Wood has a high moisture absorbing capacity. The raw wooden materials of various forms absorb moisture from the atmosphere at a fast rate in humid regions and swell up. It makes the wood damp and decreases its durability and strength. That’s why carpenters and wood makers use quality wood moisture meters in 2022 to get accurate moisture content and other data.
This information helps the workers decide whether a certain wood piece is durable enough to be used or not. In addition, they can also detect the strength of old wooden furniture by measuring the moisture content. Since these meters play a vital role in carpentry and wooden work, we have picked out some top-notch products available in the market for you. You can manufacture long-lasting wooden items with this device and improve your craftsmanship by using woods with low moisture content and negligible internal damage.
Outstanding Wood Moisture Meters of 2022 Reviewed in Detail
The output data varies from the actual results by a few decimal places when it comes to digital instruments. Even though the difference is minute, it still matters while working with sensitive test subjects like wood. That’s why having this digital moisture meter is more feasible. It will help measure the moisture content in wooden materials between a range of 5 to 50% maximum.
It provides accurate readings with minimal deviation from the original value. Its LCD screen has a backlit display which helps in viewing the large digits. In addition, the meter is reinforced with three LEDs and pre-set tones for alerting you about the low, medium, and high moisture content levels. Due to the robust stainless pins, you can insert the device into both hardwood and softwood to get the readings instantly.
Has a cap that acts as a calibration checker
Will help in preventing mold growth in woods
Makes different noise based on low, medium, and high moisture content
For testing the moisture content of different wooden materials, you will need a meter having multiple scales with different ranges. In this product, you will have eight calibration scales that will help you measure the MC% of different wood types like hardwood, softwood, laminated boards, ply boards, etc. It shows three different ranges — low (5 to 12%), medium (12 to 17%), and high (17 to 60%).
Besides measuring the MC% of woods, this meter can also measure the temperature on both scales. Its hold function freezes the reading data for better recording, while the memory function allows you to access the past readings. For providing an easy grip around the meter, its sides are covered with anti-slip rubber.
LED-backlit screen to display readings clearly and accurately
Can freeze the data reading instantaneously
Have strong pins made from stainless steel
Has moisture content reading accuracy of +/-2% only
There are several species of wood that are categorized into different groups according to biological taxonomy. Having this moisture content meter will help you to test 50 different wood species belonging to four different groups. You can select the group by pressing the “mode” button of the meter. In addition, it also has a hold button that will help you record the data by freezing the meter.
Its electrode pins are very sensitive, which is why the scale range is between 0 and 99.9% with about +/-0.5% accuracy. Since it runs on batteries, the manufacturer has included the auto shut-off feature to conserve battery power. On top of everything, you can see a low battery indication on the screen, alerting you about battery replacement.
Has a durable frame due to the use of ABS plastic
Comes with a protective cap for the sensitive pins
Can measure MC% of 50 different wood species
No different scale ranges are calibrated in the meter
If you are looking for a wood moisture meter with optimal features and perfect in all aspects, this is the best product available. Firstly, it has two measurement modes— pin and pinless mode. The former mode requires you to insert the electrode pins into the wood material and whereas, in pinless mode, a sensor will scan the material and display the results. Hence, you can work on all types of woods, including the high-quality ones for which pin mode is unsuitable.
The meter’s scale range is 5 to 50% in the pin mode, while in the scanning mode, the range varies between 0 to 53%. Also, there are four modes for scanning hardwood, softwood, gypsum, and concrete. Thanks to its advanced alert system, you will know whether the wood is suitable for use or not once the moisture content reading crosses 17%. It can even display humidity and temperature reading for better knowledge about the wood’s condition.
Can measure temperature up to 40 degrees
Has very low error range for MC% in both the modes
Reading data can be frozen with the hold function
Might be a little difficult to handle for beginners
In this wood moisture testing meter, the scale range varies from 5 to 50% and is divided into low, medium, and high scales. It can display various types of wood-related information, including moisture levels, temperature, humidity, and more. To prevent the device from turning on accidentally, you need to press and hold its power button for 3 seconds. Also, it can automatically shut off once no action is detected for 3 minutes.
One of the best features of the digital MC% meter is that it comes with replaceable stainless steel pins. So, if the pointed tips lose their sharpness, you can change them with new ones.
Can be held easily with rubber walls
Has a solid body for improved longevity and durability
Easy-to-read numbers on the backlit LCD screen
Has a slightly higher error percentage
Buyer's Guide to Finding a Wood Moisture Meter
Using a calibrated wood moisture meter, you can know the approximate moisture content in the workpiece, with very little accuracy deviations. Since you cannot use damp wood to build something, it's better to check its usability and strength. This way, you can construct a strong furniture unit using wood pieces with less moisture content and no mold growth or dampness.
However, selecting the best MC% meter for woods is not everyone's forte. With so many products available in the market, you can easily get bewildered seeing them. Moreover, an MC% tester is a sensitive instrument due to which you need to get your hands on the best product. To help you hunt for the most appropriate wood moisture meter, we have explained a few factors on which the choice of the product will depend.
What are the different types of wood moisture meters you can get in the market?
There are mainly two types of wood moisture meters which carpenters and woodworkers mostly use. These are:
Pin wood moisture testers
In these wood moisture testers, you will find two electrode pins with sharp tips present at the top of the device. You need to insert them into the workpiece and hold the device until readings are generated on the LCD screen. As a result, these meters are more accurate, and the error percentage range is also less. However, you cannot use them while working on costly woods because the pins will leave holes.
Pinless wood moisture meters
From the name itself, you can understand that no pins are there in the wood moisture meters. Rather, a sensor is included in the instrument, which scans the material handling and displays the results. However, the results displayed are less accurate because they do not directly contact the wood material. Also, the error percentage is high, so they are used only for expensive wooden pieces.
What are the key factors you need to consider for having a premier wood moisture meter?
Firstly, you need to check the scale range of the wood moisture testing meter. It's better to get a huge range like 5 to 50% or 0 to 90%. The higher the scale range, the better will be the results. Also, you will be able to check different wood species belonging to different goods.
One of the most important factors that you should consider is the error percentage. It defines the maximum error that may present in the displayed MC%. So, for example, if the product you are buying has an error range of +/-2%, it means that the actual result varies from the displayed readings by 2%.
Just like the error percentage, every wood moisture meter has a certain range of accuracy. In this case, you will need a product with a 0 to 1% accuracy range to ensure that the readings are the closest to that of the original MC%.
What are the various benefits of a wood moisture meter?
To use the wood's moisture content tester in the best way, you should know what it can bring to the table. In the below section, we have discussed some of the major benefits that you can find in a standard MC% meter.
1. You can use the lock or hold button to freeze the reading at any time to record the instantaneous values.
2. You can either change the test material option or set a particular wood category with the mode button.
3. If your moisture content meter has an auto-switch function, it will help turn off the power when the device is not used for a certain time limit.
4. The pins can be replaced in meters once their tips become blunt, and you can't insert them anymore into the workpiece.
What precautionary steps to remember while handling the wood moisture tester?
It would be best to make sure that the pressure applied on the pins while inserting them into the wood piece is not excessive.
If you use a pinless wood moisture tester, do not move your hands too much over the test material.
It’s better not to use the moisture checking meter with wet hands as water might damage the instrument.
You need to set the testing modes before inserting the pins into the wood material or scanning one.
It would help to keep the pin wood moisture meter covered with the safety cap so that the pins are safe from damage.
People Also Asked
Q: Should I get a pinless moisture meter for wood?
A: If you are working with costly wooden material, using the non-destructive or pinless moisture meter will be better. This is because there will be no marking on the workpiece, maintaining its beauty and smooth surface structure. However, since pinless meters use scanning sensors for testing MC%, they have less accuracy than the pin moisture meters.
Q: Won’t the pins break if I exert too much pressure while inserting them into the wood?
A: Usually, the pins of the wood moisture meter don’t snap or break even when high pressure is applied on them to insert them properly into the wood. However, if the pins are made from less durable and weak material, they won't withstand the pressure, and hence, they will break.
Q: What is the maximum moisture percentage which makes the wood suitable for use?
A: In most hardwood and softwood types, the maximum amount of moisture that will make the workpiece still usable is around 17% to 22%. However, the range can increase based on the species of wood you are testing.
The Woodsmith Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you choose the best tools and gear to build great-looking projects confidently. The content is created by The Woodsmith Review Team. Woodsmith’s editorial staff is not involved. Woodsmith is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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