Best Reloading Scales – 2020 Buyer’s Guide Review

by

Finding the best reloading scales can be a challenge. If you know how they work and what they’re used for, then you might find the search process a bit easier. This is an important accessory that you must have when you’re reloading your own ammo. You need to make sure that you have the powder at the right weight before you reload it in the casing itself.

Likewise, once it's fully loaded you’ll need to weigh it again to ensure that it’s perfect to achieve the level of velocity that you want it to be. In order to help you find the best scale that’s right for you, we’ve put together a list of seven of the best reloading scales that are currently the most popular on the market.

Before we unveil our list, we’re going to talk about the benefits of investing in a reloading scale and what additional aspects you need to consider before purchasing one for your own use.

Comparison Chart of the Best Reloading Scales

PRODUCTDETAILS
gm2-table__image

Frankford Arsenal DS-750 Scale

  • Best overall reloading scale.
  • The maximum capacity is 750 grain.
  • It comes in four different weight units.
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Chargemaster Powder Dispenser/Scale Combo

  • Powder dispenser included.
  • Runner up for best overall reloading scale.
  • It provides fast and accurate measurements.
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Hornady Lock-n-Load Electronic Bench Scale

  • Grain Capacity of 1500 grain.
  • Best reloading scale for the money.
  • Can weigh powder, cases, cartridges and more.
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

MTM - MINI Digital Reloading Scale

  • Accepts AAA batteries.
  • Power saver auto-shutoff.
  • Best digital reloading scale.
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

RCBS - M1000 Mechanical Scale

  • Metal tip-proof pan.
  • 1,000-grain capacity.
  • Best reloading beam scale.
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Charge Powder Measure

  • 1,000-grain capacity scale.
  • Best automatic reloading scale.
  • Includes a powder dispenser and measurement tool.
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Redding - #2 Master Scale

  • 505-grain capacity.
  • Powder weighing pan included.
  • Best mechanical reloading scale.
View Latest Price

Perks of Investing in a Quality Reloading Scale

If you invest in a reloading scale, there is no question what kind of benefits you’ll enjoy. Especially when you’re doing something as challenging as reloading your favorite ammo for whatever reason or purpose. Here are a few things that you’ll be able to enjoy if you invest in a quality scale:

Accurate Weight Readings

This is an important thing to note. Part of the reloading process is knowing how much the bullet should weigh if you need to get it to achieve a certain velocity or speed. Therefore, you need to know how much powder you need to put in so you can get a bullet to reach a certain weight. A great scale will give you accurate readings almost instantly.

No More Guesswork

This has to be one of the best perks of them all. Nevermore will you have to make any guesstimates on how much the powder or the bullet itself weighs. Using a scale is a better way to reload your ammo rather than just “winging it” and make mistakes that might be potentially dangerous.

You Can Control How Much The Bullet Should Weigh

One of the greatest things about reloading your own ammo is being creative. This means you have complete creative control over how the bullet should work (provided that you’re using them legally). If you feel like the bullets you’ve reloaded are slower than they should be, you can decide to lighten up the load the next time you reload another set of rounds.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Aside from the characteristics of each scale, it is important to consider some additional aspects that will factor into your purchasing decision. Knowing what to look for and knowing what fits your needs and preferences are necessarily key. The perfect scale will be found if you consider the following:

Price

Yes, if you’re a budget shopper then you must consider finding a scale that fits you financially. You shouldn’t sacrifice quality just to save a few bucks. Instead, you should invest in the best quality that is affordable for your budget. While it might sound like an impossible task, it’s not in the slightest. You’ll pay for better quality even if it means spending a little more.

Which Rounds Will You be Loading

Are you loading pistol rounds? Rifle rounds? Either way, you’ll want a scale that is ideal for either type or both. Since you are reloading your own rounds, it will be important to get to know the ideal weight of each bullet caliber and how much they should weigh in order to achieve a level of accuracy and velocity.

What Units Do I Need to Weigh

If you need to know the weight of the bullet, it’s important to know about the unit of “grain”. Most scales have units like grain, gram, and ounces to name a few. Be sure to look for a scale that includes the units that you need to measure so you can weigh your bullets or powder accurately. 

Quick Take - The Best Reloading Scales

Review of the Best Reloading Scales

The following is a list of the seven best reloading scales that are currently on the market. As you go through each one, you should take note of which characteristics and features stand out the most. This way, you will know what you’re looking for specifically in a reloading scale.

Once you find one that is perfect for you, you know that you’ve found a winner. Now, let’s get to the list by unveiling our choice for “best overall”:

Pros

  • Excellent For Pistol Rounds
  • Picks Up Trickles of Powder With Ease
  • Accurate Weighing and Measurements
  • It Doesn’t Take Up a Lot of Room On Your Workbench
  • Calibrated Right Out of the Box, But if Needed, it Calibrates Easily

Cons

  • Some Calibrating May Be Needed
  • Batteries May Be Weak or Dead Upon Arrival
  • May Not Be Ideal For Some Large Caliber Rifle Rounds

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent buyers were using this scale for their pistol rounds. Among the most popular calibers were 9mm, .22 and .45 to name a few. One user said that the weight is dead on each time. He also said that he uses this just to make sure it’s got it to the right weight so he can get the bullets to travel faster.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This scale is small in size, but it’s really accurate. The scale is no more than the size of a small calculator. Plus, it might be your best bet if you’re using it for the purpose of reloading your pistol rounds. Some small rifle rounds can also be accepted for weighing in a well. If accuracy is what you’re looking for in both your shots and the weighing of the ammo itself, this scale does the job brilliantly.

Who Will Use This Most

If you’re a concealed carry user, a casual target shooter, or if you’re using your pistol for competition shooting this scale might be your best possible option. Expect this to be a favorite among those who shoot 9mm, .45, .38, or the many pistol calibers that are popular among pistol enthusiasts and users.

What Could Be Improved and Why

While it is a battery-operated scale, we can definitely do away with the battery. This way, you can install a fresh new battery with a lot more power than what it’s got. Plus, you might have a good idea of which battery will last longer anyway.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a reloading scale that will work perfectly with pistol rounds, the Frankford Arsenal DS-750 Scale might be right up your alley. Yes, it’s our best overall choice and if you give it a further look you can probably see why.

Pros

  • The Dispenser is Easy To Fill
  • Best Used For Rifle and Pistol Rounds
  • Measurements Are Fast and Accurate
  • It Doesn’t Take Up a Lot of Room On Your Workbench
  • The Powder Dispenser Provides Easy, Spill-Free Reloading

Cons

  • Sometimes the Powder Can Drop in Clumps
  • Do Not Include Black Powder in the Powder Dispenser
  • Some Calibration Might Be Needed Right Out of the Box

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers were quite impressed with the inclusion of the powder dispenser. They were able to accurately load their ammo each and every time, with accurate amounts, without accidentally spilling the powder. The weight scale was accurate all the time even after some re-calibration. One user said he was satisfied with the scale overall, but had a little bit of learning to do on how to get the precise amount of powder out of the dispenser for his rounds.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This is a 2-in-1 combination that features two of your much-needed accessories for reloading your ammo. You obviously need a scale to ensure that your powder and the bullets themselves are at the right weight. You need a powder dispenser to ensure that you have it all handy for reloading each and every bullet you've got. It’s probably what you’ll consider being the total package.

Who Will Use This Most

If you’re a pistol or rifle owner, odds are you’re going to love this scale. It has two of the most needed things that will be essential. Especially if you’re starting out with reloading your ammo. It will handle reloading pistol rounds like your 9mm and rifle rounds like your .223 caliber. All you need is your powder of choice.

What Could Be Improved and Why

One possible improvement that might be ideal for this scale would be to ensure that the powder isn’t clumping each time you reload a round. Some innovations might be required in order to solve the issue. Once all is said and done, you can expect reloading to be much easier.

Bottom Line

If you want a 2-in-1 combination accessory that makes reloading your ammo a lot easier, you’ll probably enjoy the RCBS Chargemaster Powder Dispenser/Scale Combo. You’ll have some of the things you will need in order to get started with your reloading.

Pros

  • Affordable For Most Budgets
  • Easy To Calibrate Right Out of the Box
  • Can Accept Most Pistol and Rifle Rounds
  • Provides Fast and Accurate Measurements
  • It Doesn’t Take Up Too Much Room On Your Bench

Cons

  • Some Calibration Might Be Required
  • May Not Accept Some Larger Rifle Caliber Rounds
  • You May Need To Add a Pad Down Below For Better Balance

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of new users were satisfied with this scale. Half of the new buyers already owned the Hornady Lock-N-Load reloading press. They trusted in the Hornady brand so much that it was a no brainer for them to grab this scale. The general consensus agreed that the scale was accurate and was useful for many types of rounds.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This scale has a pretty substantial capacity of 1500 grain. So it can handle multiple amounts of cases, cartridges, powders, and so on. It’s a scale that is heavy-duty and definitely will work for many beginner-level reloaders. Plus, Hornady is one of the more reliable names on the market when it comes to all things reloading. Mind you, we didn’t choose this based on the name alone.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be used by many rifle and pistol users across the board. Even those who are looking for a scale that will allow them to weigh in multiple rounds will find this scale to be the best one to use. Whether you're weighing a single round or multiple amounts, you'll still get an accurate read.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Two things that might be a worthy addition. First, let’s throw in a rubber mat of some kind so you can get a well-balanced, accurate reading every time you weigh your bullets. Second, a dust cover would be nice to have when you’re not using it. Obviously, you want it to be nice and clean rather than have dust settle in and throw off your weight measurements.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an excellent scale that will be the best for your wallet and does a great job weighing your rounds accurately, the Hornady Lock-N-Load Electronic Bench Scale will be your best friend in the workshop. Accurate and affordable are the two words that we can come up with to describe this scale.

Best Digital Reloading Scale:
MTM - MINI Digital Reloading Scale

Pros

  • Excellent For Pistol Rounds
  • Auto-Shutoff is a Convenience
  • Accurate Weighing and Reading
  • Easy To Calibrate Right Out of the Box
  • Small and Compact, You Can Take it Just About Anywhere

Cons

  • Some Calibration Might Be Needed
  • May Not Pick Up Smaller Specks of Powder
  • Batteries Are Either Weak or Dead On Arrival

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers saw this as a scale that could be portable enough to take with them. So if they are out and about at the range or hunting, they can double-check to see if their bullets are at the right amount of weight. One user said that he uses it so he can make sure which bullets he can use to load in his magazine. This way, he’ll have much faster and accurate rounds to work with.

Why it Stands Out To Us

Digital scales are hands down one of the best types of scales out there. They’re accurate as can be and are the only type of scales that can provide that kind of pinpoint accuracy right down to the smallest grain. Also, it’s a small scale that won’t take up too much room. Believe it or not, it’s also portable. So you can take it on the go.

Who Will Use This Most

This scale will definitely have its uses among the crowds of pistol shooters. You can use this to weigh a few 9mm rounds at a time (or similar pistol calibers). So concealed carry shooters and even competitive shooters will most likely be the kind of shooters that will use this scale.

What Could Be Improved and Why

One improvement would be to get rid of the batteries. While batteries included is a nice convenience, the battery power might be suspect. Would you rather have a fresh set of batteries that last awhile (and the kinds you can choose yourself)? Or do you want batteries that are half-dead and ineffective? We’ll let you be the judge.

Bottom Line

If you want a digital scale that is accurate and portable, the MTM Mini Digital Reloading Scale might be your cup of coffee. This scale will be ideal for many pistol rounds that you’ll love reloading for any kind of intent and purpose.

Best Reloading Beam Scale:
RCBS - M1000 Mechanical Scale

Pros

  • Fast and Accurate Readings
  • Best For Pistol and Rifle Rounds
  • Easy Maintenance and Cleaning
  • It Can Weigh Multiple Rounds All at Once
  • It Allows For Easy Left-Handed and Right-Handed Operations

Cons

  • Might Not Handle Some Large Caliber Rounds
  • Some Calibration Might Be Needed Out of the Box
  • Sometimes, the Readings Might Be Slightly Inaccurate

What Recent Buyers Report

Most of the new users were quite happy with the scale. Most of them were happy with the easy to use operation and were able to accurately weigh their pistol or rifle rounds. One user said that it was one of the cornerstones of his reloading workbench. Without it, he’d be “winging it” with his reloading.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This gives us a break from the digital scales for a bit. If you want something that's a bit simpler and "old school", this scale will probably be your best bet. Beam scales have long been reliable by those who reload their pistol or rifle rounds. This one provides you with a good amount of capacity to work with so you can weigh a single or multiple rounds at a time.

Who Will Use This Most

This scale might lean in favor of a lot of pistol users. But don’t render it useless among those who use rifle rounds like .223 or .30-06 to name a few. This scale provides you with a pan that won’t tip over even if you add multiple bullets onto it for an accurate reading.

What Could Be Improved and Why

This scale should be calibrated so it can be easy to use right out of the box. Granted it is a beam scale, but sometimes it might be a little time consuming just to calibrate it. It would be better for the manufacturers to do it for you before it ever hits the shelves.

Bottom Line

If beam scales are more of your thing, you’ll probably consider purchasing the RCBS M1000 Mechanical Scale for your own use. You still get accurate readings and be able to weigh your favorite rounds with the greatest of ease.

Best Automatic Reloading Scale:
Hornady Lock-N-Load Auto Charge Powder Measure

Pros

  • Really Speeds Uploading
  • It Allows For Precise Reloading
  • Accurate Weighing and Measurements
  • Works Great With Rifle Rounds Like the 300 Blackout
  • Easy To Dispense Powder Without Any Accidental Spillage

Cons

  • It May Take Some Time To Set it Up
  • Some Calibration Might Be Needed Before Use
  • The Dispenser May Dispense a Little Too Much Powder at Times

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers were satisfied with this scale. They were even happier with the inclusion of the powder dispenser. One user said that it’s a reloading station in one nice package (sans the reloading press). The measurements were accurate and provided really fast reloading for most rifle rounds like 300 Blackout and .308.

Why it Stands Out To Us

Once again, this is another hybrid powder dispenser/scale. It will definitely serve as a convenience to those who are new to the whole reloading your own ammo thing. Especially when it will allow for faster reloading and weighing in. Everything is completely precise and accurate from the powder dispensing down to the weighing in itself.

Who Will Use This Most

This will likely be a scale that’s relied upon by most AR-15 rifle users. Especially those who are firing off everything like .223, Creedmoor 6.5, 300 Blackouts, and a whole lot more. This will be able to handle those types of rounds and the powder that is compatible with them.

What Could Be Improved and Why

Once again, a dust cover could be an idea for this scale. Especially since the scale is a little sensitive to even the slightest bit of powder. So it’s important to keep the scale clean so you won’t run into any inaccurate measurements along the way.

Bottom Line

If you want something that will make reloading a lot faster and more accurate, the Hornady Lock-N-Load Charge Powder Dispenser will definitely be something you’ll need to look at. Especially if you’re a beginner starting out with reloading your own rifle rounds.

Best Mechanical Reloading Scale:
Redding - #2 Master Scale

Pros

  • Super Durable Construction
  • Accepts Most Pistol Rounds
  • Accurate Readings Every Time
  • Easy To Calibrate, It Doesn’t Take Too Long
  • Goes To the Final Measurement Weight Quickly

Cons

  • Finish Coating Appears To Be in Poor Quality
  • Some Say the Scale’s Base Weight Might Affect Overall Measurements
  • May Not Be Suitable For Some Rifle Rounds, Especially Large Caliber Rounds

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of recent buyers were satisfied with the scale. It was fast and easy to weigh each bullet they’ve had. Most of the buyers were pistol owners and another handful were rifle owners as well. The weight was accurate and was easy to calibrate right out of the box.

Why it Stands Out To Us

This scale is another beam style scale that will be best for those who want to keep it simple. This is made from solid durable materials that make it sturdy and able to last a long period of time. The small place still allows for the ability to weigh multiple bullets (especially pistol bullets like your 9mm or .22 bullets).

Who Will Use This Most

This might be your best possible option if you plan on reloading your own pistol rounds. It might be the scale you want if you’re one of the many who want one that will be designed to last you a long period of time. We’re talking years maybe decades.

What Could Be Improved and Why

As part of a package deal, we think a nice powder dispenser should be included in this deal. This way you have a nice looking starter set to build upon whenever you want to reload your own pistol ammo. Other than that, the finish should be a little better.

Bottom Line

The Redding #2 Master Scale is your best possible option if you want to keep it simple when it comes to weighing your pistol ammo. If you want a simple to use scale for when you’re reloading each and every round, you’ll find this one to be more reliable than most every time.

Types of Reloading Scales

There are a few types of reloading scales that are currently available on the market. No matter which one you choose, you’ll be able to use it for the purpose of reloading your ammo and making sure that everything is accurate and good enough for your intents and purposes. Here are the types of scales that are available:

Electronic/Digital Scales

These are self-explanatory. They use electronic or digital technology to help you measure the weight of your rounds or powder. The weight plates will be on the top of the scale where they are laid flat out.

Mechanical Scales

Mechanical scales also are capable of giving you accurate readings. However, they might be a little more complex to calibrate as opposed to their electronic counterparts. They will usually have a weight place located at the end along with an adjustable gauge that will give you the weight itself. 

Beam Scales

These are your traditional scales that use a balance beam type. They are similar to the mechanical scale in so many ways. The accuracy of these scales is reliable, but they can be limited to some types of ammo that you might be reloading. Ideally, they can be used as a scale for pistol rounds.

How to Use a Digital Reloading Scale

  • To have a vibration-free surface and more accurate measurements, have a rubber mat for your workbench to place your scale on.
  • Take a small weight (100 grams) and use it to calibrate your scale. Switch your weight settings to grains.
  • Hold down the “Mode” button (or similar) until you see the letters “CAL” or anything related to “calibrate”.
  • Place the weight on the scale. If it says “pass” you can pull the weight off.
  • Place the powder tray on the scale. Reset the readout to zero. Once you lift the tray off, the weight should be in the negative.
  • Add a small amount of powder to the tray itself. Weigh it. If you get a positive weight value, then it should be calibrated. At this point, you’re done.

How to Use a Mechanical Scale

  • Set the weight until you are able to balance the scale at zero.
  • Make any necessary adjustments using the knobs at the bottom of the scale. Make sure all the markings are aligned and balanced at the zero position.
  • Add a bullet into the powder pan.
  • Adjust the weight up until it reaches the weight. If the marking is aligned with the zero, that is your weight. 
  • Remember, adjust upwards if the marking is below zero (which means the bullet is lighter). Adjust downwards if the marking is above zero (meaning the bullet is heavier).

Conclusion

Finding the best reloading scale can take some time and a little bit of digging around. But you’ll eventually find one that will be perfect for all your reloading needs. Having a scale is a definite must when you have the responsibility to reload your own rounds. It’s recommended that you don’t start reloading your ammo without one. 

People Also Ask

The following is a brief FAQ that will give you a better understanding of how these reloading scales work. Consider the answers below so you can know how these scales work and which one might be best for you. Here are the following questions:

Digital vs. Mechanical: Which Is Better?

It really depends on your personal preferences. However, for the sake of speed, the digital scales will be much better than mechanical scales. That’s because it will give you an accurate reading almost instantly. In terms of affordability, the title for most affordable will go to the mechanical scale.

How Accurate Are Digital Reloading Scales?

Most digital scales are quite accurate. In fact, they can be as accurate as 0.1 grain in weight.

How to Take Care of a Reloading Scale?

It should be cleaned after every use. Especially when you’re weighing smokeless powder with it. If needed, you should cover it up to ensure that no dust will land on it. Even some dust can throw off your scale’s measurements.

Leave a Comment