NBS-HDBK-44 Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices

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This document is also known as: NIST Handbook 44, NIST HDBK 44, Handbook 44

Specifications, Tolerances, and Other Technical Requirements for Weighing and Measuring Devices


The purpose of these technical requirements is to eliminate from use, weights and measures and weighing and measuring devices that give readings that are false, that are of such construction that they are faulty (that is, that are not reasonably permanent in their adjustment or will not repeat their indications correctly), or that facilitate the perpetration of fraud, without prejudice to apparatus that conforms as closely as practicable to the official standards.


Handbook 44 is designed to be a working tool for federal, state, and local weights and measures officials, the equipment manufacturers, installers, and service agencies/agents. As noted in Section 1.10. General Code paragraph G-A.1. Commercial and Law-Enforcement Equipment, applicable portions of Handbook 44 may be used by the weights and measures official to test noncommercial weighing and measuring equipment upon request.  

Additionally, applicable language in Handbook 44 may be cited as a standard in noncommercial applications, for example, when the handbook is referenced or cited as part of a quality system or in multiple-party contract agreements where noncommercial weighing or measuring equipment is used.


Claudia's Notes:
Handbook 44 has been around in various formats since 1918, but was first published with it’s current number and title in 1949.  It is actually written by the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM), an association of State and local weights and measures officials and representatives of business, consumer groups, and Federal agencies.

Changes from the 2012 Edition of NIST Handbook 44 are included in a 2 page table found in the foreward.  You’ll see that modifications have been made to sections 2.20, 2.21, 3.30, 3.36, 5.58, 5.59, and Appendix D.  And there are other editorial changes as well (which do not affect the technical content of the handbook).  They are found in sections 1.10, 2.20, 2.21, 3.33 and 3.34.

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Document Number

NIST-HDBK-44 2017

Revision Level




Publication Date

Jan. 1, 2017

Page Count

524 pages