I had tried several scales before I got my hands on the Taylor 5596G. This scale tells your weight, body fat, body water, bone mineral, muscle mass - and is less than half as much as a competitor! I am just SO impressed with this scale.
First, the basics. This scale is very simple to set up and use. For the first two memory spots, it's even one-touch operation - just hit the toggle up for person 1, down for person 2. Then you stand on the scale, it sends a mild electrical signal through your feet (you can't feel it) and voila! All your stats are shown.
If you haven't used a scale like this before, you really should give it a try. These types of electrical scales are very popular now and work very well. If you're not sure how they work, drop me a line and I can explain it in detail. Suffice it to say in this review that yes they DO work, based on your body's conductiveness.
So OK, taking it as a given that the technology should work well, does it work well here? I am happy to answer that with a resounding YES. The reason I got this scale is that my previous purchase - a competitor's scale at a much higher price - did NOT work accurately. It gave fat percentage numbers which were wildly off. It made me worry that a scale didn't exist that provided fat numbers with water and muscle mass numbers. However my fears were assuaged with this purpose.
I compared the fat numbers of this machine with the five other fat testing devices we have here. This Taylor scale was right on. In test after test it came up with the exact same numbers as the other devices. I am very satisfied with it.
As far as weight goes, pretty much all scales are good at that at this point :) I can put my 3 scales side by side and they all come up with the same numbers within a pound. So that part is fine.
My tests with the other values - water, muscle mass etc - also show that this scale is accurate.
It really is so important to have a scale that shows you your fat and water percentages. Let's say you are 150 pounds and little of that is fat. You could be in super shape. Let's say you are 150 pounds and 99% of that is fat - you could be in awful shape! Your weight alone tells you very little. You need to know how much of that is excess fat, and how much is healthy muscle.
Water is critical because your body needs to be properly hydrated to work properly. Most people do not drink nearly enough water in a given day. If your body dries out, you get sick more frequently, it's harder to lose weight, and harder just to have energy to do things. You need to keep track of your body hydration levels.
I also am really happy that this scale has a muscle mass indicator. Whether you are walking steps, biking, hiking or anything else, building lean muscle is an important part of staying healthy. This isn't so you look like Conan!! It is so your body is limber enough to climb stairs safely, to maintain your balance without falling and breaking bones. Every human needs muscle to be healthy. This scale helps you keep track of yours.
Are there downsides to this scale? Well, the "indicators" of what you are being shown are rather small. It flashes the numbers one after another. So it's not that you look at the readout and see all at once the weight, water %, fat % etc. It cycles through them. But the indicator of what number means what is very tiny, so really you have to remember that fat comes first, water comes next and so on. Yes it's easy to learn after a few tries, but it's annoying that the indicators are so tiny.
Also, it cycles around three times and then vanishes. With most of my other scales you stand on it and the numbers show until you get off. That gives you time to write them down. here you have to write really quickly - because if you miss something after that third try, you're out of luck. That seems to be a bit frustrating and nonsensical to me.
But still, this is by far the best scale I've found - that gives me exactly what I want to know, with accurate numbers, and it's cheaper than others in the same category! What more could I want in life!
Buy a Taylor 5596G Scale from Amazon.com