Best Moisture Meter For Firewood – Buyers Guide & Reviews

Best Moisture Meter For Firewood – Buyers Guide & Reviews

Best Moisture Meter For Firewood – Buyers Guide & Reviews

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How to choose the best moisture meter for testing your firewood is suitable for burning

A moisture meter is an inexpensive insurance that plays a very important role whether your a joiner working with wood or looking for a moisture meter to test the firewood you use in your log burning stove. A good moisture meter can save a woodworker a lot of trouble and ensure their timber is suitable to use and if you have a log burning fire, you can ensure the logs are suitable to use and don't contain to much moisture which is essential for getting the most out of your fire and avoiding chimney fires. 

Whether you are looking for a moisture meter to test your firewood has the correct moisture, a furniture maker, contractor or casual woodworker, a moisture meter can help you determine when the wood is suitable to use. But how do you find the best moisture meter of of the hundreds available in DIY stores and online.

Our buying guide provides answers to this important question. Read further to unlock moisture meters important considerations and familiarise yourself with these products in our wood moisture meter reviews. We also reveal our top 5 recommended moisture meters after comparing over 25 models and narrowing it down to just 5 models we would be confident recommending.

Below is the winner of our 'Best Pick', after hours of research we came to the conclusion that the Stihl Wood Moisture Meter is the best moisture meter for anyone looking for a sturdy and compact moisture meter for checking firewood before burning.

Best Pick For Firewood

Stihl Wood Moisture Meter for Firewood Humidity Measuring Device

The best choice overall for testing logs before burning, very well made as you would expect for Stihl. Easy to use and not to expensive either.

  • Perfect for testing firewood to ensure its fully seasoned.
  • Very compact and sturdy.
  • Easy to hold and use with one hand.
  • Simple and very easy to operate.
  • High accuracy within 2%.
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Moisture Meter Buyers Guide

Moisture meters come in various types and with unique features. Let’s take a look at the things you need to know before you buy a moisture meter.

Moisture meter types

There are two types of moisture meters; pin and pinless moisture meters which as described in more detail below.

  • Pin moisture meters - These devices come with nail-like probes that are inserted into the wood. Once into the wood, an electric current is transferred between the two pins. Since wood is a poor conductor of electricity while water is a good conductor, the meter can tell the amount of water in the wood by the amount of current that travels between the pins.

    The advantage of pin meters is that they can take readings in wood of any shape, size or degree of roughness. The only thing required is the contact between the pins and the wood. They also allow users to use remote probes. If you are drying your own wood, they can be left in a sample board in the wood to monitor the stack as it dries. Nails or probes driven into the centre of thick wood for core readings that can be out of reach for pinless meters. These types of meters are great for testing pieces if firewood as there very easy to use and you don't need to worry about the pin holes they make as the wood is being burnt.
  • Pinless moisture meters - Pinless moisture meters have a sensor plate that are held against the wood surface. The plate extends an electrical field into the wood whilst the meter senses the differences in the field caused by the wood and moisture. Then, the meter converts the change into a moisture content reading. The beauty of a pinless moisture meter is that it can take a quick scan of a whole board without putting holes into the lumber.

    One major concern with the pinless option is that the sensor pad must be in absolute contact with the wood in order to give accurate readings. Also, it’s not good with rough or warped wood since air pockets build under the sensor pad. Usually we would recommend these types for joiners who are working with smooth machines timber.

Runner-up

Valiant Firewood Moisture Meter (FIR420)

The Valiant Moisture Meter is a great model which is also designed so that the less experienced home user can easily use.

  • Perfect for home users, simple to use and easy to use.
  • Can choose the correct type of wood for more accuracy or just use mode free if you are unsure.
  • Highly efficiency at reading wood moisture levels.
  • Good durability and comfortable to hold.
  • Accurate readings to ensure you only burn fully seasoned firewood.
  • Very reliable and from one of the brands out there.

Should you buy a 2 pin or pinless moisture meter?

This question is answered by assessing what you need the device for and comparing the advantages of each type of moisture meter. If you usually deal with smooth stock and can’t go around the thought of creating holes in expensive wood, then the pinless moisture meter will be your best option.

On the other hand, rough and thicker wood will need a pin meter to give correct MC readings.

If you are buying a moisture meter to measure the moisture content in firewood to check its suitable for burning, you don't need to worry about which type to buy as the 2 pin models are perfect for firewood and are by far the most affordable too.

Important features to look for

  • Pin length - In the case of a pin meter reader, the length of the pins is an important consideration. The average MC of a wood is said to be found at a depth equal to 1/5 – 1/4 the thickness of the wood. For instance, a pin 5/16 inches in length is enough to get an average MC reading on up to a 1-inch thick board and 1/2-inch pins will be ideal for 2-inch stock. This ideology, however, only applies when the wood has an even gradient of moisture whereby the surface is drier than the most central part.

    It’s enticing to think that the moisture meter reader measures the MC of the wood at the ends of the pins. In actuality, the uninsulated pins measure MC of the wettest part of wood they come into contact with. Wood that has been put away in the shop or shed can have a higher moisture content on the surface than the core. For this situation, the MC reading just reflects the measurement of the wetter exterior surface, paying little mind to how profound the pins penetrate.

    To get the exact measurement of the core using uninsulated pins, you can crosscut the wood and a reading of the centre on the freshly uncovered end grain. In the case of insulated pins, they only take MC reading of the wood at the tips of the pins.
  • Moisture content range - You need a range of 7% to 20% to check air dried or kiln-dried lumber. You can find meters that can go more than 30 percent, however, keep in mind that it’s impossible to record accurate readings beyond that percentage since there is a lot of water in the wood. If you tend to dry your own wood, higher readings can give you a relative sense of how much wet the wood is and how quick it’s drying. An extended meter range is ideal for people who work with green wood. Pin moisture meters are accurate down to 7% whilst pinless meters down to 5%. Any reading below this level is not dependable since there’s too little moisture in the wood.
  • Minimum sample size - Pinless meters have a base sample estimate that is managed by the extent of the sample plate. The whole plate must be touching the wood you are testing. Pay attention to the size of sensor pad in a pinless meter saw and the width of the board it’s going to be used on.
  • Displays - Both pin and pinless meters can in any of four these four display types: analog, LED, digital LED or digital LCD. Digital LEDs and digital LCDs are the best options. An analog display will be inconvenient in such a job where accuracy is a top priority.

    Some meters come with a “hold” feature which helps to take readings in awkward positions or in poorly lit areas where it’s hard to read the display. Therefore, the ability to hold the reading until you can bring it to light and read is essential.

Top 5 Moisture Meter Reviews


Stihl Wood Moisture Meter

OUR BEST PICK

Stihl Wood Moisture Meter Review

Stihl Wood Moisture Meter

Stihl is a great brand with excellent reputation for making quality tools and other devices. The Stihl Wood Moisture Meter is a wonderful choice for wood and it does an excellent job in low humidity environment. The measuring range for wood is 6 – 42%, thus it does a great job for detecting moisture for your woodworking projects as well as testing firewood is fully seasoned before using it, ideally firewood should have a moisture content of less that 20% to burn efficiently.

The Stihl Wood moisture meter is a two-pin design making it useful for checking on the seasoning of your firewood as is very easy to use with no complicated setting. It features LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screen which is very basic by giving you the percentage of moisture. Although it is recommended specifically for measuring the moisture in wood, it can also be used for checking moisture level of paper, cardboard, construction materials, plaster, and toughened mortar cement making it ideal for a multitude of jobs.

Just like all pinned moisture meters, for accuracy when taking measurements, both pins must be well inserted into the wood. The Stihl wood moisture meter does have the reliability of the Stihl brand, so you are able to receive a number of benefits by using this tool as quality is top if the list as well as reliability and accuracy. The good thing about this type of moisture meter is that, while you are measuring moisture of the wood, it can also take a temperature reading of the surrounding area at the same time which is a nice little feature some may find useful.

Technical Specifications

  • Moisture measuring range - 6 to 42 % residual moisture
  • Accuracy - 2%
  • Temperature Range: 0-40°C
  • Level battery indicator
  • Voltage: 1.5V
  • Dimensions: 80 x 40 x 20 mm

PROS

  • Perfect for testing firewood to ensure its fully seasoned.
  • Very compact and sturdy.
  • Designed for long life by a world trusted brand
  • Easy to hold and use with one hand.
  • Simple and very easy to operate.
  • High accuracy with 2%
  • Small-sized; easy to carry and store.

CONS

  • Some may find the LED screen is a little small.

Final conclusion

Burning wood with less moisture is very important since wood with higher moisture content, that is, with a reading of more than 20% produces less heat so is not as efficient. It can cause a buildup of flammable resins in your chimney which can lead to chimney fires.

This is why its very important to only use seasoned wood which is why the Stihl Moisture Meter is such as good choice. It's specially designed with this is mind which is why the screen is very clear and just gives out the moisture reading.

Therefore, the Stihl Wood Moisture Meter is the best option if you are looking for a moisture meter for the sole purpose of testing firewood.

So what do we like, firstly the build quality is excellent as we expected from Stihl, its unlikely to break if you drop it as its very robust and solid. If your not use to using tools like this it's also very easy to use with only a few buttons and options to choose from making it a great choice for anyone. It would be useful if the backlight stayed on longer as if your using it in a dark corner with no light the backlight might not stay on as long as you might like, The screws in the battery compartment are also very small so make sure you put them in a cup when changing the batteries so you don't loose them.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


Valiant Firewood Moisture Meter Review

Valiant Firewood Moisture Meter Review

Valiant Firewood Moisture Meter

High quality meters ensure accurate moisture reading at all times. Among these meters is the Valiant Firewood Moisture Meter, which you are likely to come across in most firewood moisture meter reviews and for good reason. It is handy device that can help you identify wood that has the correct moisture level of less than 20% and Valiant also specialise in products for wood burning stoves and fires and also have a reputation for manufacturing some of the best stove fans currently available.

The Valiant meter features a large easy to read LCD screen to ensure every reading you take is clear and accurate, and its probes react fast making the measuring process more efficient. Also, the meter has 4 wood type selection functions which allow you to accurately measure the relative humidity of the wood.

Other features of this meter includes; auto power shut off, a low battery indicator, and the accuracy of this meter can be likened to a protimeter. The Valiant moisture meter can also be used for measuring moisture content of timber used for building construction, and even hardwood for flooring purposes but we recommend it strictly for testing firewood.

With the Valiant moisture meter, you are able to test your firewood and make sure it is fully seasoned. By so doing, you get to enjoy a fire with less smoke, reduced chimney deposits and lower environmental pollution. Fully seasoned firewood ensures great heat output and efficiency which is the number 1 important reason to use correctly seasoned firewood.

Depending on the type of wood, fresh timber moisture content range between 30% - 60%. For effective wood seasoning, wood should be split and stored ideally in a log store from the rain but open to wind and sun to season for around 1 months. If you buy firewood you can save on the seasoning time but can check the wood you have purchased is fully seasoned and if not leave it to season a little longer.

Technical Specifications

  • Voltage: 9V
  • Compact size of only 191 x 110 x 45 mm
  • Light  weight at only 222 g

PROS

  • ?Perfect for home users, simple to use and easy to use.
  • Highly efficiency at reading wood moisture levels.
  • Easy to carry and store.
  • Good durability and comfortable to hold.
  • Accurate readings to ensure you only burn fully seasoned firewood.
  • Very reliable and from a trusted brand.

CONS

  • Varying readings due to different modes.

Final conclusion

The Valiant Firewood Moisture Meter is perhaps the best moisture meter for firewood along with the Stihl Moisture Meter. It gives you accurate readings, and more importantly is very easy to use with no complicated features you simply do not need.

Overall another great moisture meter which is probably on par with the Stihl model in terms of accuracy and ease of use, its a little more affordable too. Its probably not quit as robust as the Stihl model though which is why we named it our 'Runner Up Pick'.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


Zevek Digital Moisture Meter Review

Zevek Digital Moisture Meter Review

Zevek Digital Moisture Meter

Zevek Digital Moisture Meter is an effective monitor of moisture and dampness. It is intended for use of detecting damp in and around your home but is also suitable for testing the moisture content in logs for using in a log burner.

The Zevek is a 3 in 1 moisture meter since it measures damp, masonry and air temperature.

It features a large LCD screen with a handy backlight for displaying measurements for easy reading even in dimly lit conditions, stainless steel prongs which are used to detect moisture level, and has a large, one-button operation system making it very easy to use with just one hand. This digital moisture meter also has a sleep mode which prolongs battery life similar to that of other models which turn off when they have not been used for 10 minutes, a protective cap, and comes complete with battery making it ready to use the moment you get it out of the box.

We liek that it is small enough to fit in your pocket so is easy to carry around if your a professional tradesmen or burner. Also, it is made from durable hard plastic and has a bright black and yellow colour design. The Zevek digital moisture meter also has a detachable cover with wrist strap for easy carrying to avoid accidental drops.

Readings taken by this meter are very accurate. For woods and paper, the readings are accurate within 2%, while on mortar and building materials such as concrete and plaster, the readings are within a very accurate 0.1%. Since it is able to take temperature readings, you are also able to check if your plaster/wood/mortar is stored in a best place.

Zevek moisture meter battery saving function saves up to 25% battery life. This works in a way that, when the item is not in use for 15 seconds or more, the unit automatically turns off hence conserving the battery life.

It features 3 different modes of measuring moisture in wood, plaster, concrete, mortar, and paper are featured in this digital meter. By pressing the button, the modes appear on the right hand side of the LED screen so it very easy to select from mode to mode and its very clear which mode you have selected so you know you have it setup correctly.

To use this meter, you simply remove the probe cover, push them into the material to be measured, press the button and your readings are displayed instantly. The meter has a full lifetime guarantee from manufacturer.

Technical Specifications

  • Concrete and plaster readings are accurate within 0.1%
  • Wood reading are accurate within 2%
  • Temperature Range: : 0-40°C
  • Voltage: 6V
  • Dimensions: 80 x 40 x 20 mm

PROS

  • Multi-purpose makes it idea for testing for moisture in a range of materials including concrete, masonry and wood.
  • Accurate readings.
  • Easy to read and use.
  • Great battery life.
  • Stainless steel prongs.
  • Comes with a lifetime guarantee.

CONS

  • Build quality could be better.

Final conclusion

The Zevek Digital Moisture Meter is a very poplar model on Amazon.co.uk with over 200 reviews and for home use its a great tool and great if you want to use it for both checking moisture levels in walls and testing firewood. However there are better models we are more confident in recommending but overall its not a bad tool.

If you need a multi-purpose model then this is worth considering, if however you have looking for one just for testing firewood, go for the Stihl Moisture meter which is a similar price and better quality, it just lacks some of the more advanced features found on this model.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


Dr.meter MD918 Inductive Pinless Intelligent Moisture Meter Review

Dr.meter MD918 Inductive Pinless Intelligent Moisture Meter Review

Dr.meter MD918 Inductive Pinless Intelligent Moisture Meter

The Dr. Meter MD918 moisture meter for wood is a pinless meter that depends on its ability to produce high frequency electromagnetic waves to measure the moisture content of timber. This type of moisture meter can scan a large area of wood in seconds, without having to drive pins into the wood and also avoid damaging the wood surface.

Also, the meter features automatic power off after five minutes of inactivity, helping in power saving especially when the battery is too low. This inductive pinless type of meter measures in the 2% to 80% range which is better than more other models and has an accuracy of 0.5, again the more accurate meter on our review. It has an ultra large LCD digital screen which ensures clear readings are taken.

This meter also features zero calibration, ATC (Automatic Transmission Control) overrunning, and temperature calibration prompts. The MD918 meter has a temperature compensation function, which keeps the object tested at the same temperature at least within 5 minutes.

Technical Specifications

  • Measuring Range: 4% ~ 80%
  • Max. error: ± (1%Rh+0.5)
  • Resolution: 0.5%
  • Environment: temperature - 10°C~ 60°C, humidity: 0 ~70%RH
  • Power supply: 3 x 1.5V AAA battery
  • Dimensions: 132 x 67 x 26 mm

PROS

  • Multi-purpose device which is very accurate on wood and perfect for trademen and woodworkers.
  • Easy to use and easy to read display
  • High quality product.
  • Power saving function which turns off after 5 minutes of none use.
  • 1 year warranty and a 30 day money back guarantee.

CONS

  • It is expensive.
  • Not the best choice for firewood as it needs a flat surface to read,

Final conclusion

The Dr. Meter MD918 inductive pinless meter is an outstanding moisture meter for for measuring the moisture content in wood and is the most accurate meter on our list with an accuracy of 1%Rh+0.5 and a range of 4% ~ 80%.

This model is designed for use on wood only and is the best choice for builders and woodworkers who need to measure the moisture content of wood but its not really ideal for firewood as it may be difficult getting a reading because of the shapes as this meter need a flat surface.

If your ?looking for a moisture meter for professional use then this is probably the best choice for you due to its accuracy and ease of use as well as the sheer quality if this meter. If however you need to test logs and firewood this is not suitable and one of our other picks would be a much better choice.

Compare the best prices from available sellers below


Our Final Conclusion

It is important that you carefully consider your particular needs prior to buying a moisture meter as this will decide of the type you can choose.

Whether you are looking for the best moisture meter for firewood or want a decent one to monitor wood in your workshop, this device can help save time and money.

We hope our wood moisture meter reviews have been quite helpful to your future decisions. Never use unsuitable timber again, buy a moisture meter now and run quick tests when needed.

Below is a quick summary of our best recommended moisture meters.


Best Moisture Meter For Fire Wood

Stihl Wood Moisture Meter Review
  • Perfect for testing firewood to ensure its fully seasoned.
  • Very compact, sturdy and easy to use.
  • Designed for long life by a world trusted brand
  • Easy to hold and use with one hand.
  • Simple and very easy to operate.
  • High accuracy with 2%
  • Small-sized; easy to carry and store.

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