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Washdown Scales vs Waterproof Scales: What’s the Difference?

Washdown Scales vs Waterproof Scales: What’s the Difference?

All waterproof scales are washdown scales, but not all washdown scales are waterproof scales. So, what’s the actual difference between washdown and waterproof scales, and when would you choose one over the other? This blog will go into detail, then recommend our top choices for each.

What is a Waterproof Scale?

A waterproof scale is any scale with an ingress protection rating of IP68 or IP69. The robust design of waterproof scales ensures that they are completely sealed and thus protected from dirt and water ingress. This allows you to submerge them for a long period and spray with high pressure jets if necessary. An IP69 rating has the additional benefit of being able to withstand water jets at high temperatures at extremely close range.

What is a Washdown Scale?

A washdown scale is any scale with an ingress protection rating between 65 and 67. These scales are fully protected from dust and other solid particles but offer varying levels of protection against water. An IP65 rating will guarantee that you’re able to rinse your scale under a sink, while an IP67 rating allows you to fully submerge your scale underwater for a very brief period. For more information on IP ratings, our blog IP Ratings Explained is a helpful resource.

When Would You Choose a Waterproof Scale?

Waterproof scales will typically be more expensive than washdown scales due to the higher level of protection, so what applications would make them worth the extra cost?

Waterproof scales are an excellent investment when you work in harsh environments that are consistently dirty, damp, humid or dirty, as well as when hygiene is of the utmost importance. Here are a few:

Professional Kitchens and Butchers

Both professional kitchens and butchers deal almost constantly with meat and fish that are purchased and priced by weight. Because they contain a lot of moisture (Dry steak? Yuck!), bacteria can quickly easily begin to grow on your scale. This can become a health hazard if left alone, especially when cross contamination gets involved. It’s crucial to have a waterproof scale in a kitchen or butchery so you can clean it with the frequency and thoroughness the situation requires.

ABW-S weighing dragonfruit


Waterproof scales are ideal for farm use. Animals don’t exactly clean their feet before they step on the scale to be weighed, and you can’t put off picking time due to mud. Whether you’re weighing animals or freshly harvested produce, dirt and moisture is an expectation. Over time, dirt and mud can add up on your scale, potentially causing errors in your readings. Being able to quickly hose off your waterproof scale is a convenience and time saver.

Chemical Manufacturing

When manufacturing chemicals, sometimes spills happen. However, a simple accident, like tipping the bleach, could turn into a serious incident if you haven’t cleaned your scale well after spilling ammonia just this morning. Additionally, though waterproof scales are constructed from stainless steel, which is resistant to chemical corrosion, certain chemicals can still cause harm over time. A waterproof scale is an extremely good idea to prevent mixing chemicals or damaging your scale by allowing thorough cleaning when necessary.

When Would You Choose a Washdown Scale?

Washdown scales are ideal for applications where moisture resistance is sufficient. Here are a few of those cases:


Whether we’re talking about shipping and receiving warehouses or manufacturing warehouses, dust will likely be a larger nuisance than moisture will. Dust, like dirt, piles on quickly, but it’s easily removed without a hose or a dunk. The capability to wipe your scale down with a damp cloth is sufficient in your typical warehouse.

Food Manufacturing and Packaging

Though the moisture in meat and fish can cause bacteria, the manufacturing or packaging of ‘dry’ foods doesn’t usually share that issue. There can be exceptions, of course. For example, you should clean your scale after you’re finished weighing a batch of peanut butter cups being prepared for packaging. Peanut butter is a common allergy, so it’s important not to cross contaminate between the peanut butter cups and the next food item you’ll be weighing. However, a washdown scale – rather than a waterproof one – will suffice here, due to the lack of moisture involved.  

Washdown & Waterproof Scales We Recommend

Kern FFN-N Stainless Steel IP65 Washdown Scale

Kern FFN-N Stainless Steel IP65 Washdown Scale

Capacities: 1.5kg – 25kg

Readabilities: 0.2g – 5g

The IP65-rated Kern FFN-N is an affordable, easy to clean bench scale that can handle splashes of water, dirt and dust. The FFN-N features a rechargeable battery for use anywhere, with a compact design to fit on even the most crowded benchtop. The FFN-N is ideal for use in warehouses, production lines and workshops.

Adam Aqua ABW IP67 Washdown Bench Scale

Adam Aqua ABW IP67 Washdown Bench Scale

Capacities: 4kg – 32kg

Readabilities: 0.5g – 5g

The IP67-rated Aqua ABW is a popular solution for food factories and catering outlets requiring a durable, accurate washdown scale. The ABW also offers a convenient checkweighing function, with separate high, ok and low coloured LED indicators for when a sample is over, within or under the preset limits. 

Adam Aqua ABW-S IP68 Waterproof Bench Scales

Adam Aqua ABW-S IP68 Waterproof Bench Scale

Capacities: 4kg – 32kg

Readabilities: 0.1g – 2g

The Adam Aqua ABW-S Waterproof Bench Scale is an IP68 rated bench scale. It’s constructed from stainless steel, providing it with bacteria and corrosion resistance. With a display in both the front and rear of the scale, the ABW-S can be shared between workers, and with its rechargeable battery, it can be moved where needed.  

Adam Gladiator IP68 Waterproof Bench and Floor Scales

Adam Gladiator IP68 Waterproof Bench and Floor Scales

Capacities: 8kg – 300kg

Readabilities: 0.2g – 10g

Adam’s Gladiator range offers higher capacity options as well as various platform sizes, all with the same IP68 rating. Its internal rechargeable battery allows for use in locations where electricity is scarce. The Gladiator is popular for food production and processing plants, as well as farms that weigh produce. For a trade approved option, head here.

A&D SW Series IP69 High Pressure Waterproof Scale

A&D SW Series IP69 High Pressure Waterproof Scale

Capacities: 6kg – 150kg

Readabilities: 0.5/1/2g – 10/20/50g (selectable)

The SW Series IP69 High Pressure Waterproof Scale is our most protected waterproof scale. The SW can withstand high temperature, high pressure hosing and cleaning thanks to its stainless steel pan and sealed ABS plastic indicator. This scale is built to work in the harshest environments where durability is essential.  


If you feel you need more assistance selecting the right washdown or waterproof scale for you, please contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

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