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Thread: More accurate: Manual or Digital Scales and by how much?

  1. #1
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    Default More accurate: Manual or Digital Scales and by how much?

    So, I'm trying to lose a few pounds, and I have what is, in comparison to a number of other digital scales I have compared it to, a very accurate digital scale.

    However, it says I am MUCH lighter than the manual scale that my parents have when visiting their house, which in turn says I am 2 1/2 pounds lighter than the doctor's manual scale when I had a doc's appointment last week.

    The difference seems to fluctuate greatly...which I find odd.

    For example, when I saw the doc his manual scale said I was 186lbs which i thought was RIDICULOUS, I really don't think I am or was that heavy.

    Then I used my parents manual scale when I got back and it says I am 2 1/2 pounds lighter, 183.5lbs...which is odd.

    Then I got on my digital scale and it says I am 182.2lbs...which is much closer to what I thought I weighed.

    But it seems bizarre to me that there'd be a 1.3 lbs difference between my digi and my parents manual, and a staggering 3.8lbs difference between my digi and the docs scale.

    Even more odd to me is the 2 1/2lbs difference between 2 MANUAL scales.

    Yesterday, I again compared my digital scale to my parents manual scale...and my digi says I am 180.2lbs, and the manual said I was 181.7lbs....again confirming the exact 1.3lbs difference between my scale and my parents which makes sense...

    However....

    Last night I ate a **** load of chinese food, so of course I woke up 2lbs heavier, and my digital scale says I am 182.2lbs...while my parents manual only says I am 0.6lbs heavier, 182.8lbs....

    so...

    1) Why the fluctuation between the difference in my digi and parents scale from a 1.3lbs difference on 2 occassions to a 0.6lbs difference only today?? (water weight..??)

    2) Why a 2 1/2 pounds difference between 2 manual scales, the docs and my parents??

    3) Are manual scales more correct? That's what they use in the UFC afterall so I am thinking maybe they are.....

    4) Which weight would be my closest approximate weight on any given day...the digi, the parents scale or the doc's scale which I never even have access to anyway??

    Some might say the docs' scale would be the best since he's a doctor and all, but I am not sure as I don't think I was ever as heavy as his scale said I was that day.

    And straight up....I don't understand how there could ever be as much as a nearly a 4 Pound difference between my digital scale and any other manual scale since I am pretty sure my digi is at least SOMEWHAT accurate.

    Do you guys think manual scales are better and that if I want to be accurate I should get one and how much do they usually cost??

    I can't afford it now, but I'd like to know what you think.

    It just doesn't make sense to me for there to be much more than a 1-2lbs difference MAX between a truly accurate digital scale and a manual...especially since I am always weighing myself in the morning on an empty stomach.

    Thoughts??

  2. #2
    Member Ninja Style's Avatar
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    I personally think digital scales are more accurate.

    I think manual scales can lose their accuracy if they're not kept up. When I was wrestling there was a tournament where we knew we could be a little over and still make weight because their scales were light.

    I'd weigh in at 170 on our scales and then be at 168 on their scales, so unless I lost 2 pounds on the 20 minute bus ride, i'm thinking their **** was light.

    Theres no cheating digital scales though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja Style View Post
    I personally think digital scales are more accurate.

    I think manual scales can lose their accuracy if they're not kept up. When I was wrestling there was a tournament where we knew we could be a little over and still make weight because their scales were light.

    I'd weigh in at 170 on our scales and then be at 168 on their scales, so unless I lost 2 pounds on the 20 minute bus ride, i'm thinking their **** was light.

    Theres no cheating digital scales though.
    Interesting. Since I know your a wrestler with weight cutting experience I am going to take this opinion as being pretty valid though I would still like to hear from others.

    I'm glad to hear you say that, cause it means I am lighter, and also, cause it means I don't have to worry about possibly being as much as 4lbs over when I have a tourney coming.

    But then I have these questions:

    1) If so, why on earth does the UFC use manual scales instead of digital??

    2) Why would my doctor use a manual scale instead of a digital??

    You would think these would be 2 of the most important times to get your weight right.

    I swear, EVERY SINGLE TIME a doctor weighs me on one of those things it has me weighing like 4-6lbs heavier and I am like "what the ****!?", and I even said to my doc this time "i really don't think I weight that much" and he goes "well this thing is accurate..." but I REALLY don't think it was...maybe he's a good doc but just doesn't know as much about scales as wrestlers/weight cutters do???

    I would have thought you would have said the complete opposite though, that digital scales you can fool because they are based on an electronic device...

    3) So...do you think I can take it at face value that I pretty much weigh what my digital says or at least closer to that than the manual scales??

    4) Also...I have noticed there is fluctuation in some digital scales as well, like one tourney I did one of the two scales said I was a pound heavier so I jumped on the other and made weight...why is that and how do you know which is the accurate one??

    I suppose your saying that the manual scales need to be "kept up" is why they would fluctuate so much (though I don't really know what you mean by that our how a scale needs to be maintained...)

    As a wrestler, didn't you find it to be a SERIOUS pain in the ass that so many scales would say so many different things and what did you do about it when you REALLY wanted a clear assessment of how much you weighed??

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    You sure your weight just isn't fluctuating due to water weight? I'll weigh myself in the morning (when I'm dehydrated), and I'll weigh 1-5 pounds less than I do at the end of the day sometimes (weighing myself on the same scale). I've weighed myself before a serious BJJ practice and weigh myself again after and be 7 pounds lighters, and I only weight 160.

    Not saying that's why the scales were different, but a difference of 2 1/2 pounds isn't that a huge swing in weight for me over the course of a day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyThai View Post
    You sure your weight just isn't fluctuating due to water weight? I'll weigh myself in the morning (when I'm dehydrated), and I'll weigh 1-5 pounds less than I do at the end of the day sometimes (weighing myself on the same scale). I've weighed myself before a serious BJJ practice and weigh myself again after and be 7 pounds lighters, and I only weight 160.

    Not saying that's why the scales were different, but a difference of 2 1/2 pounds isn't that a huge swing in weight for me over the course of a day.
    Well, like I said since I ate chinese last night this morning it's water weight.

    But it couldn't have been the day I went to the docs and got on his scale, then went straight back to use both my digi and other manual scale.

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    This is gonna be a lot of speculation on my part toehold but I'll do my best.

    1. I'm sure that the manual scales used by the athletic commission are kept very very sharp. I have no doubts that they are calibrated and checked to ensure accuracy.

    2. My doctors use digital scales. I haven't been on a manual scale since I was wrestling.

    3. I think you need to test your digital scale. Set a 20 lb dumbell on it and see what it reads. I'd say as a guessing point, assume your digital scale is accurate within 1 lb either way. It also depends on the quality of the scale you have at home is. The scale in my bathroom was pretty expensive and measures to every .2 lbs while the other digital scale in my guest bathroom is kinda cheaper and fluctuates wildly.

    4. I have no idea what causes the fluctuations on certain digital scales. My guess would be wear and tear, the last time it was calibrated or maybe its set on an uneven surface. The only way you can know which one is 100% accurate is to do a weight check on it with a dumbell or weight plate.

    I'm not totally sure how scales are maintenanced or kept up. I'm assuming after years of use maybe some of the moving parts get loose or something I dunno for sure.

    Most of the time when I was wrestling there was never a concern of a scale being heavy, you just knew there were scales that were light. So in order to make sure our **** was right we checked our scales on the regular. If we were on weight on our scales then we knew we'd be on weight anywhere else. The thing I notice with a digital scale is that its to the freakin decimal point. So lets say you need to weigh 170 a digital scale will show you weigh 170.3 while on a manual scale it'll look like you're right at 170. Some places are strict with that while others aren't, the person reading the scale can also be strict or be lenient with it.

    It is most definitely a pain in the ass but I'd rather be sure that i'm on weight by checking myself on a strict scale rather than have to run off a 1/2 lb or something, that **** sucks.

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    For me, whenever I need to be precise with weight I first test the scale with good quality weights. Ex. placing a 75 lb dumbbell on the scale.. resetting it and placing a 50 lb bell back on.. if it's off I would use another scale.

    edite..didn't read Ninjas above.. yep same thing here.

  8. #8
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    Well i have two scales at home, 1. Digital Scale and 2. Analog Scale and whenever i measure the weight of anything in my home the Digital Scale says i weigh 194 lbs and the Analog Scale reads 185 lbs. I would think that the digital Scale would be more accurate because the main quality of this scale is computer output in this scale which tell's your weight in numbers and you have no any deficiency to measure your weight or any other product in your home or shops .

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