Lee Safety Scale Haters...... Why?!?


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Centurian22
February 26, 2013, 09:17 AM
Title about sums it up. I see such wide spread hatred and bashing of this one particular piece of Lee equipment seemingly more than any other. I have a LSScale and couldn't be happier with it especially for the $25 I paid for it! The only thing that has bothered me in the least little bit is that it only goes to 100grains which prevents me from weighing bullets that I shoot. This is no fault of the scales and as I saw explained, the lower the weight range the easier it is to maintain accuracy.

So please, tell me specifically what the problems are that you LSS haters are having and what you moved on to at what price to fix the problems.

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Certaindeaf
February 26, 2013, 09:22 AM
My little lock button never worked on mine (I never got around to having it fixed) and you need good light and a magnifying glass to see the ticmarks etc. Other than that, I love and use mine.

Jaxondog
February 26, 2013, 09:26 AM
I used one for year's, but not anymore. they are just too inacurate, plus the digital's are so much faster.

MarkA
February 26, 2013, 09:26 AM
Mine is a pain in the rear. The beam doesn't stay in parallel so when I pull a charge off, it has a tendency to stick to the damping magnet. Just have to watch it like a hawk when I'm trickling my charges. Watching it like a hawk isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it could still be better. Generally, I'd like to see some of the slop taken out of the thing.


~Mark

leadchucker
February 26, 2013, 09:42 AM
I bought one of the Lee kits that came with the Safety scale. I have found the scale to certainly be accurate enough, if you take the time to set it up right. But that little screw assembly that serves as the fine vernier is very difficult to get accurately zeroed. It is a fairly flimsy affair. The slightest movement, even that of engaging the screw lock or dumping powder in the pan, can change it's calibration enough to throw my charge off by a tenth or so. I load pistol rounds. A tenth of a grain is a significant amount of error. I found myself spending more time checking the zero and calibration of the scale than I did weighing charges.

I got fed up with it one afternoon, and went over to the local wallyworld and bought an RCBS 502 (The wallyworld here stocks quite a bit of reloading stuff) The difference in ease of setup and use was like night and day. I sold the Lee scale on evilbay next week, and have not regretted it at all.

I won't say I hate the Lee Safety Scale. It can be quite accurate, if you are patient with it. But life's too short.

MtnCreek
February 26, 2013, 09:43 AM
The blade the beam rides is too delicate. I’m not a hater; the Lee scale is the most sensitive scale I own.

HOWARD J
February 26, 2013, 09:45 AM
I have asked Lee many time why they don't get rid of the red monster & offer a real beam or digital scale----they never answer me
I have always used a 5-0-5 scale
I also have a digital scale.
The Lee scale came in a Lee Turret kit
I use many Lee products but I will never use that red monster---it hold small instruction manuals from falling off a shelf.

dragon813gt
February 26, 2013, 09:49 AM
It's downfall is it's sensitivity and lack of weight. It's just as accurate as other beam scales. But it's not the most user friendly scale. Use a RCBS/Lyman/Ohaus beam and tell me if you want to still use the Lee.


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MtnCreek
February 26, 2013, 10:05 AM
Use a RCBS/Lyman/Ohaus beam and tell me if you want to still use the Lee.

I typically use an RCBS 10-10 made by Ohaus. Yes, it's easier to use, but it costs a lot more. When I started re-loading, Lee equipment made it possible. My whole setup cost less than a 10-10 scale.

I bought a Lyman beam with electric dispenser years ago when the only beam scale I had was the Lee. It was no more accurate than a measure and I sent it back. Probably just my dissatisfaction with the dispenser, scale may have been fine.

I have some digital scales that are great for weighing bullets and brass, but used the Lee for powder charges (I don't trust the digital; maybe I should have been Amish ).

The Lee scale has loaded a lot of ammo at my house. It’s currently at a friends house as he’s just getting started in reloading. When he gets his own or upgrades, the little Lee scale is going back on my bench.

Mike 27
February 26, 2013, 10:58 AM
The only think I didn't like about it was the size. Everything on it was so small and difficult to manipulate. It is a good scale and I still have it. I have no issue using it in a crunch as it is very accurate, just not my go to scale on the bench.

RandyP
February 26, 2013, 11:23 AM
it is super accurate - surprisingly for its ultra low price - but my tired old eyeballs prefer my $30 digital scale. I frankly do not personally need the accuracy of the pricey digital scales. Same goes for my Harbor Freight calipers. They work great, cost little.

I will say that my lee balance scale is much easier to use by carefully setting it to the desired weight and leaving it. Then pouring a powder charge into the pan and seeing if it is heavy or light and adjusting the powder throw accordingly. It is kinda finicky using it to try and weigh an unknown item. The digital instant read solves that issue.

yes the 5-0-5 series balance scales are easier to use and read for unknown weights - they IMHO are NOT more 'accurate' than the Lee product, just more user friendly.

GT1
February 26, 2013, 11:24 AM
It is too light and small overall. The vernier is difficult to read. It is overly sensitive and hard to see unless you have lots of light and/or young eyes.
The Lee scale is designed to be set in a spot, calibrated, and the user should be able to pick up the beam and make adjustments, and set it back on the fulcrum/base. It does that, but razor balances can be touchy because you are trying to set it on a point instead of a valley like all other scales(It does not have that 100% feeling you have it where it needs to be.).
The pan and hook are one piece, one of the most annoying things with me, to pull and replace the pan is more difficult than it needs to be. I'm known for having 'soft' hands(really good hand eye coordination) and fiddly things are usually not fiddly for me, the Lee Safety scale was a pita.

I bought a Lyman Pro 500($50 shipped) and as soon as I got it I made sure the Lee met an unfortunate end.

The Lee was quite accurate, but there was no enjoyment in its use.

deadeye dick
February 26, 2013, 11:41 AM
Leadhucker post#5
On the fine zero wheel I had the same problem with the adj. shifting. To cure this I put a VERRRY small amount of low streinght locktite on the wheel. This was just enough to stiffen it up and it will NOT shift on you. Works for me.

SSN Vet
February 26, 2013, 11:59 AM
love mine.... super accurate (when matched up against our $500 digital lab scale at work).

Some people never learned how to read a vernier type scale and have problems with it.

I keep mine stationary in a wall cabinet above my work bench so it's isolated from floor vibrations and rarely needs to be re-zeroed.

rondog
February 26, 2013, 12:13 PM
Lining up the little marks like a vernier caliper, and trying to decide which marks actually are lined up so you know what the weight is. And moving that little slide bar with the marks on it....to move it just a little at a time, I had to tap the stupid thing with a toothpick to get it to move in small enough amounts.

Someone on a local board put up an RCBS 5-0-5 for sale, I jumped on it, and will never touch that Lee again. And yes, I can weigh bullets up to 510 grains!

I would like to have a decent electronic scale as well, those would be handy for other things. But my Lee Safety Scale isn't likely to ever see daylight again.

returningfire
February 26, 2013, 12:20 PM
I love mine. But it is like it wasn't made for people with big dumb fingers like mine.

Ken70
February 26, 2013, 01:21 PM
A LOT of people have difficulty with understanding vernier scales; it just doesn't register with them. Digital they understand. Had my Lee for 20 years, and don't see any need to replace it. I bought an inexpensive digital scale to weight assembled ammo, looking for squibs or doubled charges. Never found one yet, Knock on Wood......

PJSprog
February 26, 2013, 01:33 PM
A LOT of people have difficulty with understanding vernier scales; it just doesn't register with them. Digital they understand. Had my Lee for 20 years, and don't see any need to replace it. I bought an inexpensive digital scale to weight assembled ammo, looking for squibs or doubled charges. Never found one yet, Knock on Wood......
Same here. Been using my Lee for a little over 20 years now.

Frankly, I've found that some people just won't like anything with the Lee name on it. That's fine, too. To each their own.

jcwit
February 26, 2013, 02:42 PM
All in all I like Lee Products as good as I do any of the manufactures.

The Lee scale is an accurate instrument.

My only complaint is its so light weight, heck I'm a former smoker with COPD and I can blow the thing around my bench. If they weighed more so they didn't go sliding all over the place with the slightest bump it would solve the problem.

I did solve the problem with my Lee scale, mounted it on a chunk of 4 quarter oak, it now stays put.

rondog
February 26, 2013, 02:53 PM
Oh, I understand how vernier scales work, it's just seeing which marks are actually lined up that's the hard part for me.

GT1
February 26, 2013, 02:59 PM
Er, the vernier slider isn't too hard to understand. :p In fact if Lee made a full size scale like that with agate bearings it would be great, I liked the lockable adjustment.

I am a Lee fan, just not a Lee Safety Scale fan.

GLOOB
February 26, 2013, 04:04 PM
I think the crux of the matter is the scale is so light that it's hard to move the slide without making the beam sway up/down. And, conversely, while the beam is swaying around, it's hard to move the slider by little increments. I find the magnetic damping to be rather slow, which makes this problem worse.

I have placed two screws, above and below the pointer, on mine. This limits the movement of the pointer to maybe 1 or 2 tenths an inch up or down. I can easily pin the beam on whichever screw it's settling on while moving the slider. Then when I let go, the beam either doesn't move and needs to be adjusted farther, or it settles very quickly to the other screw, or if it's within +- 0.05 grains, it will finally settle somewhere in between. It's almost like a go no-go gauge or a comparator.

I initially hot melt glued some travel limiters on there to see how it worked in practice. After using it for quite a long time that way, I finally got tired of regluing the pieces when they fell off, and I drilled and self-tapped the screws. It is a definite improvement to me.

Hammerdown77
February 26, 2013, 04:39 PM
I have a Lee scale. Waaaay sensitive, and with all the user friendliness issues already mentioned.

Bought a Dillon beam scale, made by Ohaus, new for $56. SOOOO much easier to set up and use. The extra money was well worth the decrease in aggravation caused by the Lee scale.

jhvaughan2
February 26, 2013, 04:51 PM
Gloob hit it on the head for me in why I get frustrated with mine. I'll have to try those tricks.

Centurian22
February 26, 2013, 05:07 PM
WOW! I can't believe the response this thread has gotten! Well I guess when thinking of how often I saw the scale bashed it makes more sense. Thank you all for your input. Most are about what I expected. Being young woth decent eyes and medium hands / fingers, I hadn't thought of the difficulty the scale could cause for older reloaders (which there are probably more of than younger ones) with poorer eyesight and people with bigger hands / fingers. I look forward to more input.

RustyFN
February 26, 2013, 05:15 PM
I found the Lee scale to be very accurate. I didn't like that it will only weigh to 100 grains and it wasn't very user friendly for me. I do have a lot of other Lee products and love them.

Fishslayer
February 26, 2013, 08:32 PM
I had no problem using mine. A bit tricky to zero. Need good light to read it. Could use better damping. I can see where some wouldn't like it but no hate here. It works.

I rarely use it anymore since wifey bought me a Lyman digital...;)

rsrocket1
February 26, 2013, 08:43 PM
No hate here. I love mine. I can completely understand that if you have jittery hands, non-opposing thumbs, eyesight with a fixed focal length beyond 12 feet or weigh powder on your lap that you will have a hard time using it.

Have I offended enough people yet? ;)

Oh yeah, if you are a Dillon snob or just hate Lee products on principle because the "right side of the bed" is up against a wall, I could also understand. :p

GT1
February 26, 2013, 09:00 PM
I am terrribly offended. *stomps around* :neener:


Weighing powder in my lap shows how tough I am! When I was a kid we only had rocks to throw, that's the way it was and we liked it!






My LCT sits right next to my Dillon 650, and the Lee is the one getting the work out lately.

Yarddog
February 26, 2013, 09:20 PM
I basicly use mine to verify my digital scale & set up my powder thrower ; )

Y/D

JRWhit
February 26, 2013, 09:39 PM
I got a safety scale in my kit when purchased and have found it to be quite usefull.
Without it, any time a slight breeze came by all my notes would go flying everywhere.:scrutiny:

It works but it didn't take me more than a week to go digital. All my reasons have already been posted by others. And I ain't old..:cuss:

Anmut
February 27, 2013, 08:30 AM
I could never get mine to match a digital scale in multiple weighing. I could take a digitally measured weight of 6 grains and dump it on the LSS and it would be plus a grain, dump it back on the digital to find it's still is at 6, put it back on the LSS and it would be minus a grain. All without touching the scale except to pour the powder.

Bottom line - digital scales are more accurate and just as inexpensive now days - no reason to even bother with a LSS anymore.

Ken70
February 27, 2013, 01:20 PM
"I could never get mine to match a digital scale in multiple weighing. I could take a digitally measured weight of 6 grains and dump it on the LSS and it would be plus a grain, dump it back on the digital to find it's still is at 6, put it back on the LSS and it would be minus a grain. All without touching the scale except to pour the powder.

Bottom line - digital scales are more accurate and just as inexpensive now days - no reason to even bother with a LSS anymore."


You need to use a "known" weight to check the scales. 50 grain check weight for example. The scale that doesn't read 50 is the bad one. Just dumping the same unknown charge in each only tells you they are repeatably accurate, but not absolute accuracy.

Ky Larry
February 27, 2013, 02:42 PM
I used a Lee scale for years. I cheked it before each session with a set of RCBS check weights and it was always dead on. I recently got a Redding beam scale because it's easier on my eyes to read.

sbrader
February 27, 2013, 02:53 PM
I have one that I put back in the box almost immediately after getting it. I guess my fingers are just too clumsy but I had a terrible time trying to make fine adjustments. I don't blame the scale. I just had a hard time with it.

Hondo 60
February 27, 2013, 03:40 PM
Way too fiddley & slow to stop for me.

In fact just for giggles I bought a Lyman/Ohaus & WOW what a difference!
It's much easier to set, & stops bobbing much faster than my Lee Safety Scale.

But having said that, both are plenty accurate.
So if all you have is a Lee, it works, just a lot slower.

Legion489
February 27, 2013, 05:11 PM
I was tempted to post here, but as I am already accused of Lee "hate" for telling what happened to me, and as so many others have related all that I would say, I won't add to the list of the "scale is basically not that good, a pain in the rear and there are MUCH, MUCH better scales out there". Hmmmm....I always wonder why telling the TRUTH is considered "hate". Unless the person hates the TRUTH getting out!

Anmut
February 27, 2013, 06:55 PM
"You need to use a "known" weight to check the scales. 50 grain check weight for example. The scale that doesn't read 50 is the bad one. Just dumping the same unknown charge in each only tells you they are repeatably accurate, but not absolute accuracy."

Yes I understand what you are saying - however I never even got around to checking accuracy because I couldn't get a repeatable reading.

FROGO207
February 27, 2013, 07:20 PM
I own one of the Lee scales and it works well. I also have an Ohaus 10-10 and the RCBS 505. I loaned the Lee scale to a new reloader after showing him how to use it. Said when you get one of your own and don't need it any more I will use it to start yet another reloader. He is happy with it and not buying anything 3 years later.:D It is light and the vernier scale is hard to understand if not schooled in it's use, but for the price it is hard to beat it accuracy wise.:)

SSN Vet
February 27, 2013, 10:47 PM
I'd sure like to know who makes a better scale for the same money.

Centurian22
February 28, 2013, 03:40 AM
Ok, everyone who is talking about how light the scale is: Are you talking just about the beam or the whole thing? Mine has a metal base, I wouldn't call it really heavy but it certainly doesn't move anywhere without significant impact (deliberate or accidental). With so many people slamming on how light the LSS is I have to wonder if they didn't change the design of the base between your experience and mine. I agree the beam is light but not the base.

+1 to SSNVet. Anmut: I have heard just as many people say that the inexpensive electronic/digital scales are inaccurate as I have heard people bash the LSS.

Again I appreciate everyone's input to help me understand this. I have learned that (doubtful as it may be) if I ever look to replace my LSS I will look to an Ohaus for the claimed greater ease of use and quicker settling.

SSN Vet
March 1, 2013, 03:02 PM
It's always had a metal base that I'm aware of.... but it is about half the size of a 505 or similar balance beam scale. Some of the better, lab grade, beam scales also have a heavy base plate.

When the scale is heavy, a little bump won't move it.

The Lee scale, though metal, is (imo) still pretty light. I personally can't move the sliding poise without having to brace the scale base and beam arm with my left hand.

I've always had good finger dextarity though, so this has not been a problem for me.

It always seems to be the case on line, that people want to chest thump about how their XYZ is bigger and better than you XYZ. I wouldn't be into reloading unless I could get "value" equipment like Lee produces. So I'm very happy to cruise right along with my Safety scale (and borrow the expensive digital lab scale from work :) )

rondog
March 1, 2013, 03:32 PM
I never said my Lee scale was junk or inaccurate, I just found it difficult and frustrating to operate. I like my 5-0-5 far better. And FWIW, 99.5% of my reloading gear is Lee. The press and all dies, priming tools, and so on. I think only my scale, bullet puller, case trimmer, and a powder measure are the only non-Lee items I have. Maybe a couple others, but most of my money went to Lee.

FROGO207
March 1, 2013, 05:50 PM
Flip the base over and fill the open part underneath with 5 minute epoxy/lead shot mix after blocking off the area that needs to be left open for the dampening arm so it can still move. The heavy base will help you considerably. I did this with mine years ago.

ljnowell
March 1, 2013, 05:55 PM
Honestly? Many people hate it solely because its made by Lee. There are a few members here that will openly bash anything that isnt blue. Others will just hate on Lee. The fact is if it werent for Lee there are many that would never be able to get into reloading, or take it as far as they have.

I know, I may sound biased, and I will openly admit that. I have two lee presses, a lee scale, several sets of Lee dies, lee hand autoprime, lee autoprime for on press priming, etc. I have never had any issues with my Lee equipment, and will continue to buy it.

Ehtereon11B
March 1, 2013, 06:34 PM
I have one but I use it rarely. I have a cheapo Salter digital scale that I use to weigh every powder charge. I use the Lee scale to check every 5th or 10th load. My biggest complaint with it is how long it takes to zero the scale. Other than that I have found it to be very accurate, just slow when you want to load X number of rounds.

egg250
March 1, 2013, 06:49 PM
Yes the safety scale is extremely sensitive. I sort of thought that was the idea...a scale sensitive to .1 grains. And, it is very affordable to boot!

I love all my Lee equipment.

jcwit
March 1, 2013, 07:03 PM
Sensitive is one thing and a good thing granted. Being so light its impossible to change the settings without holding it down so it doesn't jiggle/move/slide all over the place is an entirely other thing and NOT a good thing.

With all the Lee equipment I have, and I do have a bunch, the Lee Scale is the only item I have issues with.

I can not imagine what it would be like weighing every charge using the Lee Scale.

Fire_Moose
March 1, 2013, 07:59 PM
I agree its a little.....finicky.

I have never had to hold the base while adjusting the read our deal. I use the finger nail of my index to just bump it slightly. Sometimes the arm will get off kilter, sometime I have to pull the arm and feel for the groove to sit in. But other then that it works wonderfully in conjunction with my cabhellas digital.

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

aerod1
March 1, 2013, 08:46 PM
I have a Lee Safety Scale, two RCBS 5-10 and a Cabelas digital. For 25 bucks the little Lee is a bargain! Mine has always worked great.

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