When you are working on small woodworking projects, knowing the moisture content of the wood at hand may not matter a whole lot. Using dry or greenwood, for example, may not make much difference.
When you are working on big projects like furniture or flooring, however, the structural integrity of the final product is at risk if you don’t work with wood with the right moisture content.
Wood with too much moisture is prone to shrinking, cracks, and warping among other things. This is why a good functional moisture meter is important for a woodworker.
If you are looking for the best moisture meter, then this is the right place for you. In this article, we list the six best wood moisture meters and provide tips so you know what you should look for in one.
Best Wood Moisture Meter Reviews
Let’s meet the candidates!
It features a compact design, making it a handy little tool. It’s versatile, and you can use it to monitor the moisture in a variety of materials including, wood, concrete, carpet, gypsum, and other materials. All you have to do is select a specific material’s setting. This makes it a perfect tool for home use as well as industrial use.
You can use this meter to monitor moisture in all kinds of woods, soft or hard. With the ennoLogic moisture meter, you get a stable, reliable reading on all material. You can get readings as low as 1% moisture content and 7% moisture content for wood.
Take advantage of the convenient features that come with this moisture meter to make your work easy. You can freeze readings for later reference using the hold button. You can configure the temperature readings to read in either Fahrenheit or Celsius, and the min and max buttons let you know the range of measurements you are working with.
- Compact design
- Versatile, you can use it to monitor moisture on a variety of materials
- A wide range of measurements
- Not easy to push the pins into hardwood
The pinless function allows you to take moisture content measurements without being invasive and poking around, possibly damaging the surface of the material. The pin function, on the other hand, allows you to take deeper, localized and precise measurements.
It’s very versatile, and you can use it to monitor moisture content on a variety of materials like wood (hard and soft), concrete, carpet, and brick. This makes it an ideal tool for home inspections.
It’s very easy to use and has an LCD backlight that allows you to read the measurements accurately, even in darkness. The Hold key lets you freeze readings for later use.
It has a compact design, which makes it the perfect handheld tool for your home or for industrial use. The many features on this moisture meter, like the voice alerts and automatic shut-off, make it very convenient.
- Both pin and pinless functions on one meter
- Versatile works for a variety of materials
- A back LCD light for easy visibility even in darkness
- Compact design
- It’s a bit pricey for a moisture meter
You get four pins with this moisture meter, which are replaceable so you don’t have to discard it when the pins get damaged.
It has a compact design, which makes it perfect for a handheld tool. You can easily conduct home inspections, or monitor moisture content on your lumber or other materials. This moisture meter is versatile and suitable for plaster, mortar, concrete, wallboard, or sheetrock too.
The meter has moisture icons, which provide a helpful visual representation of moisture content on the materials you are inspecting.
Get alerted by the beeping sounds when there is an increase in moisture content. You can use the hold function to freeze readings for later.
- Combines pin and pinless functions for your convenience
- Relatively cheaper
- You get four pins
- Moisture icons for a visual representation of readings
- Very accurate
- Not very durable
It works great on both soft and hardwood. Make sure you know the kind of wood you are working with and which group it falls into, as there are different settings for different types of wood.
The meter has an LCD backlight, that allows you to read the measurements accurately, even in dim-lit rooms or in darkness. The ergonomic design makes it the perfect handheld tool. It’s compact as well.
You get alerted when the battery is running low, so you are not caught unaware. The auto shut off feature turns off the meter when you are not using it to conserve energy.
- Works for all types of wood
- Backlight allows you to easily read the measurements
- Not usable on other materials
Make sure you are using the best wood for your woodwork projects with this next moisture meter. The Calculated Industries 7435 accumaster comes with very sharp pins that pierce the wood easily so that you can get the most accurate internal moisture content. That’s always a challenge with other moisture meters.
It features an ergonomic design and is easy to use as well. When you are not using it, the moisture meter comes with a protective cap for the pins. Just in case the pins get damaged, you get an extra pair when you buy this moisture meter.
The graphical representation on which measurements are presented is very easy to read and understand. With the hold function, you can freeze readings for later.
The one-year warranty provided on this moisture meter cushions you in case of damage.
- Extra pins
- Protective cap for the pins
- Graphical representation of data that’s easy to read and interpret
- The hold function helps you freeze readings for later
- Only works with wood
Get accurate moisture content monitoring with this meter designed to measure moisture content on all types of wood. There are four calibration settings for types of wood, which means you have to know the species of wood you are working with to get accurate measurements.
It’s very accurate, with a slight error allowance of +0.5 or -0.5%. You get a wide range of measurements, and you can record moisture content as low as 4% on wood and even lower on other materials.
It’s very versatile and is suited for a wide range of materials, which makes it handy for many uses.
The fairly large LCD screen display makes it easy to read the measurements on the meter. It has an ergonomic design and is light-weight, which is ideal for a handheld tool.
It has several handy auto features like a low battery alert, a hold function for freezing readings for later, and an automatic shut off which activates after 15 minutes of inactivity to help you save power.
- Versatile, works with different materials
- LCD screen for clear display
- A wide range of measurements
- No reviews
Considerations for the Best Wood Moisture Meter
When you are looking for a wood moisture meter, it can be a bit confusing if you don’t know what to look for. Here are some of the things that make a moisture meter great.
Construction and Durability
You want to buy a moisture meter with sturdy construction that will last a long time without coming apart. If you are choosing a pin moisture meter, make sure you get one with strong pins that will not bend or break easily. Some moisture meters come with an extra set of pins, and this is always a plus.
Get a moisture meter with functions that help make your work easier. Most moisture meters will have a hold function, for instance. This helps you freeze readings and record them later. This is convenient.
Some meters also combine pin function with pinless function. This offers you the convenience of pinless operation and the accuracy of a pin meter in one device.
Some advanced models will include a Bluetooth function that allows you to send data directly to your device, like a laptop or a cellphone.
Accuracy and the Range of Measurements
You want to get a moisture meter that is as accurate as possible. Moisture meters will vary in their accuracy. The most accurate ones will detect changes as low as 0.1% while others will only do the same for changes of about 1%. Pick one depending on how accurate you need to be.
Some moisture meters are only meant to monitor moisture on wood, while others are built to work on a variety of materials. The latter are always great if you need a moisture meter to perform different tasks. If you need to do home inspections, for instance, these are always handy.
Frequently Asked Questions on Moisture Meters
Pinless vs. Pin Moisture Meters: Which Is the Best?
Moisture meters are usually available in two main categories. Pin meters and pinless meters. The pin moisture meters measure monitor by plunging the pin tips into the materials they are taking readings from.
The drawback of these kinds of moisture meters is that they puncture small holes on the surface. This is a bit invasive and you may not like the holes left behind on the wood.
The pin meters, on the other hand, measure moisture content after being placed on the surface without holes. The problem with the pinless moisture meters is that they don’t take internal moisture measurements, which you might need, especially where wood is concerned.
There are moisture meters that combine both these functions and if you have the budget for it, these are always great.
Do Different Types of Wood Measure the Same?
The short answer is no. This is why most moisture meters will have different settings for different types of wood. When you are monitoring moisture content in wood, make sure you set your moisture meter right for the type of wood you are using.
Moisture meters are essential for woodworkers, especially when you dry your lumber, or when you are buying wood from a yard and you want to get the best wood for your project.
With so many moisture meter brands on the market, however, it can get a bit challenging deciding the best one for the job.
We hope this article helped ‘demystify’ the process. While all the meters on this list are good for the job, check out the Extech MO50 compact pin moisture meter. It has both pin and pinless functions, is compact, is relatively cheaper, and very accurate.