A moisture meter is an invaluable tool when it comes to a variety of professional, and even do-it-yourself, jobs. Because this piece of equipment is used to judge material or the integrity of a structure, it’s essential to get the right one.
Quality definitely counts when it comes to moisture meters. But how can you know for sure that you’re getting something that suits your needs?
By researching what’s out there. The good news? We’ve already done that for you. We’ve studied the moisture meter market thoroughly and assembled a list of the five best options that we encountered.
Not only that, but we also put together a handy little buying guide to further improve your knowledge of this essential tool.
With that in mind, read on for a guide to the best moisture meters for home inspectors!
|Protimeter BLD5365 Surveymaster Dual-Function|
(Best for the Money)
|General Tools MMH800 4-In-1 Combo Moisture Meter||2 lbs||4.2/5|
Up first, we have the Protimeter BLD5365. This bad boy wears a hefty, but well-earned, price tag. It includes a strong range of features other tools simply can’t match.
One of the first things that we appreciate about this option is that it gives you two different modes of use. There’s the traditional pin method, where the pins go onto the material for direct testing. This approach is generally used when you need to be as accurate as possible.
It also features a pin-free mode, which is helpful if you don’t want to prick the piece you’re testing.
Even when you do use the pins, however, the measuring is very noninvasive. This unit can give extremely accurate results by penetrating only three-quarters of an inch.
It does leave its mark, but not one that most people are ever going to notice.
Rounding out these features is a rugged design that is great for the on-the-go lifestyle of home inspectors.
In terms of cons, there’s really only one that we detected. It’s pricey. However, if you are a professional who demands the best, you’ll probably be happy to pay the premium.
The Dr. Meter MD-918 assumes the spots for both our runner-up slot and “best for the money” pick. This means that it produces good results at a price that is more accessible.
This pin-free moisture meter costs only a small fraction of what the Protimeter costs. For your money, you get a noninvasive moisture meter with an advertised margin of error of only 1%.
So, what is wrong with this unit? Why wasn’t it able to claim our top position?
There are a few problems that we noticed. For one thing, the design here isn’t quite as rugged as that of our last unit. That means it may not be quite so capable of standing up to a tough jobsite.
It’s also very difficult to calibrate, and the results that it produces are a bit challenging to decipher. It is readable, of course, but the information is not presented in a user-friendly manner.
Still, if you are trying to save money, you may be willing to overlook these things.
Last but not least, we have the General Tools MMH800. This moderately priced tool delivers both pinned and pin-free readings. It’s also able to deliver readings on ambient temperatures and can temporarily store data for convenient viewing later.
The big issue here, and the reason this device isn’t higher up on our list, is accuracy. It’s not as accurate as the other two options that we saw which, needless to say, will be a substantial problem for professionals.
It’s a shame because the idea here is perfect. Moderate price, good features. If General Tools can up the accuracy a little bit, this will be a unit worth serious consideration.
Now that you’ve read the reviews, why not take a look at our buyer’s guide which we’ve prepared to help you make a better-informed decision.
We’ve looked at both pin and pinless readers. Two of our options are capable of both. Which will be right for you? If you’re a professional, you will probably want a combination tool.
Pinned readings usually give the best readings, but sometimes you’ll encounter a surface that requires a less invasive approach. In such situations, it can be handy to have a combo tool.
Home inspectors sometimes find themselves in rough environments. The job isn’t always so friendly on the tools, which puts ruggedness at a big premium. If you want your moisture meter to stand the test of time, invest in something sturdy.
And finally, we come to price. Moisture meters carry a wide range of price tags. The units from this list demonstrate that quite well. If you’re using your moisture meter in a professional capacity, you’ll definitely want quality over everything else. Sometimes that will mean spending a few hundred dollars (or more) to get it.
However, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you can find something suitable for under $100. It all depends on what you need the device for.
You don’t have to be a working professional to appreciate the products featured on this list of best moisture meters for home inspectors. If you’re in the market for a good, accurate piece of equipment, one of these tools will be great for you.
But which tool? We’re at that point in the process where you need to be asking yourself this question. Ultimately, the decision is yours. However, if you are struggling to find the answer, we do have a couple of suggestions.
Buyers who want the best regardless of price will probably be drawn to our top pick, the Protimeter BLD5365.
However, if you’re more interested in finding a combination of value and quality, there’s no beating the deal you get with our “best for the money” pick, the Dr.meter MD-918.
And now that you know what is out there, you can make your own buying decision with confidence.
We also talk about our top 5 favorite moisture meters (for all uses) on the page found here.