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.
The Orion 950’s sturdy construction, its ability to accurately read MC at very low levels, its industry-leading warranty, its extra features such as dual depth and data storage, and the included calibrator all make this meter an excellent choice for most anyone seeking a highly capable pinless meter.
- Excellent accuracy at lower MC levels.
- Industry-leading seven-year warranty.
- On-Demand Calibrator offers field calibration.
- Extra features: dual depth, data recording/retrieval, Bluetooth connectivity.
- Solid construction; rubber boot and hard case make it suitable for rugged use.
- No backlight display.
Objective Evaluation – Overall Score 4.6 out of 5.0
Accuracy – 4.7 out of 5.0
This meter provided very good accuracy, especially for wood samples below 15% MC. At MC above about 14%, readings for the Douglas fir samples tended to be low when compared to ASTM D4442 oven-dry standards. For the Ponderosa pine samples, testing showed that readings tended to be somewhat high above in the high moisture MC range (at or above 20% MC) when compared to ASTM D4442 oven-dry standards.
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Meter Temperature Test – 4.5 out of 5.0
Meter temperature had a minor effect on this meter’s readings at a low meter temperature of 34.8° F. A larger effect was observed with a high meter temperature of 110° F. In the presence of low MC, the reading decreased by about 1.1% MC compared to the room temperature reading. In the presence of high MC, the reading decreased by about 2.0% MC.
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Wood Temperature – 4.5 out of 5.0
Wood temperature had an effect on this meter’s readings at high moisture content. At a low wood temperature of 33.6° F in the presence of high MC, the readings decreased about 2.0% MC when compared to the room temperature reading. At a high wood temperature of 110° F in the presence of high MC, the reading increased by about 3.5% MC when compared to the room temperature reading.
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Reading Repeatability – 5.0 out of 5.0
The readings of this meter were highly repeatable, showing very little tendency to vary.
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Drift Test – N/A
The drift test was not performed for the Orion 950. As is expected with any pinless meter, there is no observable drift in readings
Cable Interference – N/A
The cable interference test was not performed because no cable accessories are available for this meter.
Learn about our cable interference and drift testing procedures
Subjective Evaluation – Overall Score 4.6 out of 5.0
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Ease of Use – 4.4 out of 5.0
This meter requires minimal use of the manual to become familiar with how to operate it. The manual itself and the species settings booklet provide excellent documentation for resolving issues while using the Orion 950.
Quality – 5.0 out of 5.0
Sturdy, durable construction. The meter itself is unlikely to break or malfunction with normal use and comes with a protective rubber boot. The meter’s seven-year warranty, longer than what other meter manufacturers provide, speaks to its build quality.
Comfort – 4.5 out of 5.0
This meter is ergonomically-designed and fits nicely in one’s hand. It is compact enough for most shirt pockets but may be a bit heavier than one would want for that. It comes with a sturdy, foam-lined plastic case to protect the meter when transporting it from one job site to the next.
Versatility – 3.0 out of 5.0
This is a single-mode meter (pinless mode only). The Orion 950 is capable of giving relative readings in a variety of non-wood building materials.
Range – 5.0 out of 5.0
The Orion 950 reads from 4% to 32% MC. Many handheld wood moisture meters are either incapable of reading at low MC or suffer from significant inaccuracy. Not so with the Orion 950, which excels at very low MC levels.
Features – 5.0 out of 5.0
The Orion 950 is the meter with all the bells and whistles in Wagner Meters’ Orion line. Compared to the more basic Orion 910, it adds several key features that some users will find important: (1) provides both shallow (1/4”) and standard (3/4”) depth readings, (2) includes a data recording function, and (3) offers Bluetooth connectivity to pair with a mobile app for easy data storage/retrieval. The Orion 950 offers other handy features, including a hold function, an audible alarm, and a low battery alert. Most notable is the On-Demand Calibrator, which enables the user to perform his/her own calibrations in the field. This is a great feature that no other manufacturer offers.
Customer Service – 5.0 out of 5.0
Customer service appears very knowledgeable and is able to answer all the basic questions, including the cost of repair, turnaround time on repairs, etc. The representative we spoke with was pleasant and his tone of voice gave the impression he genuinely wanted to help. Fast response to both email and telephone inquiries. Manual available online.
Warranty, repairs, and calibration:
- 7-year warranty covers product defects or if device is out of calibration
- Repair comes with a 90-day warranty
- Turnaround time is 3-5 business days
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.