Where can I buy metric-only scales?

This plaintive question is posed by an inquirer who lives in south London.

“I want to replace my ageing bathroom scales and cannot find a suitable replacement.

I prefer mechanical/dial to digital and want a nice clear display in kg, but all the ones I’ve found have both stones and kg, with the result that the kg is small and therefore hard to read (as are my current scales). I have found several which have kg only on the packaging but not on the actual product – there’s one in B&Q which has ‘large, easy to read dial’ on the box and a picture of a kg-only dial which is indeed easy to read, but when you look inside the kg has actually been substantially reduced in size to accommodate larger markings in stones.

Any suggestions? Preferably an actual shop where I can go and pick one up without getting on a Eurostar, as collecting large mail from my nearest sorting office is a pain!

[Although “an actual shop” is requested, responses on internet sites and mail order could also be of interest to others]

Author: UK Metric Association

Campaigning for a single, rational system of measurement

9 thoughts on “Where can I buy metric-only scales?”

  1. This doesn’t really answer the question, but I bought my bathroom scales some years ago in a French hypermarket (probably Carrefour). The trade name on it is “Terraillon”. It is metric-only, mechanical (not electronic), and has a dial visible through a small perspex window. It may of course have been superseded by a later model.

    I did a Googlesearch on Terraillon and eventually found this:


    They have an office in Hemel Hempstead at the address below.  They may be able to advise on shops which stock their products.  Hope this helps.
    Hanson (UK) Ltd
    81a Marlowes – Hemel Hempstead
    Hertfordshire, HP1 1LF – UK
    Tel: +44 (0)1442 270444 – Sales@hansonuk.com


  2. John Lewis supplies a set which has kg on the main outer scale and imperial in a smaller font as a secondary scale.
    (They’re not cheap). I prefer a digital read-out, and just leave it set to kg.

    I recently had a similar problem trying to find a metric only tape measure in a DIY shop. You just can’t get them. Now my children are starting to take an interest in measuring things, I don’t want to make their lives difficult with all the different numbers. We only need one set of numbers on any measuring device.


  3. I agree that finding metric-only or even metric-friendly products is difficult if not impossible and actually gave up and got replacement bathroom scales in France (also in Carrefour!) along with a 5 m Stanley tape measure and several rulers in the hope of stopping my 10 year old son from using inches. On my next trip I plan to replace my kitchen measuring jug and scales so I’m not doing battle with dual-measures when cooking!

    It’s all well and good things showing both imperial and metric measurements but last summer I discovered the failings of this when I spent 2 weeks driving my German-built Vauxhall around Europe and found that with the combination of sunshine and sunglasses it was virtually impossible to read the km/h markings on my speedo. I’d already tried to get my local dealer to switch the odometer to km in the hope of distances on signs being easier to follow with no avail (incidentally, until about 8 years ago you could actually change the Vauxhall odometers yourself!). I’ve already decided that the readibility of the speedo will be a factor when I buy my next car but so far I’ve only seen speedos with mph as secondary markings in Canada and it’s not possible to register a car in the UK with a km/h only speedo!


  4. My wife recently inherited a Renault Scenic from her father. It has a digital speedometer which can be programmed by the user to display either mph or km/h. She has not let me test this out yet, but on reading the manual, it appears to be a fairly simple operation – something that can be done while in the Eurotunnel shuttle.


  5. Bicycle cyclometers can be switched easily between miles and km – and you can then check them by the roadside 100 m distance markers while in France. Keeps you healthy too.


  6. My bicycle cyclometer is already set to metric… but that doesn’t help much on the Autoroutes, Autobahns or Autostradas!

    My recently purchased Satnav got set to metric right out of the box and it does have a speedo function which is small but often easier to read that the cars own speedo (but with the added “problem” that it’s also more accurate and I now know when my speedo reads 70mph I’m actually only doing 107 km/h).


  7. # Dave Brown Says:
    April 4th, 2007 at 16:03
    “I recently had a similar problem trying to find a metric only tape measure in a DIY shop. You just can’t get them. ”

    I found some a few months ago in Lidl. Not sure if they still have them or not.


  8. Sorry, can’t help on the scales; I have tried and failed. However, I did manage to get a Stanley 5m metric only tape measure on ebay from the USA!
    While in Phoenix, I hired a Pontiac Grand Prix whose analogue speedo had a single set of digits for mph. By poking around on the onboard computer, you can change it to metric – the numbers stay where they are, but the needle moves. If you’re driving along at 50 mph, and change the setting, the needle moves round to 80 and the illuminated mph logo changes to kph.


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