If you read my other post about scales, you know the jury was still out on the ConAir “Weight Watchers” branded one I bought a few weeks ago to replace “Ol’ Red.” Sorry to say, the ConAir went back to the store on Sunday. Too many days went by that left me guessing about what I really weighed. The difference among a number of trials each morning could vary as much as 1.3 pounds.I was now intent on getting a Tanita, which was my first desire when I went shopping in January after reading the ‘reviews of the reviews’ on ConsumerSearch.com. Bed Bath & Beyond carried two of their many models: a glass plate number for $100 that had many more features than I needed, and the model that was regarded in the above mentioned review as the most reliable and the most consistent: BF-679W. It was a mere $50, much less than I’d paid for the ConAir, and I had a 20% coupon bringing it down to $40. Pretty darn reasonable.
The BF-679W isn’t a beauty prize winner. It’s pretty standard bathroom scale fare, and I’d say it looks and feels a lot like “Ol’ Red” with a silver paint job and a display makeover. Our bathroom has brushed nickel accents, so it fits in okay, unpretty as it is compared to most of its peers. It sports some diamond-shaped silver plates for the electric pulse necessary to measure body fat and water, and the only other adornments are three small buttons below the display for setup, and three toe-kick buttons on the lower end to start it up. A switch on the bottom of the unit lets you pick whether you want the readout in pounds, kilograms, or lb/stone. Four AA batteries are included. The scale has a maximum capacity of 300 pounds, and the display measures in 0.2 pound increments of weight and 0.5% increments of body fat.
The scale is easy to program, as was the ConAir. There’s memory for two persons, and it has a “guest” mode so visitors can check their weight along with the other optional measurements. For each regular user, you use the set-up buttons to indicate age, gender, and height. Once that data is in, each user simply taps with their toe their assigned button on the lower edge to start; their data is displayed followed by a zero weight reading and a beep to indicate ready to weigh. The user steps on the scale, minding that their feet touch the metal plates (long footed people can overhang the front if necessary). The scale shows a countdown readout from 5 to 1 while it makes the measurements and, voila, displays the weight, below which either the body fat percentage and body water percentage are shown, trading places for several seconds even after the user steps off. With the push of one of the buttons below the display, you can recall your previous weight and the associated difference. There is a center toe-kick button so that weight-only measurements can be taken that do not utilize the current pulse feature (important if you have a pacemaker or such, or are pregnant).
I did an accuracy check when I set it up, as I did with the ConAir. I put a towel on the scale and placed a 35 pound Olympic plate from my home gym on it. The ConAir weighed the plate and towel at 35.2 pounds. The Tanita weighed them at 36.0 pounds. While I normally would expect a 35 pound plate to weigh exactly 35 pounds, giving more credence to the ConAir for accuracy, I’d assume there must be some allowance for error in manufacturing such pieces of iron; 0.8 pounds is only 2.2% of the plate’s supposed weight. Also, I did not make repeated trials of weighing the plate on the ConAir because I did not know at that time the readouts were inconsistent; perhaps a subsequent trial or two would have seen the plate and towel weigh 36 pounds (the ConAir typically would weigh low on first trials). In any event, without the ability to test this clinically, I will assume the Tanita is correct (or more correct than the ConAir) by virtue of other reviews attesting to its accuracy.
So how has it performed in the last five days? I weighed myself each morning upon waking, sans clothing and post-evacuation. I went through the same series of three or four trials as with the ConAir, some with weight-only, some with body fat measured. The most fluctuation I could see was in the least significant digit, which can be taken as the scale simply trying to choose a number closest to the two-tenths to which its display accuracy is limited. The body fat and body hydration readings were either identical to or nearly identical to those readings I’d seen on the ConAir (32% body fat, 48-49% water).
I’m satisfied with the consistency of this model and would recommend it heartily. If your performance concerns are the same as mine and you don’t mind a pedestrian-looking appliance in your bathroom, this is an economical choice I believe you can count on.