Best Wood Moisture Meters of 2020 – Review & Buying Guide

by Nov 6, 20200 comments

Moisture content detection is a critical part of every woodworking and construction job. If you work with wet wood, concrete, or fiberboard, you risk serious design flaws including warping and cracking later.

Fortunately, the best wood moisture meters can also be used on other materials, helping you save your precious dollars. Together let’s survey the market for the best wood moisture meter using precise buying criteria.

Best Wood Moisture Meter Buying Guide

When I first started as a woodworker, I bought many devices that could have performed the same tasks. That left a big dent in my finances. Looking back, I should have prioritized multifunctionality when stocking my toolbox.

Thus, the biggest buying advice that I can share with you after many years in the business is versatility. Buy a wood moisture meter that you can use on other materials including concrete, carpets, paper, and garden equipment.

You save money by using the same tool for all your professional and DIY projects. That being said, you must consider a moisture tester that’s designed with the right capabilities, including:

High accuracy in moisture detection:

No two moisture meters are the same when it comes to performance accuracy. ±1 % is the recommended measuring accuracy for moisture meters. Some models take that to ±3 %, which may be acceptable but might also prove unreliable for precise woodworking projects.

Unlimited versatility:

Apart from being usable on concrete and other materials, the best wood moisture meters also measure temperature.

They can help you detect both cold and hot water leaks. These models may also offer a temperature compensation feature that maintains your wood at a steady temperature during the test for accurate results.

An extensive range of moisture detection:

Find a wood moisture meter that can measure a wider range of moisture content. The expert recommended measurement range in wood is at least 6%.

User-friendliness:

Some wood moisture meters must be calibrated every time you want to take readings. On the other hand, the best products come pre-calibrated to save your time and effort in woodworking operations.

Visual accuracy:

With moisture meters, precision is not fully guaranteed without a decent display of the readings. The best wood moisture meters come with a big, backlit LCD for easier reading plus visibility in the dark.

Durability:

We recommend that you choose a robustly constructed moisture meter that can serve you for many years. Check the quality and material construction of the pins, frame, and casing.

If possible, choose stainless steel pins and housing for impact and rust protection.

Choose a pin-type moisture meter for deeper readings:

There are two kinds of moisture meters: the pin-type, and the pinless variety. The pin-type moisture meters work by inserting two pins into the wood to take readings on moisture content.

You should be able to get more precise readings of the moisture situation deep in your wood for better decision making.

Beware of holes with the pin-type models:

One major drawback of the pin-type moisture meters is that the pins plunge into the wood, leaving marks that may need refinishing. Also, this is localized testing, which means that you will have to take readings at different places and calculate the average for reliable results.

Choose the pin-less models for a broader testing range:

Pin-less moisture meters don’t use pins. Instead, they sit on the wood surface and send radio waves back and forth into the wood to detect its moisture content.

These units can help with accurate readings without leaving holes that destroy the beauty of your finish. You’ll probably want this type if you don’t want to spend time or resources fixing up the small pin marks.

Beware of costs and depth issues in pin-less models:

Compared to pin-type moisture testers, the pin-less devices are costlier. In some cases, they cannot be used on thin pieces because signals are sent further into the material and out into the air on the other side, leading to inaccurate readings.

The Best Wood Moisture Meters of the Year

  1. AccuMASTER Duo Pro Moisture-Meter

    Calculated Industries 7445 AccuMASTER Duo Pro Pin & Pinless Moisture...

    Calculated Industries 7445 AccuMASTER Duo Pro Pin & Pinless Moisture…

    • CHECK MOISTURE CONTENT QUICKLY AND ACCURATELY– detector offers ideal dual functions of pin and pinless sensors in one. Use the pinless pad feature to test a large area more quickly without damage….
    • CHECK LUMBER AND HARDWOOD BEFORE BUILDING AND WOODWORKING – 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….
    • PERFECT FOR HOME INSPECTIONS – Use pad for quick non-invasive pinless scanning during an inspection to find moisture behind a wall or under a floor. Once you locate high moisture areas, use pin…

    Last update on 2020-11-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Editor’s Comments

Many wood moisture meters in the market are either pin-style or pin-less, but the AccuMASTER Duo Pro Moisture-Meter gives you the best of both worlds. You can use it as a pin-less moisture meter for non-invasive/non-destructive/non-damaging moisture detection.

You can also use it as a pin-style moisture meter for deeper and more precise measurements.

Design and versatility

The AccuMASTER Duo Pro Moisture-Meter is strategically designed for dual functionality. You can utilize the pin-less pad for non-penetrative testing and then switch to using pins for testing at different depths.

This flexibility may be beneficial in that you get a broader measurement range with the pin-less pad while narrowing down the search to specific problematic areas by switching back to pin-style testing.

User-friendliness

The AccuMASTER Duo Pro Moisture-Meter features a big back-lit display that improves visual accuracy when reading measurements. The manufacturers describe it as a robust hand tool designed for easier moisture testing.

Performance and accuracy

The product includes icons, audio alerts, and other features that notify you when the moisture content is too high or too low. Beware, though, that the accuracy level here is ±3%. The best moisture meters have an accuracy of ±1 %.

Pros

  • It has a versatile design that promotes usability
  • It features a big backlit LCD
  • Easy operability

Cons

  • Readings are not always accurate
  • Pins feel fragile




  1. Dr. Meter Wood Moisture-Meter

    Sale

    Pinless Wood Moisture Meter, Dr.meter Upgraded Inductive Pinless...

    Pinless Wood Moisture Meter, Dr.meter Upgraded Inductive Pinless…

    • ▶ 【Non-invasive and Non-marring】Get an accurate reading without making hole in furniture or other valuable objects. By using HF electromagnetic waves, you can spare the hassle of making holes…
    • ▶ 【High Precision, Wide Compatibility】Get exactly the reading you need, every time. Do you have different kinds of wood you’re measuring? Choose from 10 unique grades of timber density, with…
    • ▶ 【Temperature Compensation】MD918 meter has a temperature compensation function that keeps the object to be tested at the same temperature at least within 5 minutes to ensure more accurate…

    Last update on 2020-11-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Editor’s Comments

Unlike the pin-less cum pin-style AccuMASTER Duo Pro Moisture-Meter, the Dr. Meter Wood Moisture Meter is a purely pin-less moisture meter for wood. The biggest selling proposition for this kind of design is the ability to get accurate and long-range readings without defacing your wood.

Design and versatility

There is no versatility here. All you get is a pin-less moisture detection design that includes a flat testing pad.

The device operates by sending and receiving electromagnetic waves back and forth into the wood to give you test readings.

What this pin-less design means for you is less hassle in post-measurement cleaning. You won’t have to repaint surfaces. The testing may also be less fiddly, I must add.

User-friendliness

Like the AccuMASTER Duo Pro Moisture-Meter, the Dr. Meter Wood Moisture Meter has a large LCD that should make reading measurements an easy experience. The device is configured with an auto-shut function to shut off display after five minutes of inactivity, which will save on battery life.

Just like the first entrant in the review, there are audio alerts that notify you when readings are above or beyond the threshold. This can be a significant advantage depending on the level of user-friendliness you want.

Performance and accuracy

One of the drawbacks of the AccuMASTER Duo Pro Moisture-Meter is its low moisture detection accuracy of is ±3%.  Dr. Meter Wood Moisture Meter makes things better, giving you a ±1.5% reading accuracy that just might help you to take better care of your wood.

Pros

  • It’s good for non-destructive testing
  • You get accurate readings
  • You get alert notifications for readings below and above the threshold

Cons

  • It may not be accurate on thin stock
  • It requires calibration before testing




  1. SAM-PRO Dual Moisture Meter

    SAM-PRO Dual Moisture Meter 2.0: Upgraded LCD Color Display &...

    SAM-PRO Dual Moisture Meter 2.0: Upgraded LCD Color Display &…

    • 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…
    • 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…

    Last update on 2020-11-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Editor’s Comments

The SAM-PRO Dual Moisture Meter is sleeker and a little lighter than the AccuMASTER Duo Pro Moisture-Meter. It is a pin-style wood moisture meter with a unique set of features that should work well for you.

Design and versatility

The SAM-PRO Dual Moisture Meter stands above the earlier reviewed devices with its diverse functionalities. The manufactures convey that you can use this on both hardwood and softwood and hundreds of other materials.

That means that you may never need to get another moisture meter for concrete, drywall, and various other items in your line of work.

User-friendliness

The SAM-PRO Dual Moisture Meter has a big LCD screen that will likely make it easier to take moisture readings. An LCD flashlight capability included improves visibility in dim conditions.

You may be able to work late evenings without worrying about the accuracy and quality of output.

Performance and accuracy

The steel pins insert into the wood, giving you a chance to take deeper readings. You may also find this testing device to be more durable than others in the market.

Unlike the earlier reviewed moisture meters, however, you don’t get alerts on this device. For me, that’s a drawback to usability.

You might be pleased to know that this product comes with batteries, replacement pins, and a carry bag for convenience and cost savings.

Pros

  • It works on wood plus a diverse range of materials
  • Backlit LCD promotes visibility in the dark
  • It comes with all the needed accessories

Cons

  • Inaccurate readings
  • No battery-saving feature; battery drains easily




  1. TACKLife Moisture Meter

    Tacklife Wood Moisture Meter WM01 LCD Digital Damp Meter Detector for...

    Tacklife Wood Moisture Meter WM01 LCD Digital Damp Meter Detector for…

    Last update on 2020-11-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Editor’s Comments

The TACKLife Moisture Meter is a pin-type wood moisture meter with promising features for accuracy, versatility, and user-friendliness.

Design and versatility

The TACKLife Moisture Meter is designed for use on a wide range of building materials, apart from wood. Like the AM-PRO Dual Moisture Meter, you should have the ability to use this device on drywalls, concrete, and other materials for dependable moisture detection.

User-friendliness

I don’t like the fact that I have to calibrate this moisture meter every time you want to use it. Even so, the manufacturer promises that it holds calibration data after continuous use. That may help to lessen the burden of manual calibration.

The readings are displayed on a well-sized, back-lit LCD. That means that you should be able to accurately view readings without pulling out your reading glasses.

Another equally remarkable thing here is the tool’s ergonomics. I like the way the device has a narrow base that fits right in the hands and a bigger head with pins and a large display. The base also has an anti-slip cover on both sides to elevate usability in wet conditions.

Performance and accuracy

The TACKLife Moisture Meter gives you a measurement accuracy of ±2%. That may be precise enough to help you choose the best dry wood for your projects.

This moisture detection device is further configured with blinking lights that notify you when readings surpass the threshold. It has been calibrated with different moisture thresholds for wood and other materials.

Pros

  • Backlit LCD
  • Blinking alerts
  • Can be used on a diverse range of materials
  • Accurate readings

Cons

  • Painstaking calibration




  1. mini-LIGNO Wood Moisture Meter

    Lignomat Moisture Meter Mini-Ligno S/D

    Lignomat Moisture Meter Mini-Ligno S/D

    • Measuring Range 6-45%
    • Reference Scale 0-99
    • Building materials such as gypsum, plaster, drywall etc.

    Last update on 2020-11-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    Editor’s Comments

For cost-efficiency and some assurance of user-friendliness, I would suggest the mini-LIGNO Wood Moisture Meter for your woodworking operations. It’s a pin-type moisture measuring tool with a design that prioritizes simplicity and usability.

Design and versatility

Unlike the TACKLife Moisture Meter and other items earlier reviewed, the mini-LIGNO Wood Moisture Meter is a smaller model. It’s lightweight without all the bells and whistles introduced by the first testers in this review.

Even so, you may be able to use this for moisture detection on wood, veneer, and fiberboards, according to the product specs. That, I believe, offers a guarantee of value for money. The multifunctionality also means that you get to keep your toolbox lighter.

User-friendliness

The mini-LIGNO Wood Moisture Meter keeps it simple with a green cap and pins that drive into the wood for moisture content measurement. The pins are supposedly longer for deeper readings.

Unlike the TACKLife Moisture Meter, you don’t have to calibrate this moisture meter every time you use it. It comes pre-programmed and ready for work, the manufacturers say.

Performance and accuracy

The mini-LIGNO Wood Moisture Meter has a measurement accuracy of ±1%. That makes it one of the most accurate moisture meters in this review. The high accuracy can help with precise operations that save your wood creations from warping and cracking.

Pros

  • A comprehensive measurement range of 6-45%
  • Longer pins for deeper measurement
  • Easy to operate; no finicky calibration

Cons

  • The battery runs out fast
  • It has a fragile casing




The Best Pick

If you are in the market for the best wood moisture meter, the mini-LIGNO Wood Moisture Meter is our top recommendation. It has a simple design and comes readily calibrated for performance and user-friendliness.

Unlike other models, this pin-type moisture meter has longer, adjustable pins that can help you with deeper measurements on wood and other materials. You get precise readings with an accuracy level of ±1%, making it more reliable than the AccuMASTER Duo Pro, TACKLife Moisture Meter, and others.

The post Best Wood Moisture Meters of 2020 – Review & Buying Guide appeared first on Woodworking Toolkit.

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