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GE Surveymaster
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An updated version of this meter is now available.
GE Surveymaster At-A-Glance
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 Protimeter Surveymaster comes with several probe accessories and features two modes of operation. One is a search (pinless) mode that quickly scans samples and provides a relative reading using a capacitive-coupled sensor. The other is a measurement (pin) mode that provides moisture content readings using two pins inserted into the sample.

The Surveymaster is designed for use on wood, wood floors, and a variety of other building materials. Moisture levels are displayed digitally and synchronized with a color-coded LED scale that provides a quick visual check of moisture condition.

Despite issues related to quality, this meter’s dual modes of operation may make it worth considering for some applications.


  • Two modes of operation: search and measure
  • Comes with calibration check device
  • Audible and visual alarm
  • Color LED indicator in search mode gives quick visual feedback


  • Supplied pins tend to break easily
  • Wiring problems in both the meter and its accessories
  • Adjusting for species and temperature requires using tables
  • Surface moisture significantly affects readings

BLD5055 Hammer Probe

Picture of the Protimeter Surveymaster BLD5055 hammer probe

Surveymaster Push Cable

Black Protimeter Surveymaster wood moisture meter push cable with pins

Objective Evaluation – Overall Score 3.8 out of 5.0

Protimeter Surveymaster Objective

Accuracy – 3.9 out of 5.0

This meter showed reasonable accuracy from 7% through 20%. It does not have the capability to measure below 7%. As moisture content increased above 20%, accuracy fell off when compared to ASTM D-4442 oven dry standards.

GE Surveymaster Accuracy Graph

Learn about our accuracy test procedures

Surface Moisture – 1.0 out of 5.0

Surface moisture had a significant effect on this meter’s reading, increasing the reading 11.1% above the baseline. These results indicate that operating this meter in high humidity environments where condensation may form on the surface could lead to questionable readings.

GE Surveymaster Surface Moisture

Learn about our surface moisture test procedures

Meter Temperature – 4.3 out of 5.0

Meter temperature had an effect on this meter’s readings, especially when the moisture content of the wood was low.

A low meter temperature of 34.8° F in the presence of low MC increased the reading by 2% when compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading decreased by only 0.4%.

A high meter temperature of 110° F in the presence of low MC increased the reading by 1.6% compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading decreased by 0.4%.


Learn about our meter temperature test procedures

Wood Temperature – 4.0 out of 5.0

Wood temperature had an effect on this meter’s readings, especially at lower temperatures.

A low wood temperature of 33.6° F in the presence of low MC increased the reading 2.3% when compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading decreased by 2%.

A high wood temperature of 110° F in the presence of low MC increased the reading 0.8% above the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading increased by only 0.7%.

GE Surveymaster wood temperature test

Learn about our wood temperature test procedures 

Reading Repeatability – 4.0 out of 5.0

This meter demonstrated reasonable repeatability in its MC readings.

GE Surveymaster Reading Repeatability

Learn about our repeatability testing procedures 

Drift – 4.0 out of 5.0

This meter showed a small drift of 0.2% after three seconds.


Cable Interference – N/A

The cable interference test can only be performed when the meter’s cabled accessories are being used. Refer to the review for the GE Surveymaster hammer probe for the results of the cable interference test.


Learn about our cable interference and drift testing procedures

Subjective Evaluation – Overall Score 3.1 out of 5.0

Subjective test summary results for the Protimeter Surveymaster moisture meter, earning a subjective score of 62%

Learn about our subjective testing procedures

Ease of Use – 2.8 out of 5.0

With only two buttons to push, this meter is fairly simple to operate. Little use of the manual is needed to get started. Documentation in the manual is clear and easy to understand. Adjusting readings for high or low wood temperature must be done by hand as there is no table provided in the manual.

Quality – 3.0 out of 5.0

Although this meter appears to be solidly built, we found some issues with quality during our testing, including problems with pin durability and with internal wiring in both the meter and the hammer probe.

Comfort – 4.0 out of 5.0

Ergonomically designed to fit nicely in one’s hand, this meter is also compact and fits easily in a shirt or jacket pocket.

Versatility – 2.0 out of 5.0

The Surveymaster features two modes (pin and pinless) for detecting and measuring moisture. Species adjustments must be made using a table supplied with the meter. The LCD display has to be viewed upside down when pins are inserted into wood samples, which can be inconvenient when working in tight spaces.

Range – 2.3 out of 5.0

The Surveymaster reads from 7% to 30% on wood. It is not capable of taking measurements when moisture levels are low.

Features – 3.2 out of 5.0

Readings are precise to the nearest 0.1%. Features a low battery indicator, both audible and visual alarms, and a calibration check accessory. Lacks a HOLD function that would be handy when working in tight spaces.

Customer Service – 4.5 out of 5.0

Customer service appears knowledgeable and is able to answer all the basic questions, including the cost of repair, turnaround time on repairs, etc. Warranty is one year. Fast response time to both telephone and email inquiries. Manual available online.

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.