We brought 22 most popular moisture meters to our lab for testing. We tested all the meters for various parameters to find the top 6 wood moisture meters out of 22. In addition to 78 hours of tests, we also consulted the 8 experts who have years of experience in the wood industry. Overall, we tried to learn as many things as possible about each meter so that we can recommend the perfect moisture meter for your need and budget.
If you want to learn more about our testing process, we have a section in this post that describes our testing process in detail. In addition to reviews, we also provide you with a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help choose the right product for your job.
1. Wagner MMC220 Extended Range – Best Pinless Option
- Shop our New Orion Moisture Meter Line
- The newest line from Wagner Meters that replaces the MMC220. See the chart below for full details of each meter
- The Orion 930, 940 and 950 offer Dual-Depth Measurement. The 910 offers the same deep-depth measurement as the MMC220
The Wagner MMC220 was suggested by one of our experts. He has been using this meter for years now. According to him, it is among the best moisture meters that he has used till date. Looking features of the Wagner MMC220, we also think it best pinless meter among all. During our tests, we did find that not many pinless meters are accurate.
Other than accuracy, there is so much to like about the Wagner MMC220. There almost 50 settings that can you can use for measuring moisture content in different kinds of wood. Just use the species button you will be able to change the setting for each type of wood. You can measure moisture as deep as .75 inches regardless of the density of the wood. Another good thing is it is unaffected by the exterior temperature and surface moisture content.
If you are looking for the most accurate pinless moisture meters, we would recommend getting Wagner MMC220. However, you will have to pay a much higher price compared to other. But paying such high price for an accurate and high-quality meter is worth it.
2. Dr.Meter Upgraded Inductive Pinless – Best Under 100
- ▶ 【Non-invasive and Non-marring】Get an accurate reading without making hole in furniture or other valuable...
- ▶ 【High Precision, Wide Compatibility】Get exactly the reading you need, every time. Do you have different kinds of...
- ▶ 【Temperature Compensation】MD918 meter has a temperature compensation function that keeps the object to be tested...
There are different grades of wood that is used for commercial purpose. If you are looking a best professional digital moisture meter that can help you detect moisture content for such different grades of wood, Dr.meter Upgraded Inductive Pinless is the one. It is a pinless moisture meter with large LCD display and setting for different densities of wood. The biggest selling point of this meter is the function it provides. You can set different density with one button and scan the wood.
It runs on three AAA battery. Depending on the use you can expect 2000-3000 operating hours. Overall built quality is very good. However, you will have to take care of it while working in wet condition. It can easily get damaged. Another thing that we observed that the meter had to be calibrated to the current room temperature before using it on any kind of wood. Otherwise, you can expect a high error.
3. General Tools MMD4E – Best In Budget
- HUMIDITY SENSOR: Our handy meter tool can quickly determine what level of remediation is needed to keep your family safe...
- WATER LEAK DETECTOR: Finding the moisture content in your wood or drywall is the first step in early prevention....
- MOISTURE READER: The mold test features large 0.3" high digits in a backlit LCD for quick and easy detecting. Our mildew...
The General Tools MMD4E is the most budget-friendly option that performed great in our tests. It is the pin moisture meter with large LCD display. It is ideal for any homeowner but looking at the performance it can be used by any professional working with wood. We were amazed at the fact that it can measure the moisture content in wood, subflooring, and even concrete drywall.
As far as the ergonomics are concerned, they are simple. The LCD display is large and you can easily read the numbers. It uses one nonstandard battery which is included in the package.
4. Lignomat Mini-Ligno E/D – Most Accurate
- Measuring Range 6-45%
- Built in calibration
- Calibration for domestic species
Lignomat is another pin wood moisture meter that is popular among the wood artisans. When you look at it for the first time, you will immediately note that it has very sharp probes. During tests, we had some moisture meters that had blunt pins. It took some biceps to dug the pins into the woods. However, with Lignomat Moisture Meter Mini-Ligno E/D it is easy.
As far as the built quality is concerned, it is quite good. You won’t have to worry about breakage or maitainence. It comes with a strap to secure the meter in your hand. It uses 9V battery which gives you long working hours. The only thing we have an issue with is the weight. It weighs around 200 gm. It doesn’t look much, but more than other good wood mositure meters.
5. General Tools MMH800 4-In-1 Combo – Most Professional
- PIN OR PINLESS- Pin type for precisely measuring moisture in materials and flat surface (non-intrusive) dual pad sensors...
- TWO DISPLAYS- Moisture percentage and ambient temperature plus relative humidity
- HOLDS READINGS- Holds moisture level readings for convenient viewing later
Most of the models that we tested were a pin or pinless bit. General Tools MMH800 4-In-1 Combo is a combination of both. In addition to the unique combination, it offers two display to provide you with all the required data related to moisture and temperature. We also loved the look and built quality of it. It is made for withstanding rough working condition.
One feature that stands out for the General Tools MMH800 is that it uses the audible alarm to show the different levels of moisture content . This feature could be really useful if you are taking quick moisture measurement. Other than alarm, everything is same as the other best moisture meters we have mentioned. It shows you the temperature, humidity. One thing this is good to have is an extra set of pins. The extra set is included in the package.
6. Sam Pro Dual – Best For Firewood
- Professional Grade – Large easy-to-read color LCD screen with new LCD flashlight function for readings in dark spaces!...
- 4 Material Type Modes – Quickly find Moisture & Temperature readings in over 100 Materials; including Hardwoods (M1),...
- High/ Low Moisture Reading Bar: Easily read what is a high or low reading for the material you are testing. Perfect for...
The Sam Pro Moisture Meter is perfect for a construction job. Especially, when you are looking to repair the damages like water damage, mold, etc. it is one of the most effective moisture meters we tested. It is pin meter. The pin is so good that you can easily use a moisture meter for the concrete drywall. It also works well with firewood like oak, pine, maple, etc.
The best thing about the Sam Pro Meter is its ergonomics. It has five buttons which include mode, temperature, max/min, display light and on/off button. Back lit display is really useful in low light conditions. It uses 9 v battery which is standard across most of the moisture meter we have tested.
Buyer’s Guide – What To Consider While Buying?
When we were looking for the wood moisture meters to test, we found that there too many different types of meters in the market. It was hard for us to shortlist the products even for testing. But with the help of experts and sellers, we were able to find the 21 moisture meters that were popular and had a good reputation in the market.
We were lucky to have highly experienced experts who gave us useful information about the meters, and the conditions they are used in. This helped us to design the right tests. We identified the parameters that could affect your decision to buy a certain type of moisture meter. The parameters we considered for tests included the type of meter, accuracy, display and built.
1. Type of Meter
There are two types of wood moisture meters: Pin and Pinless.
The pin moisture meter uses a couple of pins that need to be entered into the material to measure moisture content . The major advantage of having pin meter is that you can get the exact reading. Especially, when you are dealing with a low percentage of moisture content and want to know the exact location of the moisture only pin meters can do the job.
As the name suggests, it measures the moisture content by inserting the pin. In case of pinless moisture meter, you just have to lay the meter flat on the material, and it will provide the reading. These type of moisture meter are best if you are looking to measure moisture content in the range of 15%-50%. For the range of 5%-15%, it won’t provide accurate as the pin moisture meter is.
You might think then why not use pin meter if pinless is not accurate for a low range of moisture. There are some jobs where you can just leave holes on the wood. If you are an artisan who does wood curving, you don’t want your woods to have marks all over it. You need it to be clean and plain throughout. If you want a best pinless moisture meter, Wagner MMC220 and Dr.meter Upgraded Inductive Pinless .
In case your job requires both pin and pinless meter, then we found General Tools MMH800 4-In-1 Combo can do the job of both.
While working with dry wood, you want to know if the wood is ready to be used. You want to be sure. That’s when moisture meter’s accuracy comes handy. There is one thing about wood moisture meter. You must know how much error is acceptable to you. If you are working with something that has 15-50% moisture content , your error range is bigger. But if you are working with wood were the moisture content is between 5-15%, there is not much room for error. You want to know the exact location of where the wood is still moist.
During our tests, we found that most accurate moisture meters are pin based. So if you are going for the most accurate moisture meter you can go for Wagner MMC220 and Dr.meter Upgraded Inductive Pinless .
For any meter, the display has to be big enough and clear enough to provide all the required data in one place. It should not just prove data but provide in a manner that an average user can comprehend easily. With wood moisture meter, the information that is important is humidity, ambient temperature, and moisture content percentage. All three must be available to the user at once or with a press of a button. Other than that setting for different material should be easily accessible.
On our list we believe General Tools MMH800 4-In-1 Combo has the best display. It has two separate displays to cover all the basic information. We believe having to separate display makes the job much easier.
A moisture meter is a device that will be operated in conditions like construction, renovation, flood, a wood mill, etc. These conditions are tough for any device. The device must be strong enough to withstand these rough conditions. It should be able to withstand accidental drops, water, vibration, dust, and heat. One of the best wood moisture meters that can handle these conditions is General Tools MMH800 4-In-1 Combo.
How We Conduct Tests?
We began by getting the 22 most popular moisture meter to our lab. Once we had the product, we had to design the tests. So we consulted eight experts to learn more about the working of the meters. This gave us more idea about the factor which is must for a best wood moisture meter. The factors include accuracy, display, and built. Based on these parameters we designed several tests. We made sure we cover almost all kinds of situation and materials related to the wood moisture.
We used woods like oak, maple, pine, walnut, etc. and tested the meter on that. Also brought drywall and flooring samples because some moisture meter specifically used to detect moisture in them. We had already measured the right moisture in each material. All we did was compared the readings with the right readings and mapped out the error. This gave us an idea about the accuracy of the meter. To test out the built quality, we used under different room temperature and also created wet conditions to observe how the meter gets effected.
Beyond these tests, we also had to know what current users think about the meter. This gave us an idea of how durable the meter is and how it works after months or years of purchase. For this data, we contacted current users through sellers and also went through several review sites.
After we had every test results, expert views, and user reviews, we asked our team to score each moisture meter. Using this score, we sorted out six best wood moisture meter. Here is the scorecard of the six meters:
|Dr.Meter Upgraded Inductive Pinless||98.4||97||98.1||97.8||CheckPrice|
|General Tools MMD4E||97.8||97.6||97.3||97.5||CheckPrice|
|Lignomat Moisture Meter||98.1||96.6||96.3||97||Check Price|
|General Tools MMH800||98.4||96.2||95.8||96.8||CheckPrice|
|Sam Pro Dual Moisture Meter||97.4||96.3||95.8||96.5||CheckPrice|
Moisture meters as supposed to be accurate. Otherwise, they are of no use. If you believe your meter is not accurate you must get a new one.
Seasoned firewood must have moisture below 20%. Otherwise, the wood won’t be usable for the fire. A normal green wood generally has 66% of moisture.
Generally measures the electrical conductivity in the wood. Moisture is a good conductor of electricity. Hence if there is more master in the wood the electrical conductivity would be good. And if master is less there will be resistance, which can be measured on the moisture meter.
The pinless moisture meter is easy to use. Just place the meter on the wood and hold it for a few seconds to get the reading.
Both types of moisture meters are good it all depends on how good the sensors are. However, during test we realize that sometimes pinless moisture meters provided an inaccurate reading. And the pin type moisture meters always offered good accurate reading.
Yes if you leave the moisture meter inside the wood for too long it can be damage. Also when you are not using the meter store to properly. So that the sensor remains in best condition for long period.
There are several types of moisture meter, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. So depending on the use you will have to choose the right moisture meter.
Yes, during test, we have used wood moisture all kinds of wood. And for most of them it should accurate results.
Wood moisture meters are used in a variety of jobs. For each particular job, a specific type of meter is suitable. In our list, we have all types of meters. Each meter has their advantage and fits a specific task perfectly. So while you are looking to buy a moisture meter, you have to be sure about the task you want to accomplish using that meter.
If you are sure about your need, there won’t be confusion about which model to buy. However, if you are still confused, go through our buyer’s guide. We have offered you all the necessary information that will help you get the right moisture meter.