Key facts about moisture meters


Moisture meters, also known as moisture gauges or moisture indicators, are special devices used for measuring the moisture levels in a given material. Industrial workers often use moisture meters to test drywall, concrete, wood floors, soil, and various other surfaces.

The whole process works thanks to an infrared light inside the device. The light shines through the material being measured—and the amount of light reflected back indicates the moisture levels within.  

Across industries, moisture meters are essential for safety and quality control—but before investing in new devices for your business, why not read through some key facts? It will help you make a more informed purchase!  

1. Moisture meters have multiple uses 

While most people are familiar with moisture meters in the agricultural sense—i.e. those used to measure the dampness or dryness of soil—they actually have an enormous range of applications across various industries.

You’ll find moisture meters used in industries such as:

  • Building and construction,
  • Packaging,
  • Manufacturing,
  • Forestry,
  • Food processing,
  • Papermaking,
  • Woodworking and metalworking.

For example, in the metalworking industry, it’s crucial for workers to analyse the moisture content in metal before heating it to achieve quality results. In welding, a higher moisture content will produce a slag that’s more difficult to resolve, leading to potential weld cracking. That’s why moisture meters are so critical within the industry.

2. There are various moisture meter types

Moisture meters are typically categorised by the type of material they measure. Some meters measure moisture levels in wood, some measure moisture levels in concrete, and some meters measure moisture levels in food. You might also categorise moisture meters by the method they use to calculate the moisture content.

The most common types of moisture meters are the food quality meter, wood quality meter, and concrete quality meter. 

Food quality meters use a wet-cup test or a microwave measurement to determine if the food is spoiled. Wood quality meters measure how much water has penetrated into a piece of wood through weight loss or electrical conductivity. Concrete quality meters measure the absorption index of water into concrete in a similar manner to wood meters.

3. Moisture meters vary in accuracy

Some moisture meters are more accurate than others—usually depending on the price and quality of the meter in question. Environmental factors can also affect the accuracy of a device’s moisture reading, including the type of material you’re assessing.

To ensure pinpoint accuracy when using a high-quality moisture meter, make sure to calibrate it before use.

4. Moisture meters can detect mould risk, but not mould itself

You might be wondering if you can use a moisture meter to detect mould within a building. While the devices can’t detect mould directly, they can identify areas of increased risk.

For accurate mould detection, moisture analysers are generally a better choice than moisture meters.


In summary, moisture meters are specialised, adaptable, and essential tools used across multiple industries, including construction, manufacturing, and food processing. They play a key role in maintaining proper safety standards and regulating product quality in the workplace.

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