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broken cabinet doors

Unless you make sure that your cabinets are at the proper moisture content for their final destination, you may be setting yourself up for moisture-related damage.

Is it possible that, in all your efforts to make quality cabinets and please your customers, you’re missing an important step in the process?

A step that could affect the end product and your reputation?

That step is checking for moisture content.

Because wood absorbs and releases moisture to match its environment, it’s crucial that each cabinet is at the proper moisture content for its final destination. This will ensure the strength and stability of your cabinets.

Otherwise, you may be setting yourself up for moisture-damaged cabinets and unhappy customers.

But how do you avoid these frustrating scenarios?

By investing in a quality wood moisture meter that gives you accurate readings.

Want to learn more? You’re in the right place. We’ll talk more about this tool, how it can benefit you, and what to look for.

Let’s get into it!

What is a Wood Moisture Meter?

A wood moisture meter is a handheld device that measures the moisture content of wood. It can be a pin meter, which measures moisture by checking the resistance between two electrodes (pins). Or, it can be a pinless one that uses an electromagnetic sensor plate to scan the wood.

Read our moisture meters beginners guide to learn more.

Benefits of a Moisture Meter for Cabinet Manufacturers

A moisture meter is essential because it helps cabinet makers and manufacturers check that their wood is sufficiently dry before using it to build cabinets or other wood products. It also ensures that no wet spots or boards are going to destroy the final product.

Kitchen with breakfast nook

A major benefit of using a wood moisture meter is to improve quality control so you’ll enjoy high rates of customer satisfaction.

Checking for moisture will prevent many moisture-related problems before they happen. Plus, you’ll experience a host of other benefits when you use a quality wood moisture meter. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Reduce Waste

Ever ended up with a cabinet face that warped or cracked? Since you couldn’t repair it, you had to throw out the damaged wood.

But measuring the moisture content and making sure moisture levels are at the correct number will help you avoid using wet wood. And you won’t have to deal with the resulting waste!

2. Save You Time and Money

Damaged wood leads to extra material costs and time needed to make repairs.

Or, if you didn’t measure the moisture content of your wood when you bought it, you could end up with wood that is too moist to use. Then, it’ll take more time and money to dry it.

3. Improve Your Quality Control

When you use a wood moisture meter to perform regular quality checks on your products throughout the process, you’ll be able to catch issues early on. This means you could easily prevent mistakes that could lead to costly repairs or product recalls later on.

And when you deliver high-quality products, repairs and replacements are less likely. That means saving money and having a higher customer satisfaction rate.

Convinced that a moisture meter could benefit your cabinetry business? Here are some things to consider when looking to purchase.

What to Look for in a Wood Moisture Meter

A good moisture meter will be accurate and reliable, first and foremost.

If a moisture meter’s readings are off by a couple of percentage points, it could mean the difference between a quality product and a damaged product. A good meter will give you a clear idea of the actual moisture condition of a piece of wood.

pinless wood moisture meter

For cabinet manufacturing, avoid using a pin meter because it will leave unsightly holes in the wood.

On the other hand, avoid inconsistent meters that give you a wide range of readings.

Another consideration is whether to choose a pin or pinless meter.

As mentioned earlier, meters have electrodes or pins to measure moisture content. These pins have to be pressed into the wood, leaving small holes behind. With cabinet manufacturing, you’ll most likely want a meter that doesn’t do this.

That’s where pinless meters come in! Aside from being non-invasive, pinless meters also allow for a quick scan when you have many boards to check.

Some other features to look for when choosing a quality moisture meter:

  • Dual-depth readings—Some meters can switch between measuring at shallow depths and deep depths (usually ¼ inch and ¾ inch). This is particularly valuable for cabinet makers using stock thinner than ¾ inches.
  • Data storage—This feature will be handy for measuring large quantities and keeping records of all those measurements.
  • Bluetooth connection—Some meters can send data via Bluetooth to an app, allowing for easy storage and reporting.
  • A good warranty—You’ll want at least a 2-year warranty as an assurance that the company stands behind its product.

With all these features in mind, you may be wondering, what moisture meter best fits the bill?

What is the Best Brand of Wood Moisture Meter?

Our article for top wood moisture meters discusses the capabilities and features of nine leading wood moisture meters. Out of all of them, our top pick is the Wagner Meters Orion 940 Pinless Wood Moisture Meter.

Orion 940 wood moisture meter

When purchasing a wood moisture meter, always look for one that’s accurate and reliable such as our top pick, the Orion 940.

Step up Your Cabinet Manufacturing

A moisture meter is an indispensable tool for cabinet makers and manufacturers.

It’ll help you accurately measure the moisture content of wood and improve quality control so that you reduce your risk of mistakes and waste. As a result, your products will be more consistent, improving your efficiency and reputation.

You just might sell more cabinets, too.

As you invest in this tool, here’s some guidance on what to do and what not to do with a wood moisture meter.