If you ever work with wood from unreliable or unusual sources, such as one-person sawmills, it pays to own a moisture meter. I slip mine into my pocket whenever I head to the lumberyard and it has saved my skin several times in the last 20 years.
But not everyone can afford an expensive pinless meter with all its features.
So I was interested to try the new CMT DMM-001, a pin-activated moisture meter that costs about $40, or about one-fifth of the price of a nice commercial meter.
On the plus side, the CMT has a rugged case, is simple to operate and comes with the 9-volt battery that runs it.
On the minus side, all pin moisture meters have limitations. You have to drive the pins in fairly deep to activate the meter, and so you don’t want to use the meter on wood that will be a show surface – the pins leave obvious holes.