Accurately determining the amount of moisture is an important indicator in the construction of any building, as excessive moisture causes serious damage to buildings.
Moisture meters, or so-called hygrometers, can be used to measure moisture in building materials or in the air and are an excellent choice for people who prefer accurate readings.
The moisture meter is designed for both indoor and outdoor applications.
The Best Professional Moisture Meter
Calculated AccuMASTER XT 7440
- Check moisture content quickly and accurately.
- Check lumber and hardwood before building and woodworking.
- Perfect for home inspections.
Use replaceable pins to check moisture content in specific areas at various depths. Or, take advantage of the built-in dual option of the pad to check moisture content ¾” deep in most material over a broader area more quickly. The full-time backlit LCD makes the large, easy-to-read digits visible even in low-light work environments.
How do moisture meters work?
Buyer’s guide for a moisture meter
This review and guide provide information on some best moisture meter you can find.
There are quite a few manufacturers of moisture meter on the market, and the prices vary greatly. From a pure price point of view, the type of moisture meter can be priced from $15 to $379.
The Best Moisture Meter For The Money
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All our reviews are based exclusively on expert judgments or practical experience with most of the moisture meter we have tested. We strive to make our guide as independent and as detailed as possible.
Reviews of the moisture meter
Proster Digital Wood Moisture Meter
- Perfect for wood, firewood, logs, cardboard, paper and so on.
- Large HD LCD with Data Hold function.
- Made of ABS Plastic for superior durability.
High measurement accuracy
Measuring wood by sensitive electrode pins at the range of 0-99.9% and accuracy is less than ±0.5%. You can switch different modes according to 4 wood groups, including approximately 50 species of wood, which makes the measure more accurate.
Wagner Meters Orion Deep Depth Pinless Wood Moisture Meter Kit
- Individually Paired Calibrators.
- Accurate for the Life of the Meter.
- Calibrate Anywhere in Under One Minute.
Intelligent moisture meter technology
Wood Moisture Meter Kit continues its superior accuracy and adds incredible new functionality. Orion meter incorporates Intelligence technology, a more rugged design, and industry-exclusive true in-the-field calibration capability provided by the included On-Demand Calibrator. This item takes moisture readings in your wood or other material from the surface down to 75” (19 mm) in depth. A flexible rubber boot makes the 910 durable enough to withstand your toughest jobs.
Lignomat Moisture Meter Mini-Ligno
- Measuring Range 6-45%.
- Built in calibration.
- Measuring depth of 3/16″ and 7/16″.
Large measurement depth
The moisture meter gives instant, accurate moisture readings between 6-45%, indicated by a bright digital LED readout. Recommended for and craft-type or industrial application to measure moisture in lumber, veneer, or fiberboard. Features include a green cap that serves as a handle for easy probe insertion and covers the pins during transportation. Longer pins stored inside the meter for measuring thicker material. To obtain readings the pins are pushed into the wood and the unique on-off switch between the pins turns the meter on.
What is a moisture meter, and what do I need it for?
As the name suggests, a moisture meter measures the level of moisture in the air or in certain places in your home. Especially with the use of construction dryers, these meters can be very important.
Depending on the season and the use of heating and air conditioning, the humidity can change. As a result, it is not easy to keep the value of humidity in the air optimal.
Did you know that higher humidity leads to mold growth?
The danger of mold often arises in winter. Since you rarely open the windows, the humidity in the air increases and so condensation forms.
For this reason, it makes sense to use a humidity meter. This way you have the possibility to always have an overview of the humidity in different rooms.
Moisture meters are especially useful in the use of dryers and dehumidifiers. So you always know how thoroughly they work and what humidity value was reached.
What types of moisture meters are there?
There are different variants of moisture meters, which are all suitable for different applications. Moisture meters differ primarily in their scope of application.
For example, there are devices that are specifically designed to measure the moisture in the air. Others measure the moisture content in the wall or other places.
There are several types of moisture meter:
- The temperature hygrometer.
To measure the total humidity of the room.
- Moisture indicator.
Shows the moisture content of certain places such as walls, wood, etc.
Determines air humidity parameters and is used in meteorology.
- Moisture meter.
Helps with microwave humidity measurements in hard-to-reach places up to 30 cm deep.
Determines the moisture content of the material in/on components, and most professional applications.
For this reason, you should be aware in advance for which purpose you want to use your moisture meter. Furthermore, combo devices are also available, which have several functions and are thus suitable for different applications.
What should you look for when buying the moisture meter?
To find the best device for individual use, you must first familiarize yourself with the differences between analog and digital hygrometers.
When buying should pay attention to the following:
- Material / Size / Weight.
The material is not one of the decisive criteria when choosing a hygrometer, but the durability is worth mentioning. Most hygrometers have a plastic housing and a plastic glass cover. High-quality hygrometers are made of stainless steel, for example.
As for the size, the bigger, the better. The reason is the readability of the display. Logically, larger displays are more visible. Size also matters if you want to hang the hygrometer on the wall, for example, and have limited space.
The weight is strongly dependent on the material. Plastic is lighter than stainless steel, so these hygrometers are also lighter. You can assume that heavier hygrometers tend to have a higher build quality.
- Measuring range.
The measuring range is probably the most important buying criterion when it comes to humidity meters. This criterion determines the range over which the moisture in the air or in a particular material can be measured.
The amount of moisture in the air or in a particular material, such as wood, is expressed in several ways. One way is to express it as a percentage. In this case, a proportional amount of moisture is displayed on the instrument during measurement. This option is mainly used to indicate the humidity of the air.
The second option is to express it in numbers, which is used to measure the moisture content of wood or building materials. Here, the amount of moisture is indicated by a whole number.
In general, the higher the measuring range, the higher the quality of the device. Of course, this is also reflected in the price.
The humidity in a typical room should be between 40-60%.
Some hygrometers also have a built-in thermometer, which is a useful and useful feature. Humidity is important for an optimal indoor environment, but the temperature is just as important.
The temperature measurement range depends on the intended use. If the device is also used outdoors, the hygrometer should also display minus values. The larger the measuring range, the better, this also applies to this location.
The humidity measuring range is one of the most important criteria in the purchase decision. A good device is at least always characterized by the fact that it has a measuring range between zero and 100.
Digital hygrometers, unlike analog devices, must be powered either by electricity or by a battery. Therefore, it is important to know what batteries the instrument requires and to always have them on hand.
Many hygrometers are powered by push-button batteries, which have the advantage of being much lighter. However, they are also more expensive than regular batteries. Therefore, we recommend choosing a hygrometer that runs on regular batteries (AA or AAA). They are cheaper.
- Other features.
Many hygrometers today are 2-in-1 products. That is, in addition to humidity measurement, they also display temperature measurement, have a built-in barometer or anemometer, and have an interesting hold function.
In addition, some also have radio clocks, alarms, or humidity sensors. Which function is relevant to you depends on your purpose. So, it is possible that a hygrometer without additional functions is the perfect device for you.
The hold function is a very practical detail of humidity meters. This function is especially useful in hard-to-reach places and dark corners.
With the hold function, you can “freeze” the current measured value and then read it on the display. In this way, you can also take measurements in difficult places. However, this function is available on the vast majority of devices.
How to choose a wood hygrometer?
A moisture meter or hygrometer is a device for measuring moisture content in wood, it is used when preparing raw materials for the production of furniture and building materials. The degree of drying of wood is an important characteristic that affects the quality of raw materials and finished products. If not dried in advance, the wood fibers will eventually dry out and deform. The moisture meter quickly assesses the quality of raw materials, and during the construction of wooden houses, it helps prevent defects.
Before the invention of hygrometers, the moisture content of the wood was assessed in the laboratory. The procedure was labor-intensive and took several steps. It was necessary to separate a piece of wood and analyze it in the laboratory, so the samples were damaged during testing. Modern devices measure the degree of drying inside and outside of the bar with high accuracy, but do not require complex manipulations: it is enough to put the contact element to the material. Therefore, they are used in wood processing plants and in the manufacture of lumber, in furniture factories and construction sites.
Principle of operation and operation of the moisture meter
Moisture meters determine the moisture instantly. They work not only with wood, but also with other materials: concrete, brick. The principle of operation is based on the measurement of specific electrical resistance: this parameter changes depending on how much water is contained in the material, so you can use it to judge the degree of drying. The meter automatically calculates the moisture content. The error depends on the model, but it does not exceed 4%.
For the inaccuracy of readings to be minimal, it is necessary to make local measurements in several areas of the workpiece. This is due to the fact that the material dries unevenly and may remain wet at one edge or depth, although the surface indicators will be optimal. Measuring in several areas of the trunk will minimize the error.
The main advantage of wood moisture meters is that their use does not require significant damage to samples. The accuracy of measurements is not reduced. The device performs another important function: it determines the density of the wood species, which differs in coniferous and deciduous trees. Properties of the species affect the quality, performance characteristics of finished products. That is why some brands integrate the function of quickly determining the type of wood in their devices and software.
Varieties of moisture meters
The basic principle of operation in all devices is the same: they analyze the specific resistance of the material to the passage of electric current. However, the convenience of measurements and the accuracy of the readings directly depend on the characteristics of the wood moisture meter itself. There are several basic types of devices.
Conductometric needle meters
They determined by contact method, so they provide an element to be inserted into the wood or other building material. The device creates an electrical pulse. It passes through the sample, and after a second, the measurement results are shown on the display.
The advantages of this category of moisture meters are:
- high accuracy of operation;
- ease of use;
- low cost.
The disadvantages include the need to damage the material, even if only slightly. This is highly undesirable when working with hardwood or building materials like concrete. It is also worth remembering that the contact category of the equipment does not measure below 4%. But this is an insignificant drawback, raw materials with a drying degree of 5% and below are considered to be of high quality.
Contact devices are reliable and durable. They rarely fail, and even if a breakdown occurs, they eliminate it quickly. The most popular models of this type include the AccuMASTER XT 7440. This device is designed specifically for construction, lumber yards, and drying plants.
It works not only with wood but also with concrete, plaster. If the values exceed the established state standard, the device emits an audible signal. The model is compact, convenient, the interface is intuitive.
Moisture Meter Price:
Moisture Meter Under 20$
- Proster Digital Wood Moisture Meter
Moisture Meter Under 50$
- Calculated Industries Pin & Pinless Moisture Meter Detects Hidden Leaks and Moisture
Moisture Meter Under 100$
- Lignomat Moisture Meter Mini-Ligno
- Wagner Meters Orion Deep Depth Pinless Wood Moisture Meter Kit
Moisture meters are suitable for professional and private use. There are different types of hygrometers, which differ in their application. Hygrometers are available in both analog and digital form. Digital hygrometers require batteries, unlike analog ones.
The price of hygrometers depends on the performance of the device and the purpose for which it is used. In most cases, digital devices are more expensive than analog ones.
The moisture meter is used to measure the humidity of the air as well as solid materials such as concrete or wood. It also helps to prevent the occurrence and spread of mold in time.
FAQs- The Best Moisture Meter In Comparison
✅ How do I calibrate the moisture meter?
To calibrate the moisture meter, i.e. to set it correctly, you must know the humidity value in the immediate environment. If you know this value, set the pointer of the moisture meter exactly to this number, and it will be set correctly.
It is recommended that the instrument be calibrated every fourth to sixth month to maintain an accurate reading. However, this is not always stated in the operating instructions. If the hygrometer is transported, you may need to readjust it.
✅ Where should the moisture meter be placed?
You may be wondering where the best place for the moisture meter is. First, all moisture meters are suitable for indoor use, but only a few are designed for outdoor use. So if you need outdoor humidity information as well, you will need a weatherproof model for that. They will come with a label.
The best place in the room is a central, highly visible place. Logically, a hygrometer is useful in poorly ventilated and often cool rooms. Never place the moisture meter at a window behind a curtain or directly above a heater. These influences will skew the results. If you take these things into account, you have already found the ideal location.
What should be the recommended temperature and humidity for each room?
The temperature and humidity in your own home can vary depending on your preferences. Also, there are no exact values that you should necessarily stick to.
However, there are recommended values for temperature and humidity in different living areas. They are to ensure that your respiratory system is not irritated and mold growth is prevented.
✅ How does the moisture meter work?
Moisture meters are relatively small and handy devices. Operation is usually relatively simple and straightforward.
Most models are battery operated and have a small digital display on which the measurement data can be read. Depending on the type of moisture meter, a different measurement method is used.
Most models have electrodes that measure the moisture content in the air or in a specific material. The measured value is shown on the display for a short time.
Depending on the model, additional functions such as saving the measured value or a “Hold” button are available.
✅ How accurate are the moisture meters?
The accuracy of the measured values depends on a number of factors. Depending on the model and type of use, readings may vary in accuracy.
In general, however, moisture meters are very accurate. The readings are ideal for the vast majority of applications. However, some applications place higher demands on the accuracy of the measured values.
Here, the more expensive and better the device, the more accurate the measured values.