One of the most important tools of any firewood business to have in their toolbox is a wood moisture meter. The moisture meter is an indispensable tool that measure the moisture content of wood. It will tell you whether or not the wood you’ve collected and prepared for sale has seasoned long enough to burn well as firewood.
Many parts of the country have local laws that require that wood sold as firewood be below a specific moisture content. Dry firewood burns hotter and more completely because less energy is spent evaporating moisture stored in the wood. Properly seasoned firewood should have a moisture content below 20%.
There are two basic types of moisture meters available, pin and pinless. Both meters work by measuring the effects of an electrical current (pin type) or electromagnetic current (pinless) through wood.
Pin-type meters work by pushing two sharp pins into the wood and measuring the electrical resistance of the wood between the pins. The more moisture that is in the wood the less resistance the electrical current traveling between the pins has and the current will flow faster.
A pinless meter uses a sensor pad that gets pressed against the wood. The plate projects an electrical field into the wood and senses changes in the electrical field and converts that to moisture content.
For measuring moisture in firewood the pin-type meter is most reliable and cost-effective type meter. Different wood species will have varying base resistance and most commercially available moisture meters will have a setting or differential reading for different varieties of wood.
- Dr.Meter MD-812 LCD Display Digital Wood Moisture Meter for Wood – Dr. Meter has a large built-in LCD display and has a measurement range of 5%-40% moisture content in firewood. It is accurate to +/-1% and can be purchased from Amazon for under $30.
- General Tools MMD4E Moisture Meter – General Tools MMD4E comes in both pin and pinless varieties. It’s measurement range is 5%-50% and can save measurements to a SmartPhone app via bluetooth connection. It’s available on Amazon for under $30.
- GoerTek Moisture Meter – The GoerTek Moisture meter is an affordable meter that has a large LCD display and a measurement range of 5%-40%. It is highly reviewed and an affordable meter that can be bought from Amazon from $15.99
- RISEPRO® Digital Moisture Meter – The RISEPRO® Digital Moisture Meter from Amazon has an effective measurement range from 0%-99%. It also has built in settings for different varieties of woods to make calculating moisture content across different wood species easy. It’s only $18 from Amazon.
- Stihl Wood Digital Moisture Meter – The Stihl Digital Moisture Meter is a from a trusted name in the firewood businesses, Stihl. The Stihl wood moisture meter has a measurement range of 6%-40% and is available from Amazon for around $25.