Choosing the Right Moisture Meter for Woodworking and Construction

Moisture naturally exists in different materials and substances. If we don’t keep an eye on the moisture content in these materials, it can lead to various problems. It can damage wooden flooring and furniture, cause inventory loss and even pose risks to the safety of buildings and other structures.

What Are Moisture Meters?

Moisture meters are small, portable devices available in analog or digital formats. They are designed to measure the moisture content in various materials such as wood, concrete, paper, soil and drywall.

Why We Measure the Moisture Content in Wood

Wood has a unique property called hygroscopicity, which means it can absorb moisture from the air and release it until it reaches a balance with its surroundings. This balanced state is called Equilibrium Moisture Content (EMC). After EMC, the woodworker can be sure that the wood won’t expand and contract and that defects such as warps, splits and cracks won’t happen in the future. This ensures the stability and durability of the wood over time.

Types of Moisture Meter

Two main types of moisture meters are PIN-TYPE and PINLESS.


Pin-type moisture meters have small pins that must be inserted correctly into the wood or material. These meters use electrical resistance to measure moisture content by checking how well electricity flows between the pins. The meter applies a small electric current through the pins and measures the moisture content percentage based on the conductivity. The result is then displayed on the meter’s screen, usually LCD.


The pinless moisture meter, also known as a non-damaging meter, is equipped with a sensor pad. This pad sends an electromagnetic signal that comes into contact with the tested material. By analyzing the changes in the signal’s movement, the meter determines the moisture level in the material. The best part is that this measurement process doesn’t involve poking or damaging the material.

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Essential Features of a Quality Moisture Meter


Accuracy is the key factor when choosing a wood moisture meter. Ideally, the accuracy should be within 0.1% to ensure your measurements are reliable and can guide you effectively. Investing in a device with a variance of more than 4-5% is not recommended as it may lead to less precise and potentially misleading readings.


The device should be able to survive a few falls and provide reliable measurements after years of constant usage. The pin probes should be of good quality. They must be durable enough to handle continuous pricking and insertion into different materials and surfaces.


Moisture Meters should be easy to use. A simple design with accessible button functions helps to take accurate readings. Along with the availability of an easy-to-read, backlit display, the user should be able to navigate the menu and choose the provided options easily.


The battery of a quality moisture meter should be easy to remove and replace. Additional features like Auto Power-off and Low Battery Indication can save the battery life. Data hold and record functions are valuable features to keep track of previous readings.

Final Thought

Selecting the right moisture meter is essential for any woodworking or construction project. Contact WHAT A TOOL for a quality moisture meter.

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