Moisture meters are used to measure the percentage of water in a given substance. This is when you could find that the product you are using, such as wood in this case, is going to be fit for purpose such as creating something or being used as firewood and kindling. Newly-cut logs can have a moisture content of 80% or more, and this is even on some of the driest of days. Of course, this is depending on the type of tree that you are cutting down. Since wood shrinks when it dries out, and can also split, twist or otherwise change shape as it dries, most wood is dried before being used. One of the most common ways of doing this is using a kiln, but you may use the air-drying method, which is a much slower process. Once you have conducted a method of drying out the wood, most air-dried material is usually closer to 20 percent moisture content when used. This is especially important when it comes to people wanting to dry out logs for firewood or kindling, as well as using them for wood burners or chimineas.
A moisture meter gives a reading of the approximate moisture content of wood. The reading helps in determining whether the wood is suitably dry for its intended purpose, or whether you need to follow one of the drying methods to get the wood to a level where it can be fit for purpose. The moisture content reading can also assist in planning a project design that will accommodate future changes in dimension caused by changes in relative humidity. Such as a building needing to withstand seasonal changes in the summer and winter, for example.
Wood moisture meters are also really handy to have when it comes to people wanting to use wood in other ways, such as creating furniture, art and artisan pieces. However, the problem people have is finding the right moisture meter for the job and intended purpose. When you shop online, you can be presented with an array of options, and this is when things can get confusing. You want to be able to buy with confidence and know that the product you are buying is perfect for the job you want to complete. This is where this article can prove invaluable as we will look through some of the best moisture meters that you can buy and give you a run down of some of the advantages and disadvantages for each one. Giving you the peace of mind that your purchase is the right one for.
1. Protimeter BLD5365 Surveymaster
Protimeter Surveymaster has a dual function which could make it the right moisture meter for your project. The dual functionality can make all of the difference when it comes to this moisture meter. Protimeter made improvements to enhance the Protimeter Surveymaster so that you can get peace of mind that this moisture meter works well. The versatile pin and non-invasive meter is ergonomically designed for ease. It means that it can be a one-handed operation to measure moisture in buildings and other related structures both on and below the surface. This allows you to assess moisture levels for new or refurbishing activities and diagnose moisture-related problems in existing buildings.
Some have used this product in a professional capacity and have said that this moisture meter provides accurate results, meaning that it is a quality product to consider as well as being excellent value for money. There is little guesswork involved, helping you to get accurate results that you are confident in.
- Two modes of operation - search (pin-less) and measure (pin-type)
- Rugged construction with large backlit display
- Pin moisture measurement
- Non-invasive measurement up to ¾” (20mm) below the surface
- Wide range of accessory plugins with industry leading 2-year warranty
2. Extech MO55
Extech’s combination moisture meter allows you to take quick moisture measurements on wood and other building materials using your choice of either the pin or pinless (non-invasive) method. This gives you excellent versatility when it comes to finding out the moisture levels in the materials that you are using. It has been recorded as very easy to use because the MO55’s display icons indicate the level of moisture content and it features an audible alert. Giving you the confidence in the reading.
It is ideal for building restoration projects and applications where moisture detection on floors, tiles, and under carpets is critical. As it has dual functionality, this moisture detector is a must-have tool for analyzing the effects of water leakage behind walls and in ceilings. While some have said that this product gives clear readings, some have argued that the correlation between the reading and the material being tested can be different. However, for quality as well as value for money this could be an excellent choice for you.
- Measure Moisture Level in wood, wall board, sheet rock, cardboard, concrete, plaster, and mortar
- Moisture Icons provide a visual reference for low, medium, and high levels of moisture
- Audible Alert Tone beeps faster as moisture level increases
- Pinless Measurement Mode reads moisture up to 1 inches below the surface
- Data Hold Function freezes readings on display
3. Calculated Industries 7445 AccuMASTER
This moisture meter is an excellent choice to make. It has replaceable pins to check moisture content in specific areas at various depths, giving you great flexibility. You can also take advantage of the built-in dual option of the pad to check moisture content. The full-time backlit LCD display makes the reading easy to read thanks to larger digits visible even in low-light work environments. You also get clear moisture content icons which indicate general levels at a glance. It comes with everything that you need to get started with it straight away.
This is an excellent option for testing things such as firewood. There have been some excellent reviews to state that this particular moisture meter is easy to use and provides accurate results. It is the perfect option if this is a tool you don’t ordinarily use or have ever used before as it gives you easy to read results and also has a shut off so you don’t lose out on battery life or power.
- ESTIMATE MOISTURE CONTENT QUICKLY AND EASILY – detector offers ideal dual functions of pin and pinless sensors in one. Use the pinless pad as a quick “ranging” feature to scan a large area for suspect areas without leaving holes. Then, switch to pins to quantify moisture level at various depths
- PERFECT FOR HOME INSPECTIONS – Use the pad for quick non-invasive pinless scanning to find locations with higher than average moisture behind a wall or under a floor. CAUTION: Powerful pinless pad sensor measures to ¾” but can be influenced by materials up to 2 inches below subject material (e.g., metal screws, nails, workbench supports, etc.) Keep fingers clear of pad scanning area. Use pad to detect variations from normal and use pins to quantify it.
- CHECK LUMBER AND HARDWOOD BEFORE BUILDING AND WOODWORKING – Use the pins to know the moisture content of your wood to make sure you’re not using damp, moist wood on your projects to avoid cracks, splits, warping. Ensure wood flooring has acclimated before installing
- EASY TO USE – Large easy-to-read backlit display. Sturdy, hand-friendly tester body feels solid when pressing replaceable pins into materials. Hold key freezes reading. Test lumber or porous building materials – drywall, carpet, brick, concrete and plaster
4. SAM-PRO Dual Moisture Meter 2.0
This moisture meter reading has a great reputation. It is easy to use, has dual functionality and can also give you the confidence and peace of mind when it comes to the actual reading. There is a large easy-to-read color LCD screen. The moisture meter also has a new LCD flashlight function for readings in dark spaces. This means that no matter the working conditions you are always going to get a reading. The moisture meter is sturdy, and is an ergonomically designed device. Which makes it easy to insert pins into materials. There are also max, min, scan and hold functions giving you greater flexibility when it comes to your readings.
This moisture meter has been especially good when it comes to checking out moisture levels in drywall and in homes. Many have commented to state that it has proven there was an issue with damp in their home and also enabled them to get this fixed. It is easy to use and even for people who don’t ordinarily use tools like this will be able to operate this moisture meter easily. It is excellent quality and great value for money and will provide you with confidence that you have got accurate readings on all sorts of materials.
- Professional Grade – Large easy-to-read color LCD screen with new LCD flashlight function for readings in dark spaces! Sturdy, ergonomically designed device makes it easy to insert pins into materials. Also includes MAX, MIN, SCAN, & Hold functions.
- 4 Material Type Modes – Quickly find Moisture & Temperature readings in over 100 Materials; including Hardwoods (M1), Softwoods/ Carpet (M2), Drywall (M3), & Concrete (M4).
- High/ Low Moisture Reading Bar: Easily read what is a high or low reading for the material you are testing. Perfect for Mold Protection: Easily find hidden leaks in walls or detect areas with high moisture where mold is likely to develop
- Check Lumber and Hardwood for Building and Woodworking – Make sure you are using good, dry wood for all your projects to avoid cracks, splits, warping. SEASONED FIREWOOD– Insert the steal sensor pins into wood and see if Moisture Content is Low (5-11%), Medium (12-15%) or High (16-50%).
- Loaded with Features – Durable Nylon Case, Set of Replacement Probes, & Batteries Included (a $15 Value). Featuring SAM-PRO's Lifetime Replacement Warrantee
5. Klein Tools ET140
As an American manufacturer of hand tools for more than 160 years, Klein Tools makes premium-quality, professional-grade tools that deliver performance, durability and precision. The Klein Tools ET140 is designed to non-invasively detect hidden moisture content up to 3/4-Inch which is 19mm depth. You can easily select between materials with a mode button to test the surface of drywall, masonry, hardwood, and softwood. This means that this particular moisture meter offers great flexibility and could also be used in a variety of different circumstances and various different projects. It can offer excellent value for money because of this.
The ET140 has easy viewing with bright, reverse-contrast display and LED bar graph. Even for people that wouldn’t normally use this sort of tool can find that they will get accurate and easy to follow readings to give them the confidence in what the next steps will be. This is one of the options that can also be more reasonably priced. As it is a non-invasive tool, it does mean that you would expect that you wouldn’t get accurate readings for the price. However, the overall consensus on the product’s performance is great and people have suggested that if you are only looking for a non-invasive moisture meter then this could be the right choice to make.
- WATER LEAK DETECTOR detects moisture content from leaks and flooding
- PINLESS MOISTURE METER measures moisture content in building materials
- NONDESRUCTIVE DETECTION up to 3/4-Inch deep using Electromagnetic field (EMF) technology
- USE ON DRYWALL, MASONRY, HARDWOOD, AND SOFTWOOD; calibrated for these materials only
- REVERSE-CONTRAST DISPLAY for easy viewing of reading and nine LED bars to indicate moisture range
Many people will require a moisture meter for a variety of different reasons. You could be creating a wooden project such as a piece of furniture. Using freshly cut wood often means that the moisture level will be high and when the wood dries out, it could shrink in size. A moisture meter can be used to help you indicate what the velds are. However, you can also use the moisture meters to detect damp in your home and drywall, and in various other types of materials making it a great tool to have in your kit. We hope that sharing with you some of the best on the market will give you the confidence that you will purchase the best moisture meter for you and your needs. For more information about wood moisture meters, watch this video: