# How do you calibrate a scale without weights?

Answered by Robert Flynn

Calibrating a scale without weights can be a challenging task, but it is not impossible. There are several methods you can use to achieve accurate calibration, even without the use of traditional calibration weights. In this answer, I will outline some alternative methods that can be used to calibrate a scale without weights.

1. Household items: Look around your house for objects with known weights. For example, a standard 500ml bottle of water weighs approximately 500 grams. Similarly, a can of soda or a bag of flour can provide a rough estimate of weight. By placing these items on the scale and comparing the reading to their known weights, you can calibrate the scale accordingly.

2. Coins: As mentioned earlier, coins can serve as calibration weights when their weights are known. You can gather a variety of coins, such as nickels, pennies, dimes, and quarters, and use their known weights to calibrate the scale. By placing multiple coins on the scale and adjusting the calibration until the correct weight is displayed, you can ensure accurate measurements.

3. Online resources: The internet can be a valuable tool for calibration without weights. Many websites provide information on the weights of common objects. For example, you can find the weight of a standard AA battery or a common fruit like an apple or an orange. By using these known weights as references, you can adjust the scale accordingly.

4. Estimation and comparison: If you don’t have access to any known weights, you can estimate the weight of objects by comparing them to each other. For instance, you can place two similar-sized objects on the scale and adjust the calibration until they balance each other out. This method relies on trial and error and may not provide precise calibration but can still be useful in some situations.

5. External calibration: If you have access to another calibrated scale, you can use it to calibrate the scale in question. By placing an object on both scales simultaneously and comparing the readings, you can adjust the calibration until the readings match. This method requires access to a reliable calibrated scale but can provide accurate results.

It is important to note that these alternative methods may not provide the same level of accuracy as using calibrated weights. However, they can still be useful for general calibration purposes or in situations where weights are not readily available.

Calibrating a scale without weights may require some creativity and resourcefulness. By using household items, coins, online resources, estimation, comparison, or external calibration, you can achieve a reasonably accurate calibration. Remember, the goal is to ensure that the scale provides consistent and reliable measurements, so it is always a good idea to verify the calibration periodically using certified weights if possible.