How to Use a Luggage Scale

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It is common knowledge that airlines have a set limit on the weight of the luggage each passenger carries with them. If you’re a frequent traveler, it’s wise to purchase a luggage scale. But before you do that, take the time to understand how to use a luggage scale.

Luggage scales typically come equipped with a strap featuring a hook, where you can hang your luggage by the handle. If it’s an analog scale, it will point to the exact weight of your luggage, while if you own a digital scale, its LCD screen will display the weight in pounds. Read on to learn more about how luggage scales work, how to weigh luggage with a hand scale, and what you should know about flying with one.


What is a Luggage Scale and Why Do I Need One?

Before packing, it’s a good idea to weigh all of your bags with a portable luggage scale. It’s a convenient way to keep extra luggage costs from adding stress and costs to a trip, particularly when you fly. A baggage scale can help you pack more efficiently so that your bags don’t exceed the airline’s weight restrictions. Convenient, lightweight, and inexpensive, luggage scales save you time, money, and the inconvenience of repacking your luggage at the airport. If you don’t have one, here are a few ways to weigh your luggage without a scale.


How to Use a Digital Luggage Scale

There should be a metal hook protruding from the bottom of your luggage scale. Attach it to the handle of your luggage that needs to be weighed. Then, press the power button on the scale to switch on its LCD screen. Before measuring, make sure that the scale shows zero lbs or kgs. Next, use both hands to grip the handle of the digital luggage weighing scale and lift it up along with your bag. Check the weight reading on the screen and record it.

How to Use a Digital Luggage Scale

If you need to weigh another bag, you’ll need to reset the luggage scale to zero. If it has the Zero/Tare function, press the “Z/T” button. If you don’t see any such button, simply restart the scale by pressing the power button to switch it off, and again to switch it on. Alternatively, you can remove the battery from the scale, and insert it back, so the scale resets.
Resetting may also be required when there seems to be some problem with the scale, like if it’s not working properly. Here are the top digital luggage scales to choose from.


How to Use an Analog Luggage Scale

The aforementioned procedure applies to those who have a digital luggage scale. If you own an analog luggage scale, however, the steps will be different. To start with, make sure that the pointer is positioned on zero when nothing is being weighed. Hook your luggage to the analog scale in the same manner as you did with the digital scale.

How to Use an Analog Luggage Scale

Then, grab the scale by the handle and lift it up. See where the pointer reaches and note down the weight. If the scale has a lock-in-place feature, use it to lock the pointer to the point. This way, you can let it go and relax before taking down the reading.


Are Luggage Scales Accurate?

In short, luggage scales are accurate. But there are certain responsibilities on your part that will impact the accuracy of your readings. As mentioned earlier, the first thing you need to confirm before weighing your luggage is that the current weight showing is 0.00 lbs or kgs. If the scale isn’t zero when nothing is being weighed, chances are you’re dealing with a scale that needs to be calibrated or is outright faulty.

Don’t forget to confirm that you’re using the right unit in your luggage scale. Select the unit (kg or lbs) commonly used in your area or by the airline you’re traveling with. Your luggage readings should not exceed the limits they’ve set otherwise you may need to pay extra for each additional pound or kg.

Besides, it’s important to ensure that the luggage handle is securely in place when being weighed. More importantly, you’ll need to be very stable when you’ve lifted up the luggage to obtain an accurate reading. Therefore, unless you’re ready to note the reading on the scale, do not lift it up.

When using a digital scale, lift the luggage for around 10 to 15 seconds so that the scale detects the full, accurate weight. Sophisticated scales will flash a result on its LCD screen or beep to inform you that the reading has been obtained.

What Is the Maximum Weight a Luggage Scale Can Handle?

Different luggage scales have different weighing capacities. After exploring a number of the latest luggage scales on the market, we can safely say that the majority of scales come with a maximum weighing capacity of up to 110 pounds or 50 kg.


Can I Bring a Digital Scale on an Airplane?

The good news is that you can certainly take a luggage scale with you when traveling by air, both in hand-carry and checked baggage. However, if you’re carrying a digital scale, you may be asked to put it through the scanner separately at the airport. Plus, there exist certain limits on the length of the tool that you can carry into the airplane.

Can I Bring a Digital Scale on an Airplane

A luggage scale is categorized under tools by the Transportation Security Administration. That means when measured from end to end after being assembled, the scale can be 7 inches long or shorter. If your scale exceeds this limit, you can’t take it in your carry-on or personal item bag. Place it in your checked baggage instead.

Keep in mind that the batteries typically used in digital scales are allowed on airplanes, but spare/external lithium batteries are prohibited in checked luggage and must be carried with you in hand luggage.



Can I Use A Luggage Scale For Any Type Of Luggage?

Yes, luggage scales may generally be used for any form of luggage that can be hoisted and hung from the scale’s hook. Suitcases, duffel bags, backpacks, and even boxes fall into this category. However, verify the weight capacity of your luggage scale to ensure that it can manage the weight of your luggage. Some scales have a maximum weight restriction, and attempting to weigh baggage that exceeds that limit may cause the scale to malfunction or provide false results.

Can I Use A Luggage Scale To Weigh Objects Other Than Luggage?

Yes, luggage scales may be used to weigh non-luggage things as long as they can be hung from the scale’s hook. This includes parcels, gifts, and even small animals in pet carriers. However, verify the weight capacity of your baggage scale to ensure it can take the weight of the thing you wish to weigh. It’s also worth noting that utilizing a luggage scale to weigh anything other than luggage might void the manufacturer’s warranty.

Are Digital Or Analog Luggage Scales Better?

Because of their precision and convenience of use, digital luggage scales are typically thought to be superior than analog scales. Digital scales give exact decimal point readings, making it simpler to pack under weight restrictions. They also often include a backlit display, which makes them easier to read in low light. Analog scales, on the other hand, use a spring mechanism that wears out with time, resulting in false readings. They may also be more difficult to read owing to the scale’s tiny markings. However, individual preference and price might also play a role in determining which luggage scale to choose.


Now that you possess an in-depth understanding of how to use a luggage scale, you may go ahead and purchase a scale that works for you. The insights mentioned above should also help you decide whether to go with an analog scale or a digital one. We truly hope that this guide helps you make an informed decision.

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