I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: serious bakers and cooks need to have a scale in the kitchen. The ability to weigh ingredients gives you a lot more precision than volume measures do, especially for dry ingredients like flour, where “1 cup” could be anywhere from 3.5 – 4.5 ounces depending on how hard you try to pack it into the cup (4-oz is a good standard for all purpose flour, incidentally). You can get by without one just fine, of course, but it’s nice to have. A good basic scale is the EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale. It’s not too expensive, it’s easy to use and works very well.
The scale is small and lightweight, made of durable plastic that comes in a variety of different colors so that you can pick one that will fit into your kitchen. It runs on two AAA batteries that come included in the packaging and has a 3-minute auto shutoff to preserve battery life. It has a capacity of up to 11-lbs (4.98-kg), but will also measure a single gram for times when you need a very fine measurement. The feature that I like the best is the unit feature. Previous scales I’ve had require you to flip them over to change their measure from grams to ounces. On this scale, a touch of a button right on the front flips the measurement from grams to kilograms to ounces to pounds, which is very handy. Another nice thing about it is the size of the screen: it’s so large that you can almost read the numbers from across the room.