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TQuigg
08-29-2012, 11:34
Hi all:

Back again with yet another noob question.

Digital scales.... looking for recommendations.

I've searched the forums and read several posts regarding this topic with great interest. I've got somewhat of an idea now what to look for.

The Lee beam scale that came with my reloading equipment seems to work well, but is a bit cumbersome. I'd like to get a digital scale to use in conjunction with my beam scale to cross/double verify the charges I'm throwing.

I realize that asking for recommendations/opinions about what digital scale to purchase may open up a heated debate. And I realize you get what you pay for. Just curious if you all have had any bad experiences with certain brands, and what you recommend I should research further, and what ones I should definately stay away from.

As always, thanks for your time folks. I've received a great deal of help and information so far from all of you, and it is greatly appreciated!

Best Regards
Tim Quigg

Three-Five-Seven
08-29-2012, 11:47
I like my RCBS 750 a lot. Good range (for those 45-70 bullets) and very accurate and easy to set up.

Colorado4Wheel
08-29-2012, 11:51
If you hadn't bought the wrong "Kit" or Scale to begin with and had just gotten the Dillon Eliminator (like recommended in the sticky) then you wouldn't be looking at a "High Priced" digital. You probably don't realize that you are looking at a High Priced Digital but that is what you should buy if you buy the digital. Not some cheap scale. So CED has a $110 one and Dillon has a nice one. Don't buy the cheap CED.

OR

Just get the Dillon Beam or Redding like you should have from the beginning. It's not cumbersome or a PITA like the Lee at all. But because you have been using the Lee you may think all beams are a PITA. For occasional powder charge verification all you need is a good beam scale. If you doing a lot of measuring of randomly weighted items a digital is real nice. But most the time you just want to know the powder charge is the same as it has been and a beam works great for that.

fredj338
08-29-2012, 11:57
This gets said often & until I can be proven wrong, I'll keep saying it. There are no cheap/good dig scales. Expec to pay $100 & up. The RCBS 750 & Dillon are the benchmarks. The new larger Hornady seems good but it's not been out very long. The cheap $30-$50 scales just don't cut it over time. They drift, won't hold zero, PITA. Spend good money on your scale & measure, it's the heart of reloading equip. Press & dies can be done on the cheap, but the gear to measure the stuff that goes bang, priceless.

dkf
08-29-2012, 12:00
I use a Dillon Eliminator and bought it from the recommendations here. When I buy a digital I will most likely spend the money on a Dillon D-Terminator. I feel spending the little extra money on quality weight and measurement equipment is worth it and that includes a quality caliper from a company like Mitutoyo, Starrett and etc.

http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/content/p/9/pid/25215/catid/7/Dillon__039_s___039_Eliminator__039__Scale

http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/content/p/9/pid/25213/catid/7/D_Terminator_Electronic_Scale

Rinspeed
08-29-2012, 12:17
Whatever you do stay far away from the Pact BBK. It's the biggest POS you'll ever come across. The Dillon Eliminator on the other hand is awesome.

SJ 40
08-29-2012, 12:25
Whatever you do stay far away from the Pact BBK. It's the biggest POS you'll ever come across. The Dillon Eliminator on the other hand is awesome.+ 1 on the POS BBK and go Dillon. SJ 40

emtjr928
08-29-2012, 12:37
As a relative noob myself, the Dillon Beam is sweet, simple, dependable and therefore safe.

F106 Fan
08-29-2012, 13:01
Dillon D-Terminator without question. I think the hard case is extra. In any event, make sure you get one to protect the scale.

Richard

ColoCG
08-29-2012, 13:34
+ 1 on the POS BBK and go Dillon. SJ 40

I would have to disagree with both of you unless their quality control has slipped greatly. I have been using a Pact scale for almost 20 years since they came out with them and only had 1 problem that was taken care of with a phone call. They used to make scales for RCBS and others. American made, Lifetime warranty, and reasonably priced. Mine works great! :dunno:

unclebob
08-29-2012, 14:06
The two digital scales that I would recommend depending on what you want to use them for are the Dillon and the RCBS Charge Master combo. The next thing I would buy is a good set of check weights. The weights that come with most of the scales are calibration weights.

alank2
08-29-2012, 14:42
Hi,

I love my RCBS 750 - does everythig I need.

Good luck,

Alan

CanMan
08-29-2012, 15:14
I've used my Dillon for thousands of reloads.... never a problem :)

SBray
08-29-2012, 15:24
I have the RCBS Charge Master 1500 combo and have been quite pleased with its quality.

Steve

F106 Fan
08-29-2012, 15:28
The next thing I would buy is a good set of check weights. The weights that come with most of the scales are calibration weights.

Yes, you absolutely need check weights. The Dillon D'Terminator calibration weight is 50 grams (771+ gr) and that may be fine for calibration but it is too far above a charge weight for me.

Here are some choices:
http://www.midwayusa.com/find?userSearchQuery=check+weights

I have the RCBS Standard Check Weights

Richard

Beware Owner
08-29-2012, 15:45
If you want cheap, get the RCBS or Dillon beam scale with a powder trickler and call it a day. You can't put cheap in the same sentence with digital and scale and expect to make something good of it.

SJ 40
08-29-2012, 19:58
I would have to disagree with both of you unless their quality control has slipped greatly. I have been using a Pact scale for almost 20 years since they came out with them and only had 1 problem that was taken care of with a phone call. They used to make scales for RCBS and others. American made, Lifetime warranty, and reasonably priced. Mine works great! :dunno:You may disagree but the one I had was back to them five times and each time would go to err1 or err 2 . The sixth time I talked to them when technician called,they ended up keeping it and sent a refund. SJ 40

Rinspeed
08-29-2012, 19:59
I would have to disagree with both of you unless their quality control has slipped greatly. I have been using a Pact scale for almost 20 years since they came out with them and only had 1 problem that was taken care of with a phone call.





My PACT BBK has been back for a new load cell five or six times, shipping on my dime, and now has to go back again. Now the ****ing idiots want me to pay for a new load cell even though I bought it with a lifetime warranty. To say I'm pissed would be an understatement. For the last five years I've babied the hell out of it too. :steamed:

njl
08-29-2012, 20:26
My suggestion for a digital scale...don't bother. My Lyman is only useful as a digital estimator...after getting the powder charge close, I always move to the Dillon beam scale.

Boxerglocker
08-29-2012, 20:41
Go Dillon D-Terminator, zero frequently, calibrate on a regular basis and use check weights (I recommend the Lymans)...

fredj338
08-29-2012, 21:30
My suggestion for a digital scale...don't bother. My Lyman is only useful as a digital estimator...after getting the powder charge close, I always move to the Dillon beam scale.

It's because you didn't buy the Dillon. The D is expensive yes, but mine is spot on everytime I throw a check wt at it. If it does go south after 2yrs, Dillon will replace it for 1/2. I had an 1st gen, worked great for 5yrs, then started to drift. Snet it back & they replaced it for 1/2. This one has been better & I have passed the 5yr mark with it now & just goes & goes.

brisk21
08-30-2012, 09:05
Anyone try the Brian Enos digital scale? I guess it has a lifetime warrenty.

SARDG
08-30-2012, 09:31
Anyone try the Brian Enos digital scale? I guess it has a lifetime warrenty.
I have it, had it about 5 months. Seems to be a fine scale and always matches readings from my RCBS Chargemaster scale.

F106 Fan
08-30-2012, 10:33
Anyone try the Brian Enos digital scale? I guess it has a lifetime warrenty.

Which one? There are two. The High Performance model is the same price as the Dillon. I don't see a case/cover but it does come with a wind screen - very important!

The cheaper unit seems to violate Fred's price rule. If it costs less than $100, pass. It does have a cover but no wind screen - and this is bad as the readings can easily be off by 0.2 gr or more just from moving past the unit.

Neither unit's description mentions using them with a wall wart instead of batteries. The Dillon comes with a wall wart, I'm not sure about these two.

Given that the Dillon is highly regarded, fairly well known and costs the same as the Brian Enos High Performance model, I would opt for the Dillon. Which I did...

Richard

Big Bore Fan
08-30-2012, 11:16
Been using my Dillon terminator scale for 2 years and love it. I use check weights every time and its always dead on.

Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine

SARDG
08-30-2012, 11:47
Which one? There are two. The High Performance model is the same price as the Dillon. Richard
Only the higher-priced model comes with a lifetime warranty.

ColoCG
08-30-2012, 12:35
Quote:
You may disagree but the one I had was back to them five times and each time would go to err1 or err 2 . The sixth time I talked to them when technician called,they ended up keeping it and sent a refund. SJ 40

Quote:
My PACT BBK has been back for a new load cell five or six times, shipping on my dime, and now has to go back again. Now the ****ing idiots want me to pay for a new load cell even though I bought it with a lifetime warranty. To say I'm pissed would be an understatement. For the last five years I've babied the hell out of it too. :steamed:

I didn't mean to imply you both didn't have any problems. Sounds like more than your share. I would be upset too.

I am not sure if these are problems with newer models or I just got lucky. My BBK is the first model- battery only, it sets up and zero's fine, when check weights are used it is on within .1gr, usually right on.

My BBK made me put my Ohaus beam scale on the back shelf. Sorrry to here of your problems.
:wavey:

fredj338
08-30-2012, 13:17
Only the higher-priced model comes with a lifetime warranty.

I have the DTerm, it does not have a lifetime free replacement. It has a warranty, but Dillon doesnt' replace any of their elec for free after 2yrs, or at least that used to be the deal. So fry the scale after 5yrs, 1/2 price.
The cheaper unit seems to violate Fred's price rule. If it costs less than $100, pass. It does have a cover but no wind screen - and this is bad as the readings can easily be off by 0.2 gr or more just from moving past the unit.
It's my rule, not gosspel. Until someone proves to me a cheaper scale is reliable & repeatable, I'll stick to the $100 bill. It will eventually happen, does w/ all electronics, but for now, I haven't seen any & I have tried quite a few. It's why I have the Dillon DTerm, it works everytime & is accurate to 1/10gr w/ any powder.

SARDG
08-30-2012, 13:25
Only the higher-priced model comes with a lifetime warranty.

I have the DTerm, it does not have a lifetime free replacement...
Yeah, this is the Enos higher-end scale I was referring to, with the lifetime warranty. I think you have to send it back to some monk in Tibet to collect.

pasky2112
08-30-2012, 16:01
What makes one scale better than the other if both are precise to .1 grains and can be calibrated and zeroed?
Sans the features, of course. By better, I mean accurate in measuring powders.

What do you value the most in your scales besides accuracy/precision?

Thanks,

- Dave

F106 Fan
08-30-2012, 17:28
What makes one scale better than the other if both are precise to .1 grains and can be calibrated and zeroed?
Sans the features, of course. By better, I mean accurate in measuring powders.

What do you value the most in your scales besides accuracy/precision?

Thanks,

- Dave

My first criteria is reputation of the device among the population of reloaders.

Among the 3 candidates (2 from Brian Enos, 1 from Dillon), I want one that has a protective case, a wind screen and can run off a wall wart. The wall wart constraint is artificial, true, but only the Dillon has it, AFAIK.

Then there is Fred's $100 minimum cost criteria and it is not unreasonable. Both the BE High Performance and the Dillon D-Terminator are around $140. Both have wind screens, the Dillon has an optional case and the Dillon will also run from a wall wart.

But as you read through this thread, look at the number of people using or recommending the Dillon. SARDG recommends the BE High Performance and her opinion carries a good deal of weight - she is very serious about reloading. There are other units on the market but, at least in terms of this forum, the Dillon comes out on top. Of course, the members of this forum have been accused of guzzling the 'Blue Kool-Aid' before!

Loading presses come (and maybe they go, maybe not...), calibers and firearms come and go but over the long haul, a quality scale will last a lifetime of reloading. It is the one item that remains (or can remain) constant. Choose well.

Richard

SARDG
08-30-2012, 20:18
...Among the 3 candidates (2 from Brian Enos, 1 from Dillon), I want one that has a protective case, a wind screen and can run off a wall wart. The wall wart constraint is artificial, true, but only the Dillon has it, AFAIK.

Then there is Fred's $100 minimum cost criteria and it is not unreasonable. Both the BE High Performance and the Dillon D-Terminator are around $140. Both have wind screens, the Dillon has an optional case and the Dillon will also run from a wall wart...

Richard
Whatsa' wall wart - an AC adapter?? :) Yes the BE High Performance comes with one or runs off of 6 AAs. I leave it plugged in. An auto-shutoff function may be set, or not. I don't set it as I give the scale time to warm up a good hour or so before I use it.

I also have an RCBS Chargemaster Combo (AC only) that I really like for developing loads. It has a 1 year warranty. The trickle function works perfectly - set a charge, press a button, and it trickles the correct powder amount. One can easily make up 5-10 rounds of 3.2, 3.3, 3.4gr, etc. The wind screen is attached and swings over the pan. It has many features you could read about online and the scale part is available separately as the '1500'. Unclebob has one of the Combos as well.

At the pistol loads I am generally using (3-6gr), the two scales have matched when checked against one another.

I've only had the BE about 6 months, the RCBS about 3 months so can’t vouch for longevity.

F106 Fan
08-30-2012, 20:40
Whatsa' wall wart - an AC adapter?? :) Yes the BE High Performance comes with one or runs off of 6 AAs. I leave it plugged in. An auto-shutoff function may be set, or not. I don't set it as I give the scale time to warm up a good hour or so before I use it.


That is good to know! For all practical purposes, the BE High Performance and the Dillon D-Terminator appear to be equivalent. They look a lot alike.

I don't use the wall wart very often and I don't allow my scale to warm up but as I read the direction, the Dillon scale won't turn off when powered from the wall wart. Dillon doesn't call for a warm up period and it wouldn't work out well with the auto shutoff on battery operation. AFAIK, there is no way to override the auto shutoff except to keep measuring at least every 3 minutes.

Richard

brisk21
08-31-2012, 08:42
Which one? There are two. The High Performance model is the same price as the Dillon. I don't see a case/cover but it does come with a wind screen - very important!

The cheaper unit seems to violate Fred's price rule. If it costs less than $100, pass. It does have a cover but no wind screen - and this is bad as the readings can easily be off by 0.2 gr or more just from moving past the unit.

Neither unit's description mentions using them with a wall wart instead of batteries. The Dillon comes with a wall wart, I'm not sure about these two.

Given that the Dillon is highly regarded, fairly well known and costs the same as the Brian Enos High Performance model, I would opt for the Dillon. Which I did...

Richard


I was looking at the more expensive one. I am done fiddling with my crappy beam scale, and I was looking at either this one or the Dillon. The major difference I have found is that the Enos one has a lifetime warrenty.

Rinspeed
08-31-2012, 09:11
Whatsa' wall wart - an AC adapter?? :)





Was wondering the same thing. :dunno:

SARDG
08-31-2012, 09:38
Was wondering the same thing. :dunno:
I thought it had something to do with toads... :shocked:


ETA: I think Richard's an engineer so it's probably a highly technical expression for some mundane device. :supergrin:

F106 Fan
08-31-2012, 09:46
Yes, "wall wart" = AC adapter

There's no reason to skip over the Brian Enos High Performance model and it does have a lifetime warranty. That's a definite plus!

One way or another, the scale needs a protective case. The load cell probably won't respond well to having things dropped on it. If there isn't one available, perhaps a Pelican case could be adapted.

Richard

F106 Fan
08-31-2012, 09:48
ETA: I think Richard's an engineer so it's probably a highly technical expression for some mundane device. :supergrin:

Actually, I am a very happily RETIRED electrical engineer.

Richard

SARDG
08-31-2012, 10:49
Yes, "wall wart" = AC adapter
I still think it's something to do with a toad...

There's no reason to skip over the Brian Enos High Performance model and it does have a lifetime warranty. That's a definite plus!

One way or another, the scale needs a protective case. The load cell probably won't respond well to having things dropped on it. If there isn't one available, perhaps a Pelican case could be adapted.

Richard
I just keep the windscreen over the scale/load cell when not in use.

fredj338
08-31-2012, 12:53
My dig scale sits on a small shelf under my overhead cabinet, by itself. I never move it, nothing can dorp on it & it's isolated from any bench vibrations. I do keep a dust cover on it.

pasky2112
08-31-2012, 14:27
I upgraded to the Dillon D-Terminator today from my pocket-sized calculator version.
added the cover and powder-sized check weights also.

Thanks all for the edu on scales!

- Dave

F106 Fan
08-31-2012, 15:57
I upgraded to the Dillon D-Terminator today from my pocket-sized calculator version.
added the cover and powder-sized check weights also.

Thanks all for the edu on scales!

- Dave

I think it will work out well for you. I am certainly happy with mine!

Richard

aerod1
08-31-2012, 16:13
I have a Cabela's XT-1500 that I have been using for four years with zero problems. I paid $85.00 for it and it holds zero and measures very accurately. I check up against my RCBS 5-10 balance beam. I never feel the need to recalibrate this scale, but I do just to be on the safe side.

Rinspeed
08-31-2012, 21:15
Just as an FYI I believe MSC has check weights at a decent price.