Originally Posted by Larry Schweitzer
An accurate meter will cost you $200 minimum! Eugene Wengert has good information about them. Sometimes he posts on the woodweb.com
I totally disagree with this.
I have a General Tools MMD4E pin contact moisture meter that's runs about $40 at the box stores.
It has never failed to perform, providing consistent measurements that I have personally tested against several higher priced meters. My little General shows more consistency and more accuracy than a friends Lignomat and another friends Wagner. Both of them paid over 5 times as much as I did for their meters.
When tested, my General consistently read the same moisture content in the same area of a board through multiple tests. Both of theirs showed varying degrees of moisture (by roughly 5%) when testing the same area multiple times.
The General was also more reliable at giving moisture content in multiple materials.
I want you to know that this little 40 dollar meter has also been found in many reviews (Google it) to be very reliable, and has scored consistently high in many meter shootouts found on the net.
Price is not an indication of the quality of a tool. As long as a tool provides me with the functions and features I need it to, and does so with accuracy and consistency, and is built of quality materials, that is all I need.
A moisture meter is not a necessity for a woodworker, but is a great help. It only has to do one thing, but it must be reliable. The General does that.
Another thing, pin less meters have multiple issues with consistency. That is in the nature of their design. Their readings will vary (by as much as 3 to 5%) depending on the ambient humidity in the environment, and require calibration before use (sometimes automatic). I do not recommend them for this reason.
Some are hesitant to use pin meters as they do leave a depression in the material, but how entry, you use the meter before you start working with it. Any depression left is easily gone when the material is brought into 4 square, or quickly thereafter.
Just my thoughts and opinions... Your mileage may vary.
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