The goal of this article is to explore wood moisture meters, a tool used for percentage based moisture measuring in wood. In essence, this tool is used to determine whether the wood is dry enough to be used for specific woodwork, but more on that in the Buyer’s Guide section.
Apart from providing you with Buyer’s Guide, where we will explain the uses of a wood moisture meter and describe the factors you should consider if you decide to obtain one, we will review ten wood moisture meters we consider the best.
- General Tools MMD4E Moisture Meter – Inexpensive, ergonomically designed and very easy to use.
- Wagner MMC220 Wood Moisture Meter – Very accurate, sturdy and resistant to high temperatures, easy to use and fit for professional use.
- Protimeter BLD5365 Surveymaster – Dual function measuring, Search & Measure options, versatile, fit for professional use.
- Lignomat Scanner SD Moisture Meter – Dual depth measuring, fit for professional woodworkers (and hobbyists), easy to navigate the different wood-type menu.
- AMPHENOL THERMOMETRICS BLD2000 – The most compact meter, fit for professionals and hobbyists, can measure different building material.
- Dr.meter Digital Wood Moisture Meter – Inexpensive, accurate, featuring simple and easy to use design (2 button system and transparent display).
- Dr.meter Pinless Moisture Meter (Upgraded Version) – Inexpensive, upgraded Dr.meter version (pinless measuring), compact, user-friendly customer service.
- Lambow Wood Moisture Meter – The most inexpensive meter, simple and robust design, fit for measuring firewood moisture levels; accurate.
- Tramex SMP Skipper Plus Moisture Meter – Made for skippers explicitly, able to detect levels of water and saltwater, accurate, sturdy and reliable.
- Wagner Meters MMC205 – Less expensive alternative to the Wagner MMC220 Wood Moisture Meter, fit for hobbyist woodworkers, accurate, robust with easy to use features. Also has species options for accurate measuring.
Quick Comparison Table
|General Tools MMD4E|
|Wagner MMC220 Wood|
|Lignomat Scanner SD|
|Dr.meter Digital Wood|
Moisture Meter MD812
Moisture Meter MD918
|Pinless|| 3 x 1.5 V AAA|
Skipper Plus Moisture Meter
|Wagner Meters MMC205||Pinless||Alkaline,|
Best pinless moisture meter
Wagner pinless moisture meter MMC220 is professional wood moisture measure, featuring extended measuring range. It measurement ranges from 5% to 32%. This product is designed for measuring wood explicitly, and cannot be used to measure moisture levels in other building material.
Wagner MMC220 is highly adjustable, featuring several programmable measuring options. As such, it is perfect for measuring all types of wood, from exotic to familiar soft and hardwood.
It is highly accurate, displaying the results on an easy to read display, with 1% offchance. Since it is reliable, it is fit for professional and home use. This isn’t pin type meter: you just put it on the dedicated surface, turn it on, select the wood type and let the machine do its thing.
It can scan up to 0.75 inches in depth, with press/hold feature to freeze the measurement and observe the results. The product comes with 9V battery, instructing manual, as well as with reference manual, which should help you use the product most efficiently.
This one of the best wood moisture meter is sturdy and durable, able to withstand very high temperatures thanks to the well-built protective case. We recommend it to professional woodworkers, wood flooring manufacturers, engineers and those alike.
But, it is expensive and is not able to detect moisture in other building material.
Protimeter BLD5365 is a dual function meter, used for on and below the surface measurement. It is very compact and lightweight, neatly designed and fit for one hand use. It is, however, the most expensive product on our list.
This meter is used for surveying and home investigative purposes by professional engineers, builders, architects and so forth. The meter has two functions: search and measure. Methods are used separately for surface or subsurface measurement.
Search Mode is frequently used to determine the subsurface moisture levels of walls and floors, regardless of their condition. By default, the product can measure the moisture levels up to 0.75 inches (19 mm), but this may vary depending on the surface.
It is worth noting that the Protimeter BLD5365 features invasive and non-invasive measuring option, that is, pin-based and pinless measurement. The pinless sensor is integrated at the back of the meter (just place it on the dedicated surface).
The product is compact, sturdy and very accurate, but also the most expensive on our list. We recommend it to professional home inspectors, builders, engineers and those alike, but if you have the budget, you can certainly purchase it for home use.
Note that Protimeter BLD5365 Surveymaster can detect moisture in other, non-wood material, such as concrete or brick walls or drywall.
Lignomat Scanner SD features dual depth measuring meter(0.25 and 0.75 inches), utilizing capacitance (pinless) form of measuring. This meter measures from 5% to 99% moisture levels.
Thanks to the dual depth measuring, this meter is very accurate. It calculates the moisture between the surface and the maximum depth it can penetrate to. It measures moisture in the wood only, but it does it with high precision.
Upon purchase, you receive the meter, instruction manual, reference card (for various wood types) and a 9V battery. This meter specializes in wood, meaning that you can select various options while scanning for moisture levels.
It is reasonably easy to use and doesn’t require temperature pre-setup before you use it (meter works independently of the temperature). The price is mid-range when compared to other products on the list.
The rectangle design is a bit bulky, but the lightweight and durability compensate for this minor design flaw (it will fit on the one hand, but is not ergonomically designed). We love the calibration adjustability for various wood type, from traditional wood to luxury wood, which will unmistakably help professional woodworkers.
Note that meter features single button for species and depth options. Below it is the up/down arrow buttons for easier control and adjustment. To use, just place the meter on the surface and turn it on.
If you read the previous product’s review carefully, you’ll know that it was made by Dr.meter and that it featured pin type measuring. Well, this meter (also made by Dr.meter) feature new pinless, inductive measuring for more convenient use.
This meter measures moisture from 4% to 80%, with 0.5% error chance. Though we will talk about it in the buyer’s section, know that the pinless meters leave no mark on the dedicated surface, which is a feature that some of you might prefer.
This meter features smart display, which will notify you whether the moisture level exceeds the desired level. Moreover, it will automatically shut down to conserve the battery’s life. It is used for wood and wood-based material only, feature ten different measuring modes that vary in depth and density.
It comes with three 1.5V batteries, carrying bag, instruction manual, and wood type reference table. This moisture meter is almost resistant to temperature conditions (-10 ?C to +60 ?C). It is an excellent little device, featuring excellent accuracy and consistency.
The downside is that the meter measures wood only. Also, while the meter features self-calibrating technology, it will often recalibrate to provide you with the best precision. This isn’t a flaw per se, but it may cause some frustration, especially if you seek fast reading device.
As the name suggests, this interesting, out of the box meter is explicitly made for boat owners. It features 5% to 30% measuring range, able to detect moisture in GRP and wood.
Works for detecting freshwater and saltwater level, and can even identify the appearance of osmosis in GRP decks. As such, this product is mostly dedicated to measuring and detecting moisture levels on your boat, thus helping prevent water leakage and damage.
This wood moisture meter features pinless measuring, so it won’t damage your boat while you use it. Instead of paying the surveyor to detect moisture level in your boat, obtaining Tramex SMP Skipper Plus Moisture Meter is a value for money alternative.
It is highly accurate and well built, being only 7 inches tall and very lightweight. The display is very simple to read, having pointing needle and a 0-30 bar, colored with green, yellow and red colors.
This is decent moisture measurement, perfect for those who don’t want to pierce their boats. However, as we already said it, pin type meters are ordinarily more confident and reliable.
This meter is somewhat expensive but will cost you less than the surveyor would charge you. It is sturdy and durable and will pay off for itself the longer you use it.
Last on our list is the MMC205, the second Wagner-made moisture meter that features pinless, no damage measuring. Made specially for wood measuring, it features several different wood type options and is as such perfect for professional woodworkers.
Like all Wagner meters, this one comes with 7-year warranty, included battery and the soft protective case for comfortable carrying and storing. It also comes with a CD that explains various wood types and their ideal moisture levels, which is convenient.
This best wood moisture metert is perfect for wood flooring and ordinary woodwork. It is easy to use, having one on/off and different species reference button (hold for on/off and tap for species navigation).
Measuring range is somewhat limited, being only between 5% and 20%, with standard depth measuring capacity (0.75 inches). It works under any temperatures, regardless of the surface moisture. Due to its limited range and species options (it works for ordinary soft and hardwood), we recommend it to occasional woodworkers and hobbyists.
It is accurate, but the range limitation is somewhat, well, strange. Why did the manufacturer choose to limit to only 20% beats me, but the meter is precise within that range. It is a lot cheaper than the first Wagner meter we reviewed, which is surely a plus.
Best pin type lcd moisture meter
General pinless moisture meter MMD4E is a pin-based moisture meter, generally used for measuring moisture level in wood, but also able to detect the levels in other building material. Like most meters, its purpose is to calculate moisture and help you prevent the occurrence of mold.
The product is compact and inexpensive, fit for builders, woodworkers, homeowners and those alike. It can detect the moisture levels ranging from 5% to 50%, and 1.5% to 33% in other building materials (concrete, drywall, brick).
The product is fairly simple to use: you remove the cover that protects the measuring pins, turn it on (power button), select the option (either woodwork or other materials option), and assure that pins touch the material. Note that you shouldn’t press the pins against the material too hard.
The screen will display the moisture levels, making a beep sound when the meter has processed the information. It also has the option to lock the data, and on/off sound mute button. The product is lightweight, compact, and comes with replaceable pins. It also comes with batteries (9V), instructions manual.
Though able to calculate moisture levels in various material, it is mostly used for wood moisture calculation. We recommend it to hobbyist and woodworkers, but not to professional builders and contractors.
AMPHENOL THERMOMETRICS BLD2000 is by far the most compact product on our list, also known as the mini moisture meter due to its size and lightweight feature.
The meter measures from 6% to 90%, powered by a 9V battery. The LED display is bright, assuring that you see the numbers even under bright light. It is highly durable, sturdy and made of quality material.
This measure features colored moisture scale, each color representing three main moisture levels: dry, borderline and the damp level. The meter is convenient, comfortable and easy to use. It features single on/off button and pin-type design for fast and accurate measuring.
Pins are neatly designed, sharp and thin, meaning that they won’t leave a huge mark on the tested material. The product is used for measuring all sorts of building material, such as wood, concrete, drywall, etc. Because of this, the wood moisture meter is fit for various professionals, such as home inspectors, pest controllers, woodworkers, builders and so forth.
The meter works great, but the plug-in jack for connecting the external sensor (which you can additionally purchase with this product) has connectivity issues. Also, this meter isn’t as sensitive as most other products on the list, so you’ll have to pierce the material to get an accurate reading.
Dr.meter Digital Wood Moisture Meter features 5% to 40% measuring range, with 1% offchance. This meter is inexpensive but still sturdy and durable, and very comfortable to use.
Used for measuring wood, sheetrock, and carpet, the meter showcases the results on the easy to read display. The display shows battery durability, percentage based calculations and H symbol, which is shown once you press the hold button to capture the results.
Apart from hold button, it also has on/off power button. This device emphasizes simplicity, and everything about it (design, software, display) screams simplicity and compactness. This is perfect for everyone who seeks simple, good all-around moisture meter, but not for professional woodworkers, builders, home inspectors.
It comes with 9V battery, replace pins (two pins), protective cap and a bag for convenient portability. Naturally, you will receive instruction manual for more comfortable use. Customer service is very friendly and will help you with any problems you experience using this product (if you experience it).
As we already said, we recommend it to homeowners and semi-professional woodworkers. The product isn’t as sturdy and durable as other, more expensive meters on the list, but it is, on the other hand, very inexpensive.
Lambow Wood Moisture Meter is the most inexpensive wood moisture meter, with the 11% to 48% moisture range. It is reasonably easy to use, thanks to the simple, easy to read LED display, which shows you the calculation (in percentages).
Despite the low price, this meter is very accurate, utilizing pin type measuring. It is neatly designed and lightweight and will fit in your pocket for comfortable portability.
It features LED indicators (red, yellow and green), which signal you whether the wood is dry or damp. Also, it has one button to hold and read the results. Interestingly enough, the meter can also display the air temperature.
This meter is commonly used for those who seek firewood. For instance, if the red led light is turned on, it means that the measured wood isn’t fit for burning. This is great if you seek such device, but not if you are in need of all-around wood moisture meter. However, many customers have said that this meter is perfectly capable of reading other building materials, such as mortar or concrete.
Though sharp, the pins aren’t of made of sturdy material and will bend if you press too hard, so be somewhat gentle with this piece. Also, we wouldn’t recommend this product to professionals, due to somewhat limited functionality.