In this guide we’ll take a look at the best wood moisture meters for damp logs and firewood.
I’ve compared accuracy, functionality, ease of use and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Wood Moisture Meter?
More Detailed Wood Moisture Meter Reviews
This moisture detector can be used on wood and other materials such as concrete, brick, screed and plasterboard. In fact, it can even be used on fabric, carpets and wallpaper.
It has a measuring range of 5-50% for wood and 1.5 – 33% for building materials.
This moisture detector is solidly made with a grippy and ergonomic design that makes it very comfortable to use. This unit has two sensor pins at the top which measure the moisture content. It is easy to set up and use, simply insert the battery (which is not included) and you are ready to start. The detector has two settings, one for wood and one for substrates such as brick and concrete. There is a handy guide on the back of the detector, which explains what the readings mean. The unit also comes with a user guide.
This detector has a large LCD display which is easy to read. It also has a hold feature meaning it will save the reading on the screen if you are taking readings in awkward places so that you can then read it once you can see the screen. It also has an audible indicator. The unit will shut down after 3 minutes of being inactive to save the battery and also features a low battery indicator. The unit comes with a protective cover for the sensor pins.
Testing it on the logs I had just received I found it gave very accurate readings, comparable with those of the woodsman who delivered it. The LCD display was clear and easy to read at most angles. The acoustic indicator was a handy extra but can be turned off if not required.
The build quality and design of this detector is excellent, and I can see it giving many years of good service. It does not come with spare pins; however, I can’t see them being required as the pins are so sturdy. Because this meter can be used on a variety of materials and can measure a good range, I feel it is excellent value for money.
This moisture meter can also be used on both wood and plasterboard.
The unit has two sensor pins to measure moisture. The meter has a measuring range of 5% – 40% and is accuracy to ±1%. The unit is powered by 1 x 9V battery which is included. The unit features an easy to read LCD display and also has an audio alert. There is also a low battery indicator. This is not as well built as the previous detector; however, it will certainly do the job and is suitable for fairly regular use.
Again, this was easy to operate and came with a user guide to help you work out what the readings mean. It also comes with a carry pouch and two spare pins. The safety cap is bright orange which is handy as it makes it easy to find.
This moisture detector was simple to use and gave fairly consistent readings when tested on the wood I had delivered.
This was another easy to use tool that offers great value for money especially as it comes with spare pins and a battery. It is ideal if you just want to check the moisture content of logs when they are delivered.
This is a well-built meter that is comfortable to use and easy to read. It has a hold feature meaning it will save the reading on the screen if you are taking measurements in awkward places. You can then read the results easily once you can see the screen.
According to the product description, this meter has a measuring range of 2-70% with an accuracy of ±2%. It comes with a user-friendly manual. The unit is powered by 2x AAA batteries which are included. It has a low battery indicator and turns itself off after 15 minutes of inactivity in order to save power. It has a nice bright orange safety cap that is hard to lose and an easy to read HD digital display.
You can set the meter for a variety of materials including cement mortar, lime mortar, brick and a wide range of different types of wood.
This moisture meter is simple to use and offers fantastic value for money.
This is a compact, well-made unit that is suitable for checking the moisture content of all wood including logs, building materials and existing wood structures.
The unit has a measuring range of 10 – 40% and the readings are clear and easy to read on the LCD display. It requires 1x 9 V battery which is included.
I found this unit simply to use and the readings were accurate. However, is a little pricier than the previous two items.
The Valiant firewood meter can also be used on firewood and all timber, flooring, beams and joists to detect and measure moisture content.
Th unit is well constructed and sturdy with an easy to read screen.
This moisture detector has different modes for different species of tree. This would be a really handy function for a knowledgeable woodsman as it offers more accurate results for firewood. Luckily, I had such a knowledgeable person on hand and knowing the species did help us get the most accurate results.
If you do not know the species of wood you are testing, the instructions recommend using mode 3 as most wood falls into this category.
The unit features auto power shut off and a low battery indicator. It comes with a battery and pouch.
I would recommend this product if you are knowledgeable about the species of wood you are burning as it offers very accurate results.
Wood Moisture Meter Buying Guide
When choosing a moisture meter your decision will depend on what you need the meter for. For example, if you simply want a tool to check the moisture content of firewood then you do not need it to be suitable for brick or plasterboard.
The moisture content range is another important consideration. To check firewood, you need a meter that will go up to around 20% so that you know when a log is too wet to burn. However, if you dry your own wood it can be nice to have a detector that will take the reading of freshly cut wood, so you can best plan the drying position and estimate when it might be ready to burn. An extended range is also ideal for people who work with green wood.
A moisture meter that has different modes for different materials can give more accurate results. If your meter does not have this facility you may have to calibrate your readings for the type of material you are testing.
If you will need to use your moisture meter in awkward or badly lit places, then a hold feature is useful as the reading will be saved on the screen until you can see it clearly.
A meter that automatically turns off when not in use can save you a lot of expense in batteries. A low battery indicator is also a useful feature.
Why do I need to test the water content in my logs before burning and what reading should I be looking for?
Fuel quality is the most important element in making a successful fire. To burn effectively, either in an open fire or a wood burning stove, the moisture content of firewood needs to be less than 20%. Freshly cut timber has a moisture content of between 30% and 60%, depending on the species and growing conditions. As well as burning poorly, high water content wood will produce more waste meaning you have to clean your stove and flue more often.
I am buying some timber for constructing shelves. What can I do if I don’t want to make holes in the wood?
If you don’t want to create holes in expensive wood, then a pinless moisture detector will be your best option. The circuit inside a pinless moisture meter sends out a signal in the form of electromagnetic waves. The waves create an electromagnetic field over the area of material underneath the sensor. The moisture content is worked out from the signal received back from this. These types of meter are more expensive; however, they will provide you with a damage free, reliable reading on smooth wood.