Abstract

Wood moisture meters are needed for a variety of purposes, including home inspections, assessment of water damage, evaluation of firewood, do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, and many more. With an increasing number of flood events, moisture-induced damage to the built environment will become more common. Monitoring of moisture in wood is one of the most important factors in damage assessment and control and thus, aid and guidance for the selection process of a meter is needed. Resistance and dielectric meters are commonly used to estimate the moisture content of wood products. They have become inexpensive and widely available to the public. This study tested the precision and accuracy of eight low-cost handheld moisture meters and compared them to three industrial-grade moisture meters. A general observation of this study is that moisture meters below $50 generally perform well. Differences in accuracy were found among meters. It was observed that meters come with different features, such as a custom density selector and visual elements to enhance the metering experience. These features were not taken into account for the evaluation, since they are difficult to objectively judge.

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