Moisture meter

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Review by Salmo posted 09-28-2012 01:07 AM 4857 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Moisture meter No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Went into a newly opened Harbor Freight store in Florida and while cruising around I came across the Pittsburgh Digital Mini Moisture Meter (item67143). Wasn’t looking for one but when I saw this and the price I figured what the heck…go for it.
I’m glad I did because it really works and now I won’t touch a piece of wood for turning until I check the content first. I was actually quite surprised at how high the moisture was in some of my wood. Having read the comparative test in the first review I’m even happier I bought it. When I go back next spring I’ll loikely get some for friends….can’t go wrong with that price. BTW it also does it for C or F, has a “Hard Material Mode and measure “Environmental temperature”. The readout is clear as well.
Another excellent buy was a huge “micrometer” that measure up to 24”. It’s pretty darned accurate as well.

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6 posts in 1573 days

12 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


4924 posts in 2319 days

#1 posted 09-28-2012 01:10 AM

mine is all over the place. I check the same holes and never get the same reading twice. It gives me a rough idea of the m.c. which I find helpful.

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

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 1993 days

#2 posted 09-28-2012 01:30 AM


You can’t expect to get the same readings even if you use the same holes.
Readings will be skewed because of differences in evaporation, depth, contact of the probes, etc.

The best you can do with any meter is take a number of readings and take either an average or a mean.

Moisture meters work with resistance and as the resistance changes, so do the readings.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View treaterryan's profile


109 posts in 1793 days

#3 posted 09-28-2012 12:15 PM

When you say “high”, how high was the %MC? There is not a moisture meter on the market that is accurate above 25%.

-- Ryan - Bethel Park, PA

View Tennessee's profile


2411 posts in 2020 days

#4 posted 09-28-2012 06:36 PM

I’m not a real fan of the pin meters anymore since I started using the Ryobi pad unit, but jeez! The Harbor Freight unit is 1/4th of what I paid for the Ryobi!! And I don’t have a temperature gauge onboard.

-- Paul, Tennessee,

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6 posts in 1573 days

#5 posted 09-29-2012 01:06 AM

I use a simple rule…Two or three checks with the H Freight and if it’s above 15% it’s stays until it dries more.
Since I had nothing before this meter at least now I can get an idea of how the MC is.
During the winter the basement workshop is much drier because the furnace is running daily, so the wood dries more quickly. Would be interesting to do a test using say 5 pieces of wood and measure the MC now and then every two weeks until the same time next year. Think I’ll do that and see what the results are. Should go up during the summer because the humidity would be higher..

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2656 posts in 2429 days

#6 posted 09-29-2012 02:44 AM

Where in Florida do you live? I live in Florida.

-- Life is good.

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6 posts in 1573 days

#7 posted 09-29-2012 11:09 AM

I live in eastern Canada….visit there in the spring. The store was in the St. Pete’s area.


View dhazelton's profile


2366 posts in 1802 days

#8 posted 09-29-2012 12:07 PM

I have a digital micrometer for measuring bearings I picked up for under ten dollars after coupon that is fantastic. It’s identical to ones I’ve seen for up to a hundred dolllars. Also have the non contact infra red temp gun that works fine. I think anything with the Pittsburgh name on it as just as good as HD’s Husky or Lowes Kobalt brands, at at least half the price.

View Tennessee's profile


2411 posts in 2020 days

#9 posted 09-29-2012 12:39 PM

I’d sort of agree with that, but they do have their dogs, like the chainsaw sharpener, and those silly plastic bar clamps. On the other hand, some of their spray equipment is just silly cheap and works great!

-- Paul, Tennessee,

View Bob817's profile


668 posts in 1888 days

#10 posted 09-29-2012 02:27 PM

I just bought one and it works great!

-- ~ Bob ~ Newton, N.H.

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2278 days

#11 posted 10-05-2012 11:16 PM

Heya Howie,
I live in Florida as well, a new Harbor Freight just opened by me in Apopka FL (not sure if this is the one he’s refering too) .. which is near the 441 and 429 interchange.


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View WoodworkGuy's profile


60 posts in 2300 days

#12 posted 11-08-2012 04:25 PM

Like other HF products, some are diamonds in the rough. Can’t beat the price, if it works.

-- Making sawdust and memories through woodworking.

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