Moisture meter

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Review by Salmo posted 09-28-2012 01:07 AM 6685 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Moisture meter No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Went into a newly opened Harbor Freight store in Florida and while cruising around I came across the Pittsburgh Digital Mini Moisture Meter (item67143). Wasn’t looking for one but when I saw this and the price I figured what the heck…go for it.
I’m glad I did because it really works and now I won’t touch a piece of wood for turning until I check the content first. I was actually quite surprised at how high the moisture was in some of my wood. Having read the comparative test in the first review I’m even happier I bought it. When I go back next spring I’ll loikely get some for friends….can’t go wrong with that price. BTW it also does it for C or F, has a “Hard Material Mode and measure “Environmental temperature”. The readout is clear as well.
Another excellent buy was a huge “micrometer” that measure up to 24”. It’s pretty darned accurate as well.

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6 posts in 2873 days

13 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


6176 posts in 3619 days

#1 posted 09-28-2012 01:10 AM

mine is all over the place. I check the same holes and never get the same reading twice. It gives me a rough idea of the m.c. which I find helpful.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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3599 posts in 3293 days

#2 posted 09-28-2012 01:30 AM


You can’t expect to get the same readings even if you use the same holes.
Readings will be skewed because of differences in evaporation, depth, contact of the probes, etc.

The best you can do with any meter is take a number of readings and take either an average or a mean.

Moisture meters work with resistance and as the resistance changes, so do the readings.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View treaterryan's profile


109 posts in 3093 days

#3 posted 09-28-2012 12:15 PM

When you say “high”, how high was the %MC? There is not a moisture meter on the market that is accurate above 25%.

-- Ryan - Bethel Park, PA

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2901 posts in 3321 days

#4 posted 09-28-2012 06:36 PM

I’m not a real fan of the pin meters anymore since I started using the Ryobi pad unit, but jeez! The Harbor Freight unit is 1/4th of what I paid for the Ryobi!! And I don’t have a temperature gauge onboard.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

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6 posts in 2873 days

#5 posted 09-29-2012 01:06 AM

I use a simple rule…Two or three checks with the H Freight and if it’s above 15% it’s stays until it dries more.
Since I had nothing before this meter at least now I can get an idea of how the MC is.
During the winter the basement workshop is much drier because the furnace is running daily, so the wood dries more quickly. Would be interesting to do a test using say 5 pieces of wood and measure the MC now and then every two weeks until the same time next year. Think I’ll do that and see what the results are. Should go up during the summer because the humidity would be higher..

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2656 posts in 3729 days

#6 posted 09-29-2012 02:44 AM

Where in Florida do you live? I live in Florida.

-- Life is good.

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6 posts in 2873 days

#7 posted 09-29-2012 11:09 AM

I live in eastern Canada….visit there in the spring. The store was in the St. Pete’s area.


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2839 posts in 3103 days

#8 posted 09-29-2012 12:07 PM

I have a digital micrometer for measuring bearings I picked up for under ten dollars after coupon that is fantastic. It’s identical to ones I’ve seen for up to a hundred dolllars. Also have the non contact infra red temp gun that works fine. I think anything with the Pittsburgh name on it as just as good as HD’s Husky or Lowes Kobalt brands, at at least half the price.

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2901 posts in 3321 days

#9 posted 09-29-2012 12:39 PM

I’d sort of agree with that, but they do have their dogs, like the chainsaw sharpener, and those silly plastic bar clamps. On the other hand, some of their spray equipment is just silly cheap and works great!

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Bob817's profile


679 posts in 3189 days

#10 posted 09-29-2012 02:27 PM

I just bought one and it works great!

-- ~ Bob ~ Newton, N.H.

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Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 3578 days

#11 posted 10-05-2012 11:16 PM

Heya Howie,
I live in Florida as well, a new Harbor Freight just opened by me in Apopka FL (not sure if this is the one he’s refering too) .. which is near the 441 and 429 interchange.


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View WoodworkGuy's profile


60 posts in 3600 days

#12 posted 11-08-2012 04:25 PM

Like other HF products, some are diamonds in the rough. Can’t beat the price, if it works.

-- Making sawdust and memories through woodworking.

View dannmarks's profile


1017 posts in 1388 days

#13 posted 02-04-2017 01:45 AM

Just bought one myself and it seems to work well on 2-3-17. I have some wood that was cut into lumber maybe 4 months ago. It has been stickered and covered since – but out side. Then I brought some of it into the wood shop (not heated) for a month. It is red oak 1 inch thick. This wood reads between 10 and 11% consistently. While a piece of wood that has been in the house about twenty years (Cutting board) checks at about 7%. All of this seems to be reasonable readings. I am happy to have this moisture meter. I am planning on making a small wood kiln/storage space in the garage. And it will be good to keep weekly readings on this same oak. I have a lot of it out behind the shed stickered. Be nice to have a few hundred board feet drying.

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