Updated: October 12, 2016

Moisture Meter Reviews:

I first saw a moisture meter a few years back when my house was getting the home inspection done. The home inspector was using the meter to check for moisture levels in all areas of the house and even on the decking out back. Since then I have seen contractors and repairmen use them. We live in the Pacific Northwest so water damage and moisture levels can be an issue in homes. Homeowners should definitely consider owning a moisture meter as they can be very useful at times. You can find moisture meters in stores like Lowes or Home Depot, although we found the best selection online at Amazon.com. Look for top brand names like Protimeter, Tramex, Delmhorst, and Wagner. You might also see them called humidity meters or humidity sensors.
moisture meter
The video below shows a great demonstration of using a moisture meter:

Choosing a Moisture Meter

- The most common types are moisture meters for wood although concrete moisture meters are regularly seen on construction sites too. The wood moisture meter that the home inspector had at my house was a Delmhorst moisture meter and seemed pretty accurate given what we found. Some are specific, like the drywall moisture meters or those for sheetrock. The digital pin gets stuck into the drywall or wood or whatever material and gives you a readout on the moisture level. If you want a pinless moisture meter, consider the Extech MO280 which sells for $140 is a non-invasive measurement monitor for moisture. High end pinless moisture meters like the Wagner MMC220 are 'extended range' by definition and this model can scan moisture content down to .75 inches and it's accurate. We found that many of the moisture meter reviews posted online are done by those involved with timber or wood materials (sometimes even firewood). The digital moisture meters feature a display that will have colored readouts, some have alarms, and many will automatically power down after 1 to 3 minutes of non use. Look for models that have a hold reading function so you can quickly compare findings and those with an automatic calibration check are nice. The detection range varied quite a bit amongst the top sellers. The Wagner moisture meter we review measures from 5 to 30% moisture content while the Protimeter ranges from 7 to 100%. Many experts say that if the moisture content gets over 20% you need to let it dry out before doing any work - such as on decks. You can browse the best selling moisture meters online here.

Best Moisture Meter:

Since the vast majority of these products are designed for wood materials, we think the Delmhorst J-LITE 6% to 30% Pin LED Wood Moisture Meter is the best of the bunch at less than $150. Great for the home hobbyist, home inspectors, or woodworkers. The microcontroller circuit provides the accuracy and increased reliability that any owner appreciates. The hand held moisture meter has 12 LEDs on the display so reading the findings is easy and clear. The two pins will penetrate the wood surface up to 5/16 inch and if you want deeper readings, you can get the Delmhorst 26-ES which is an external electrode which connects to the unit. A carrying case with handle is included in the purchase. If wood is what you are going to measure the moisture content of, then go with the Delmhorst. View all top rated moisture meters here.

Pinless Moisture Meter:

RECOMMENDED - It's hard to go against a proven winner and the Wagner MMC220 Extended Range Moisture Meter is one worth the money. At $375 it's expensive, but owners all say it does a good of reading moisture levels. The digital display will accurately and instantly give you a readout and it measures from 5 to 30 percent moisture content at a depth of up to 3/4". You can even select a particular species of wood on the settings. Some consumers mention that the user interface could be a little better, but overall they like it. Great for cabinet makers, lumber suppliers, builders, home inspectors, architects, contractors, and wood flooring specialists. Another excellent option is the Moisture Encounter Plus Non-Destructive Moisture Meter by Tramex which sells for $330. The Tramex TR115 provides non-destructive moisture measurement of materials like drywall, bricks, wood, block, plaster, and roofing. With wood the readings are 5-30% while other materials give you a 0 to 100 comparative. It's easy to use and well like by owners.