CRITICAL FLAW ALERT!
This meter exhibits a critical flaw—namely its narrow range and inability to read below 9% moisture content for many species of wood. 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 Testo 606-1 is a pin-style wood moisture meter with a large, easy-to-read digital readout. Another attraction is that it is simple-to-use. It is designed to appeal to the budget-conscious user.
The user should keep in mind that this meter has significant limitations. Our accuracy testing indicates that the Testo 606-1 tends to underestimate the moisture content of wood. In addition, the meter has a limited range, not being able to take MC measurements below 9% for many species of wood.
- Simple-to-use with large, easy-to-read LED display
- Features data hold button
- Able to take readings for seven types of materials (wood, plaster, brick, etc.)
- Unable to take MC readings below 9% for many species of wood
- Retail price is high for what this meter offers
- MC readings for wood tend to be low
Objective Evaluation – Overall Score 3.9 out of 5.0
Accuracy – 3.4 out of 5.0
This meter provided reasonably accurate readings above 9% MC when compared to ASTM D4442 oven dry standards, although the readings tended to be low. Below 9% MC, the meter is not designed to take readings for many species of wood.
Learn about our accuracy test procedures
Surface Moisture – 1.0 out of 5.0
Surface moisture caused this meter to post readings more than 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 questionable readings.
Learn about our surface moisture test procedures
Meter Temperature – 5.0 out of 5.0
Meter temperature had some effect on this meter’s MC readings, but only at high MC. A low-temperature reading of 34.8 degrees F in the presence of high MC increased the reading by about 0.5%. A high-temperature reading of 110 degrees F in the presence of high MC decreased the reading by about 0.5%.
Learn about our meter temperature test procedures
Wood Temperature – 4.3 out of 5.0
Wood temperature affected this meter’s readings, especially at high MC.
A low wood temperature of 33.6° F in the presence of low MC showed a slight decrease in the reading when compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading changed by almost 3%.
A high wood temperature of 110° F in the presence of low MC showed an increase in the reading of almost 1% when compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading decreased by about 4%.
Learn about our wood temperature test procedures
Reading repeatability – 4.0 out of 5.0
The readings of this meter were not entirely repeatable, showing some tendency to vary.
Learn about our repeatability testing procedures
Drift – 4.0 out of 5.0
Readings for this meter showed a small degree of tendency to drift, with readings that were slightly lower after three seconds.
Cable Interference – N/A
This meter does not offer cabled accessories so the cable interference test could not be conducted.
Learn about our cable interference and drift testing procedures
Subjective Evaluation – Overall Score 3.0 out of 5.0
Learn about our subjective testing procedures
Ease of Use – 2.2 out of 5.0
With just three buttons (power, materials, and mode selection), this meter is simple to operate with only minimal use of the manual needed to get started. Documentation in the manual is adequate for use of the available functions. Broken pins cannot be replaced.
Quality – 3.7 out of 5.0
Given its price tag, one might expect more in terms of quality. The meter casing is basic, no carrying case is provided, and the pins are subject to bending or breakage.
Comfort – 3.5 out of 5.0
This meter has a large LCD display that is extremely easy-to-read. The meter’s shape is reasonably convenient for holding and obtaining readings. And it is small for easy transport to different job sites.
Versatility – 2.0 out of 5.0
This is a pin-style meter that has been designed for use with a variety of building materials, although it’s difficult to imagine using it with many of the available materials since the pins are prone to breakage.
Range – 2.3 out of 5.0
This meter consistently underestimates wood moisture and is unable to take moisture content readings in many different species of wood.
Features – 2.5 out of 5.0
Readings precise to the nearest 0.1%. Low battery indicator. Simple-to-use with one-button control. Offers a HOLD function for use in tight spaces where the display cannot be easily viewed.
Customer Service – 4.5 out of 5.0
Testo offers a 2-year warranty for the Testo 606-1, which is better than many meters in its price range. Testo is a German company with a customer service center in New Jersey. Response to telephone and email inquiries is fast and friendly.
However, even though the battery compartment indicates “Service + Calibration,” Testo’s service center provides neither calibration services nor repairs for the Testo 606-1.
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.