Spiked moisture meter for measuring the moisture content of a wall

The 5 Best Moisture Meters in 2023 | Comparison and Buying Guide

A moisture meter is useful if you want to check the moisture content of wood, walls and floors in your home. It is a very practical device used by carpenters to check the quality of the wood they are working with. It is also used by flooring specialists to ensure that the conditions are ideal before installing a laminate or wood floor.

If you have problems with mould in your home, a moisture meter will help you to check the condition of the walls and floor of your home. This will help you determine whether you should invest in a dehumidifier or an air extractor. On the other hand, if the air in your home seems too dry, then the humidity sensor will confirm whether or not you need to buy a humidifier.

Our comparison for the year 2023

Comparison updated on 17/03/2023

Thinking of buying an anemometer online and don't know which one to choose? Don't worry, we've got you covered.
In this article, we help you make an informed decision with the help of a clear and concise comparison. It will help you identify the product that best suits your needs, based on the opinions of many consumers.

1. Tavool moisture meter

The best performer according to consumers

Lightweight and easy to carry, the Tavool is a moisture meter with 2 measurement modes for wood and building materials. This sensor is ideal for carpentry, construction and floor laying. Equipped with 2 high-purity pins, the Tavool easily and quickly assesses the moisture content of wood or your walls.

The device is 14.1cm long, 5.9cm wide and 2.8cm high. Relatively easy to use, the Tavool has a hold function to freeze the measurement taken, as well as a wide measuring range from 6 % to 60 % for wood and 0.2 % to 2.9 % for building materials. In our opinion, this moisture meter is a quality product if you want to obtain professional and accurate measurement results.

2. Brennenstuhl moisture meter

Our favourite

The Brennenstuhl is a robust tool with a large LCD display. It is relatively light and measures 14.7 cm long by 7 cm wide and 2.4 cm high. According to consumer reviews, the design is well thought out: the 3 buttons on the Brennenstuhl fit comfortably under the thumb when the device is in hand and the metal pins are well protected by the clip-on protective case.

Functionally, the Brennenstuhl is easy to use: once the instrument is switched on, choose the type of material you wish to test. Then touch the tips to display the moisture content on the screen. For hard-to-reach places, press the hold button once to keep the measurement displayed.

With a measuring range of 5 to 50 % for wood and 1.5 to 33 % for building materials, this moisture meter is ideal for accurately measuring the moisture content of wood and building materials (bricks, plaster, etc.).

3. Dr.Meter MD812 moisture meter

An interesting price/quality ratio

Made of high quality plastic, the Dr.Meter MD812 is a compact tool with a large LCD display. The instrument is relatively light and measures 13 cm long, 6.4 cm wide and 3.2 cm high. Its small size is ideal for carrying in your pocket. The small orange cover to protect the metal points during transport and the two spare pins supplied with the device are appreciated.

From a functional point of view, the MD812 is relatively simple to use: simply switch on the machine, drive the spikes into the wood and wait 3 seconds to see the result on the display. For hard-to-reach places, the machine has a hold function, so you can keep the value on the display until you can read it.

Finally, with a measuring range of 5 % to 40 % and an accuracy of less than 1 %, you can be sure of the exact condition of the building materials being tested. All these qualities make it a reliable and robust instrument, ideal for assessing the moisture content of wood, carpets and building materials.

4. Stanley moisture meter 0-77-030

The Stanley 0-77-030 is a slim, solid tool with thick, good quality plastics. It is lightweight and measures 14.2cm long by 6.3cm wide and 3.2cm high. It has a buckle for carrying it on a belt, a carrying case that comes with the equipment, and a folding cover that can be easily clipped onto the spindles.

Functionally, the Stanley 0-77-030 is very easy to use: once the device is switched on, you simply prick the material you wish to test with the two pins. A bar then rises on the screen to indicate the moisture content: on the left you can read the moisture content for wood, and on the right the moisture content for drywall, masonry, etc.

With a measuring range in wood of 6 to 44 % (accurate to +/- 2 %) and in masonry and drywall of 0.2 to 2 % (accurate to +/- 1 %), the Stanley 0-77-030 is an interesting choice if you are looking for a reliable and versatile tool. The only weak point of this model is the absence of the Hold function which has become a standard for this type of tool.

5. Klein Tools moisture meter

The Klein Tools uses electromagnetic field (EMF) technology to detect moisture in building materials. This non-invasive moisture meter can detect moisture up to 2 cm deep.

Easy to read and handle, the Klein Tools measures 15.77 cm long by 7.32 wide and 3.56 cm high. The device offers several modes: drywall, masonry, hardwood and softwood. The instrument also offers a hold function to keep the moisture content measurement on the screen.

With a measuring range of 0 % to 35 % for hardwoods, 0 % to 55 % for softwoods and a comparative scale of 0 to 100 for brick, concrete and other building materials, the Klein Tools is an accurate tool for non-invasive digital moisture measurement.

How does a moisture meter work?

Unlike a hygrometer which measures the moisture content of air, a moisture meter can use several methods to determine the moisture content of materials. These include: spike measurement and direct non-invasive measurement. Both methods have a great influence on the instrument you choose.

Spike moisture meter

Spiked moisture meters are named after the two metal spikes at the top of the instrument. These antennae are used to measure the percentage of moisture. To use a spike moisture meter, you align the spikes with a point on the material and push them in. Once inserted, the device sends an electrical signal through a pin. This signal then travels through the material to the other pin. The recovered signal is used to measure the resistance of the material to electrical current and therefore its moisture content.

This method is invasive, as it requires the material to be punctured to obtain a result. However, the only moisture meters that can accurately identify the location of the moisture are the spike moisture meters.

Peak moisture meter for measuring the moisture content of wood

Non-invasive direct moisture meter

Non-invasive direct measurement moisture meters do not penetrate the material to obtain a reading. Instead, they use a plate on the back of the instrument. When the plate is placed flat against the material, the instrument sends out a high frequency signal to measure the ability of the material to store an electrical charge. This method is non-invasive and allows moisture to be assessed several times without damaging the materials. However, they are not as accurate as spikes: they indicate a general area rather than an exact location.

Multifunctional moisture meter

The functional moisture meter is the obvious choice for regular moisture detection. These devices use both methods of reading for a non-invasive, generalized diagnosis of moisture initially and accurate detection of moisture later, if a problem is discovered.

What should I consider when buying a moisture meter?

Before purchasing a moisture meter, it is advisable to check a number of points to ensure that the product meets your needs. In addition to the price, remember that a moisture meter is supposed to save you a lot of money by detecting moisture problems early enough to be able to act.

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This is certainly the most important factor in choosing a device. Approximate accuracy is useless for measuring humidity. However, not all instruments are equally accurate. High-end moisture meters can estimate humidity to within 0.1 %, while more common models are reliable to within 5 %. In all cases, It is not advisable to invest in a moisture meter with an accuracy of more than 5 %.

All moisture meter measurements are displayed as a percentage of the moisture content (% MC). A moisture meter calibrated for wood has a scale between 5 % (dry wood) and 40 % (moisture saturated wood). Measurement of other materials such as concrete uses a relative scale from 0 (dry) to 100 (saturated). Finally, a third scale ranging from 0.2 % (dry) to 50 % (saturated) is used for gypsum and drywall. Before choosing a moisture meter, you need to determine the material you want to test and the accuracy levels you need.


Durability is important if you intend to use your moisture meter frequently. A good quality moisture meter should have a rubberised casing and be of a robust enough design to withstand shocks.

Ease of use

Choosing an easy-to-use moisture meter will prevent inaccurate measurements that could lead to undetected moisture damage. Non-invasive moisture meters are much easier to handle than spiked moisture metersBut the trade-off is accuracy.

The measurement range

The measuring range is the minimum and maximum percentage of humidity that the instrument can display. The wider the margin, the less precise the device will be. Professionals will prefer smaller scales as they are more accurate, however, individuals will prefer a wider range of scales to enable them to use the instrument in more situations.

The temperature

The temperature display can be useful in tracking a cold or hot water leak. By observing temperature changes, the device will be able to locate the source of a water leak.