The 10 Best Moisture Meters

Sara Mandeed
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Moisture meters are the practical side of the moisture reader family. While the humidity reader is more like an investment, for those who need to see the moisture levels on the walls and other surfaces, the moisture meter is a very handy tool to own.

Just like the humidity meter, the moisture meter is used to single out the level of moisture in the air. However, they do it differently and give different readings. This is caused by the fact that both of these devices use different methods to measure the moisture level.

While the humidity reader gives the relative humidity or RH level in a room or space, the moisture meter measures the absolute moisture in the air. This is very important to a lot of people when they are checking for the moisture levels of a building.

NameCategoryProduct
Wood Moisture MeterBest OverallWood Moisture Meter
General Tools MMD4E Digital Moisture MeterBudget PickGeneral Tools MMD4E Digital Moisture Meter
Protimeter BLD5365 Surveymaster Dual-Function Moisture MeterUpgrade PickProtimeter BLD5365 Surveymaster Dual-Function Moisture Meter

1. Wood Moisture Meter

Our rating: 9 / 10

Wood Moisture Meter

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Pros:

  • Extremely accurate
  • Solid warranty
  • Good value for money

Cons:

  • Not very mobile
  • No LED display
  • Some people complain about a faulty design

Kitchen, bathroom, and basement renovations are some of the most frequently remodeled projects. With these updates come changes in water and air pressure which often cause the walls to crack in areas that appear to be dry.

Also, in houses where basements are used regularly, there comes a time in the life of the basement when water from the ground starts to seep in, and this is a problem that should be tackled ASAP.

That is why the importance of a humidity meter cannot be overstated. To help you choose the right one for you we have listed the ten best moisture meters available on the market right now.

2. Calculated Industries 7440 AccuMASTER XT Digital Moisture Meter

Our rating: 8 / 10

Calculated Industries 7440 AccuMASTER XT Digital Moisture Meter

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Pros:

  • Backlit LCD screen
  • Highly accurate – measures surface moisture up to 6" deep
  • Can measure moisture up to 100'-150'
  • Works flawlessly even in rain, snow and fog
  • Measures surface temperature
  • More sensitive to humidity compared to other brands
  • Measures the moisture in wood, cement, concrete, gypsum board and drywall
  • Durable wireless remote sensor, made of metal
  • Uses a harmless infrared sensor so you don't have to break any walls or ceilings for testing
  • Six-month limited warranty

Cons:

  • Casing is not particularly well-built
  • No memory for storing previous readings
  • Some users complained that it is not suitable for wooden floors
  • Despite the wireless remote, the device itself is a little heavy
  • The device is relatively bulky

As you can see, there is very few negative reviews for this device. So you might ask why we did not place it on the first place. The reason is that it is basically a professional-style device, which is not easy to use, and beginners might find it rather difficult. However, it is ideal if you need a highly accurate measurement of surface moisture. For example, when I was fixing a radiator pipe, the temperature was about 212 degrees and the probing moisture reached 99 percent.

3. General Tools MMD4E Digital Moisture Meter

Our rating: 8 / 10

General Tools MMD4E Digital Moisture Meter

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Pros:

  • Easy to use and accurate
  • Simple to test a variety of items
  • Great for testing wood, concrete, and drywall
  • Backlit LCD display
  • Clear audible alarm when moisture is detected
  • Large range of 9.99 percent to 500%
  • Measures 4:30 minutes after switch is turned on
  • Detects moisture in wood, drywall, concrete and masonry

Cons:

  • Occasional display errors
  • Not ideal when testing very wet items
  • Have to turn off manually when used in high-moisture situations

The General Tools Digital Moisture Meter is a state-of-the-art moisture tester that makes it easy for you to gauge the moisture content of many different building materials. It features an easy-to-use pin type sensor that accurately measures moisture levels from 4:30 minutes after the power switch is turned on.

4. Protimeter BLD5365 Surveymaster Dual-Function Moisture Meter

Our rating: 8 / 10

Protimeter BLD5365 Surveymaster Dual-Function Moisture Meter

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Pros:

  • Portable and lightweight
  • Accurate, consistent readings
  • Great for drilling and concrete work
  • Waterproof, compact, and durable
  • Easy one-button operation
  • Auto-off feature

The Protimeter BLD5365 Surveymaster Dual-Function Moisture meter is a multi-use device that is ideal for measuring soil moisture. It provides accurate readings in both centimeter and inch units, quickly and efficiently.

The BLD5365 is a great tool for drilling and concrete work because it measures the moisture level in the soil where the drill/driver digs up. It also comes in handy for wood flooring and hardwood flooring contractors who need to ensure the ground is the right moisture level for installation.

The built-in auto-off feature prevents battery drain when the product is not in use. This meter is small in size and you can easily carry it around in your pocket or handbag. Switching between the two functions is as easy as pushing a button. The BLD5365 requires one 9V battery that comes included.

5. Klein Tools ET140 Pinless Moisture Meter

Our rating: 8 / 10

Klein Tools ET140 Pinless Moisture Meter

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Pros:

  • Waterproof
  • IP50 rated for protection against dust
  • Uses AAA batteries
  • Quick, accurate readings in <10 seconds
  • ET140 includes a 1 year warranty

Do you have water damage? This tool can help you check for it! The ET-140 features a pinless display that’s easy to read and play a vital role in the device’s ability to provide quick, accurate readings.

After you need a tool for detecting moisture, this product is worth a serious look. It’s waterproof, and it’s rated for protection against dust. For easy portability, it features a protective belt hook.

The device uses two AAA batteries, unlike some models that use four AAA batteries or a 9-Volt battery. This allows for lighter weight, but fewer batteries will need to be changed in the middle of a work day.

6. SAM-PRO Dual Moisture Meter 2.0: Upgraded LCD Color Display & Flashlight

Our rating: 8 / 10

SAM-PRO Dual Moisture Meter 2.0: Upgraded LCD Color Display & Flashlight

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Pros:

  • Uncommon usage modes – it offers moisture and temperature readings for both wood and concrete
  • Faster readings and faster response time
  • Relatively easy to use

In terms of exceptional performance, the SAM-PRO Dual Moisture Meter 2.0 is one of the most efficient moisture meters. You can use it to measure moisture levels in four different materials – wood, drywall, concrete, and carpet. It estimates levels with the help of a more sophisticated and accurate sensor.

The design of this moisture meter makes it a versatile tool to keep at home or in your car for potential emergency situations. You can take a reading by simply pointing the device in the direction of the target material. This saves you time and energy. Thanks to the backlit LCD color screen and the flashlight, you can even take readings in the dark. You can store as many as 20 readings on the memory for future reference.

What’s more? You can also take temperature readings in four different modes – C, F, Celsius, and K. The 2.0 version is a lot faster and more responsive than the previous versions.

7. Digital Moisture Meter

Our rating: 8 / 10

Digital Moisture Meter

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Pros:

  • The device supports 7 modes of measurements and is 100% manual calibration
  • The device is protected by a hardened glass screen and its display light is also LED-illuminated
  • It’s powered by two AAA batteries at all times
  • It’s equipped with a built-in retractable pin, and supports professional ratings of 12
  • It’s also a portable device
  • It’s very easy to use, it also has an on/off button
  • The device thoroughly examines the moisture to ensure optimum levels
  • It’s ideal for wood, drywall, basements, crawlspaces and exterior walls
  • Its display screen is backlit
  • The pin/point type is light in weight; therefore, it’s very easy to carry around

Cons:

  • The batteries drain fast
  • The moisture meter’s display screen offers no protection whatsoever
  • The device also offers no point of laser accuracy whatsoever; in other terms, it’s not really accurate
  • There’s no sunlight, heat, or water protection either

8. Pinless Wood Moisture Meter

Our rating: 8 / 10

Pinless Wood Moisture Meter

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Pros:

  • Accurate and easy to use
  • Resistant to damage
  • Great for both professionals and home owners
  • Withstands water

Cons:

  • A bit bulky
  • Not for professional carpenters

The Dr.meter Upgraded Inductive Pinless Tools, Intelligent Wood Moisture Meter, Digital Moisture Meter for Wood, is one of the best moisture meters for wood that you can find for a decent price. It has a large digital display for convenience, and weighs just 0.65 pounds. It is small and compact so you can easily take it around and measuring different materials all around your house.

Digital moisture meters are easier to use and more effective than analog ones. They contain a small sensor that detects moisture in the wood in order to measure them. The probes attached to the sensor must be connected to the meter so that the readings could be obtained with ease. It is extremely easy to set up for use and simple to use. No batteries are required to use this piece of equipment.

9. Lignomat Moisture Meter Mini-Ligno E/D

Our rating: 8 / 10

Lignomat Moisture Meter Mini-Ligno E/D

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Pros:

  • Very pocket friendly
  • Easy to read display
  • Accurate to 1%
  • Ideal for small residential spaces
  • Includes 9V battery

Cons:

  • Range may be limited in bigger spaces
  • Will require regular calibration

Our list wouldn’t be complete without something to measure the moisture in your indoor environment. The Lignomat mini-ligno E/D moisture meter is a great option to choose for indoor and outdoor projects alike. This device can measure soil humidity up to a depth of 1m, humidity between 10% and 99%, as well as the presence of free moisture in the air.

This moisture meter comes with a 9V battery and has an accuracy of +/- 1%, which is very good for the price you pay. It’s also pocket-sized and extremely convenient to take with you when you go on household inspections. It can be used on various surfaces, and the readings can be easily read from the large LED display on the front.

Bottom line: Though this device may not seem that accurate, it’s certainly long-lasting and accurate enough if you plan to use it on a regular basis.

10. Extech MO55

Our rating: 7 / 10

Extech MO55

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Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Instant readings
  • Pinless – saves money
  • Affordable price point
  • Great for a variety of weather conditions
  • Pin/pinless options

Cons:

  • Cannot detect water leaks
  • Takes up to 30 seconds to shut down between measurements
  • Audible sound might be a nuisance if you are using it at night settings

If you're looking for the best moisture meter on the market, we highly recommend the Extech MO55. It's a well-designed moisture meter that's perfect for homeowners, contractors, and home inspectors.

This pin/pinless moisture meter is perfect for use in your basement, attic, walls, concrete, and crawl spaces. You can use it to determine when it's the best time to do a hem test. It also allows you to locate any potential water damage at your home.

There are separate pins for wood and metal measuring, so you'll know the moisture readings of both types of surfaces. The Extech moisture meter includes a storage case for easier storage.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do moisture meters really work?

Moisture meters always work if they are properly used. Moisture sensors measure variations in the capacitance of a circuit, which is brought about by the moisture content in a material. You must always test your material before you start the construction process just to make sure that it is safe for use.

This moisture meter only works effectively with wood. You cannot use it on other materials. If you wish to use it on other materials, it is advisable that you check the compatibility of this moisture meter with your chosen material.

What is the best moisture meter for drywall?

It is clear that the last thing you want to see when you are working on some project is a hole in the wall. To prevent this from occurring, you will need a moisture meter. These are very useful because they will let you know if the walls in your house have been damaged before they start to crumble.

The steps to take when testing your walls are straightforward. You will find that drywall moisture is most commonly found in old homes. These homes are prone to the damage that moisture causes. This is why it is important to use a moisture meter to test the walls in these homes.

What is an acceptable moisture readings?

As a rule of thumb, a moisture meter should be used to check for moisture in wood products. For concrete, the moisture meter should be used to check for dampness. Any readings that fall in the range of 10% to 15% are acceptable.

Concrete is usually ordered in 10-foot long sections. These are shipped one at a time to the site of use.

Wooden forms are usually ordered in 8-foot sections and sometimes in 4 feet. With wooden forms, there is always less wood framing than the amount of concrete poured.

The distance between wooden forms must be measured. It is recommended that the boards of the forms be 24 inches apart. This allows for expansion space.

Which is better pin or pinless moisture meter?

It seems as though the push of the industry is moving towards pinless moisture meters. The reason is simple; it's safer. And that's important, because, being safe, is kind of the whole point of this category of product, right?

However, the trade-off in using a pinless moisture meter is that it'll take a little more time to do your readings.

Most pinless moisture meters also have more accurate readings as well, which is an important factor to keep in mind.

Conclusion

We have been able to test several leading moisture meters and we believe that our final list of recommendations for the best moisture meters of the year are a great place to start looking.

We also believe that the best way to start your search for the best moisture meter for you is to first understand what it is for and where you can use it before you buy. So, we have included a detailed buyer’s guide to help you out.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Wood Moisture MeterBest OverallWood Moisture Meter
General Tools MMD4E Digital Moisture MeterBudget PickGeneral Tools MMD4E Digital Moisture Meter
Protimeter BLD5365 Surveymaster Dual-Function Moisture MeterUpgrade PickProtimeter BLD5365 Surveymaster Dual-Function Moisture Meter