moister meter

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Forum topic by Karda posted 11-17-2017 08:31 PM 1046 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2350 posts in 1354 days

11-17-2017 08:31 PM

Hi, I got a moister meter at HF and it worked fine until it didn’t so I changed the batteries and it didn’t act any different. When i turn it on and put the probes on the wood no reading g just 00 any idea what may be the problem thanks here is a picture of the meter

17 replies so far

View Lazyman's profile


5627 posts in 2187 days

#1 posted 11-17-2017 08:45 PM

Could be anything. The only thing you can probably check yourself is to open it up and make sure the wires/connections to the 2 probes are sound. If you touch the probes to a piece of metal, it should show a very high percentage. Other than that, you sort of get what you pay for. 11% of the reviews on the HF website are things like it doesn’t work at all so you will probably just have to take it back or buy new one with a better track record. There are a bunch of different brands on Amazon, though many of the cheaper ones all look like they were made by the same manufacturer.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Kazooman's profile


1506 posts in 2752 days

#2 posted 11-17-2017 08:48 PM

HF stuff is just like that sometimes. Could be a bad switch, a bad battery contact, a broken wire from one of the terminals, or a fried component. Not worth any real effort to try fixing it other than simply checking for obvious problems like I mentioned above.

When you say that it worked fine, I assume you mean it gave a number when you pressed the switch and touched the prongs to a piece of wood. Did you ever compare it to another moisture meter to see if the values were correct?

View pintodeluxe's profile


6173 posts in 3613 days

#3 posted 11-17-2017 08:52 PM

Many meters won’t read below 6%. If the wood is very dry, that could be the cause. Wet the lumber and retest, or else make a fresh cut to the core of the wood.

The next step is to hurl that thing in a landfill because it is absolute garbage. I had that version and it would read +/- 5 percent in the same spot. I recommend Lignomat moisture meters. I have the E/D and MD/C meters and they both work great. Not fancy, but they are reliable and consistent. The MD/C even has remote probes that I use to check lumber in my dehumidification kiln.

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

View Karda's profile


2350 posts in 1354 days

#4 posted 11-17-2017 09:30 PM

ok thanks

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5293 posts in 4760 days

#5 posted 11-17-2017 10:17 PM

Could be that ya don’t spell moisture correctly.
Look it up on the face of the meter…..............

-- [email protected]

View sawdustdad's profile


379 posts in 1685 days

#6 posted 11-17-2017 11:36 PM

Harbor Freight=crappy tools

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View MrUnix's profile


8146 posts in 2999 days

#7 posted 11-18-2017 12:15 AM

Harbor Freight=crappy tools
- sawdustdad

There are lots of exceptions to that rule… but in the case of most of their electronics stuff, yup :)


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Karda's profile


2350 posts in 1354 days

#8 posted 11-18-2017 12:59 AM

I went out and tried it on a live tree ans it worked. I know a cheap meter like that will not be accurate but it will tell if moisture is being lost and when it stops, it gives me something to compare to. better than guess work

View Wildwood's profile


2876 posts in 2934 days

#9 posted 11-18-2017 11:18 AM

Not sure any consumer grade MM will give you any kind of reading on a live tree. Most of them cannot read accurately when MC at or over 70%, they are not designed too!

Used to think all about time of year and sap running or not, but found out that is not true. Even in winter tress have a MC of 70% or more.

Time to attempt measuring is after wood has been air drying for awhile and MC is a FSP (fiber saturation point) of 28 to 30% MC.

Consumer grade MM are great for ball park numbers but so many other factors affect those readings.
The info found in Wood Handbook will help you as much or more than any MM handling wood for turning or other woodworking projects.

-- Bill

View fuigb's profile


583 posts in 3757 days

#10 posted 11-18-2017 12:03 PM

I bought, used, and loved this same moister (sic) meter until it crapped out. I was still within the 60 or 90-day window for adjustments so I traded it for another and experienced the same trajectory. Bottom line: it’s junk, virtually a one-use item like a band-aid or road flare. Very little from HF has, in my experience, grounds to claim reliability and longevity.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View Karda's profile


2350 posts in 1354 days

#11 posted 11-18-2017 06:23 PM

ok thanks

View Jim Dawson's profile

Jim Dawson

114 posts in 1632 days

#12 posted 11-19-2017 03:36 AM

I tried 3 of them and none worked at all.

View Karda's profile


2350 posts in 1354 days

#13 posted 11-19-2017 03:38 AM

3 of the HF or different brands

View Karda's profile


2350 posts in 1354 days

#14 posted 11-19-2017 06:59 PM

meter works, i turned a piece today checked with meter and it registered so it works for a guide anyway

View Wildwood's profile


2876 posts in 2934 days

#15 posted 11-19-2017 08:24 PM

None of HF, MM’s been know for their quality.
If do a lot of glue up of boards and different spcies of wood to make your projects a MM could make a lot of sense. Regardless of species you want use boards with the same MC.

Having said that do you really need a MM for woodturning?

Whether harvest or buy wood for turning MM may come in handy but not always essential. Got along without one for years & years, and seldom use the one I have.

Pin versus pinless MM, accuracy about the same measuring MC in boards boilds down to quality of the meter you buy. Although technically they differ on how they function both have plus or minuses. Big minus for both type meters is how far below the surface of wood do they read? Pin type meters probes must penetrate the wood to get a reading. Cannot just touch the probes to the wood. I did not know that until read my owners manual. So would think pinless meters might be better but cost a lot more again how accurate are they past one inch wood?

If already own a multi-meter that measures ohms, might be fun to play with that.

-- Bill

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