CRITICAL FLAW ALERT!
This meter exhibits a critical flaw—namely its inability to read below 7% moisture content. This flaw renders the meter essentially unusable for a number of common applications, including for flooring installations and furniture making. We deducted one star from our overall rating to reflect this critical flaw.
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 Timbermaster is a conductivity moisture meter specifically designed for the wood products industry.
Moisture measurements can be taken using either the integral electrode pins or the meter in combination with a hammer probe, a moisture probe, and/or a temperature probe that automatically adjust the moisture reading for temperature.
This meter is ergonomically designed, includes scales for adjusting for species, and is reasonably accurate across most of its range.
However, because of some quality-related issues and the inability to take measurements at low moisture content (MC) below 7%, this meter is not recommended.
- Built-in scales for species adjustment
- Accurate up to 25% MC
- Ergonomically designed
- Readings adjust for temperature automatically using an accessory probe
- Not capable of taking measurements when MC is less than 7%
- Questionable quality
- Surface moisture significantly affects results
- Does not provide consistent, repeatable measurements
Protimeter Timbermaster Hammer Electrode
The Protimeter Timbermaster’s hammer electrode is one of the accessories available for the Timbermaster meter. We tested it too.
Objective Evaluation – Overall Score 3.8 out of 5.0
Accuracy – 4.1 out 5.0
This meter’s readings are reasonably accurate from 7% to 25% when compared to ASTM D-4442 oven dry standards. The meter is not capable of measuring MC below 7%. Accuracy begins to diminish above 25%.
Learn about our accuracy test procedures
Surface Moisture – 1.0 out of 5.0
In the presence of surface moisture, this meter’s reading increased 10% from 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.
Learn about our surface moisture test procedures
Meter Temperature – 4.7 out of 5.0
Meter temperature had a small effect on this meter’s readings.
At a low meter temperature of 34.8° F in the presence of low MC, the reading increased only 0.1% compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading dropped 0.2%.
A high meter temperature of 110° F in the presence of low MC decreased the reading by 1.1% compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading increased by 0.6%.
Learn about our meter temperature test procedures
Wood Temperature – 4.7 out of 5.0
Wood temperature had only a slight effect on this meter’s readings.
A low wood temperature of 33.6° F in the presence of low MC increased the reading by 0.9% compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading dropped 0.3%.
A high wood temperature of 110° F in the presence of low MC decreased the reading 0.3% compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading decreased by 0.3%.
Learn about our wood temperature test procedures
Reading Repeatability – 1.0 out of 5.0
This meter failed to consistently repeat readings during the testing.
Learn about our repeatability testing procedures
Drift – 4.0 out of 5.0
This meter showed a slight drift in readings after three seconds.
Cable Interference – N/A
The cable interference test cannot be performed except when the cabled accessories for this meter are used. Refer to the Protimeter Timbermaster hammer probe review for the cable interference test results.
Learn about our cable interference and drift testing procedures
Subjective Evaluation – Overall Score 3.2 out of 5.0
Learn about our subjective testing procedures
Ease of Use – 2.8 out of 5.0
With only two buttons to push, this meter is simple to operate. Documentation in the manual is adequate but not as clear and easy to understand as one would prefer.
Quality – 3.0 out of 5.0
At first glance, this meter appears to be solid and built to last. However, we found some issues that call into question the quality of this meter. During testing, the inside screws that hold the wire connection to the pins came loose and caused inaccurate readings. Similar issues occurred while using the optional hammer electrode and other accessories. Testing could not be performed using the heavy duty moisture probe because it became too dull and the tip of one of the non-replaceable pins broke off.
Comfort – 5.0 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. Large, easy-to-read display.
Versatility – 2.0 out of 5.0
This is a single-mode meter (pin), which is typical. Capable of internal species correction using eight built-in scales for wood species. The display must be viewed upside down when pins are inserted into the wood. This makes it difficult to use the meter in tight spaces.
Range – 2.3 out of 5.0
This meter reads from 7% to 30%. It is not capable of taking measurements of wood samples with a very low moisture content below 7%.
Features – 2.8 out of 5.0
Readings precise to the nearest 0.1%. Low battery indicator. No HOLD function. Includes plug-ins for optional accessories including a hammer, moisture, and temperature probes, and a calibration check device.
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.