The Tramex Moisture Encounter Plus (M.E.P.) is a pinless meter employing analog technology and is capable of detecting moisture up to 1¼ inch deep without damage to the surface of the material.
It offers a range of 5% to 30% for wood, and 0-100 relative scale for other materials. This meter offers several useful features, including a HOLD function to “freeze” the reading until the display can be viewed, automatic timed cutoff, and an audible alarm.
It can be used with a variety of building materials: wood, plaster, tile, drywall, roofing, and brick.
The Tramex Moisture Encounter Plus (M.E.P.) is less accurate than most other wood moisture meters that we tested. Given its problems with accuracy, this meter is not recommended.
- Measurement ranges from 5% to 30% moisture content
- Detects moisture more than one inch into the wood or other material
- Capable of measuring moisture for a variety of building materials
- Useful features: HOLD function, audible alarm
- Meter is not very accurate; its moisture readings tend to run high
- Surface moisture significantly affects readings
- Placement of one’s hand while taking measurements may interfere with readings
- Must adjust for specific gravity using a table in the manual
Objective Evaluation – Overall Score 4.2 out of 5.0
Accuracy – 2.9 out of 5.0
When compared to ASTM D-4442 oven dry measurements, this meter had mostly inaccurate readings. Nearly all of the readings, at all moisture content (MC) levels, were significantly higher than the baseline.
Learn about our accuracy test procedures
Surface Moisture – 1.0 out of 5.0
The surface moisture test for this meter showed a significant increase of 4.5% MC compared to baseline readings. The 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 a small effect on this meter’s MC readings.
A low meter temperature of 34.8° F in the presence of low MC had no effect on the reading when compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, however, the reading decreased 2%.
A high meter temperature of 110° F in the presence of low MC increased the reading by 1% when compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the high meter temperature had no effect on the reading.
Learn about our meter temperature test procedures
Wood Temperature – 4.0 out of 5.0
Wood temperature had a small effect on this meter’s readings.
A low wood temperature of 33.6° F in the presence of low MC showed a decrease of 1% from the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading decreased by 3%.
A high wood temperature of 110° F in the presence of low MC showed no difference from the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading increased by 2%.
Learn about our wood temperature test procedures
Reading Repeatability – 5.0 out of 5.0
This meter showed consistent, repeatable MC readings through five consecutive readings.
Learn about our repeatability testing procedures
Drift – 5.0 out of 5.0
This meter showed no drift in its reading after 3 seconds.
Cable Interference – N/A
Because the Tramex M.E.P. is pin-less and has no cable accessory, the cable interference test could not be performed for this meter.
Learn about our cable interference and drift testing procedures
Subjective Evaluation – Overall Score 3.5 out of 5.0
Learn about our subjective testing procedures
Ease of Use – 3.8 out of 5.0
One of the most intuitive meters to use that we tested, with little or no use of the manual necessary to get started. Documentation in the manual is clear and easy to understand. Battery installation requires the use of a screwdriver or another tool.
Quality – 4.3 out of 5.0
Manufactured in Ireland. This meter has a solid, durable feel to it, and appears unlikely to malfunction or break with normal use.
Comfort – 2.5 out of 5.0
A larger meter than most. Unlike many of the meters we tested, it does not readily fit into a pocket. Using the supplied soft case, it can still be attached to a belt for easy transport. Large, color-coded analog display, but not as quick and easy to read as most digital meters.
Versatility – 2.0 out of 5.0
This is a single-mode meter (pinless), which is typical. It does not have the capability of programming species settings to adjust for specific gravity; one must use the table in the manual to make species adjustments.
Range – 5.0 out of 5.0
Provides a moisture content range of 5% to 30% for wood. Provides very low moisture content readings down to 5%, which is useful for most woodworkers.
Features – 2.8 out of 5.0
Readings precise to about 0.5% using the analog display. Lacks a low battery indicator. Pinless moisture detection technology penetrates up to 1¼ inches without damaging the surface. Features three different scales, depending on the material to be tested. Also features a HOLD function which “freezes” the reading until the meter face can be viewed, an audible alarm, an automatic cutoff when not in use, and automatic default to the last user setting when switched back on.
Customer Service – 4.0 out of 5.0
Customer service is able to provide basic information about repairs and calibration. Fast email response time but slower telephone response time to inquiries than with many other manufacturers. Manual available online.
Warranty, repairs, and calibration:
- 1-year warranty covers parts & labor for malfunctions, but not for damage due to dropping the meter
- A technician needs to examine the meter before quoting a repair price
- If the meter cannot be repaired at their Colorado service facility, it is sent to the factory
- Normal turnaround time is 7 days plus shipping; if it goes to the factory, turnaround time is 10 days plus shipping
- Customer pays to ship both ways
- Warranty period for repairs is 90 days for parts and labor; no warranty for meter recalibration
- Tramex sells a tool to check calibration, but this tool is not capable of recalibrating the meter
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.