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 2018.

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.

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

Best Moisture Meters

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%.

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%.

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.

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.

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.

4. Wagner Meters MMC205 Shopline Pinless Digital Wood Moisture Meter (Overall Score: 84%)
Wagner Meters’ MMC205 Shopline is a pinless digital wood moisture meter that won’t damage the wood surface. Its cons include no backlight display or alarm, precision only to the nearest 1%, measures moisture in common softwoods and hardwoods with only a standard specific gravity, and unable to measure MC above 20%. Pros include very accurate measurements in the 5% to 17% range; minimal interference from surface moisture due to IntelliSense™ technology; fast, simple, and very easy to use with one-button control; comes with a 7-year manufacturer’s warranty and exceptional customer service. MC Range: 5% to 20%.

3. Wagner Meters MMC210 Proline Pinless Digital Wood Moisture Meter (Overall Score: 89%)
Wagner Meters’ MMC210 is a pinless meter that won’t damage wood surfaces, one of the most accurate meters tested for measuring moisture in different woods, and well-constructed. Its cons include no backlight display, no audible or visual alarm, and is equipped with species adjustment for standard specific gravity only. Pros include its exceptional accuracy; minimal interference from surface moisture due to its IntelliSense™ technology; simple, easy-to-use controls; offers a HOLD function which “freezes readings until the display can be viewed; and comes with a 7-year manufacturer’s warranty and exceptional customer service. MC Range: 5% to 32%.

2. Wagner Meters MMC220 Moisture Meter (Overall Score: 89%)
Wagner Meter’s MMC220 is a pinless meter that won’t damage wood surfaces, one of the most accurate meters tested for measuring moisture in different woods, and well-constructed. Its cons include no backlight display and no audible or visual alarm. Pros include exceptional accuracy; minimal interference from surface moisture due to its IntelliSense™ technology; provides programmable adjustments for an extensive range of wood species, including softwoods, hardwoods, and tropical woods; offers a HOLD function which “freezes” readings until the display can be viewed; and comes with a 7-year manufacturer’s warranty and exceptional customer service. MC Range: 5% to 32%.

1. Wagner Meters MMI1100 Pinless Datalogger Wood Moisture Meter (Overall Score: 91%)
Wagner Meters’ MMI1100 is a pinless meter that won’t damage wood surfaces, one of the most accurate meters tested for measuring moisture in different woods, and well-constructed. Its cons include no backlight display and no audible or visual alarm. Pros include exceptional accuracy; minimal interference from surface moisture due to its IntelliSense™ technology; stores up to 50 readings while displaying the high, low, and average of the stored readings; offers an extended range of specific gravity adjustments; and comes with a 7-year manufacturer’s warranty and exceptional customer service. MC Range: 5% to 32%.