When weight accuracy, consistency, and dependability is required, a doctors balance beam scale is the best set of scales to meet this need. This is the type of scale you would find in a doctor’s office and nearly all other professional health care settings. A balance beam scale is also known as a medical scale, physician scale, or doctors scale. They are considered the “gold standard” in scales because they are the most precise and dependable scales available. These scales are 100% mechanical with no risk of electronic failure. They are not cheap, but as with anything you buy, you get what you pay for. You can make a one time investment in these scales and will never have to worry about buying another set of any kind (electronic or otherwise) in your lifetime. In this buyer’s guide, we will review and compare several different models of doctors balance beam scales to help you make an informed decision on which set to buy.
In this buyers guide, we will review the following topics:
- Doctors Balance Beam Scale Side by Side Comparison
- Seca Model 700 Balance Beam Scale Review
- Detecto Model 439 Doctor Balance Beam Scale Review
- Health-O-Meter 402LB Doctors Balance Beam Scale Review
- Why Buy a Doctors Balance Beam Scale?
- Who Buys a Doctors Balance Beam Scale
- How a Doctors Balance Beam Scale Works
- How to Weigh Yourself on a Doctors Balance Beam Scale
Doctors Balance Beam Scale Side by Side Comparison
|Seca 700||Check Price on Amazon||500 lbs||⅛ pound||30” - 78”||20.5" x 20.5" x 61.5" / 35.7 lbs|
|Detecto 439||Check Price on Amazon||400 lbs||¼ pound||30” - 78”||10.5” x 14.5” x 55” / 35 lbs|
|Detecto 437||Check Price on Amazon||400 lbs||¼ pound||none||14.5” x 10.5” x 58” / 70 lbs|
|Detecto 337||Check Price on Amazon||400 lbs||¼ pound||none||10.5" x 14.5" x 59" inches / 38 lbs|
|Healthometer 402LB||Check Price on Amazon||400 lbs (optional counterweight to 500 lbs)||¼ pound||24” - 84”||20.5” x 10.5” x 57.2” / 33 lbs|
Seca Model 700 Balance Beam Scale Review
The Seca model 700 is one of the most precise doctors balance beam scale on the market. It is THE Cadillac of physician’s scales. The Seca 700’s maximum weight is 500 pounds and is accurate to 1/8 pound graduations, or increments. It’s so sensitive, it picks up a change in your weight if you are holding something as light as an ink pen. This balance beam scale is suitable for a professional or clinical setting such as a doctor’s office or gym. A height rod is included with this model as well as wheels which will allow you to move the unit more easily. It has a very sleek modern looking aluminum beam and cast iron base. There is an option to purchase this scale in either pounds (lbs) or kilograms (kg). It carries a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty. There are about 100 reviews on Amazon from other customers who have purchased this scale so be sure to check those out.
Detecto Model 439 Doctor Balance Beam Scale Review
The Detecto scales are very accurate, easy to use, and the best value of any doctors balance beam scale we reviewed. It is a very sturdy and solid unit built with heavy gauge metal. The parts are preassembled in the factory and takes about 10 minutes to put together. The only tool you need is a phillips head screwdriver. A wrench to install the height rod is included. Perhaps best of all, each Detecto doctors balance beam scale is made in the USA!
You may be wondering what the difference is between the different Detecto models – 439 vs. 437 vs. 337. The difference is outlined in the comparison chart below. Detecto model 439 has a height rod, but the 437 does not. Detecto model 337 is the same as the 437, but has metric measurements. We recommend Detecto model 439 because it comes complete with the height rod.
Should you have any problem with your Deteco scales, including help with assembly, below is the company’s contact information.
Toll Free Number: 800-641-2008
Phone Number: 417-673-4631
Health-O-Meter 402LB Doctors Balance Beam Scale Review
The Health-O-Meter model 402LB scale has a capacity of 400 lbs. You can purchase a counterweight separately that will increase its capacity to 500 lbs. Out of the box, it comes complete with the base, frame, nuts and bolts, and a wrench to put it together with. Wheels are included for easier mobility. It has a height rod that measures from 24” to 84”. It stands about 58” tall and its base is 10” x 20.5”. The scale is accurate to ¼ of a pound.
Why Buy a Doctors Balance Beam Scale?
People buy physician scales for a variety of different reasons. With no electronics to malfunction or batteries to die, you can rest assured these scales can be used for a lifetime and beyond. Balance beam scales are 100% mechanical, sturdy and almost impossible to break. You will never have to buy another set of scales. Nearly every electronic scale you weigh yourself on will likely give you a different reading. Electronic scales can also be affected by temperature. As an experiment, weigh yourself on an electric scale, put it in the refrigerator for an hour and weigh yourself again. You will probably find the latter reading is about five pounds more or less than your original reading. Physician balance beam scales will hold true no matter what.
Who Buys a Doctors Balance Beam Scale
Physician scales can be purchased for any number of reasons including the following:
- Home Use. Physician scales are becoming increasingly popular in home bathrooms and exercise rooms. If you are dieting or trying to lose weight, they are ideal to track your progress. If you are managing a health condition such as diabetes, they will certainly be an asset. They work fine on any flooring including carpet. You can rest assured they will be accurate every single weigh in.
- Gym or Health Club. For clients serious about their workout routines, these balance beam scales are a must. With these scales, you can accurately measure your rate of muscle gain so you can plan your workout and determine which routines are optimal to meet your goals. They are consistently repeatable unlike digital scales. Balance beam scales are also great for your home gym or exercise room.
- Athletes. Many sports such as wrestling, bodybuilding, weightlifting, boxing, jockey, and others require you to be in a certain weight class to compete. Doctors balance beam scales will give you the 100% accurate weight reading required for these sports.
- Doctor’s Office. This one goes without saying. Nearly every doctor’s office uses this type of scale to accurately gauge the weight of their patients.
How a Doctors Balance Beam Scale Works
Balance beam scales work by comparing your weight while standing on the platform against the weights along the weigh beam. The weigh beam is the moving beam at the top of the scale. The weights along the weigh beam are called standard weights, or “poise”. You slide the standard weights across the weigh beam until the beam is perfectly balanced. The larger standard weight is typically in 50 pound increments. The smaller standard weight is typically in increments of ¼ pound, but can be as precise as ⅛ pound on some models.
How to Weigh Yourself on a Doctors Balance Beam Scale
First of all you want your weight, not the weight of your clothing. For the most accurate reading, remove all clothing except your underwear. Unless you truly do need a 100% accurate weight, wearing underwear should be ok as long as you are consistently wearing only underwear each time you weigh in.
Second, weigh yourself first thing in the morning right after you have used the bathroom.
Third, stand on the scale and move the larger standard weight to on the bottom of the balance beam to the right first. Then adjust the top weight to get a precise reading. For example, if you weigh 212.5 lbs, you would move the bottom weight to 200, and then the top weight to 12.5. You will know when you have an exact weight when the beam “balances” directly in the center.
Finally, be sure to keep a journal of your weight patterns. Any type of spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel or a free option such as Google Sheets works great. Remember, you can only manage what you measure!