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Jan 19, 2011 01:56 PM

Measuring spoons inaccuracy?

I am quite perplexe right now?

I have 2 sets of measuring spoons and they dont offer the same volume for the same number of millimeters? If I compare the 1ml (1/4 tea spoon), one set ends up more in the like of an half (2ml or 2.5) of a tea spoon (of 5ml). And when a put two half of tea spoon on a tea spoon it spill up, alot...

So, I dont know what set is accurate. I went to a kitchen store today and me and the clerk we did the same test with sugar on two sets : they did not calibrate the same?!?

Are you aware of this problem and is there a company tha produce accurate measuring spoons?

Best regards,


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  1. This has been discussed before in other websites. This is not considered abnormal. Measuring spoons and cups are known for quick and easy tools and not meant for accurate measurement. For accurate measuring, you will need to use a kitchen scale (a weight balance).

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      I should be clear that these measuring cups and spoons have a certain "accuracy tolerance", that is the accuracy level is plus/minus a number. As Wattacetii pointed out, even labware have an accuracy tolerance.

      I have measured my measuring cup and spoon set against a laboratory balance using water. For example, a tablespoon is about 15 mL, so a tablespoon of water should weigh 15 g. My set is within 10% error. For me, this is acceptable. For others, this is unacceptable. Some sets are better than others.

    2. Or labware. However, it's going to get real expensive real fast measuring 1 mL volumes with an Eppendorf pipet (those disposable tips and all).

      The extreme accuracy shouldn't be a problem unless you're doing molecular, but if you're doing that, you already have a fine balance.

      1. I have two sets of good stainless steel measuring spoons - both measure the same (I'm not using an atomic scale - so we're not talking nanograms here - but pretty darn exact). BUT I needed a tablespoons to measure some veterinary antibiotic and bought a cheap set at the dollar store. Ha. Not even close. The 1/2 teaspoon is about a standard teaspoon and the teaspoon is about the same as the 1/2 teaspoon. The tablespoon measure some random amount - can't remember whether it was more or less but I threw the whole mess out. And to think poor students are equipping their entire kitchens from these places. No wonder they're having problems.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Nyleve

          A US company - Pourfect - makes calibrated measuring spoons. They are guaranteed accurate.
          They also make bowls and cups.

          1. re: Mistral

            It would have been nice if her web site told you where you could get them.

          2. re: Nyleve

            I don't know what made me do it, but years ago I too compared the capacity of my 3 or 4 cheap measuring spoon sets. Not even close, as you said! Bought some nicer ones, and kept the ones that "matched". Measuring cups were *much* better.

            1. re: blue room

              Though the quarter cup marking on my glass 1 cup measure wasn't very good. That's why I switched to the WonderCup when doing my test.

          3. I have assumed that my spoons with deeper bowls were the most accurate (as opposed to the common stamped steel ones). I tested 2 sets, a plastic KitchenAid, and similar shaped steel (Progressive). Both have ml markings as well.

            10 Tablespoons of water (15ml) fit into the WonderCup set at 150ml. 3 tsp (5ml) fit into 1 Tablespoon. 4 1/4tsp (marked 1.25ml) fit into 1tsp. This was for both sets, so I am satisfied with their accuracy.

            1. After reading this thread, I realized that I've never actually measured any spoon set for accuracy; I always just assumed the better brands were calibrated. I know it's after 3 am and I should be sleeping but I had to check mine. Good thing mrbushy can sleep through all of my late night food related experiments and shenanigans.

              Happily, my Progessive set is quite accurate, even the smaller no name set of 1/64 to 1/8 was pretty right on. Now a non-issue, and I can rest easy.