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If you’re planning to buy a wood moisture meter for woodworking, flooring installation, or any other type of work with wood, this article is intended to help you make a smart, informed buying decision. It provides an objective review and comparison of the top-rated wood moisture meters on the market for 2020.

The nine meters presented are listed from lowest ranking to highest. The percentage score to the right of each brand is the overall score, which is based on the meter’s Objective Evaluation, Subjective Evaluation, and Accuracy.

Several brands were not recommended for purchase with the main reasons being poor accuracy or the fact that their meters were not useful for measuring wood with low moisture content (MC) levels. These brands include: Amprobe, CEM, Electrophysics, Extech, Protimeter, General, Moistec, Moisture Register Products, Sonin, Testo, Timber Check, and Tramex.

Best Moisture Meters for Wood

Click on the image or moisture meter name to read more about meter accuracy, tests, and more details.

Here are the top-rated meters with a short description, their pros and cons, and overall score:

Delmhorst J-4 Pin Analog Wood Moisture Meter

9. Delmhorst J-4 Pin Analog Wood Moisture Meter (Overall Score: 76%)

The Delmhorst J-4 analog pin meter can be used to measure MC in wood and other building materials. Its cons include questionable pin durability, few extra features, inability to read moisture below 6%, skewed readings from surface moisture, and its pins can damage wood surfaces. Pros include better accuracy than most other meters, built-in calibration check, easy 2-button operation, and ergonomic design. MC range: 6% to 30%.

Delmhorst BD-2100 Digital Pin Wood and Sheetrock Moisture Meter

8. Delmhorst BD-2100 Digital Pin Wood and Sheetrock Moisture Meter (Overall Score: 75%)

The Delmhorst BD-2100 digital pin meter can be used to measure wood, sheetrock, and other building materials. Its cons include questionable pin durability, inability to read moisture below 6%, somewhat lower readings than actual moisture content, skewed readings from surface moisture, and its pins can damage wood surfaces. Pros include its use with many types of building materials, built-in calibration check, an audible alarm to signal readings above a selected value, and capability of storing and averaging up to 100 readings. MC range: 6% to 40%.

Lignomat Scanner S/D Moisture Meter

7. Lignomat Scanner S/D Moisture Meter (Overall Score: 81%)

The Lignomat Scanner S/D pinless, capacitance meter measures moisture in wood and other building materials such as laminates and sheetrock at two depths: ¼ inch or ¾ inch. Its cons include the fact that surface moisture significantly affects readings, accuracy decreases when moisture content exceeds 18%, and for some wood species, moisture readings only go down to 6.8% after adjusting for specific gravity. Pros include two possible measuring depths; the meter is lightweight, compact and comfortable to hold as well as fast and easy to use; won’t damage wood surfaces; and it comes with a 2-year warranty, including all repairs.

Lignomat VersaTec Moisture Meter

6. Lignomat VersaTec Moisture Meter (Overall Score: 82%)

The Lignomat VersaTec with its advanced microprocessor technology offers three modes: pin mode, scan mode (pinless) with selectable measuring depths, and a relative humidity (RH) mode that measures temperature and RH. Its cons include the fact that surface moisture significantly affects readings; readings for some wood species only go down to 6.8% after adjusting for specific gravity; and the hammer probe cable accessory is not always reliable, while pins are prone to breakage. Pros include versatility – 3 modes of operation plus built-in adjustments for different wood species, bamboo, sheetrock, and a reference scale for concrete and other building materials; reasonable accuracy, especially in the 5% to 15% range; and an internal calibration check.

Lignomat Scanner D Moisture

5. Lignomat Scanner D Moisture (Overall Score: 82%)

The Lignomat Scanner D is a pinless, capacitance-type meter capable of reading moisture in wood, bamboo, and other building materials. Its cons include the fact that it is less accurate at higher MC levels (above 20%), surface moisture significantly affects accuracy of readings, and low/high wood temperatures affect readings when MC is high. Pros include accurate readings when MC is in the 5% to 15% range; built-in species correction and HOLD function; designed for measurements with wood, bamboo, and other building materials; won’t damage wood surfaces; and comes with a 2-year warranty, including repairs.

Wagner Meters Orion 950 Moisture Meter

4. Wagner Meters Orion 950 Moisture Meter (Overall Score: 90%)

The Wagner Meters Orion 950 is a pinless meter that can be used for measuring moisture in wood and other building materials. Its rugged build should stand up well to extended use, and its simple, intuitive design makes it easy to use. We like that the Orion 950 is capable of taking accurate readings down to 4% MC. We also like its extra features such as its ability to take dual-depth readings. It also offers Bluetooth® connectivity for use with a mobile app for storing/retrieving data. As with every meter in the Orion line by Wagner Meters, the 950 comes with an On-Demand Calibrator, which means the user can do his/her own calibrations. This is a feature no other manufacturer offers.

Wagner Meters Orion 910 Moisture Meter

3. Wagner Meters Orion 910 Moisture Meter (Overall Score: 91%)

The Wagner Meters Orion 910 is a pinless meter that can be used for measuring moisture in wood and other building materials. Its rugged build should stand up well to extended use, and the simple, intuitive design makes it easy to use. We like that the Orion 910 is capable of taking accurate readings down to 4% MC. As with every meter in the Orion line by Wagner Meters, the 910 comes with an On-Demand Calibrator, which means the user can do his/her own calibrations. This is a feature no other manufacturer offers.

Wagner Meters Orion 930 Moisture Meter

2. Wagner Meters Orion 930 Moisture Meter (Overall Score: 91%)

The Wagner Meters Orion 930 is a pinless meter that can be used for measuring moisture in wood and other building materials. Its rugged build should stand up well to extended use, plus the simple, intuitive design makes it easy to use. We like that the Orion 930 is capable of taking accurate readings down to 4% MC. We also like its dual-depth feature for getting readings at two different depths in the wood. As with every meter in the Orion line by Wagner Meters, the 930 comes with an On-Demand Calibrator, which means the user can do his/her own calibrations. This is a feature no other manufacturer offers.

Wagner Meters Orion 940 Wood Moisture Meter

1. Wagner Meters Orion 940 Wood Moisture Meter (Overall Score: 92%)

The Wagner Meters Orion 940 is a pinless meter that can be used for measuring moisture in wood and other building materials. Its rugged build should stand up well to extended use, and the simple, intuitive design makes it easy to use. We like that the Orion 940 is capable of taking accurate readings down to 4% MC. We also like its extra features such as the ability to take dual-depth readings. As with every meter in the Orion line by Wagner Meters, the 940 comes with an On-Demand Calibrator, which means the user can do his/her own calibrations. This is a feature no other manufacturer offers.

What is the best moisture meter?

Our choice for the best handheld moisture meter is any of the meters in the Orion line by Wagner Meters.