4 Best Moisture Meters For Wood

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For over 20 years, I have cut and seasoned my own firewood, which we sell at my family’s small garden centre. I also have a wood-burning stove and prepare firewood for myself. One tool that has significantly improved my firewood preparation process is the Forest Master 5T Log Splitter pictured below.

This powerful tool, which I use to split large logs, has been one of the best investments I’ve made. A decent kindler splitter is also a worthy investment for efficiently splitting logs into kindling. Personally, I’m a fan of the Forest Master Kindling Axe Duo Splitter pictured below next to my moisture meter; it’s such a good, simple piece of equipment for making kindling quickly. 

Testing the moisture content is less than 20% before I make kindling
Testing the moisture content is less than 20% before I make kindling

However, one tool I use extensively at work and at home when making firewood, but never really gets a mention, is the best moisture meter I use to test the moisture content of the firewood. For firewood to burn efficiently, it needs to have a moisture content of 20% or below; ideally, between 15% -20% is the sweet spot. It is now illegal in the UK to sell firewood in bags that doent have a moisture content of less than 20%. 

If you prepare your own firewood as I do, you will need to check the moisture content yourself. The process is straightforward if you use a decent moisture meter designed for firewood. Simply insert the prongs into the wood and wait for the reading. This method allows you to check the moisture content quickly and accurately. 

A moisture content reading of 12% is ok for burning as it is less than 20%
A moisture content reading of 12% is ok for burning as it is less than 20%

I’ve had more moisture meters than I can count over the years, not because they don’t last but mainly because I’ve left them out in the rain or dropped them one too many times. 

My top 2 picks I’ve tested

I’m currently using my Burley moisture meter at home and have been doing so for around three years now. It’s been reliable and accurate, giving a reading similar to the Stihl moisture meter I use at work. The Burley is very easy to use, with a simple ON/OFF push button and eight coloured LED lights showing moisture content readings. The problem is, it’s hard to actually find one for sale now, but you might be able to get one off eBay, so it’s worth looking. 

Stihl Wood Moisture Meter I use at work to check the moisture content of logs before they go on sale
Stihl Wood Moisture Meter I use at work to check the moisture content of logs before they go on sale

If you can’t get the Burley, another model I use more and more at work, but it’s better in terms of features, is the Stihl Wood Moisture Meter. It’s super compact, perhaps half the size of my Burley. It’s also incredibly well made and will read the moisture content of brick and plaster, but I mut admit, I’ve only ever used it for logs. It’s a little more expensive than some of the other models, but it’s super accurate, has more features, and has a handy backlit LED screen. It’s also convenient when it’s low light as I often work into darkness in winter when the days are short, but it’s when I prepare a lot of my firewood so it is ready for the following winter.

Another model worth mentioning is the Valiant Firewood Moisture Meter. This is another moisture meter I had before the Stilh moisture meter. It’s such a good moisture meter for the price. I think I paid maybe £20. What I like about it is that Valiant is a decent brand I trust. I also have their stove fan (definitely worth getting one). It’s maybe not quite as good as Stihl in terms of build quality. However, it’s around half the price too. Overall, though, it’s a brilliant little moisture meter for firewood and an excellent alturnative to both the Stihl and Burley models.

Tips for storing and seasoning firewood

Before I get into the reviews, where I go over the different models in more detail, I wanted to provide a few tips to help you store and test the moisture content of firewood. If you have the space, consider getting a small greenhouse or polytunnel.

Polytunnel where I cut an store firewood to speed up seasoning
Polytunnel where I cut an store firewood to speed up seasoning

I store freshly cut wood in a polytunnel as I have found it significantly speeds up the seasoning time is less than 12 months (usually, it takes 12-24 months to dry out firewood). I then have this log store at home, you can see my review here where I store a large batch of the firewood I’ve tested ready to burn.

How to get an accurate reading on the moisture content of logs

When testing the moisture content, to get an accurate reading, I always recommend testing logs that are split in half, especially if there are quite large logs. Take a reading from 3 different points, for example, 3 different sides, including the side you split, and this will give you a more accurate reading. Also, give the moisture meter a firm push so the pins make good contact into the wood.

Moisture Meter Reviews

1. Stihl 15411852 Wood Moisture Meter


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Probably my favourite and the one I use the most, this Stihl is a great brand with an excellent reputation for making quality tools as I’m sure you’re aware. The Stihl Wood Moisture Meter is a great choice for wood and it does an excellent job in a low humidity environment. I also love how compact it is, so it can be just stored in my pocket while sorting out firewood.

The measuring range for wood is 6 – 42%, so it does a great job of detecting moisture in firewood and whether it is fully seasoned before using it. Ideally, firewood should have a moisture content of less than 20% to burn efficiently.

The Stihl Wood moisture meter has a two-pin design making it useful for checking on the seasoning of your firewood as it is very easy to use with no complicated settings. Nice and simple which is how I like it. It features an 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, which is what I use it for, it can also be used to check the 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 I’ve used, for accuracy when taking measurements, both pins must be well inserted into the wood with a firm push. 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 of 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


  • Perfect for testing firewood to ensure it’s fully seasoned.
  • Very compact and sturdy.
  • Designed for a 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.

My recommendation

I think this Stihl Wood Moisture Meter is probably the best option if you are looking for a moisture meter for the sole purpose of testing firewood. I’ve personally had two of these, one of which I lost. However, I just like how small and compact it is.

So what else do I like? Firstly, the build quality is excellent, as I expected from Stihl; it’s unlikely to break if you drop it as it is very robust and solid which isn’t the case for the cheaper ones I’ve had over the years. What I will say is this is also more expensive than both my Burley and Valliant moisture meters, but it’s better built and compact. I think it’s worth paying a little extra for; that being said, the other two models still do a decent job, just not as well built.

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2. Valiant FIR421 Firewood Moisture Meter


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The Valiant Firewood Moisture Meter is a handy model that can help you identify wood with a correct moisture level of less than 20%. Valiant specialises in products for wood-burning stoves and fires and has a reputation for manufacturing some of the best stove fans currently available, including the one I own. This moisture meter is reliable and is one I used along with the Stihl model. I’ve also owned the previous generation of this model.

The Valiant moisture meter features a large, easy-to-read LCD screen to ensure every reading is clear and accurate. 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 include; 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 one important reason to use correctly seasoned firewood.

Technical Specifications

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


  • Perfect for home users, simple and easy to use.
  • Highly efficient 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.

My recommendation

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 that you simply do not need if your just using it for firewood.

Overall, this is another great moisture meter that is probably on par with the Stihl model in terms of accuracy and ease of use. It is also a little more affordable. However, it’s probably not quite as robust as the Stihl model, which is why we named it my ‘Runner-Up Pick’.

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3. Zevek Digital Moisture Meter

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Zevek Digital Moisture Meter Detector Tester CE Approved-Detects Damp in Wood Logs Firewood Caravan Walls Concrete Plaster- Dry Wood Burns Hot Make Your Fire or Stove More Efficient, Eliminate the damp in your home to be healthy - Life Time Guarantee

The Zevek Digital Moisture Meter is intended for use of detecting dampness around your home but is also suitable for testing the moisture content in logs for use in a log burner. The Zevek is a 3 in 1 moisture meter because it measures damp, masonry and air temperature.

It features a large LCD screen with a handy backlight for displaying measurements to create easy reading in dimly lit conditions. Stainless steel prongs are used to detect the moisture level, and it 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 turns off when they have not been used for 10 minutes, a protective cap and comes complete with a battery, making it ready to use the moment you get it out of the box.

We like that it is small enough to fit in your pocket so it is easy to carry around if you are a professional tradesman 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 a wrist strap for easy carrying and to help avoid accidental drops.

The readings taken by this meter are very accurate. For wood and paper, the readings are accurate within 2%, whilst 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 being stored in the 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 three different modes of measuring moisture in wood, plaster, concrete, mortar and paper. By pressing the button, the modes appear on the right-hand side of the LED screen so it is very easy to select between the mode options and it’s very clear which mode you have selected so you know you have it set up 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 the 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


  • Multi-purpose makes it ideal 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.

My recommendation

The Zevek Digital Moisture Meter for home use, it is a great tool and perfect if you want to use it for checking both the moisture levels in walls and testing firewood. However, there are better models that we are more confident in recommending but overall it is not a bad tool.

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

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4. Dr. Meter MD918 Inductive Pinless Intelligent Moisture Meter

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Dr.meter Digital Wood Moisture Meter, 2 pins Portable Wood Water Moisture Tester, HD Digital LCD Display with one 9V Battery Range 5% - 40%, Accuracy: +/-1%

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 in turn, avoids 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 one of the more accurate meters in 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 that 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


  • A multi-purpose device that is very accurate on wood and perfect for tradesmen 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.

My recommendation

The Dr. Meter MD918 inductive pinless meter is an outstanding moisture meter 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 the wood, but it is not really ideal for firewood as it may be difficult getting a reading because of the natural shape of the logs as this meter need a flat surface.

If you are looking for a moisture meter to use in a professional capacity, then this is probably the best choice for you due to its accuracy, ease of use as well as the sheer quality of 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.

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Moisture Meter Buyer’s 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.

Types of moisture meter

There are two types of moisture meters; pin and pinless moisture meters which have been described in more detail below. Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong with a pin version as I feel you get better contact.

Moisture meter for firewood I use at home
  • 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 whilst 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 the 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, it can be left on 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 of 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 is held against the surface of the wood. 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 is 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 machined timber.

Final Conclusion

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

Last update on 2024-05-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at

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