5 Best Moisture Meters for Wood

Whether it’s to test out the dampness of a stud wall or to see if the timber is dry for a new construction, these are the best moisture meters in our opinion

Dr.Meter Digital
Dr.meter
4.5/5
Stanley 077030
Stanley 077030
4.2/5
Klein Tools
Klein Tools
3.8/5

How we decided on the best moisture meter for wood?

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Experts Interviewed
1
Products Tested
1
Hours Researching
pins of moisture meter put into a piece of timber

Whether you’re a woodworker or not, you know how essential it is to keep wood from gathering moisture. Monitoring the Moisture Content (MC) nips most of the wood problems in the bud and helps you ace carpentry!

Your project might get off the wrong foot if you don’t keep moisture from the materials. Fear not, you are in luck because today we are going to discuss some top-notch moisture detectors for wood!

Your masterpiece is bound to take flight once you have an excellent moisture meter! If you are looking for a bang for your buck, we have researched some suitable moisture detectors for wood.

Dr.Meter Digital Moisture Meter

Dr.meter Digital
Our Rating:
4.6/5

Why We Like It: If you are looking for a good quality moisture meter for wood, this one is perfect for you. It has a 5% to 40% measuring range and about 1% accuracy.

What we like about this is that it comes with two extra integrated pins for you to swap the old pair when necessary.

The LCD is bright enough and shows icons for low battery sign and hold mode. Expect nothing but the best from this well-priced moisture detector by Stanley.

It sports an ergonomic design and is ideal in measuring moisture in may materials! In that case, you need prior knowledge about moisture meter reference scales.

PROS

CONS

Stanley 077030

Stanley 077030
Our Rating:
4.3/5

This easy to use meter never disappoints when it comes to durability and accuracy. To begin with, it has a tall, sturdy design that fits into your palm when you have a lot of wood samples to take a reading from. Stanley designed the MC presentation, which not only reads figures but produces graphs.

This all-round moisture detector is perfect for those who need to check MC in many samples of wood. It can measure 6% to 44% moisture content in wood.

You can use it on masonry materials. Yet, the fact that it does not include a wood species selection was a little disappointing.

PROS

CONS

Klein Tools

Klein Tools
Our Rating:
4.1/5

Finally, a pinless meter that will give your woodworking a touch of sophistication. This has an electromagnetic field that allows you to take readings in a non-invasive manner. It supports 4 types of carpentry or building materials.

Its advanced technology lets you take a moisture reading up to ¾ inch below the surface. The performance is better than many pin-type detectors since the latter go about 0.4 inches deep. Pin-type detectors leave a hole in the material is all the more reason why you should consider this!

PROS

CONS

GOCHANGE

GOCHANGE
Our Rating:
3.9/5

This device will come in handy while assessing the quality of your wood stock! With a 1.7 inch screen and accurate readings, by supporting 4 wood types, GOCHANGE does not disappoint you. So, you have a wide range of options laid out in front of you- all which come at an affordable price!

Moving on to measurement range and accuracy, this moisture detector has an accuracy lower than 0.5% and a measurement range of 0-99.9%. The two sturdy pins can penetrate the wood in a 0.4-inch depth.

PROS

CONS

SUNDELY

SUNDELY
Our Rating:
3.8/5

With 0-99% measurement range, this meter by SUNDELY is all set to be the most valuable asset in your toolbox. It has a big enough LCD and comes in an ABS plastic casing. Be it log or timber, this detector gives quick readings with a commendable 0.5% accuracy for the price.

It runs on a 9V battery which you will find in the package. This meter allows you to read MC percentage in 4 groups of wood.

So, working with wood types such as Teak, Walnut, White Poplar, will be a breeze! Once you choose, the moisture detector calibrates itself to provide authentic results.

PROS

CONS

person putting meter into rotten floorboards from the cellar
Yeah, I don't think you need a damp meter to let you know these floorboards have gone...

How We Decided On Our Winner

Apart from telling how far the wood is from drying, using a moisture detector is the first step to prevent mould. So, if you ask us about the best moisture detector, we are going to say that it is none other than the Stanley 077030. While all five from our list made the cut, measurement range and accuracy, Stanley won!

Its two 8mm pins do a fine job within 0.2% to 2% range for masonry materials and 6% to 44% for wood. It is workable in 80% humidity and 40°C temperature. This high accuracy detector not only lets you choose the best wood but also keeps all kinds of damages at bay!

measuring the humidity of firewood

FAQ and Buying Guide

What to Look for in a Good Moisture Detector

Price is not the only factor which ensures that the wood you are working with is in tip-top condition. If you do not want to end up with a flimsy moisture detector for wood, consider giving the following guide a read!

Measurement Range

Building furniture from scratch calls for 5%-6% moisture content (MC). Although the use for wood alters the target MC range, it is best to buy a moisture meter that supports a low-range. If you want to make sure that you have not overdried the wood, get a moisture meter with a 5 to 6 point range is best.

Accurate Moisture Detection

What happens when your moisture detector fails to generate accurate MC readings? Your projects not only go down the drain but also, put your good carpenter reputation at stake. A top-notch moisture meter on the right type of wood will produce accurate results within 0.5% or lower MC by weight!

Quality Depth Setting

The MC readings vary in different parts of the same piece of wood. Since the outermost part dries faster, the core tends to keep more moisture than outside. Pin- style detectors can sense humidity at any depth wherever you insert the pin.

For pinless detectors, dual depth mode allows you to measure the MC at two levels. Enquiring about the depth of reading is necessary before making a buy.

Suitable for Many Wood Types

Moisture detectors come with a setting which lets you choose what wood you are measuring! If budget is an issue, a single species setting covers used wood types. If you work with different kinds of woods, get a moisture detector with a broader range.

Ease of Use

A meter for wood is a must-have for builders, carpenters, or anyone who takes woodworking as a passion. Some meters let you swap the pins so that you can use them for measuring MC percentage at various depths. You would like to have one with proper calibration, visibility, and is accurate.

What Type of Moisture Detector Do I Need?

Moisture is a concern in many industries such as carpentry, for all the right reasons. Keeping that in mind, there are quite a few types of moisture detectors for wood in the market. Keep on reading and see what you like!

Pin-type Moisture Detector

This has two pins situated at the top, and it provides a reading based on the pins & electrical resistance. They run on batteries, and their accurate MC reading is possible by a direct connection with the wood. Insulated detectors are better than uninsulated ones because the latter tend to follow a lower resistance path.

Yet, since you have to stick the pins in the wood, repetition may lead to noticeable dents. Regular use bends and damages the pins. So, keeping some extra pins in your toolbox is your best bet!

Pinless Moisture Detector

While the chemical properties are what pin-type detectors use, pinless work with density. You have to lay the sensor pad flat on the wood’s surface to activate the pinless moisture detector. The wood’s moisture affects the electrical impulse, which gives an MC percentage reading.

You can enjoy a pinless moisture detector because they are non-invasive. It also tests a greater area of the wood, giving you a more general picture of the MC.

How to Choose the Best Moisture Detector for Wood

Quality meters have a low error backed by repeatability and manufacturer support. High-end moisture detectors also provide a reading on temperature and humidity.

An easy-to-read display with a solid casing is bound to go a long way. The electronic components in cheap detectors often get damaged by moisture.

There is no doubt that the higher the length of the warranty, the better performance you get from your meter. If you want it to last, go for one which is for industrial use and has more than one calibrated wood category!