As with all pin meters, it can be very difficult to insert the pins far enough into hardwoods to obtain accurate readings. Attempting to do so often results in bent or broken pins. Also, short pins will not reach far enough towards the center of thicker slabs where higher moisture is found. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, boards should be read at a depth of one-fourth to one-fifth of its thickness.
The Delmhorst J-LITE is a pin-type meter with a unique LED display that can be used for measuring moisture in wood and other building materials. This meter’s two-button operation makes it very intuitive to use. Its rugged build should stand up well to a lot of use. Due to readings that are only precise to the nearest 2-3% MC, this meter would not be a good choice for users requiring greater precision. Accuracy test results indicate that this meter has some limits. Most notably, readings tended to be high when MC falls below 8% MC. In addition, the J-LITE does not maintain its accuracy when surface moisture is present.
Even though this meter offers readings that are precise only to the nearest 2-3% MC, which may limit its suitability for some types of applications, it is still intuitive and easy to use, plus its sturdy construction makes it a reasonable choice for many applications where a pin-type meter is preferred.
- Intuitive, easy-to-use.
- Capable of being used with a variety of building materials.
- Built-in calibration check.
- Ergonomically designed with sturdy construction.
- Readings precise only to the nearest 2-3% MC.
- Issues with accuracy below 8%.
- Questionable pin durability.
- Range does not extend below 6%.
- Surface moisture affects readings.
Objective Evaluation – Overall Score 2.4 out of 5.0
Accuracy – 3.9 out of 5.0
This meter provided reasonable accuracy, although it tended to give high readings below 8% MC when compared to ASTM D4442 oven-dry standards. In addition, above 10% MC, there was a tendency for readings to be somewhat low for Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir samples, when compared to ASTM D4442 standards.
Learn about our accuracy test procedures
Surface Moisture – 1.0 out of 5.0
Surface moisture caused this meter to post readings about 10% higher than the baseline. These surface moisture results indicate that operating this meter in high humidity environments where condensation may form on the surface could lead to highly questionable readings.
Learn about our surface moisture test procedures
Meter Temperature Test – 3.5 out of 5.0
Meter temperature had an effect on this meter’s readings at both low MC and high MC. For example, a high meter temperature of 110° F in the presence of low MC decreased the reading by about 2% MC compared to the room temperature reading. A low meter temperature of 34.8° F in the presence of either low or high MC decreased the reading by about 1% MC.
Learn about our meter temperature test procedures
Wood Temperature Test – 1.5 out of 5.0
Wood temperature affected this meter’s readings significantly, especially at high MC. At a low wood temperature of 33.6° F in the presence of high MC, the reading changed about 3% MC when compared to the room temperature reading. At a high wood temperature of 110° F In the presence of high MC, the reading increased by about 10% MC.
Learn about our wood temperature test procedures
Reading Repeatability – 1.0 out of 5.0
The readings of this meter were not repeatable, showing a significant tendency to vary.
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Drift Test – 5.0 out of 5.0
Readings for this meter showed no tendency to drift after about 3 seconds.
Cable Interference – N/A
The cable interference test was not conducted for this meter.
Learn about our cable interference and drift testing procedures
Subjective Evaluation – Overall Score 3.3 out of 5.0
Learn about our subjective testing procedures
Ease of Use – 3.8 out of 5.0
This meter is intuitive to use. Little or no use of the manual is needed to operate it. The manual itself provides excellent documentation for resolving issues while using the J-LITE.
Quality – 4.3 out of 5.0
Sturdy, durable construction. The meter itself is unlikely to break or malfunction with normal use. However, pin durability could have been better as we experienced problems with pin breakage during our testing.
Comfort – 3.5 out of 5.0
With an ergonomically-designed shape, this meter fits nicely in one’s hand. It is not compact enough to fit easily into a shirt pocket, but it does come with a sturdy case to protect the meter when transporting it from one job site to the next.
Versatility – 1.0 out of 5.0
This is a single-mode meter (pin), which is typical. Readings on the display must be viewed upside down, which is not convenient. Capable of giving relative readings in a variety of non-wood building materials.
Range – 3.7 out of 5.0
The J-LITE reads from 6% to 30% MC. It is not capable of taking measurements at very low moisture levels below 6% plus readings below 8% MC tend to be high
Features – 1.7 out of 5.0
Readings using the unique LED display are precise only to the nearest 2-3%. Includes a built-in calibration check, but not a lot of other features. Lacks a HOLD function and low battery indicator.
Customer Service – 5.0 out of 5.0
Delmhorst’s customer service was knowledgeable, helpful and polite. The representative was able to answer all the basic questions about repairs, returns, etc. Fast response to both telephone and email inquiries. Manual available online.
Warranty and Repair Information:
- Three-year warranty on this Delmhorst meter, and a 90-day warranty for optional electrodes.
- The meter must be physically inspected before the actual repair cost can be determined.
- 3-5 business day turnaround on repairs.
Our review is based on Moisture Meter Experts independent evaluation of the meter, which was purchased by Moisture Meter Experts or provided free of charge by the manufacturer. By purchasing this meter through the links above, Moisture Meter Experts may be compensated either by your purchase directly from Moisture Meter Experts or from commissions from an affiliate. View our Review Procedures section to learn more about our proprietary evaluation procedure and expertise in the field of moisture meters.