Moisture Meter Buyers Guide

We really hope that you love the products that we recommend. Just so you know, ToolsReview may collect a share of sales or be compensated through the links on this page, but we think it’s a fair trade for the long hours of research that we put in.

Moisture Meter Buyers Guide

Moisture – it can find its way into any space in your home and will turn up when and where you least expect it. Living in the UK means that for the majority of the year you are going to be dealing with damp weather and sadly that means that your home, shed, garage or workshop will be dealing with it as well! Sadly, you can guarantee that this water is going to find its way to exactly where you don’t want it to – whether that be drawing its way up a wall or under your flooring!

If you suspect you have moisture in your home then the quick response can be to get a professional out, but actually your first step should be grabbing your moisture meter! A moisture meter can be used to check a wide variety of materials for the level of damp that is present and by doing this first, you will have a much better idea of if there is a problem and what you need to do about it! They can also be used to check the levels of moisture in wood – perfect for if you have a log burner at home!

A moisture meter will:

  • Assess the level of moisture present within a material
  • Indicate if a structure or material is letting in water
  • Trace the source of a leak and/or damp

Using a moisture meter will help determine if you need to intervene, dry, treat or replace existing materials.

Best Pick – Protimeter Mini General Purpose Moisture Meter

Protimeter Mini General Purpose Moisture Meter
  • Easy to use, precision moisture meter with built-in pin probes, designed for general purpose moisture measuring
  • Clear and simple colour-coded LED display
  • Display shows moisture content and classification, dry (green), borderline (yellow), or damp (red)
  • Includes calibration device for checking correct functionality of instrument
  • Supplied with extension pin probe, allowing use in awkward positions

Last update on 2024-06-18 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Only got 5 minutes 

The best moisture meters will determine the presence of moisture within a material and give an accurate reading of the volume of moisture which has been detected.  The versatility of a moisture meter becomes apparent when you take a moment to consider the wide range of construction and maintenance scenarios in which a moisture meters play an essential role: having one of the most important jobs of any measuring device, the conclusions a moisture meter draws can make or break construction sites; sink or sail boats, and scupper or save house sales!!! A moisture meter might only be a small piece of kit,  but it certainly has an impact when it generates those readings!  

Choosing the best moisture meter for you

There are many different brands and models of moisture meters available so you’ll need to carefully consider which one is the right one for you. 

  • Intended Use: What will you be using your moisture meter for? Will you require a moisture meter that measures just moisture content? Or are you interested in taking readings for humidity and air temperature? 
  • Surface: What kind of surfaces will you be taking readings from? Firewood? Masonry? Brick? Ceramic? Ensure that the moisture meter you decide on is suitable for taking readings from the materials you intend on testing.  
  • Invasive or non-invasive: If you’re looking for a moisture meter that’s non-invasive – leaving no marks on the surface it’s taking the reading from – you’ll need a model that uses pads as opposed to pin needles. 

The two types of moisture meters

The most common, inexpensive moisture meters work by using pins. This type of measuring device features two, metal, needle-like pins which are inserted into the surface being tested. The meter measures the resistance of electricity between the pins and calculates the % moisture content sub-surface. 

An alternative to the pin models is non-invasive moisture meters, which use scanning technology to determine the presence of moisture. By placing the sensor plate(s) flush with the surface being tested, a moisture reading will be generated.

Moisture meter TypeAdvantagesDisadvantages 

Pin Needle
Can be used to take readings from a range of surfaces providing there’s at least some contact between the pins and the surface
Capable of obtaining sub-surface readings 
Can be left inserted in a material for a period of time to monitor moisture levels 
Invasive – leaves entry holes
Can be trial and error in terms of pinpointing the initial location of moisture 

Sensor Plate
Detects the presence of moisture in a given area  
The sensor pad must be flush with the surface being read in order to obtain an accurate moisture reading; this rules out rough, uneven or warped surfaces
Some models struggle with determining subsurface moisture levels

It can also be useful to use a combination of pin and sensor testing if your moisture meter offers both functions: the non-invasive moisture meter scanning method can be used first, which will indicate the presence of moisture. This can then be followed-up with the pin moisture meter, which will assist you in determining a more precise location (i.e. the distance of the moisture from the exposed surface) and generate a numerical reading which will indicate the degree of moisture present. 

Best Budget – Neoteck Moisture Meter 

Neoteck Moisture Meter 4 Pin Digital Moisture Meter Damp Detector Humidity Tester for Wood Wall Concrete Plaster Brick Caravans Boats and Other Materials
  • 4 Pin Digital Moisture Meter, Better Sensitive Induction, the More Precise Data. This simple to use Digital Moisture Meter is ideal for measuring the moisture content of fire wood, plaster, walls, boats, caravans, timber, bricks, concrete, sawdust, wood shavings and other materials.
  • Data Hold Function, It will Hold the Measured Value. One More Time to Press "HOLD", the Meter will Release the "Hold" Function
  • Accurate Measurments Displayed Quickly on a Large LCD Screen for Clear Reading. Accurate measurements are very quickly taken and displayed on a large LCD display where they can be held.
  • The majority of materials which have a moisture content (MC) do so because they are porous.This is true for Wood, Brick, Plaster & Concrete, all of which are suited perfectly to this meter. Due to this their MC is directly affected by the relative humidity of the surrounding air. As relative humidity increases, so does the moisture content in these materials, this should be taken into account when taking measurements.
  • Suitable for Fire wood, Plaster, Walls, Boats, Caravans, Timber, Bricks, Concrete, Sawdust, Wood Shavings and Other Materials

Last update on 2024-06-18 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Moisture meter uses 

The best moisture meters are versatile pieces of kit – the advantages of owning one and benefits of using it are clear, however, if you’re still left wondering if you actually NEED one… 

Common uses for a moisture meter:

  • Domestic: If you’re a homeowner, a moisture meter is a handy tool to have to hand. It can be used to check if firewood is dry enough to burn; walls are parched enough to paper; flooring and carpet are fine to lay; engines are dry enough to start.
  • Professional: Builders, surveyors, property developers and civil engineers rely on a decent moisture meter to detect the presence of water in structures, potential building materials, foundations, flooring and timber.
  • Leisure: A moisture meter is invaluable when it comes to maintaining wooden structures such as older caravans, playhouses, boats, trailers and sheds. Outdoor-based, wooden structures such as these are prone to springing the odd leak and, as a result, often fall victim to high levels of condensation and damp. The fact they’re also fairly costly to purchase initially makes it even more important to maintain them so, if you’re lucky enough to own any of the above, seriously consider investing in a moisture meter to help preserve the life and value of your investment.

Reasons you need a moisture meter

There’s the famous old saying, “Prevention is better than cure” but, when it comes to damp invasion, there’s only so much preventing you can do in the UK! Keeping it at bay completely is a somewhat impossible task; acting quickly once it’s been detected is the real way of stopping damp dead in its tracks.

All home-owners should be vigilant when it comes to protecting their homes from moisture build-up and the invasion of damp. Taking regular readings of the moisture levels in your walls, woodwork, and masonry using a moisture meter will give you a good idea of the likelihood that you’re going to be dealing with a damp problem in the future. Finding moisture build-up early is key in terms of fixing the problem prior to it causing any significant damage or it spreading excessively.

If you have a moisture meter which also has the feature to take condensation readings, you can also record the level of humidity in the air. 

Moisture sources 

  • Rain penetration – leaking roofs, blocked or damaged guttering and badly-fitting doors and windows can all unknowingly serve as entry points for unwanted moisture
  • Damaged plumbing and leaking baths, showers and sinks can all result in unwanted water leaks
  • Walls and floors which need damp-proofing can fall victim to rising groundwater if not sufficiently treated and maintained
  • Cooking, drying clothes, plants and simply breathing all produce moisture in the air!

Moisture meter Accessories

Accessory TypeUse
ProbesThere is a range of probes available from the basic standard and universal probes to those tailored for a more specific use. Deep Wall Probes allow you to measure moisture at depth within walls and other surfaces
Replacement Pin NeedlesSome moisture meters use pins which penetrate surfaces in order to take readings of moisture levels. It’s worthwhile having a least a set of replacement pin needles in case of damage, or if you want to obtain a second reading using a new set.  
Sensor PadsNon-invasive moisture meters (those without pins) will use sensor pads in order to measure levels of moisture. As with the replacement pin needles, it’s worth having a set of replacement pads in case of damage, or if you simply want to retest a surface using fresh pads. 
Carrying pouchStore and transport your moisture meter with confidence using a nylon padded or metallic moisture meter carry pouch. Additional features are likely to include additional protective padding, a zip for security and easy access, additional compartments and integrated belt loops or carry handles. 
Warranty periodFor peace of mind, check the moisture meter you’re considering comes with a decent manufacturer’s warranty period. You’re likely to be using your moisture meter in some pretty harsh environments and consequently, your moisture meter will inevitably be exposed to general day-to-day wear and tear, particularity if you’re a professional. Look for a model that comes with a lengthy, inclusive manufacturer’s guarantee.

Best of the Rest

KLEIN TOOLS Pinless Moisture Meter for Non-Destructive Moisture Detection in Drywall, Wood, and Masonry; Detects up to 3/4-Inch Below Surface, Klein Tools ET140
  • Pinless, electromagnetic field (EMF) technology allows for non-destructive detection of moisture content in building materials
  • Detects moisture content up to 2 cm deep
  • Easy viewing with bright reverse-contrast display
  • Nine LED bars indicate moisture range
  • Easy-to-select materials with mode button; drywall, masonry, hardwood, and softwood

Last update on 2024-06-18 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Damp Meter, Handheld Moisture & Temperature Detector with HD LCD Display,Range from 0.1-70% RH, for Wood(100 Types), Concrete, Wall Board and Sheetrock (9V Battery Included)
  • ✔Wide Use -- this Digital Moisture Meter is used on wall board, sheet rock, cardboard, plaster, concrete, mortar and more than 100 species of woods like Cherry wood /Rosewood /Walnut /Afromosia/Brich /Beech/Oak/Pine /Teak,etc .
  • ✔Range and Accuracy --Woods range 1~70%RH , accuracy is ±4%; Building materials range 0.1~2.4%RH , accuracy is ±0.5% ;Temperature Range -20~70℃/-4~158℉ , accuracy is ±1.5℃/2.7℉.
  • ✔4 Modes -- You can switch different testing modes according to the materials you measured ,includes 3 Wood Groups and 1 Building Materials Groups which make measurement more accurate.
  • ✔Convenient Design -- big HD LCD display with backlight make reading clearly even in dark place , also the MAX /Min/Hold button make you know the measure results easily.
  • ✔Auto Power-off -- the damp meter will shuts off automatically after 120 seconds of inactivity, also have low battery alert on display .(1*9 v battery is included in package )

Last update on 2024-06-18 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

NoCry Digital Moisture Meter - Water Leak Detector and Thermometer for Wood & Building Materials, Battery and Replacement Electronic Probes Included
2,286 Reviews
NoCry Digital Moisture Meter - Water Leak Detector and Thermometer for Wood & Building Materials, Battery and Replacement Electronic Probes Included
  • MOLD & HUMIDITY DETECTION WITH PRECISE READINGS - The built-in sensor measures and displays moisture, temperature, and relative humidity (RH) in your walls, floors and ceilings to prevent costly water damage to your home.
  • 4 MEASUREMENT MODES FOR INCREASED ACCURACY - The moisture tester settings are adjustable for 100+ different materials - from hardwoods like teak, oak and log, to medium density woods like pine and mahogany, to soft ones like plywood and cork, to construction materials like concrete, cement, and drywall.
  • AUTO-CALIBRATION TO THE AMBIENT TEMPERATURE & HUMIDITY - Many moisture readers will display inaccurate results if the ambient temperature isn't the optimal 25℃, forcing you to adjust the tool manually. This one auto-calibrates itself - less work for you.
  • FUNCTIONAL LCD DISPLAY - With 2 brightness settings, it shows everything you need to know: the moisture level, the temperature in C˚ and F˚, the active measurement mode and setting, and - unlike most other moisture meters out there - even the remaining battery.
  • IMPORTANT! We have discovered that a small quantity of units in our latest production batch are missing English-language instruction manuals. We feel very bad about this incident and are currently trying to remove all units that do not include English manuals from our inventory. If you receive a product that is without the correct manual, please contact us, and we will immediately provide you with one.

Last update on 2024-06-18 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently asked questions 

What surfaces can you take moisture meter readings from?

A moisture meter’s suitability to take readings from particular surfaces can usually be found in the product description, however, generally speaking, the best moisture meters can be used on a range of materials including wood, masonry, concrete, plaster, drywall, fibreglass, roofing, cladding, insulation and ceramic.

How good are non-invasive moisture meters?

Moisture meters which use sensor pads are particularly useful because they’re predominantly non-invasive and non-destructive. They tend to be popular amongst professionals and DIY enthusiasts who are concerned over the potential presence of moisture but cannot afford to damage the surface being tested – e.g. the walls of a house currently lived in, a listed property; or even the hull of a boat.

What is a normal level on a moisture meter?

Don’t panic if you see some level of moisture appear on your moisture meter! A normal reading will be anything from 0-15% so this isn’t something to worry too much about! Anything higher than 15% should definitely be investigated by a professional just to be on the safe side!

About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.