed and weighed and it will provide that for you. Some make it easy to simply pour in the amount that you need and get an accurate measurement. However, I happened to be one who is a strong believer in the mechanical scales. These are much easier to zero, and provide less issues for you. Plus, you don’t have to worry about any kind of power source. Overall accuracy is not as solid, I will agree with that. It’s simply a matter of what you’re used to and what you like best.

    How accurate are digital reloading scales?

    What we saw is that most of the digital reloading scales give you incredible accuracy. You are able to measure in the 0.01 to 0.1 grains of accuracy. That’s pretty exceptional, and something that no mechanical scale can provide you with. For a person who is looking for the absolute most accurate amount of charging powder with each round they make, you simply can argue with this.

    How to take care of a reloading scale?

    As with any tools, the better you take care of it the better the device will be. You should always store your scale in a place where it is kept secure, free from getting damaged, and free from being knocked over or continually bumped against. The more wear and tear you subject your scale to the less likely it is to be accurate for you. Always clean your scale after you’re done using it. This can simply be done by wiping down the scale with a dry paper towel when you are done using it, or cleaning it with a solution of a mild soap and water. You can even use alcohol rubs. Simply make sure that you treat your reloading scale with the greatest amount of respect and it will last for you for years to come.

    What is the best powder scale for reloading?

    Actually it depends on what you like. All of the ones on this list are built with durable materials, so you want to invest in something that’s going to be around as your enthusiasm and desire to hunt or to shoot competitively are increasing. One of the best things you will love about these kinds of scales is that they are built to last. If you care for your scale and buy a quality product, you can be sure it will be around for that long.

    Michel Pedneault

    Michel Pedneault

    Michel Pedneault has been blogging for more than three decades. He is one of the former lead writer of Tribunnews.com. He wrote thousand of reviews on various tools & gears. He is fond of travelling, adventures and discovering new things. You can reach him at twitter @pedneault

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