One of the things you would need to prepare before winter is stocking up on your firewood. This way you will be able to make your home warm all throughout the entire winter. You could use firewood to light up your wood-burning stove or you could put up a fire outside to entertain guests and have some s’mores with your kids. No matter how you use and what you use firewood for, your wood has to be prepped right for burning. To do this, you will need to ensure that your firewood’s moisture is just enough for your firewood to burn rightly. One way to do this is through the use of a firewood moisture meter. Through a firewood moisture meter, you will be able to determine if your firewood is seasoned or not.
- Ranges: 5 to 50%WME (Wood Moisture Equivalent) for wood / 1.5 to 33% (building materials)
- Power source: “9V” battery (included)
- Building materials scales: 1.5 to 16.9% (low) / 17 to 19.9% (medium) / 20 to 33% (high)
- Moisture accuracy/resolution: ±2%/0.1%
- Auto power off: After 3 min.
- Wood moisture scales: 5 to 11.9% (low) / 12 to 15.9% (medium) / 16 to 50% (high)
- Display size / type: 99.9 count backlit LCD with 0.3 in. (8mm) high digits
- 10 unique grades of timber density, with 4%~80% Maximum Error
- Max. error: 1%Rh+0.5
- Automatic temperature compensation
- Environment temperature -10 ~ 60 ºC
- Humidity: 0 ~70%RH
- Includes carry case and batteries
- Auto power off: After 5 min.
- Resolution: 0.5%
- Pinless model: Electromagnetic
- Power supply: 3 x 1.5V AAA battery
- Weight: 95g (not including batteries)
- Size: 132 x 67 x 26 mm
- Size : Length: 5.75″ / Width: 3″ / Thickness: 1″
- Scanning Area : 2.0 inches (50mm) x 2.5 inches (63mm)
- Measurement Ranges :
Ambient Temperature: 32˚F to +110˚F (0˚C to +43˚C)
Ambient Relative Humidity: 0% to 100%
- Power : 9-volt battery
- Storage Temperature and Humidity : +50˚F to +90˚F (+10˚C to +32˚C), Maximum relative humidity of 95%, Non-condensing
- Operating Temperature Range : +32˚F to +110˚F (+0˚C to +43˚C)
- Auto Power Shut-Down : 60 seconds
- Equilibrium Moisture Content Measurement Range: 0-40.7%
- Dew Point: -85˚F to +110˚F (-65˚C to +43˚C)
- Absolute Humidity: 0 to 431.1 lb/ft (0 to 61.6 kg/m)
- Specific Gravity Range for Wood Species: 0.20-1.0 SG
What is Seasoned Firewood?
For those who are just new in using firewood, you would need to know some definitions and the language. One of the things you should learn is seasoned firewood. Seasoned Firewood comes with moisture content of less than 20 percent. This means that the wood is dry on the surface but there is still a little bit wet on the inside. To ensure that your wood is dry enough to burn, you could check the sound check method by banging two pieces of firewood together. If you hear a high pitch, you are good to go. If you hear a thud instead, then your firewood is still wet inside.
Moisture Levels: Types of Firewood
All freshly cut wood will probably have moisture levels of between 45% to 65% and it could take about a year or two to air dry the wood down to below 20% moisture content. 20% means your wood is seasoned. Take in mind, however, hardwoods take longer to be seasoned than softwoods.
Seasoned = 15% to 20% Moisture
On average, you will need to wait for at least 8 months for your wood to be seasoned and for its moisture content to go down to 20%. The optimal moisture level is about 15%. If you will use Hardwoods, you will have to wait at least 12 months up to two years.
Green Firewood means that the firewood has just been freshly cut. Its moisture content averages to 52% and it could go as high as 120%.
Take in mind that the drier the wood the more heat it would produce. The reason behind this is because moisture in wood requires energy for evaporation which leads to the reduction of overall heat of the firewood.
A semi-seasoned firewood would take about 6 months. It is a bit less efficient to burn and its heat is more reduced compared to seasoned firewood. Aside from that, this type of wood also produces creosote. This means, this type of firewood is not ideal for burning.
Kiln dried firewood – split oak firewood in 14” to 18” L. This could be kiln dried from 52% to 20% moisture in about 260/90/20 hours at 140/180/220 degree Fahrenheit.
Do I Need a Firewood Moisture Meter?
Yes, a firewood moisture meter is a must especially if you would want to get properly seasoned wood. This will allow you to get optimal amount of heat. Through a firewood moisture meter, you will be able to ensure that you will not get wood that is not ready to burn.
Hence, is it necessary to own a firewood moisture meter even when you have never used one before? In reality if you get a firewood which you do not know the moisture level, you might not get the full effect of your firewood. There are numerous reasons why you should have your own moisture meter. For one your firewood that is not well-seasoned could cost you more than necessary. For one, a high moisture leveled wood is difficult to burn. Aside from that, you will not get as much heat as you would like to and you would need to hire more for maintenance. Another reason is it could also be hazardous to burn a wet wood.
What Does a Firewood Moisture Meter Do?
For a precise measurement of moisture content, a firewood moisture meter is very affordable. It is easy to use and it provides accurate data when used correctly. Furthermore, firewood moisture come in two different types- pin meters and pinless meters.
Pin vs Pinless Firewood Moisture Meters
If you are in the process of purchasing firewood moisture meter, there have been claims on the accuracy of the mentioned device by big brands. Accuracy depends on different factors and purpose the meter is being used for.
A pin-style meter comes with two prongs this should be inserted into the wood to test for moisture content. This type of meter comes with electrical resistance which determines moisture content as electrical current is passed between two pins.
As for pinless meter, this type of device uses radio waves to scan materials. It also uses electromagnetic technology to determine the amount of moisture present. If you are trying to determine which of the two has a more accurate performance, you will have to weigh the factors. Each and every type has its own pros and cons. Hence s you wish to test their performance, check this site and other sources.
One of the most important thing when using the moisture meter is to ensure that you use it properly. A Pinless firewood moisture meter comes with sensor pad which is perfect to use on the wood’s surface. Hence, if you are checking a rough bark, this type of firewood moisture meter could provide you an inaccurate reading as the most wet part of the wood is usually at the center. Thus, there are some pin meters that come with additional external prongs which allows it to penetrate into the pieces of wood. A good example of this is the Lignomat Moisture Meter Mini-Ligno E/D
FLIR MR55: Adjusts for Ambient temperature
- Ambient temperature range: 0°C to 50°C (32°F to 122°F) / Accuracy: ±1°C (2°F)
- Drop test : 2 m (6.6 ft)
- IP Rating : IP40
- Battery Life : Typical 70 hours without worklight
- Dimensions : 188 × 58 × 33 mm (7.4 × 2.3 × 1.3 in)
- Relative Humidity: Range 0-10% / Accuracy ±4%; Range 10-85% / Accuracy ±2%
- Work light: White LED
- Display: Backlit, multi-function LCD
- Wood Range: 7% to 29% (±2% MC accuracy); 30% to 99% (Reference Only) /
- Building Material Range: 1% to 99% Group 10, 1 to 35% Group 11 (Reference Only)
- Pin Moisture Groups: Wood Type: Groups 1–9; Building Materials: Groups 10 and 11
Look for Quality
Another factor you should consider when you are purchasing a product is the quality of the product. We all know that all manufacturers would claim that their product is the best. Do not be fooled by the high price tag. This does not guarantee you that the product will perform well. One way to ensure you are getting the best is by checking and looking into the reviews.
As they say, there is power in numbers. The higher the consumer ratings the better it is. An example of this is Dr. Meter MD-812 Digital Wood Moisture is offered at a very reasonable price. It is also considered as one of the best in quality performance and accuracy.
One of the limitations of pin-style meters is the risk of pins being stuck in the wood which is why you would not want to spend hundreds of dollars on a professional grade meter but rather it is best that you do a lot research before purchasing. Do not forget to look into the warranty and take in mind that there are no one-size fits all with moisture meters. Hence before purchasing consider what type of wood you would mostly use the device.
Best Firewood Moisture Meters
This wood moisture meter is known for easy to use and very durable device. It provides accurate and reliable measurements. It comes with LED display with bright LED light perfect to be used even at night.
- Bright LED display.
- 2 settings for wood species corrections.
- A measuring range high enough to evaluate wet lumber (45%)
- Ergonomic, durable, rugged design for easy operation.
- A bright, digital display readable even in dark crawl spaces resolution of 0.1% below the critical moisture range of 10%
- A unique shape that fits comfortably in your hand when measuring.
- A measuring range low enough to check hardwood floors (6%)
This device is ergonomic and could fit your hand when you are measuring moisture. It is compact and will be able to fit your shirt-pocket. It also comes with a safety pin in case you are traveling. It also has a unique on-off switch between pins.
This firewood moisture meter is perfect for wood and soft building materials like plaster, sheetrock and gypsum. This device is more recommended than Mini-Ligno E/D. It is perfect tool for home inspectors, contractors and architects. Aside from moisture this device could also detect mold problems.
As mentioned earlier, the Dr. Meter MD-812 is one of the most popular wood moisture meter. It is a very reliable device and comes with a carrying case, extra set of pins and battery. The Dr. Meter MD-812 is affordable and could be purchased by average homeowner.
- Testing Range 5% – 40%
- Digital large size LCD display
- Test Range: 5%-40%
- Accuracy: +/-1%
- Data held in memory for easy reading
- Powered by one 9V battery, and has a low-power indicator
- 2-pin or 4-pin sensor
- Ability to change the sensor pins based on application
- Dimension: 130Lx64Wx32H(mm)
- Small size, easy to operate and carry
- Measuring Range: 5%-40%, Accuracy: +/-1%
- Ability to store data and measured values in memory.
- Low power indicator.
- Ability to select 2-pin or 4-pin sensor.
- Modular sensor pins.
You will not go wrong with STIHL firewood moisture meter. You could be assured that the details you will get is reliable and accurate. It comes with LCD Display and batteries. This Digital Moisture meter is made in Germany.
- LCD Display
- Level battery indicator
- Moisture range for:
- Wood : 6%-42%
- Other material : 0,2%-2%
- Temperature : 0-40°C
- 1,5V LR44 battery or equivalent X4
- Weight : 50g
General Tools and Instruments | Moisture Meters
General Tools and Instruments is a company launched by Abe and Lilian Rosenberg in New York City in 1922. It was called General Hardware Manufacturing Co. previously and the company specialized in hard goods. Currently, they are the leading manufacturer of wood moisture meters
This moisture meter could easily detect hidden leaks not only in wood but also in concrete, plaster and carpet. It is available in analog and digital. Through this device, you will be able to access accurate moisture level readings which are perfect for new home inspections, locating roof leaks and choosing dry lumber at the yard. This device includes battery and manual.
- 99.9 count LCD w/0.4 in. high digits.
- Wood/building materials selection switch.
- High accuracy and resolution.
- Replaceable stainless steel pins (#PIND4E).
- Powered by “9V” battery (included).
- Data hold + auto power off + low battery indicator.
- Low, Medium, and High moisture sounds and on-screen icons.
- Overall Moisture Measurement Range:
- 5 to 50% for wood
- 1.5 to 33% for building materials
- Current Consumption: < 15mA
- Power Source: 1 “9V” battery (included)
- Wood Moisture Scales:
- 5 to 11.9% (low)
- 12 to 15.9% (medium)
- 16 to 50% (high)
- Measurement Accuracy: ±3% of reading
- Measurement Resolution: ±0.1%
- Building Materials Scales:
- 1.5 to 16.9% (low)
- 17 to 19.9% (medium)
- 20 to 33% (high)
- Low Battery Level: < 7.5V
- Auto Power Off Trigger: 3 minutes of inactivity
MMD5NP | Firewood Moisture Meter
This firewood moisture meter comes with a range of 0.0 to 99.9% REL for food, 0.0 to 56.5% REL for building materials. This sensor comes with a measurement of 3/4in (20mm) depth. It also comes with huge LCD display with screen icons for low/medium/high moisture content and wood/concrete mode.
- Non-invasive measurement technique
- Jumbo display
- Auto Power Off
- Intuitive on-screen icons: Low/Medium/High moisture content; wood/concrete mode
- Audible peak reading alert
- Low and very low battery warnings
- Wide measurement range
- Hold function
- Measurement Ranges:
- 0 to 99.9% REL WME (Wood Moisture Equivalent) for wood
- 0 to 56.5% REL for building materials
- Operating Relative Humidity: < 80%
- Power Source: 1 9V battery (included)
- Measurement Accuracy/Resolution: ±3%/0.1%
- Measuring Depth: 3/4 in. (20mm)
- Auto Power Off Trigger: 3 to 4 minutes with 0% reading
- Low/Very Low Battery Warning Triggers: <7.5V/<6.5V
- Operating Temperature: 32° to 122°F (0° to 50°C)
- Display Type/Size: 99.9 count LCD with 0.4 in.(10mm) high digits