Written By Car Bibles Staff
Published Jan. 8, 2019

As a homeowner, finding mold is far from ideal or a problem that can be avoided. This is most property owner’s worst nightmare – the fungus can be expensive and point to greater problems arising within your home.

So, how can we avoid mold growth from occurring in the first place? Moisture Meters are on the rise for this very reason. Whatever your reasons for deciding to purchase one, we’ve complied together the top models on the market today to suit a wide variety of needs.

The Best Moisture Meter

Meet the Pinless Digital LCD with Tricolor Bar Graph. Detecting and preventing mold has never been so effortless. This user-friendly device allows for the easy scanning of drywall thanks to the pinless pad sensor. General’s high-tech product will tell you the exact moisture present inside any wood or concrete water leak.

Unlike many other devices on the market which are just too complicated, this moisture meter only includes three buttons – one to turn it on, one button to switch between material modes and another to hold the reading. Likewise, the LED display is easy-to-read and doesn’t keep you hanging around for results. Avoid any potentially harmful mold growth in your home growth by purchasing this product now.

Key Features
  • Non-defacing moisture detector
  • Offers top-range features such as hold button, auto power-off function, out-of-range alarm and low battery indicator
  • Suitable for measuring all kinds of materials such as Drywall, Hardwoods and Softwoods
  • Pinless pad sensor allows advantageous and time-saving scanning of walls
  • Large LED display available at bargain price
Specification
  • Brand General Tools
  • Model MMD7NP
  • Weight 4 ounces

SAM-PRO’s top-of-the-range dual moisture meter allows its user to obtain moisture readings in the trickiest of places. The LCD is not only easy-to-read – its backlit display allows your average handyman to venture into the darkest of corners and obtain an accurate reading.

So, what material is suitable for use with this Dual Moisture Meter? The options are countless- a whopping one hundred materials can produce an accurate reading. What’s more, selecting one of the four categories of group material makes the readings even more meticulous. It’s fair to say that SAM-PRO’s product will meet all your expectations.

Key Features
  • Included Durable Nylon Case with 9 Volt Battery
  • Easy to use in highly inaccessible areas due to backlit display
  • Moisture values taken at several locations available thanks to Min and Max Display feature
  • Durability ensured by Protective Cap
  • 10mm Electrode Pins are incredibly durable and provide strong reading accuracy
Specification
  • Brand SAM-PRO TOOLS
  • Weight 5.6 ounces

The accuMASTER XT 7440 Digital Moisture Meter is here to suit all your needs. We can confirm that manufacturers have thought of everything. The durable design – which is composed with a study body, a protective cap, and replaceable 3/8 stainless steel test pins – is able to withstand the toughest of tasks. Additionally, this product is compatible with a wide variety of materials.

Working in the dark? No longer a problem when purchasing this model. The product comes with a backlit screen, making it practical no matter your location. And even if you’re assessing water content in the tightest of place, then why not activate the handy audible feature available? If this sounds a little too complicated, then the hold key can freeze readings after use. What’s not to love?

Key Features
  • Assists in property inspections
  • Generous measuring range of 5%-50% for wood and 1.5%-33% for other building materials
  • Backlit display and audible alert make once tricky operations feasible
  • Offers a one-year warranty
  • Durable design with protective cover and replaceable stainless-steel pins
Specification
  • Brand Calculated Industries
  • Model 7440
  • Weight 6.4 ounces

When first laying our eyes upon Wagner Meter’s bright yellow moisture meter, we are instantly attracted to its bright and colorful design. Yet when discovering the wide range of features this product offers, design quickly becomes its least impressive quality. This moisture meter is able to withstand a wide range of temperatures fluctuating from 30 to 110 Fahrenheit. Within this range, highly accurate readings can be obtained with a wide variety of materials.

Manufacturers place such confidence in their product that they offer a seven-year warranty on this moisture meter. Designed to work within a wide range of trades such as engineering, building, and contracting, this meter also comes inside a shock resistant carrying case with a belt clip to enhance durability. Why not opt for endurance and trust in Wagner’s product.

Key Features
  • 7-year warranty guaranteed
  • Operates between temperatures of 30-110 Fahrenheit
  • Electromagnetic version protects your furniture from damage
  • Extended species setting range for exotic species
  • Allows adjustment to specific gravity of wood to obtain highly accurate and repeatable readings
Specification
  • Brand Wagner Meters
  • Model MMC220
  • Weight 5.9 ounces

Do you want to protect your home from any potential mold growth, yet struggle to find an economical moisture meter that is accurate at the same time? If so, it’s time for yourself and Ryobi’s Pinless Moisture Meter to become acquainted. Your treasured paintwork will be preserved thanks to Electromagnetic Wave Technology this meter includes.

Although critics complain that although this moisture meter does not offer a backlit display, the audible alerts available will give you an accurate reading when searching for the source of a leak where moisture is most concentrated behind a work surface. This pinless device is just as – if not more – effective than pin-type equipment due to Ryobi’s meter being able to read moisture levels up to half an inch deep. So, if you’re questioning the existence of mold in your home, we’ve found the answer.

Key Features
  • Protects both walls and furniture with effortless scanning technology
  • Audible alerts with differing frequencies provide helpful indicators
  • Any potential mold growth will be previously detected
  • Extremely accurate for a small price in comparison to other models
  • Wide operating temperature of 32°F to 104°F
Specification
  • Brand Ryobi
  • Model E49MM01
  • Weight 10.1 ounces

This moisture meter is designed to diagnose your moisture problems with exceptional accuracy. This Dr. Meter product includes all the equipment you require such as a protection cap, a 9-volt battery, and even an extra set of replacement probes. There won’t be any complications when using this product – one button is used to change wood species and the other switches the device on and off while scanning or holding the reading.

It couldn’t be any simpler. This effective and accurate device is well priced and suited for both occupational and household usage. One feature that we absolutely love is its memory function, which stores measured values and data for future reference.

Warning – The location of the on/off switch makes it extremely easy to turn on. Make sure that the device is turned off by holding down this button for a few seconds to prevent the battery from dying.

Key Features
  • Confident seller warranty offering 30 Day Money Back Guarantee and 12-Month Replacement Warranty
  • Durability provided by probe protective cover, carry bag, and spare sensor pins
  • Capability to switch the sensor pins based on application demonstrates product adaptability
  • Memory Function encourages the storing of data and measured values
  • Handy Hold Feature is excellent for when working at angles with screen out of view
Specification
  • Brand Dr. Meter
  • Weight 5.6 ounces

Lignomat’s mini-Lingo E/D Moisture Meter is the Iron Man of the moisture meters due to it being practically indestructible. Lignomat’s moisture meter is manufactured out of high-impact plastic and calibration to work at wood temperatures of 70°F. The bright and digital LED can be read easily in dimly lit locations and offers a lifetime warranty.

Recommended for industrial application, Lingomat’s product has revolutionized the act of taking moisture readings by storing longer pins inside the meter for measuring thicker material. Easy probe insertion is maintained due to the included green cap, which covers the pins when being transported. Buy this product and you’ll be guaranteed a lifetime of woodworking.

Key Features
  • Member Tested and Recommended by Handyman
  • Durable display offers lifetime warranty, accessories offer one-year warranty, and moisture meter itself offers two-year warranty
  • Pins possess a remarkable measuring depth of 3/16 and 7/17 (5,10mm)
  • Product can endure substantial wear and tear thanks to high-impact plastic
  • Bright and practical LED display gives instant moisture readings between 6-45%
Specification
  • Brand Lignomat
  • Model mini-Ligno E/D
  • Weight 5.6 ounces

Extech’s green and orange moisture meter is a sight for sore eyes, and its success is due to the incredible features this moisture meter boasts. Can’t decide between buying a pin-type or a pinless moisture meter? Now you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Extech’s product incorporates both elements, creating an accurate moisture meter able to quickly measure surface area and determine the depth of a moisture pocket.

The fantastic moisture icons available provide a visual reference for low, medium, and high levels of moisture. Incorporated with the Audible Alert Tone option, which accelerates its beeping along while moisture levels increase, this device is hard to beat.

Key Features
  • Product able to stream data wirelessly via Bluetooth to tablet and smartphone
  • Audible alert functions available with data
  • Handy icons including moisture level, battery life indicator, and audible alert 
  • Measures moisture in a wide variety of surfaces including sheet rock and cardboard
  • Readings on display can be frozen thanks to Data Hold Function
Specification
  • Brand Extech
  • Model MO55
  • Weight 4.3 ounces

Don’t let the price of the Tramex’s MEP Moisture Encounter Plus instantly scare you off. There are several reasons why the price remains so high. First, it offers a wide range of readings for wood from 5% to 30%, with a broad signal penetration to over 1″ into the material. This way, no paintwork or any woodwork items will be damaged while being assessed.

The moisture meter also presents several scales to identify several types of hidden moisture. For example, drywall takes a relative measure while wood is a clear measure. This shows just how precise this product is fabricated to be. This precision is only further enhanced by a beeping feature which occurs when a material contains over 15% moisture, allowing yourself or a client to become aware of the severity of a problem. We swear that Tramex’s product is 100% reliable and 101% recommended.

Key Features
  • Full satisfaction guarantee incorporating one-year warranty against defects
  • Audio warning tone is activated when coming into contact with high moisture pockets/levels
  • Option of utilizing signal penetration to over 1" without needing to damage any surfaces  
  • Offers three ranges of sensitivity
  • Different 'danger zones' allow a professional job to be thoroughly completed
Specification
  • Brand Tramex
  • Model MEP
  • Weight 13.6 ounces

We recommend Protimeter’s product for those who are experts in their fields, such as surveying and architecture. This moisture meter is sure to increase your adeptness while decreasing your workload at the same time due to the large number of features it has to offer. Our personal favorite has to be the incorporation of a hammer electrode for wood floor applications.

The innovative measure mode allows for the actual moisture content of wood to be shown alongside the corresponding moisture condition. What’s more, a color-coded scale makes it easy for the user to distinguish between particular moisture levels. This non-invasive and sturdy design includes deep wall probes and spare pins for increased accuracy and durability. Therefore, we suggest purchasing this model if you’re searching for a quality tool for professional purposes.

Key Features
  • Versatile product incorporating both pinless and pin-type measures
  • Pin-type measurement travels 20mm below surface
  • 2-year warranty for mechanical or manufacturing defects demonstrates product reliance
  • Both measure and search modes of operation make it easier to distinguish different types of moisture  
  • Equipped with auto-shut off and backlight features
Specification
  • Brand Protimeter
  • Model Survey Master
  • Weight 1.25 pounds

Best Moisture Meter Buying Guide

Features to Look for in a Moisture Meter

Sometimes, it seems impossible to differentiate products of quality from products which waste both your time and your money. Here are several critical features to consider when looking for your next moisture meter.

  • Range of Measurement Offered

We recommend being able to measure to around 5-6% for woodworking and flooring with your moisture meter.

  • Durability

We understand the temptation that rises within the average buyer when presented with the latest knock-off product. Alas, we ourselves have been the victims of manufacturers who design products destined to fail. One sure-fire way of separating the worthy from the weak is by researching a product’s warranty. You’re looking for a warranty spanning a number of years, not a number of days.

  • Easy to Use

As Franklin rightly stated, Time is Money. Therefore, it’s important to purchase a moisture meter which is both fast and easy to operate. Examples of features which will make your moisture metering dreams come true are the inclusion of non-invasive measuring devices, moisture detectors, and backlit LDC screens.

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Benefits of Using Moisture Meters

  • Never Burn Wet Wood Again

Why would we care if the wood burning on our fires is a little damp? As long as it burns, right? Actually, burning damp wood can cause several problems to arise like the production of dangerous chemicals and the accumulation of heavy soot which increases the risk of chimney and house fires. Measuring the amount of moisture present in wood beforehand further prevent these repercussions from occurring.

  • Cost Effective

Any new homeowners out there? Excessive moisture is not only harmful in the short-term – the long-term consequences it produces can be disastrous and extortionate. To repair the concrete foundation of a building is incredibly expensive. And, of course, the cost rises along with the moisture build-up. Prevent any mold growth from becoming worse by accurately measuring your floorboards every few months.

Pin vs. Pinless Moisture Meters

Pin and Pinless moisture meters are the two different styles dominating the market today. Although their initial difference is apparent – pinless meters use a sensor pad to read surfaces compared to the two metal pins which take the readings of a pin-style meter – there remain several more distinctions to explore before deciding upon a product which suits your needs. Let’s take a look.

What Kind of Surfaces Will You be Measuring?

Will you be buying your moisture meter to measure the amounts of moisture present within unkept material such as firewood or household furniture? If so, then you may want to consider investing in a Pinless Moisture Meter, which leave zero damage to any surfaces. However, pinless meters must be measured on flat surfaces and possess a suitable scanning depth – without this, accurate readings cannot be taken. Pin-type moisture meters can even tell you at which depth a moisture pocket in wood occurs.

Accuracy vs Surface Area

One major disadvantage – or advantage, depending how you look at it – of pin-type meters is that they are only capable of measuring the moisture content between the two pins. Therefore, a moisture pocket not operating within this specific area can fly under the radar. Although taking multiple readings will get an accurate overview of the moisture content, the electromagnetic signals emitted by the large sensor pads of a pinless moisture meter save a lot of precious time.

Why Not Both?

More often than not, two moisture meters are better than one. To cover large areas speedily with incredible precision, two-in-one moisture meters like are available for purchase. An example of this type of moisture meter available for purchase is Extech’s MO55 Combination Pin/Pinless Moisture Meter.

What Causes High Humidity in a House

So, what actually is humidity? Most of us contemplate its overall effects, thinking back to the acclaimed episode of Friends in Barbados, with Monica screaming ‘It’s the humidity!’ at the top of her voice. Yet the majority of the population don’t understand how to define it. Humidity is the measurement of water vapor in the air. However, although we tend to associate humidity with climates, humidity levels must be kept consistent in homes. High humidity levels are usually generated by unhealthy air circulation produced by air conditioning, which can produce serious consequences.

  • Any Cracked Tiles or Surfaces?

Although several of us consider the wear and tear of a house to signify its overall antiquity, small surface cracks can unfortunately allow additional moisture to enter your house.

  • Rising Damp

We don’t want to put a damper on things *badum tish* but rising damp could be causing substantial levels of humidity to arise in your home. This is when unwanted moisture presents itself from the ground underneath or through the fabric of the wall. Beware of this at all costs!

How to Use a Moisture Meter

Thankfully, it’s pretty difficult to mess this process up. With a pin-type moisture meter, simply turn on your moisture meter and ensure that it is set to the correct mode. Then, point the pins perpendicular to the surface and push them in until they cannot go any further. Afterwards, take the reading and try again on other places on the surface to obtain a more accurate reading overall.

A pinless moisture meter requires you to place the sensor directly upon the test material, making sure that no air gap remains between the sensor and the material. By sliding the moisture meter over, more readings can be obtained.

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Best Moisture Meter FAQ:

Q: What is a moisture meter?

A moisture meter is a nifty device which measures the amount of liquid in substances such as wood and paper. Unfortunately, even in materials which we consider to be dry, moisture is found nearly everywhere and must be kept at different optimal levels depending on the substance.

Q: How does a moisture meter work?

Pin-type and pinless moisture meters use different types of high-tech for different purposes. Here’s how they work below:

  • Resistance Technology
Moisture is an exceptional electric conductor. With pin-type meters, a small electrical current is passed between both points after being inserted into the material. The damper the wood, the less resistance there will be to the current.
  • Electromagnetic Wave Technology
This is the type of technology used by pinless meters. An electromagnetic field is created by electrical waves operating at a certain electromagnetic frequency under the sensor pad of the meter. The signal that reads back corresponds to that of the moisture content.

Q: How accurate are moisture meters?

The answer to this notorious question really depends on the quality of the moisture meter purchased. Several critics claim that moisture meters are fraudulent devices which really only measure conductivity. This far-fetched claim is advocated by those who don’t understand the workings of technology used to measure such content ‘accurately’ or have never purchased themselves a reliable meter. Many professionals claim that non-insulated pins produce a more in-depth analysis, as they allow for increased deepness into the material. Drive these pins into wood at full depth if possible, as moisture levels reading below 10% must make contact with the substrate for an accurate reading to be produced.

Q: Can a moisture meter detect mold?

Technically speaking, yes it can. Moisture meters don’t exactly possess a certain setting which scans for mold around a house. Yet mold spores typically hide away within moisture pockets which these devices are manufactured to detect. Likewise, eliminating moisture pockets can prohibit the spreading of mold from occurring in the future. Meet the Pinless Digital LCD with Tricolor Bar Graph. Detecting and preventing mold has never been so effortless. This user-friendly device allows for the easy scanning of drywall thanks to the pinless pad sensor. General’s high-tech product will tell you the exact moisture present inside any wood or concrete water leak. Unlike many other devices on the market which are just too complicated, this moisture meter only includes three buttons – one to turn it on, one button to switch between material modes and another to hold the reading. Likewise, the LED display is easy-to-read and doesn’t keep you hanging around for results. Avoid any potentially harmful mold growth in your home growth by purchasing this product now.

Our Top Pick

Our personal favorite has to be the General Tools MMD7NP Moisture Meterh. Scanning for moisture has never been so painless. This product is made for everyone – from DIYers to craftsmen thanks to the devices ability to work with a wide range of materials. And to sum up, it’s available for a bargain!

Sources:

  1. Moisture analysis – Wikipedia
  2. Moisture meter – Wikipedia

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