Best Powder Scales For Reloading – Reviews Of Digital and Manual Ones
Wanna know the secret to smooth, safe, and optimal ammo reloading session?
Well, that involves using a high precision powder scale (with 1/10-grain precision).
Such a top-quality scale helps you accurately measure the exact amount of powder you need to reload your cases.
However, getting the perfect scale for you have recently become a REAL challenge due to the many, many models on the market today— with varying costs, quality, performance, etc.
The challenge is more felt by the newbies who have never bought or used a scale before.
This post will help you escape the tedious shopping process.
We’ll walk you through our best reloading scale review list that covers the 10 most reliable reloading scales (both digital and manual).
Read on for more details…
Why You Need a Reloading Scale?
NEVER at any one time think of handloading your rounds without a good reloading scale!
Yes, that’s a warning. And I’ll tell you why…
You have to know the exact amount of powder that gets into each case, to ensure maximum potential of your rounds.
You might argue that the reloading kit you bought the other day comes with a reloading scale, so there’s no need to look for a quality powder scale. But the truth is, most of those scales aren’t always as easy to use, long-lasting, portable, precise and as accurate as you’d want.
For this reason, every serious reloader should make a point of getting the best reloading scale— that’s highly sensitive and accurate— to guarantee you extra precision and accuracy when you go for a shooting trip outdoors.
Keep in mind that there are two MAIN types of powder scales, the manual (mechanical) and electronic (digital) models. The ideal model for you simply depends on your personal preferences.
TIP: You can also use your scale to weigh precious stones, jewelry, or even your mail to know the postage!
With this info in mind, now we can move on to the 10 most reliable powder scales for reloading on the market today…
10 Best Powder Scale Reviews:
1. Frankford Arsenal DS-750 Digital Reloading Scale:
The Frankford Arsenal DS-750 Digital Reloading Scale is one of the most popular digital scales on the market today. This is probably due to the perfect balance it strikes between an affordable price tag and a list of impressive features you’d expect in top-end models only.
The scale does what you expect it to do… it delivers an incredible accuracy (with a 1/10th-grain accuracy) to let you precisely measure the powder you need for reloading. Not only that, you can use it to measure other contents such as bullets, cases, loaded rounds, etc.
Isn’t this the level of accuracy you need to obtain maximum potential for all your hand loads?
Operating the digital scale is quite easy and doesn’t require you to have any prior experience. The big, high contrast backlit display is completely easy to read. And the simple controls let you easily change the units or tare weights.
The integrated plastic cover helps keep your scale safe during storage or transportation. Other useful items include in the package include powder pan, calibration weight, 2AA batteries, and a carry bag.
2. Hornady 050106 Battery Operated Electronic Scale:
Also ranked as the best digital reloading scale, the Hornady 050106 Battery Operated Electronic Scale comes at a reasonable cost without sacrificing its quality and performance.
The scale also provides you with a highly accurate platform for measuring the exact amount of powder you require for your hand loads. In simpler words, it offers you a tenth of grain accuracy up to 500 grains, with a maximum reference point of up to 1500 grams.
Like the previous model, you can also use this scale to measure bullets, cases, etc., as well.
Amazingly, it works with a powder trickle—meaning it lets you directly trickle your powder into the powder pan or weight the charges, cases bullets directly. This way, it makes your process quite easy and speeds up the reloading process.
It’s also worth mentioning that this scale comes with a large, backlit display that facilitates hassle-free reading.
As a battery operated digital scale, it runs on 2AA batteries (included in the package).
On top of it all, it features a durable polymer construction which assures you of long-lasting service.
3. Lee Precision Safety Scale Red:
Who doesn’t love Lee products? For decades, the company has proved its reliability and ability to produce top-notch reloading tools and supplies, earning it respect in the reloaders world.
When it comes to doing its job, this Lee doesn’t disappoint. It offers you an excellent level of accuracy so that you can easily obtain just the right amount of powder charge you need to load your cases with. One of the top secrets for the scale’s unbeatable accuracy lies in its high level of sensitivity and readability to 1/20 of a grain.
The fact that this machine is extremely easy to operate means that both newbies and experienced reloaders can use it without any issues.
Like any other Lee product, this scale is highly durable. All its parts comprise of high-quality materials, including the beam which features the tough Phenolic, to enable it last and last.
4. Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Precision Scale:
Another one from Frankford! Like its cousin that we discussed above, this digital scale also lets you use your preferred measurement unit—it can measure grains, grams, karats, and even ounces.
The scale is also among the few models that offer you the ultimate accuracy. It comes with a capacity of 1500 grains and 0.1 (a tenth) grain accuracy to suit your accuracy and precision expectations. You can use the scale to measure not only powder but also loading rounds, bullets, and cases.
Thanks to the LCD display with high contrast blue backlight, reading the powder weight becomes quite easy. Add this to the easy to control buttons, and you’ll have a really easy time using the scale.
The battery operated reloading scale also features an auto-shutoff function that helps prolong the battery life in case your scale remains idle for up to 180 seconds (3 minutes).
5. RCBS M500 Mechanical Scale:
If you’re looking for the best beam reloading scale, consider investing in the RCBS M500 Mechanical Scale. This manual also comes ready to help you accurately measure your powder to within a tenth of a grain.
The new scale permits both right and left-handed operation, making it easy to operate for left-handed reloaders as well.
Like most of the top-end mechanical scales out there, it features a 2-poise design that allows you to weigh your powder up to 505 grains with the +/-0.1-grain accuracy.
Because it incorporates magnetic dampening system in its design, this enables you to make fast readings as well as maintenance-free movements. The tip-proof metal pan makes the pan even more convenient to use. And the die cast metal base makes the model incredibly stable.
Don’t forget the manufacturer also offers you a FREE grain-to-gram conversation chart for easy recipe conversions and calculations.
6. Truweigh MARKSMAN Digital Reloading Scale:
Every serious reloader will find the Truweigh MARKSMAN Digital Reloading Scale a reliable powder measuring scale. It also promises you accuracy to 0.1 of a grain.
The most interesting thing about this scale is the transparent plastic cover it comes with. This not only keeps your scale protected during storage/transportation but also acts as an expansion tray to give you room to weigh a variety of items.
Since it also comes with the Tare/Zero feature, it allows you to subtract the weight of the expansion tray or container for more accurate results. The white, backlit LCD displays large digits for easy reading.
Like the previously discussed digital scales, this model is also battery operated and comes with 2AA batteries. The integrated auto shutoff feature helps preserve your battery power by putting off the scale if it remains idle for up to 3 minutes (or 180 seconds).
Other notable features in this top-rated digital reloading scale include easy, one-touch calibration, built-in overload protection, stability indicator, powder pan, and a 100g calibration weight.
7. Hornady 50108 Electronic Scale Review:
Hornady 50108 Electronic Scale grabs our 7th position on our list of the most accurate powder scale reviews.
The scale is also made using the same high quality, precision load cell you’ll find in the lock-n-load auto charge. It presents you with a higher grain capacity of up to 1500, allowing you to weigh powder as well as other items such as cartridges, cases, bullets, and so much more.
Similar to the other digital scales we’ve mentioned on this list, this model also comes with a large LCD display which is extremely easy to ready for you.
Additional items included in this scale package include two calibration weights, 220V adaptor, AC adaptor, and metal powder pan.
8. Lyman Micro-Touch 1500 Electronic Scale:
Lyman is also one of the top names in the reloading tools and accessories industry. At this point, we’ll discuss one of its popular electronic scales for reloaders—the Lyman Micro-Touch 1500 Electronic Scale.
Similar to the Hornady model we’ve just discussed above, it also comes with a grain capacity as high as 1500 grains, which means you can trust it to hold all the powder you need for a single reloading session. Other than powder, you can also weigh bullets, cases, loaded rounds, etc.
You’ll also appreciate the fact that it comes with a state of the art touch screen controls which gang up with the large, backlit LCD display to make it easier for you to make your readings.
The electronic scale is powered via the included AC adapter, but it also gives you the option of operating it using batteries when out there in range, camp, etc.
With exact dimensions of 3.25 wide by 5.375 long and 1.25 tall, this scale is extremely compact, and it’ll occupy pretty little space on your reloading bench.
Additional items included in the scale include the powder pan and calibration weight.
9. Lyman Gen6 Digital Powder Measure:
Lyman Gen6 Digital Powder Measure is a brand new digital scale that features a total unique digital technology that focuses on overcoming all the problems experienced by the older scale designs.
Accurate to 1/10 of a grain, this scale allows you to weigh all types of smokeless powders you can imagine, at two grains per second. And unlike most of the digital models out there, it comes with an auto-repeat function that lets you drop a precise charge every time you reset the pan- taking your overall accuracy even higher.
Something else that sets this powder measure from its competition is its incredibly compact design— where it occupies 50% less bench space compared to the older designs—leaving you with more space to accommodate other essential items.
Other notable improvements in this new powder scale include the new anti-static & anti-drift technology, fast, 3 minutes warm up, and sophisticated electronic shielding to prevent interference from other devices such as the smartphone.
10. Lyman Pocket Touch 1500 Scale:
Lastly, in our powder scale reviews list, we take a look at the Lyman Pocket Touch 1500 Scale. This scale comes at a truly affordable cost that’s no match for the remarkable features and the full-size performance it delivers.
And like the other Lyman models we’ve discussed above, it features an incredibly compact, portable design (its exact dimensions are 21/4" x 41/4" x 3/4") to help you save a considerable bench space to accommodate all the essential items required for successful reloading.
It also offers you accuracy to the tenth of a grain to ensure you load your cases with just the exact amount of powder charge required.
The other thing you’ll love about this scale is that it's easy to read, lighted display that allows you to easily view it in all light conditions. Besides, it comes with convenient, intuitive touchscreen controls which make it even more easier to operate, even for reloaders who have never operated a digital scale before.
Since the scale operates on 2AA batteries (included in the box), you can easily take it with you to the camp or range for convenient reloading. The integrated auto-shutoff feature will help you save as much battery power as possible when the scale isn’t in use.
The complete scale package includes a patented funnel pan (which lets you directly pour the powder charges from the pan into the case), calibration weight, powder scoop, and two AA batteries.
What To Look For Before Buying?
I wish I could say that the process of getting the best powder scale for your specific needs was easy, but isn’t.
More and more reloading scales are being pumped into the market every year. And the more models you’ve to deal with to get your ideal scale, the more confusing the process becomes.
Lucky for you, I’ll share with you a quick guide below on the key factors to assist you in your shopping.
These factors include:
Like in most of your reloading equipment, you should always look for how durable a powder scale before deciding to buy it.
A durable powder scale should be constructed from quality materials that can hold up to regular use.
Some models also come with integrated protective covers to help prevent them from getting marred by grease or dirt.
The top reason why you’re buying a powder scale is to help you obtain accurate powder measurements for loading your ammo.
You should, therefore, focus on getting a scale with the highest possible level of accuracy. Anything with +/- 0.1 grain is more than accurate for any reloader.
Remember the more accurate your ammo is, the more fine-tuned your shooting becomes!
Manual or digital scale?
You should also decide on whether you want a manual or digital powder scale.
Some reloaders swear by the digital models, while others stick with the simple, manual models.
I believe the choice of scale here depends on your personal preferences.
(I’ll share more details about each of these scale types later in this post to help you make an informed decision— keep scrolling).
Since reloading scales come in various sizes and shapes, you expect their overall powder capacity to differ.
With that said, you’d want to look for a model that comes with the right capacity for you.
To get a clear picture of the right capacity for you, determine how many rounds of ammo you wish to load at a go and the amount of powder needed for the entire session.
The right capacity saves you from the hassle of repeatedly measuring and weighing your powder, and instead lets you measure all of it at once.
The right capacity can actually speed up your reloading process.
Cost is another crucial factor that can make or break your decision when looking for a quality powder scale.
Different models come with different prices; some hang on the higher cost end and others on the lower end.
Your trick here is to determine how much you’re willing to spend on the scale. This will help you narrow down your list to models that lie in your price range.
Whatever scale you settle on, make sure it gives you value for your money.
Additional factors to look for:
Electronic vs. Manual Scale: What To Buy?
The hardest moment for reloaders comes when they have to decide on whether to go with the electronic or manual model.
In this section, I’ll shed more light on the two scale types to help you make a wiser decision on which one to buy.
The manual scale requires you to physically adjust it to achieve your desired powder weight. For this reason, it’ll take you a pretty long time to obtain your expected results. The scale’s performance isn’t affected by outside factors such as gravity.
The electric scale, on the other hand, comes with an integrated microchip that quickly calculates the powder weight to give your desired amount easily and quickly. To ensure accurate measurements, you should place your powder scale on a static free area.
The number one difference between the two models lies in speed. A manual model will take longer to measure your powder compared to the electronic model which computes the value pretty.
As you’d expect, the manual model comes at a lower price compared to the electronic model.
When using a digital scale, you’ll have the benefit of useful extra features such as built-in memory, automatic calorie counting, and so on.
However, if you plan to take your scale with you out there, you might want to avoid the AC digital scale and go for the battery-operated models for the obvious reasons. Or you can go for the manual model as it needs no electric power for operation.
So, which type of scale should you buy?
Both the manual and electronic scales are weight measurements. And both can give you the accuracy you’re looking for if operated correctly.
In other words, your choice between a manual and digital scale should depend on your personal preferences. Both models enjoy extensive usage among reloaders out there.
For the ultimate convenience, however, I’d recommend you to go for the electronic reloading scale.
How To Operate a Manual Powder Scale?
If you decide to go with the manual model, read my quick guide below on how to operate it correctly for the most accurate, precise measurements.
Step 1: start by placing your powder scale on a level surface, where you can easily read it, and set its two counterpoises to zero.
Step 2: Now adjust the leveling screw until the beam’s end pointer also aligns with the zero mark on the graduated plate.
Step 3: Congrats! You’ve successfully zeroed your scale, and it is now ready for use to measure your powder accurately.
If you prefer learning by visuals, check the video below on how to operate your manual scale:
Pros and Cons Of Using a Beam Scale For Reloading
The beam scales utilizes gravity which doesn’t get depleted or require any electrical power to function.
Some of the top reasons why this beam scale is still a darling among reloaders revolve around its accuracy, durable construction, portable, affordable, and easy to maintain.
However, it comes with some downsides— such as taking you long to weigh the powder.
The following video by a reloader who has used the RCBS 505 beam scale for a pretty long time explains the pros and cons of a beam scale in detail.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What’s the best reloading scale for me?
The best scale for you should be highly accurate, easy to use, and long-lasting. On top of all this, it should match your specific reloading needs and expectations, including budget.
2. Can I use my powder reloading scale to measure other contents apart from the powder charge?
Absolutely! You can also use your reloading scale to measure other contents for reloading such as shots, bullets, cases, and even loaded rounds.
3. I’m a newbie reloader. Should I use a manual or electronic scale?
There’s no direct answer to this question since the ideal type of scale for you depends on your personal choice. Both machines are easy to use and will meet your accuracy needs/expectations.
Investing in the best powder scale helps you know the exact amount of powder getting into each of your cases. And this translates to the maximum potential of your handloads.
The market has multiple powder scales for you to pick from, which makes it almost impossible to get your ideal scale. This is why I recommend you to do a good research before making your final decision to ensure you get the model that resonates with your reloading needs.
Our list of the 10 best powder scales for reloading comprises of incredibly accurate and reliable scales in every price point that I strongly recommend for all serious handloaders, in every skill level.