Moisture meters

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Forum topic by Stanley Coker posted 12-31-2019 04:55 PM 711 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Stanley Coker

269 posts in 4440 days

12-31-2019 04:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hey Guys I am looking to buy a moisture meter to check wood with. My question is what if the best pin or pinless?


-- Stanley, North Georgia

6 replies so far

View jta's profile


59 posts in 1130 days

#1 posted 12-31-2019 05:21 PM

Pinless are going to run cheaper in general, and can be problematic on thicker woods (tend to only measure conductivity as deep as the pins penetrate unless you use drilled deeper pins), and tend to leave damage on the wood surface. Pinless can be very good at the higher end, very poor at the lower end. Can be troublesome for thinner wood (minimum scan depth), and also for thicker wood. They also don’t tell you a lot about the gradient of the moisture, but just give a bulk value, which may or may not be desirable. Accuracy can be an issue if the meter doesn’t account for the specific density of the underlying wood.

If you really want precision, there are a couple of brands. I have one of these: which I’ve found to be excellent, very easy to use, species calibrated and fantastic. Its the latest iteration of a product that folks have sworn by. Another great brand in the pin meters is this:

But in both these cases they really aren’t cheap, so it comes down to the question – how much lumber that hasn’t been kiln dried/you need to know the relatively precise moisture on are you going to be working with? If you only need to know aroundabout, you are probably better offer finding a highly rated pin meter that will save you some cash that you can spend elsewhere. Are you sawing your own stuff or have large variability in temperature/moisture control in your workspace? In my case, I was looking for something accurate and know I’m going to be using it a lot (I have flooring I need to install, and I have local access to a lot of air dried wood options and want to do furniture and my garage isn’t very climate controlled, so I need to know what I’m working with).

Hope this is some help.

View GaryCK's profile


135 posts in 1294 days

#2 posted 12-31-2019 07:56 PM

I have a pinned meter which I suspect is more accurate than a pinless one. I’d recommend going that way. For what it’s worth, I’ve never had a problem with the small holes left from the pin. Shoot, I don’t recall ever having seen them again after measuring. YMMV.

-- Gary, Wisconsin

View ibewjon's profile


2647 posts in 4038 days

#3 posted 12-31-2019 08:13 PM

I have been happy with Lignomat. I get alot of my own logs cut, and with pin type I can put pis with extension wires in the middle of the stacks for remote readings. My original wood was cut by a circle sawmill, so surfaces are quite rough, not good for a pinless meter. I now go to a bandsaw mill so the surfaces are smoother. So it really depends on your needs.

View jta's profile


59 posts in 1130 days

#4 posted 12-31-2019 08:50 PM

Sorry in the above, that first Pinless should be pinned (obvious from the end of the sentence but figured I’d clear that up. Couldn’t remember the other name but ibewjon did – lignomat is the other one oft mentioned.

View therealSteveN's profile


8882 posts in 1819 days

#5 posted 01-01-2020 05:44 AM

Another vote for the Wagner Orion meter. I got mine here.

Pinless, so no stress on the meter. Dual depth readings, so great on thicker boards. Do 3/4” and down to 1 1/2”, extremely accurate. Has wood species selector, so you can get the best accuracy. 7 year warranty, currently top rated meter.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Andre's profile


4741 posts in 3050 days

#6 posted 01-01-2020 06:14 PM

For the little I use one this has been great.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

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