Detecting the moisture content of raw materials is one of the initial steps to constructing anything as it can result in massive damage to buildings.
And, if the moisture levels are not checked before laying the foundation, the structure can topple over at any point in time, possibly leading to casualties.
This is what really makes a moisture meter an absolute essential in an architect’s kit.
Not only does it give you a precise measure of the moisture content in various substances, but also lets you know if a certain dried material is ready for use or not.
However, finding a quality moisture meter could be tricky. This is mainly due to the fact that not all brands excel at getting the accuracy right for their moisture meters.
So, to bring you a solution to that problem, we have prepared the following extensive guide on some of the best moisture meters you can buy right now!
And all you have to do is give this one a thorough read to know all about them!
Table of Contents
- Best Moisture Meters
- 1. Lignomat Mini-Ligno E/D Wood Moisture Meter – – Best for Budget Users
- 2. Wagner’s Meters Orion 910 Wood Moisture Meter – Best for Accuracy & Depth
- 3. General Tools MMH800 Woodworking Moisture-Meter Tool – Best Versatile Moisture Meter
- 4. General Tools MMD4E Moisture-Meter for Wood
- 5. Extech MO55 Combination Moisture Meter
- 6. Stihl Wood Digital Moisture Meter
- 7. Ryobi E49MM01 Pinless Moisture Meter
- 8. Calculated Industries 7440 AccuMASTER XT Moisture Meter
- 9. Protimeter Surveymaster BLD5365 Dual-Function Moisture Meter
- Best Moisture Meter Comparison Table
- Buying Guide For The Best Moisture Meter
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Moisture Meters
Here is the list of the 9 best moisture meters for wood that can help you make accurate measurements.
1. Lignomat Mini-Ligno E/D Wood Moisture Meter – – Best for Budget Users
If you’re looking for a wood moisture meter within a limited budget, the Lignomat Mini-Ligno E/D makes for an ideal choice, the advanced Lignomat technology and unique LED display in this moisture meter make it suitable for use in different work settings.
- wood moisture range: 6-45%
- 2 wood groups for softwood and hardwood
We wanted a moisture meter for testing firewood, and construction lumbers. The Mini-Ligno E/D cost us about a quarter of what we were about to pay for high-end models. After checking out the product specifications and functionality, we found this unit to be as good as its competitors.
Mini-Ligno E/D features a wide measurement range from about 6% to 45% moisture content, it is pretty accurate, mainly because it measures in increments of 0.1%. It also comes with a green cap that covers the pins and works as a handle for easy probe insertion.
To get a reading, we need to insert two pins into the testing wood, you can also adjust to the different wood thicknesses, we can use either 3/16” or 7/16” pins.
Since it comes with only two settings, it is comparatively easier to use this device than many other complicated models. However, the setting is only applicable to domestic wood, which limits its potential. Hence if we have to measure some exotic wood, we need to get a different moisture meter.
- Easy to use
- Affordable price tag
- Measurement depth of 3/16” and 7/16”
- Wide measurement range
- Can be used only for domestic hardwoods
2. Wagner’s Meters Orion 910 Wood Moisture Meter – Best for Accuracy & Depth
The Wagner Orion 910 is known to be one of the best wood meters for giving accurate measurements. It offers a deep depth measurement and many other advanced features, which include easier functionality and on-site calibration.
You can use this moisture meter for a range of applications where an accurate reading of the moisture content of the wood is required.
- Orion 910 deep depth pinless moisture meters...
- Built with a non-damaging pinless sensor,...
For wood flooring work, it’s critical to have a quality wood meter to ensure that we get the most accurate readings. This model has been flourishing in the market for years altogether, which showcases the quality of this product.
The Wagner Orion 910 was the best option for us because it’s a contactless moisture meter that doesn’t require any probe insertion. To measure the moisture content, we just have to place the meter on the wood to get the readings within max 30-35 seconds.
What we found was that the readings were reliable enough to determine the moisture content of the wood, with the device working within 0.1 increments.
Moreover, we can program the device to work with different kinds of wood, be it domestic or exotic. And the other advantage that is worth mentioning here is that it scans down to 0.75 inches. This gives us an accurate reading of the moisture content at varying depths in the wood.
It took us some time to get used to the device, but once we got used to it, we were able to get the best use out of it.
- Contactless meter
- Deep measurements
- Works with all wood species
- Paired on-demand calibrator
- Backed with 7-year warranty
- Steep learning curve
3. General Tools MMH800 Woodworking Moisture-Meter Tool – Best Versatile Moisture Meter
The General Tools MMH800 has an interesting operation, as it fuses both pinned and pinless meters into one single unit. So, you can use either of the settings, which depends on the type of work that you’ve in hand.
This unit is designed to meet the demands of the budget-conscious user, and it’s relatively easy to use both settings.
- HUMIDITY SENSOR: Our combo meter tool can quickly...
- WATER LEAK DETECTOR: Finding the moisture content...
We were a bit confused about the type of moisture meter that we wanted because both the pinned and contactless meters have their own set of pros and cons.
This moisture meter most likely suits our needs with its concept of a fused pinless and pinned meter. Hence it provides the versatility that we couldn’t find in the other models at a reduced cost.
You can also record the readings that help you re-check them whenever required. This is a pretty useful feature that comes in handy when we do not have the option to write down the numbers.
The “wet” and “dry” functions of the meter are also on point, which lets us know whether to work with a particular wood or not.
But, we usually don’t rely on this meter to measure woods that have low moisture content, as it’s hard for it to record measurements below 8-9%. In such cases, we believe that opting for a slightly expensive model is a better option.
- Easy-to-read LCD
- Features built-in calibration checks and data ‘hold’ button
- Dual pin and pinless meter
- Capable of measuring a variety of woods and building materials
- Accuracy issues
- Unable to measure moisture content below 9% MC
4. General Tools MMD4E Moisture-Meter for Wood
Moisture meters are one of the handiest tools, especially when you’re working on a flooded basement that requires rebuilding. And this moisture meter helps you significantly in such a situation.
This is a high-quality product, that comes at a very affordable price and works pretty well in delivering reliable results.
- HUMIDITY SENSOR: Our handy meter tool can quickly...
- WATER LEAK DETECTOR: Finding the moisture content...
We are generally assigned projects that deal with wet or damp flooring, so we must carry a moisture meter that gives accurate readings. And we must say that the quality of this product returns all the value for the money we pay for it.
You can use this moisture meter for measuring wood and other building materials to check if there is any leakage or moisture in the subflooring.
One of the stand-out features of this moisture meter is that it comes with an effective drywall function that can be used for measuring the moisture content in the subflooring.
The MMD4E has a pin-type meter, which means that the two sharp prongs need to come in contact with the material to give the readings.
Although the overall functions of this moisture meter are on point, we believe that the readings are not wholly reliable. In this case, even the manufacturers have listed the accuracy to be within +/-3%.
However, it’s also not very accurate when it comes to measuring the moisture content in drying wood. We are satisfied with the functions of this product, and the accuracy issue is manageable.
- Easy-to-read display
- Works with subflooring and drywall
- Reasonable price range
- Problem with accuracy
5. Extech MO55 Combination Moisture Meter
The Extech MO55 is a combination of pin and pinless meters that makes it easier to measure the moisture content of all types of wood. You can use this device for measuring the moisture content in concrete, mortar, wallboard, and cardboard.
Additionally, it also has the ability to measure low, medium, and high levels of moisture, which adds to its versatility.
- Measure Moisture Level in wood, wall board, sheet...
- Moisture Icons provide a visual reference for low,...
We wanted a moisture meter that would detect the moisture content in a wide range of wood and building particles. And with this device, we could detect moisture content from low to higher levels given any measurement range.
When we use this meter for measuring moisture levels, the device starts beeping faster and faster as it detects a decreasing temperature.
The energy-efficient battery life is another advantage because we can be assured that the device will work for a reasonable amount of time before breaking down.
Moreover, the pins on this meter offer great measurement because they can be inserted to about one inch below the wood surface.
It comes mostly to use for building projects that help us detect moisture on floors, tiles, and even under carpets. We also find it efficient enough to detect leakage behind walls and ceilings.
So, although we are satisfied with the performance of this moisture meter, its expensive price tag could be a major setback for many.
- Perfect for building projects
- Can detect different levels of moisture
- Audible alert functions with data
- The pins can be inserted one inch into the surface
- More expensive compared to its competitors
6. Stihl Wood Digital Moisture Meter
This pinless moisture meter comes with a sensor pad that needs to have good contact with the surface material to give you accurate readings. It might not have a very sturdy construction, but when it comes to efficiency, it won’t disappoint you.
We wanted a moisture meter specifically for checking the quality of our firewood. When we place the firewood rack in the courtyard, it often gets challenging to figure out whether the wood is dry or not. And this is where this unit makes it relatively easier for us to get the job done right.
It has a measuring range between 6% and 42% for wood. The battery is also energy efficient, and it comes with high power that keeps it from breaking down quickly.
Moreover, we also received a manual with this product, which made it easier for us to use this moisture meter.
While checking the moisture content, we need to ensure that the sensor pad is touching the wood surface properly. Otherwise, the device will certainly give you inaccurate readings.
The LCD is also bright enough to give a clear picture of the readings even in dimly lit spaces. But, the readings are displayed for just a few seconds, which can be problematic in some situations.
- Compact and lightweight design
- Has an energy-efficient battery
- Durable and reliable product
- Has a bright LCD
- Reading is displayed for a short time
7. Ryobi E49MM01 Pinless Moisture Meter
If you have been looking for a moisture meter that offers a hassle-free experience, you should consider the Ryobi E49MM01. This unit is designed with an excellent sensor pad and provides high-pitched audible alerts that let you know about the moisture content.
- This refurbished product is tested and certified...
We usually work with sleek finished woods that lose their shine quickly if not handled with care. To prevent scratching the wood surface with pin meters, we wanted to opt for the Ryobi E49MM01 digital pinless model.
It has a highly efficient sensor pad that is equipped with electromagnetic wave technology, which is known to give accurate results.
And although the LCD display of the device is not backlit, the larger number font doesn’t make it difficult for anyone to read the percentage of moisture. And the best part of it is that it can read moisture levels for about half-inch deep into the surface material.
We can also listen to the audible alerts from the device that changes in frequency when placed on a surface with increasing levels of moisture. Such features come of great use, especially when we want an accurate idea as to which area has the highest moisture content.
Overall, we can say that this moisture meter meets our expectations and helps us get our work done accurately.
- Audible alerts with differing frequencies
- Can be used for measuring moisture content in a wide range of materials
- Easy-to-read digital display
- Wide operating temperature (32 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit)
- More expensive than other units
8. Calculated Industries 7440 AccuMASTER XT Moisture Meter
The 7440 AccuMASTER XT gives you the results of the moisture content relatively faster than the other units on this list. What makes it a suitable choice is its simple operation that will allow you to discover the hidden water damage in the home quickly.
It gives accurate results of the moisture content in solid substances that further helps you work with the right product.
- FIND HIDDEN LEAKS IN WALLS AND SURFACES –...
- ENSURE FIREWOOD IS READY TO BURN – Stick...
We had seen one of our friends using this unit, and the feedback was positive enough to understand that it would be suitable for our home workshop.
Especially when we go out to purchase expensive lumber and hardwoods, we need to check the wood quality before we place a big order. Hence this unit has come in real handy in helping us determine whether to buy a particular wood log or not.
Reading the backlit display is easy, so whether we are in a brightly lit setting or out in the dark, the measurements can be taken down effortlessly. Moreover, it comes with a protective cover for preventing any hasty accident with sharp pins.
To read the moisture content, we have to push the stainless steel pins into the surface material. And the display, along with the audio alerts, informs us whether the moisture content is high, medium, or low in the different places of the structure.
Finally, the rubber side grips make it convenient for us to take down multiple measurements in comfort.
- Backlit display
- Can check moisture content in building materials
- Accurate measurements
- Sturdy construction
- Does not come with a storage case
9. Protimeter Surveymaster BLD5365 Dual-Function Moisture Meter
The Protimeter Surveymaster is designed to give you the best results within a maximum of 30-40 seconds. You can use it to measure the moisture content in wood and other building materials within a large range, be it below or on the surface top.
Additionally, it also enables you to figure out the moisture and mold-related problems in the house.
- Two modes of operation - search (pin-less) and...
- Rugged construction with large backlit display
This is one of the most efficient moisture meters that we have used so far and it comes in pretty handy for a number of different construction activities. Even though we had to invest a good sum of money to get this unit, for the construction industry, this is a convenient moisture meter.
It comes with two non-invasive and versatile pins that have been ergonomically designed. These make it easier for you to stick the pins into the surface. And it can measure the accurate moisture content to ¾-inches below the surface.
We also received a wide variety of plugin accessories that assist in getting the job done more quickly. The dual function properties help to ensure better accuracy irrespective of the material that we are working with.
And, besides that, it’s covered with a two-year warranty, which makes it worth the money we pay for it.
All in all, the Protimeter Surveymaster is worth every penny and delivers what it promises.
- Rugged construction
- Has two modes of operation
- Ergonomically designed for easy operation
- Range of accessory plugins
- Quite expensive
Best Moisture Meter Comparison Table
|Product||Type||Weight (oz)||Moisture Range (Wood)||Depth Measurement (in)||Battery||Water Leak Detection||Warranty|
|mini-Ligno E/D||Pin||5.6||6-45%||0.18″ and 0.44″||9v Battery||No||2 years|
|Wagner Meters Orion® 910||Pinless||24||5- 30%||0.75”||9v Battery||No||7 years|
|General Tools 4-in-1||Combo||32||5-50%||3.25″||9v Battery||Yes||1 year|
|General Tools MMD4E||Pin||5.6||5-50%||0.75”||9v Battery||Yes||1 year|
|Extech MO55||Combo||4.32||5-50% and 0-99%||1″||Li-on Batteries||No||1 year|
|Stihl Wood||Pin||2.08||6-42%||0.5″||n/a||No||2 years|
|Ryobi E49MM01||Pinless||10.08||6-44%||0.75”||9v Battery||No||3 years|
|7440 AccuMASTER XT||Pin||6.4||5-50%||0.75”||9v Battery||No||1 year|
|Protimeter BLD5365||Combo||21.44||n/a||0.75″||9v Battery||No||2 year|
Buying Guide For The Best Moisture Meter
Choosing the best moisture meter for your needs is essential for any job that requires accurate readings of moisture levels. Moisture meters come in many different models, but it is important to understand the factors involved in choosing the right one for your particular application.
This guide will provide an overview of the main features and considerations when selecting a moisture meter, as well as advice on how to choose the most suitable one for your needs.
Ease of Use
The ease of use of a moisture meter is an important factor to consider when selecting one. Look for models that are easy to operate, with intuitive controls and clear, easy-to-read digital displays. It should also be lightweight, so it is comfortable to carry and use.
Additionally, some models come with a protective carrying case, which is ideal if you plan to take your moisture meter with you to different sites.
Pinned vs Pinless Moisture Meters
Another factor to consider is whether you should use a pinned or pinless moisture meter. Pinned moisture meters use two pins to penetrate the surface and measure the moisture content from within, while pinless moisture meters measure the surface moisture without penetrating the surface.
Pinned moisture meters are more accurate when measuring deeper moisture levels, but pinless meters are more suitable for measuring surface moisture.
Dual Mode Moisture Meter
A dual-mode moisture meter is a great choice if you need to measure both surface and deeper moisture levels. These models are equipped with both pin and pinless modes for greater accuracy and versatility.
As well as being able to measure moisture in wood and other materials, some dual-mode moisture meters can also measure the moisture content of concrete, plaster, and other materials.
The measurement scale of a moisture meter is an important factor to consider. The measurement scale will determine how precise the moisture reading is.
Look for moisture meters with a scale that is suitable for your application, such as a scale of 0-100% for measuring surface moisture or 0-20% for measuring deeper moisture levels.
Accuracy and Calibration
The accuracy and calibration of a moisture meter is other important factor to consider. Look for a meter that is accurate and reliable, and one that comes with a calibration certificate.
If you plan to use your moisture meter for professional applications, it is recommended that you get a meter that is certified for accuracy.
LCD Screen Design
Look for moisture meters that have a large, clear LCD screen, which makes it easy to read the readings. Some models also have backlit displays for better visibility in dark environments.
Additionally, some models come with additional features such as data logging, which allows you to store readings for later review.
A moisture meter should be durable and able to withstand frequent use in harsh environments. Look for models that are waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof, as these will be better able to withstand the rigors of the job.
Additionally, some models come with additional features such as rubberized housing, which provides extra protection against impacts and drops.
Price is an important factor to consider when selecting a moisture meter. Look for one that offers the features you need at a price that fits your budget.
However, be aware that cheaper models may not be as accurate or reliable, so it is important to compare models to find the one that offers the best value for your money.
Frequently Asked Questions
How precise are moisture meters?
Moisture meters can be highly precise depending on the model and application. Generally, non-invasive pinless meters are accurate up to 1-2%, while invasive pin meters can be accurate up to 0.1%.
What is a suitable moisture level for wood?
A suitable moisture level for wood typically ranges from 6%-14%. Anything outside of this range can cause warping, cracking, or even rot.
Are pinless moisture meters dependable?
Yes, pinless moisture meters can be very dependable. They use radio frequency technology to measure the moisture content in wood and other materials and can be used for both non-invasive and invasive measurements.
Can moisture meters identify mold?
While moisture meters can detect high levels of moisture, they cannot identify mold specifically. To accurately identify mold, it is recommended to have a professional inspection.
Selecting the right moisture meter for your woodworking needs is essential to ensure the quality and integrity of your work. Consider factors such as the type of wood you typically work with, your budget, and the desired depth and accuracy of measurement.
From the above 9 best moisture meters for wood, here are the top three expert recommendations.
The Lignomat Mini-Ligno E/D Wood Moisture Meter is an ideal option for those on a budget, Wagner’s Meters Orion 910 Wood Moisture Meter is the right choice for accurate and deep measurements, and the General Tools MMH800 Woodworking Moisture-Meter Tool is a good option for users seeking versatility in their moisture meter.
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