Wood Moisture Meter
Knowledge Center


What is a pinless wood moisture meter?
Your best friend if you want to read moisture content without damaging the surface of the wood. The pinless wood moisture meter uses an electronic sensor pad to send an electromagnetic wave into the wood to measure moisture content. There are no extra wires, caps, or sharp pins to worry about. You basically turn the unit on and take a measurement, fast and easy.
What is a pin-type moisture meter?
Pin-type wood moisture meters are particularly useful when measuring wood moisture content on irregular or bumpy surfaces. They have two pins that penetrate into the wood. The pins are electrodes that measure moisture content in the area by measuring the conductivity between the two pin electrodes. Pin-type moisture meters aren’t necessarily limited to wood. They can also be used on drywall, ceiling tiles, and painted surfaces.
How does a pinless moisture meter work?

Pinless wood moisture meters utilize a flat sensor pad to emit an electromagnetic signal wave into the wood. Moisture content is determined by how much resistance the electromagnetic wave encounters inside the wood. Wood density can also affect the wave reading so it is advisable to avoid knots when measuring wood moisture.

What is a normal reading on a moisture meter?

This is an excellent question that will allow the introduction of the term “Equilibrium Moisture Content.” Also known as “EMC”, this is a state in which the moisture content of the wood no longer gives or receives moisture from the surrounding environment. If you choose to refer to the moisture content of wood that has reached EMC as “normal”, then you can logically refer to a moisture content reading of that same sample of wood as normal. Otherwise, what is normal?

Do home inspectors use moisture meters?

You bet they do. A wood moisture meter is the home and building inspector’s best tool for finding moisture pockets in walls, floors, or other components. Wood moisture isn’t necessarily visible to the eye all the time. With an accurate wood moisture meter, an inspector can find and identify potentially damaging pockets of moisture that may contribute to structural failure or mold issues later.

Where can I download the manual and species settings booklet?
Looking to download the manual and species settings booklet? You’ve come to the right place!

Download HERE

How does a pin-type moisture meter work?

Pin-type wood moisture meters use sharp pins that act as electrodes. When inserted into the wood, they send an electrical current through the wood to each other and use the amount of electrical resistance as a measurement of wood moisture content. Electricity flows more easily and quickly through the wood as the moisture content increases. The temperature of the wood can sometimes affect readings, so many pin-type meters have temperature correction scales.

How accurate are wood moisture meters?

Wood moisture meters are about as accurate as you’re going to get unless you choose the “gold standard” of wood moisture measurement, which is the “oven-dry test.” This test weighs the wood wet and dry to compare and mathematically determine the moisture content. If you don’t have the time or inclination to bake your wood in an oven, you’ll want to choose a pin or pinless wood moisture meter that has been proven to provide results as close to the oven-dry test as possible.

What’s the difference between a pinless and pin-type moisture meter?

A pinless wood moisture meter uses a flat sensor pad to send an electromagnetic signal into the wood and translate the electrical resistance of the wood into %MC (moisture content). So, the measurement occurs as a wave that sinks into the wood. Pin-type meters, on the other hand, use sharp pin electrodes that are pushed deep into the wood. The two electrodes send an electrical current to each other and the electrical resistance of the wood between the two pins is translated into %MC. Pinless wood moisture meters that use a flat sensor surface work best when the wood measuring surface is smooth. Pin-type meters are an advantage when measuring MC in wood that has an uneven or bumpy surface.

Can moisture meters detect mold?

Undoubtedly, there will come a time when an enterprising start-up produces a device that reads wood moisture content as well as surface and airborne mold levels, but the reality is that you are more likely to find products that choose to develop either wood moisture measurement or mold detection to perfection. Unless there is an amazing new product out there that combines the two, it’s probably best to find the best device in each category.

Are moisture meters accurate for drywall?

Pin-type meters and pinless wood moisture meters can read moisture content inside of drywall if they feature a calibrating mechanism or setting that adjusts the meter to the density of drywall. In the same way that pinless wood moisture meters must be calibrated or adjusted to measure different wood species with varying densities, they are also adjusted to account for the unique density of drywall.

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