I need some help selecting a moisture meter. I just got a new bandmill and plan on milling a lot of lumber. I also plan on air-drying quite a bit of wood.
My main use of the meter will be in measuring rough lumber, but I am still concerned about the pinholes showing though, after planing the wood. I am debating between the Wagner L606 (pinless) and the Delmhorst J-2000 (pinned). They are the same price.
Are these good meters? Any others I should consider? Is there one that is both pinless and pinned?
Electrophysics. They have a dual mode (pinned and pinless) meter for $330. Anyone have experience with it?
I think that you will have very expensive meters but the need for accurate data is limited. When you go into the kiln, you will have to cut normal moisture content (MC) sections. If you use a solar kiln, then the entering MC doesn't matter. In short, I do not think that you need a meter for air-dried lumber.
Gene Wengert, forum moderator
I want to use the meter to see how far along in air drying it is, and then how dry it is once it has been in the shop for a while.
Actually, if you can afford both, you will find them both to be useful -- I like to suggest that about $200 is the minimum price to pay for a good meter. I also suggest that you get one that lots of other people use, to help in learning how to use it, special techniques, etc.
I have had very good results with the Electrophysics meters. They are fast, easy and reasonably accurate. In some cases, I have found them more accurate than the Delmhorst, when compared to oven samples.
I would be interested in hearing other comments. Currently, I only use the Electrophysics for quick checks, but would consider using them for more if they were industry accepted.
For example, the error was .5 percent, .7 percent, and -0.1 percent MC for the three meters on hard maple; .6, .5, and 1.2 on red oak; and .3, .9, and -0.1 on walnut.
See the Forest Products Journal Vol. 47, No. 6, pp. 60 - 62 for details. (These results are very good considering that the pin meter measures in a specific spot, the pinless in one half of the thickness, and the oven test in a large piece.)
Comment from contributor J:
Many people seem to think that meters with pins are more accurate. They would be suprised to learn that pinless electromagnetic wave technology is more acurate and does not damage the wood. It is also easier to use in professional and private atmospheres.