harbor freight moisture meter (digital readout)

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Forum topic by robdew posted 03-19-2009 05:53 PM 4289 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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86 posts in 3739 days

03-19-2009 05:53 PM

I’ve read through a lot of posts and reviews but not many people seem to have purchased the 96497-1VGA $20 moisture meter. This is the grey pin digital readout model, not the LED.

I know the spiel about budget moisture meters, but the next one to consider is nearly 10 times the price (mini ligno $110, HF $16 after coupon) and I am not concerned about precision as much as a professional might be.

Anyone bought one and liked or disliked it?

5 replies so far

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4339 days

#1 posted 03-19-2009 05:57 PM

Maybe you don’t really need one. The finest woodwork in the world has been done by folks who managed to do without.

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 3746 days

#2 posted 03-19-2009 06:34 PM

I haven’t used one and I was eyeing a mini lingo (on sale during March). The HF one is pretty darn cheap, so I guess if it doesn’t work after a few months, you’re not out of a lot of money, but then you don’t have a unit that works. Rocklers also has a sale on a $39. model for $29. but how reliable is that going to be? It’s a hard call when you have a small coin purse and a big shopping list.

If you do buy the HF item, they do have a decent return policy and you get your full money back within 30-60 days (not sure, so check with the clerk at the store. 30 days online purchases, less 20% restocking fee after 30 days). I don’t know what Rockler’s return policy is, but you have to pay for shipping, but right now they have Free Shipping offered.

Dennis does have a point, as if you suspect the wood is green, then it probably is. I try to mark newly acquired woods with the date purchased and put a “G” if green at purchase. This way I can calculate when the wood should be dry. I also leave greener woods near the airflow of the furnace (not too close) so the dry air circulates through them and helps dry them out. A constant fan with an incadescent light bulb would help, or a homemade kiln such as advertised by one of our fellow LJ’s, Daren Nelson.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 3550 days

#3 posted 03-19-2009 07:13 PM

I recently purchased a comptech moisture meter on sale. It works well, and is made in Canada instead of China. I wouldn’t bother wasting my money on a Chinese cheapy knowing that it won’t be accurate.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View robdew's profile


86 posts in 3739 days

#4 posted 03-19-2009 07:28 PM

Looks like this might be the “HGRP” moisture meter on amazon, and the woodworking reviews stink.

I’ve gone without a meter for a while and decide I need one. I need a reference.

If David Marks uses one it can’t hurt me.

mmh: where is the mini ligno on sale?

View Albert's profile


509 posts in 3614 days

#5 posted 03-19-2009 08:59 PM

How would anyone know if the meters were accruate or not anyhow? I think it is interesting to track the ‘change’ in moisture over time but would not depend too much on the reading as it only reads the outside eighth inch or so.

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