on August 26, 2011
I like these slim glass scales a lot, and prior to buying this one I used a very similar looking Salter scale.
Salter Gripe Session #1
I used the Salter initially as a postal scale... somewhat unsuccessfully, because the small scale and its display would sometimes be completely obscured by the package.
When I became a coffee enthusiast, grinding and manually brewing my coffee, I used the Salter to weigh the grounds in grams. But the button to switch from ounces to grams was underneath the scale, and it would always default to ounces when you turned it on. The scale had a relatively short shutoff time, so it would often turn off before I had finished grinding and pouring in all the grounds. Each time I would have to empty the grounds into another container, turn on the scale, pick it up to reset it to grams, put the empty container back on and reset it to zero, then pour the grounds back in. I didn't even try using it to measure the water for pour-over coffee brewing, as it would not stay on long enough to give me the final weight.
Skip forward a few years, and I was ready for a replacement that actually functioned correctly both as a postal scale and for making coffee. Not to mention other cooking needs.
Salter Gripe Session #2
I started by visiting one of my favorite brick and mortar stores (not too surly a table) to check-out their assortment of scales--some Salter, some other brands. I tested each scale by repeatedly weighing the same object on different surfaces. The Salter scales fared poorly, with very inconsistent weights depending on the surface and how long they had been on. My kitchen's tile counter top can be fairly uneven, and I realized that this was an important factor in evaluating scales. The Salters also drifted up in weight very rapidly over time. In general, I noticed that the more expensive scales did perform better. At that particular store, an OXO Good Grips scale performed the most consistently, but it wasn't particularly sexy.
Then I looked on coffee sites and even visited my local coffee house, which was setting up shop with their own brand new flotilla of very slim glass scales. They also bemoaned the lack of a good scale, although their American Weigh scales seemed quite nice. If you look on American Weigh's site, you'll see a huge variety of scales in practically every form factor. They have the thin glass-top scale that I crave. Just as an aside, there are so many other brands that look similar, that you have to conclude these are all manufactured at the same factory in China. They all have two buttons: On/Off/Tare (zero reset) and Units. At least the buttons are all on top. All these scales seem to handle the same weight limit, too: approx. 11 lbs. And they pretty much all have a 1-2 minute shutoff time, which isn't really adequate for my needs.
I kept looking... :(
Still More Scales
After getting a bit frustrated about the lack of a glass scale with a 5 minute auto shutoff, I started finding home baristas on the net sharing the same concern. One manufacturer of coffee accessories, Prima Coffee, even managed to talk a scale manufacturer into modifying the cut-off time of their scales. They mentioned one of their preferred scales, made by Escali. First I heard of that name. So I looked them up.
Escali Makes--er... Imports Scales
Visiting their website, at first I thought Escali was a major scale manufacturer. I saw a lot of scales. From fluffy consumer models to what appeared to be very heavy duty professional models. They seemed to be seriously into scales. What I'm saying is Salter they're not. So why hadn't I heard of them? Turns out they, and American Weigh, and who knows how many other companies are indeed just importers of Chinese products--you'll even see Escali on American Weigh's site. And in Escali's case (according to one consumer watchdog), they seem to have been in the business for only a few years, and whatever that implies concerning customer support.
But then there's the actual product. On the surface, Escali's thin glass kitchen scale, the Arti, looks pretty much like all the other thin glass scales.
* Except it handles 15 lbs.
* And its auto shut-off is a full 5 minutes.
* And its display is larger and brighter than the others.
* And it has a hold feature which allows you to just hit the hold button and then put a big package on it and when it stabilizes it beeps once, nice and loud and you remove the package and look at the weight that it HOLDS on the display for 5 seconds after you lift the package. The hold button does one other thing: it disables the touch-sensitive buttons so they don't get tripped accidentally.
And it costs a bit more than the other scales, which I don't mind one bit.
I've been using the scale now for over a month, and it works well in all the uses I originally intended for the Salter. I really like how it remembers the last units you set it to. And the touch sensitivity of the buttons is excellent (way better than the Salter). It's also a bit more stable than the Salter was, but I have to rely on my memory for that part.
You see, when the package from Amazon had arrived at my door, I eagerly unboxed the Escali and placed it next to my Salter for a trial comparison. The Salter chose that moment to die.
Maybe it was just the batteries.
Or maybe, looking sideways at its shiny red replacement from some monster manufacturer in China who is clearly paying attention, it knew it was time to make the big exit.
*** Addendum ***
I have since revisited my favorite coffee house. To my surprise, they swapped all their scales for the Escali Arti scale. I asked them how well it has held up, and they responded it works well, is accurate, and they like the 5 minute shutoff. I never mentioned this scale to them before.
on August 5, 2012
I wanted to give this review 5 stars, but unfortunately I do have one problem with my scale. I bought it to use at culinary school, and it has a lot of trouble with very small measurements, especially with light powders such as baking powder, baking soda, salt, and especially yeast. It is impossible to get an accurate 0.1 oz out of this scale. Unfortunately, as a baker, that's kind of a big deal. Other wise this thing is beautiful and accurate from 0.2oz- to it's max @ 15#. I would like to mention that this scale had a setting for measuring fluid ounces, but not all liquids weigh the same. You will not get the same amount from water as you would for cream, so it is still best to use a volume measuring cup unless you are measuring water.
on February 17, 2012
Bought this to use for scaling out ingredients in culinary school. It looks great, is easy to clean, and fits nicely into my knife kit. I also bought an ipad sleeve to protect it and it fits perfectly. I also like the Hold feature which you won't find on most other scales. However, it seems to need calibration. Every time I tare it goes back to .05 oz. instead of 0. I tried to find some info on calibrating it myself but was unsuccessful. In addition, it is extremely slow. I have to stand there waiting for the screen to clear itself when I turn it on and then again for it to change whenever I press a button. I just bought a different scale and plan to return this one, if my return window has not expired.
on July 18, 2012
I've had this several months now and it's the best kitchen scale I've ever owned (it's my 4th). It's sleek, compact, and a whiz to clean since it's one continuous glass surface (no buttons or recesses). Plus, it comes in a huge range of awesome colors.
Functions like a dream. Easily switches between units (oz., mL, gram, etc.), and love that it has two options to weigh in ounces alone or pounds + ounces, AND a fluid ounces option. Memory feature is also very handy if you're weighing something a bit large that obscures the readout. Weight registers almost immediately. Tare feature never fails. If I was fishing for a criticism, I would say that when weighing extremely small amounts (1-2 grams) it sometimes doesn't respond, but for diet and cooking purposes, it isn't often that you're weighing a single gram of something.
I don't usually write reviews, but I love this so much I was compelled to speak up. We will see how it holds up over time, but for now, I'm thrilled.
on May 5, 2014
The first thing that I noticed was that the scale's sensors are in the feet. This means that it needs to be on a flat, hard surface. I run out of space in my kitchen so I usually end up stacking things. If all four feet aren't on a flat surface, it doesn't work. The second issue was that the scale wouldn't always return to zero. This also affected the displayed weight of the item by as much as 3 grams during my brief testing. The third issue is that it's slow to settle. I observed the weight fluctuate for several seconds after placing an item, sometimes by as much as 2 grams so it wasn't an issue of the item being between two thresholds. The fourth issue is that because the touch sensors are part of the weighing surface, the weight fluctuates every time you press a button. I knew about that when I watched a video demo, but combined with the other issues, it's a real problem. Finally, the tare button wouldn't work most of the time. The other buttons worked fine. Despite the design where it uses the feet as sensors and the buttons being part of the weighing surface, if everything else worked perfectly, I would have kept it and probably rated it four stars.