Counting capsules can be tedious work, especially when you have a lot of them to do. I’d like to offer you some tips for making the process potentially easier and quicker. These tips should help whether you have a few dozen or a few thousand capsules to count.
Counting by Hand
When you don’t have any capsule counting equipment and you are looking for accuracy, hand counting is your safest bet. Though hand counting can be time consuming and you often run the risk of losing count, there are some tricks to help you breeze through it smoothly.
First things first, expect that you’re going to loose count and plan for it. A simple technique that works well, especially when you have to count to higher numbers, is to use multiple bowls or cups. For example, if you’d like to count 300 capsules, fill 6 cups with 50 capsules. You can even use 5 cups of 10 to get the 50’s. If you loose count at any point, it’s just one cup to recount and you can get back on track.
Next, I’m going to assume you can count by two’s quickly enough. Now double it with two hands. Count and fill 2 cups simultaneously by picking up 2 capsules at a time with your left hand and 2 capsules at a time with your right hand. Each hand has it’s own bowl to fill. This technique will cut your time in half.
For Small Jobs Try a Counting Tray
This is almost an unnecessary item and you could do the same job on your counter with a paper plate. However, if you need to be really careful with dosing and would also like to keep your fingers off the capsules, then a counting tray might be right for you. They are very inexpensive, like this one I found on Amazon for under $10:
Approximating the Number of Capsules With a Measuring Cup
When you just need to be close, using a measuring cup is the fastest way to count capsules. Here’s a handy chart for reference. I was using level cups when measuring (like in this image)
Approximating the Number of Capsules By Weight
When using small weight measures like milligrams, a chart like the one below can help you calculate your individuals capsule’s capacity. For example: If you fill 100 size 1 capsules and all together they weigh exactly one ounce (28349 mg). To calculate each capsules milligrams, take the total weight, minus the weight of the empty capsules (76 mg), will give you 28273 mg. Divide that by 100 capsules and each capsule contains 283 mg.
Use a Counting Board
If you can pick up an inexpensive one, it might be worth it for you to have one of these handy items. The biggest problem seems to be the price. The price range on Amazon seems to be between $30-$60. I found this one on eBay for $16, that’s a big difference.
Building a Homemade Capsule Counter
If you’re low on cash or just like making things, you can make your own capsule counting tray. I made a detailed tutorial, you can see it here: