Selecting a Moisture Meter

Comments (0)

The main criteria when selecting a moisture meter are moisture range (dry or green wood) and measuring depth (thin or thick boards). Two types of meters are available – with pins and without pins. In general, pin meters are more versatile and also more accurate when measuring differences between surface and core moisture. Pinless meters are convenient and leave no pin holes.

Criteria to Consider:


Moisture meter prices can range significantly from as low at $39 to over $300.

Moisture range.  

If you are working with kiln dried lumber vs. fresh cut or green wood, a meter will show the extent of the drying process.  Meters can have a working range from .2% to 50%, but the most common is 6% to 40%.  Depending on your application, the lower and higher range systems may be necessary.  Typical woodworking would require a range of 6% to 15%.  Anything higher and you would be able to tell by feel.

Measuring depth

Pinless moisture meters measure up to 3/4" deep.  This works well for all boards 3/4" to 1-1/2" thick.  It does not work well with thinner boards.

Pinned meters typically penetrate the wood 3/16".  For thicker wood, you can fresh cut the ends of the boards and measure.

Materials to be measured.  

All the meters will measure wood, and some will measure other materials such as concrete and drywall.  Many meters come with a species chart, which you would use to calculate moisture of specific species based on the temperature on the reading on the meter.  Higher-end meters have on board conversion table for many species.

Related Products


Write Comment

Write Comment

You must be logged in to write a comment. Log In

Top of Page