The 5 Best Pinless Moisture Meters for Your DIY Projects (Expert Tips)

Best Choice

Wagner Meters Orion® 940 Pinless Wood Moisture Meter with Backlight

Wagner Meters Orion 940

Runner up

Wagner Meters Orion® 930 Pinless Wood Moisture Meter (with Backlight)

Wagner Meters Orion 930

Best Price

Dr.meter Wood Moisture Meter, 2 in 1 Pin & Pinless

Dr. meter MT 1905

Moisture can be a big problem in woodworking and construction. Whether it’s in the form of a damp basement, a leaky roof, or water damage from flooding, moisture can wreak havoc on building materials like wood, drywall, and concrete. That’s where a pinless moisture meter comes in handy.

A pinless moisture meter is a non-invasive tool used to detect moisture levels in various materials without causing any damage. Unlike traditional pin type meters that puncture the surface of the material being tested, pinless meters rely on electromagnetic technology to measure moisture levels beneath the surface.

Here are the top 5 best pinless moisture meters I’ll be discussing in this article, along with their total scores out of 5:

  • Wagner Meters Orion 940: Total score of 4.5 out of 5
  • Wagner Meters Orion 930: Total score of 4.3 out of 5
  • Dr. Meter MD918 Pinless Moisture Meter: Total score of 4 out of 5
  • Klein Tools ET140: Total score of 3.3 out of 5
  • Dr. meter MT 1905: Total score of 4 out of 5

Investigate the exceptional features and benefits of each digital moisture meter with this article, empowering professional woodworkers and DIY enthusiasts alike to make an informed decision when selecting their perfect moisture meter based on quality, longevity, and performance. Whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or a beginner, finding the right wood moisture meter is crucial to ensure accurate readings and successful projects.

With our in-depth analysis of each moisture meter, you can confidently begin your search for the perfect one. But before you start, we recommend reading our article, “What is a wood Moisture Meter & Why Is It Essential for Lumber Drying,” for a comprehensive understanding of moisture meters. Don’t miss out on this informative blog post’s invaluable knowledge!

Disclosure: At zero cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. I earn from qualifying purchases as an Amazon associate. Products featured are selected based on quality, performance, and reputation, regardless of affiliate relationships.

What is a Pinless Moisture Meter?

Top 5 Best Moisture Meters - Pin vs pinless Moisture tester
Pin vs pinless Moisture tester

A pinless handheld moisture meter is an electronic device that detects moisture levels within various materials such as wood, drywall and concrete. These devices use electromagnetic waves to scan for the presence of water and determine its level of concentration.

Unlike other types of meters that require making holes or punctures into surfaces to take readings, these tools do not damage surfaces or leave marks behind.

Wood moisture meters are essential tools for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike who need accurate readings for their building projects.

They can be used to detect hidden leaks within walls or floors before they cause damage while also helping builders ensure they have proper insulation throughout their structures.

Is a pin-type wood moisture meter more what you’re looking for rather than a pinless one? Then check out my comparative buying guide Best Moisture Meter for Woodworking on the Market to find the best deal for your workshop.

The Importance of Using a Moisture Meter

Moisture can cause significant problems in woodworking and construction if left undetected. When wood becomes moist or dampened due to humid conditions or external factors like rainwater seepage- it expands and contracts leading to warping that could ruin your work.

In addition to this issue, mold growth occurs when humidity lingers resulting in serious health risks for occupants who will be in contact with the infected area. Moisture can also cause problems for construction workers.

In concrete, too much moisture leads to cracks and erosion, making it unable to support the weight it was designed for. In drywall, moisture can lead to swelling or disintegration of the material, causing physical damage while also providing a breeding ground for mold and other pests.

Investing in a pinless meter is essential for anyone working in woodworking or construction. By being able to detect hidden moisture issues before they become bigger problems, these tools help save time and money while also ensuring that all building projects are done right from start to finish.

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Top 5 Best Pinless Moisture Meters in the Market

When it comes to finding the best pinless moisture meter for woodworking, there are many options to choose from. Here are the top 5 best pinless moisture meters available in the market right now:

Best choice

01: Wagner Meters Orion 940

The Wagner Meters Orion 940 is a highly accurate and versatile pinless moisture meter that can measure moisture levels in a wide range of materials, including wood, drywall, concrete, and more. It has a large LCD display that shows moisture level readings in percentages and includes a data hold function, making it easy to record and review measurements. The Orion 940 also features an adjustable alarm that notifies users when a certain moisture level has been reached and is equipped with a built-in calibration check for precise readings.


  • High accuracy and versatility make it a great all-around digital moisture meter.
  • Large LCD display and data hold function are useful for recording and reviewing measurements.
  • Adjustable alarm and built-in calibration check enhance usability and accuracy.


  • Higher price point compared to some other moisture meters on this list.
  • May require more frequent calibration compared to other models.
  • Some users have reported difficulty getting consistent readings on certain materials.

Wagner Meters Orion 940


Ease of use


Total score: 4.3/5

Runner Up

02: Wagner Meters Orion 930

The Wagner Meters Orion 930 is a mid-range pinless moisture meter that is designed primarily for use with wood and not with other building materials like the 940 type discussed above. It features a large backlit LCD display that shows readings in percentages, as well as a hold function that allows users to freeze the reading on the display for easy recording and review. Additionally, the Orion 930 includes an adjustable alarm that can be set to alert users when a certain moisture level is reached.


  • Good balance of price and features compared to other moisture meters on this list.
  • Large backlit LCD display and hold function enhance usability.
  • Adjustable alarm enhances accuracy and ease of use.


  • May not be as accurate as some other models, particularly on non-wood materials.
  • Limited versatility compared to other moisture content meters on this list.
  • Some users have reported issues with durability over time.

Wagner Meters Orion 930


Ease of use


Total score: 4.3/5

03: Dr. Meter MD918 Pinless Moisture Meter

Dr. Meter MD918 Pinless Moisture Meter is a reliable tool to measure moisture content in various materials without causing any damage. This highly beneficial tool is crafted for homeowners, woodworkers, and construction professionals alike, giving precious insight into the humidity of walls, ceilings, floors, and furniture. Monitor humidity with ease and ensure your property is safe with this advanced product. The meter features a large LCD screen that displays accurate readings in seconds, making it easy to use and read.


  • It is non-invasive and doesn’t require any pins or probes to take readings. You can measure moisture content without causing any damage.
  • This versatile meter can assess moisture content in multiple materials, such as wood, drywall, concrete, and plaster.
  • It is easy to use, with a simple interface and large display screen.


  • This wood Moisture Meter has a limited depth of measurement, which means it may not be suitable for measuring moisture levels in materials thicker than ¾ inch.
  • This meter is not suitable for measuring moisture content in materials with high moisture levels, such as wet concrete or wet wood.
  • This meter’s precision may be diminished due to the type of material measured, temperature changes, and other influencing elements.

Dr. Meter MD918 Pinless Moisture Meter


Ease of use


Total score: 4/5

04: Klein Tools ET140

The Klein Tools ET140 is a compact and affordable pinless moisture meter that is designed primarily for use with wood and other building materials. It features a simple one-button design and an easy-to-read LCD display that shows moisture level readings in percentages. Additionally, the ET140 includes a hold function that allows users to freeze the reading on the display for easy recording and review.


  • Affordable price point makes it accessible for users on a budget.
  • Compact design and simple one-button operation enhance ease of use.
  • Hold function is useful for recording and reviewing measurements.


  • Limited versatility compared to other moisture content meters on this list.
  • May not be as accurate as some other models, particularly on non-wood materials.
  • Some users have reported issues with battery life and durability.

Klein Tools ET140


Ease of use


Total score: 3.3/5

Best Price

05: Dr. meter MT 1905

The Dr. meter MT 1905 offers optimal precision and convenience for measuring moisture levels in wood, drywall, and you can even use this moisture meter for concrete. Boasting a crisp LCD display that delivers reliable readings in real-time, this pin-type moisture meter has a range of 0 to 99.9% with an accuracy of +/- 0.5%. The device also features two replaceable pins and a protective cap for enhanced accuracy and safe storage; plus it can be used as a pin-less moisture tester too!


  • Boasting a compact design and lightweight construction, this device is conveniently transportable.
  • It has a wide measuring range, allowing it to measure moisture in various materials.
  • The LCD display is easy to read and shows real-time moisture readings.


  • The device requires pins to take measurements, which may damage some materials or leave visible holes.
  • The accuracy may decrease over time, and the device may require calibration.
  • The device may not work well in extremely humid or wet conditions.

Dr. meter MT 1905


Ease of use


Total score: 4/5

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pinless Moisture Meter

Type of Material Being Tested

One important factor to consider when choosing a pinless moisture meter is the type of material being tested. The degree of conductivity of different materials can affect the accuracy of readings, resulting in varying results. For example, wood has a higher conductivity than concrete or drywall, so it requires a moisture meter with a different measurement range and depth.

Measurement Range and Depth

Another important factor is the measurement range and depth of the moisture detectors. This refers to how deep into the material the device can detect moisture, as well as the range of levels it can measure.

For some applications, such as woodworking or wood flooring installation, you may need to test for moisture deeper in the material. If you are searching for the best moisture meter for wood slabs, you’ll want to choose a moisture meter with a greater depth range.

Display Type

The display type is another important factor to consider when choosing a pinless moisture meter. There are two main types: analog and digital displays. Analog displays use needles that move across a scale to indicate the percentage of moisture present in the material being tested.

Digital displays use LED screens that display numerical readings on-screen. Whereas both types of displays present accurate moisture content readings, digital displays are generally simpler to comprehend than analog ones.

Calibration Options

Calibration options are also an important consideration when choosing a pinless moisture meter. Calibration ensures the accuracy and consistency of measurements over an extended period.

Some devices require regular calibration by professionals or through self-calibration methods built into their software. Others may have automatic calibration features that adjust for changes in temperature or humidity levels without requiring direct user intervention.

Overall, choosing the right pinless moisture meter depends on several factors including what materials you’re testing for water content and any special requirements you might have for measurement range and accuracy.

By meticulously evaluating the relevant considerations and doing your due diligence on various models, you can uncover the ideal tool that fits your precise requirements.

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Benefits of Using a Pinless Moisture Meter

Non-destructive testing method

A pinless wood moisture meter offers a major advantage in its non-destructive testing method, meaning it will not inflict any damage on the material being tested. This is especially beneficial for costly or rare materials such as hardwood or antique furniture.

With a pin-type meter, you need to insert pins into the material, which can leave holes that may compromise the integrity of the item. However, with a pinless moisture meter, you simply hold the device against the material and get an accurate reading without causing any damage.

Faster and easier than using pin-type meters

Another advantage of using a pinless moisture meter is that it is faster and easier than using pin-type meters. With a pin-type meter, you need to insert pins into multiple locations on the material to get an accurate average reading.

This can be time-consuming and tedious, especially when testing large areas or multiple pieces of wood. On the other hand, with a pinless moisture meter, you simply scan over the surface of the material in one or two passes to get an accurate reading.

Can detect moisture levels deeper in the material

A third benefit of using a pinless moisture meter is that it can detect moisture levels deeper in the material than most pin-type meters can reach. This is because some materials have varying densities or layers that may prevent pins from reaching all areas where moisture may be present. A pinless moisture meter uses electromagnetic waves to penetrate deeper into materials without damaging them.

Helps prevent costly damage

By detecting high levels of moisture in materials such as wood and drywall before they cause visible damage like warping and cracking; using a best-in-class Pinless Moisture Meter helps prevent costly repairs and replacements.

How to Use a Pinless Moisture Meter

Step-by-step instructions

Using a pinless moisture meter is quite easy, and anyone can do it without any special skills or knowledge. First, guarantee that the area you intend to measure is completely free of dirt and debris.

Activate the meter by pressing the power button, typically located on either the side or top of the device. Next, hold the moisture meter flat against the surface you want to test and press it firmly with your hand.

Ensure that there’s good contact between the device and material being tested. The moisture level will then be displayed on either an analog or digital screen.

Some models have a hold button that you can press once you get a reading to freeze it in place before taking note of it. Others take automatic readings without requiring much user input beyond holding them in place.

Tips on proper handling and maintenance

To ensure accurate readings every time, proper handling and maintenance are key when using your pinless moisture meter. For starters, ensure that you handle it with care when using it as dropping it can damage its sensitive parts.

Also, when not in use, store your moisture meter in a dry place away from direct sunlight or heat sources like radiators as exposure to high temperatures may damage its electronics over time. Another thing worth noting is calibration; some models may require regular calibration for accurate results.

Check your user manual for specific instructions regarding calibration procedures as well as intervals for calibrating your particular model. Be sure to clean your pinless moisture meter regularly by wiping down its surface with a soft cloth after each use so that built-up dirt doesn’t interfere with its sensors over time.


Recap of the importance of using a moisture meter

Wood moisture meters are important tools that help people in various industries identify the level of moisture in different materials, such as wood, concrete, and drywall. By detecting moisture levels early on, professionals can prevent damage to structures and ensure their longevity.

Ignoring or delaying proper moisture measurement can result in costly repairs. Pin-less moisture meters are top-rated among professionals because they offer non-destructive testing methods that allow for faster and easier detection of deeper moisture levels than pin-type meters.

They make it possible to detect water seepage even before it causes visible damage to materials. Additionally, they are more versatile than pin-type meters since they can test a broader range of materials.

Moisture Meter ModelWagner Meters Orion 940Wagner Meters Orion 930Dr. Meter MD918 Pinless Moisture MeterKlein Tools ET140Dr. meter MT 1905
Accuracy and VersatilityHighModerateHighModerateHigh
Materials SupportedWood, drywall, concreteWoodWood, drywall, concreteWood, otherWood, drywall, concrete
LCD DisplayLargeLarge, backlitLargeEasy-to-readEasy-to-read
Data Hold FunctionYesYesNoYesNo
Adjustable AlarmYesYesNoNoNo
Built-in CalibrationYesNoNoNoNo
DurabilityNot specifiedSome reported issuesNot specifiedSome reported issuesNot specified
Depth of MeasurementNot specifiedNot specifiedLimitedNot specifiedNot specified
Type of MeasurementPinlessPinlessPinlessPinlessPin and pin-less
Overall Score4.3/54.3/54/53.3/54/5
Comparison table summarizing the moisture meters

Final thoughts on choosing the best pinless moisture meter for woodworking

When selecting a pinless moisture meter, there are many factors to consider: type of material being tested, measurement range and depth, display type (analog or digital), calibration options, accuracy level, and price.

It’s essential to choose a meter that meets your specific needs. For example, if you work with wood regularly, you’ll want a device with deep measurement penetration capabilities that accurately detects changes in moisture levels at varying depths.

Arm yourself with the knowledge provided in this article to make an educated decision and find the ideal pinless moisture meter for your requirements. Enjoy your shopping experience!

Now you have your moisture meter in mind you can start drying your own wood. To gain a lot of knowledge to this, I recommend you should read my article “4 Correct ways to dry lumber fast | Complete wood drying guide” next.

Frequently Asked Questions

How accurate are pinless moisture meters?

Pinless moisture meters are highly accurate when used correctly. You should ensure that the surface you’re testing is free of debris and clean to get the most accurate results.

Do I need to calibrate my pinless moisture meter regularly?

Yes, some models require regular calibration for accurate results. Check your user manual for specific instructions regarding calibration procedures and intervals for your particular model.

Can pinless moisture meters work on all materials?

No, different models are designed to work with specific material types. Check the manufacturer’s specifications before purchasing a pinless moisture meter to ensure it is compatible with the material you will be testing.

How deep can a pinless moisture meter measure into a material?

The extent of measurement fluctuates depending on the model, yet most can measure up to 1-1.5 inches into the material under evaluation.

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