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Harbor Freight Wood Moisture Meter

Post in 'The Gear' started by 04HemiRam2500, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

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    Okay I got my wood moisture meter today from Harbor Freight. I have a previously started thread in the wood stove section about my englander stove. I thought that my wood was wet but according to the meter the highest reading was 14% plus or minus 2%.

    However, should I split the wood and get a reading from the newly split wood or is this not necessary?

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    You must resplit the wood to gain any kind of meaningful reading. Also - try to keep the probes in the same "vein" when reading.
  3. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

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    I am sorry that this is probably a really dumb question but I am new to burning wood. What do you mean by the same vein?
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    The grain of the wood.
    (and by the way - clarifying the unknown is far from a dumb question).;)
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2013
    Beer Belly likes this.
  5. dmmoss51

    dmmoss51 Feeling the Heat

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    Wouldn't you measure moisture on a newly split face across the grain? Thought i read that someplace.
  6. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

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    Okay thanks will let you know of the difference between inside and outside of the wood.
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    IN the same grain was the instruction with my meter. But truth be told, I have tried both ways (with/against grain) and there doesn't seem to be much change in the reading.
    oldspark likes this.
  8. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

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    Is there a "calibration" procedure with your meter?
    Some brands tell you to stick the 2 pins in your hand palm. Don't stick it to deep, you may hurt yourself !!!. This should measure around 32% MC.
    How did you check your moisture meter?
  9. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

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    What a difference after you split it. Without splitting it the outside gave me 11% when split one side gave me 24% and the other 29%!!! Wow the wood is still wet. Well, I will learn from this winter that is why there is already 2 cords split and stacked for next winter and I will be cutting this weekend.
  10. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

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    There is no calibration for the one from harbor freight at least this is what the manual says.
  11. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Its good to find out now - before the "my stove won't burn" thread starts.;);lol
  12. dmmoss51

    dmmoss51 Feeling the Heat

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    The HF meter is nice for the price there are lots of meters out there with more bells wistles and accuracy but this one is great for the to burn or not to burn question.

    I think that also has a +/- 4% variance so your wood could be anywhere from 20-33% which it probably is depending on thickness, location within the pile etc.
    tata likes this.
  13. 04HemiRam2500

    04HemiRam2500 Feeling the Heat

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    Actually I unfortunately already started the wood stove wont burn thread. I guess this is typical for a newbie like me. Also it says in the manual that the meter is plus or minus 2% which is not bad at all for the price!!
  14. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Plenty accurate enough for firewood.

    That seems to work in most cases. My palm is 32 and whenever that has been asked before, it seems to work for others. Of course, individuals will vary some and your palm should not be sweaty.
    I've tried it both ways in various species and dryness. With-the-grain seems to give a slightly higher reading in all my tests so that would be the more conservative approach.
  15. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Have one for a couple years now, just keep a fresh battery in it. They work fine. Same for their infrared temp gun.
  16. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    HF tools are notorious for their quality and reliability.

    Hope this helps.
  17. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Or, preferably, keep fresh batteries nearby, but don't leave the batteries in the unit all the time...they tend to degrade quickly when left in the unit.
  18. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    Mileage varies...I've bought at least 50 different items over the last few years and have never had one fail. Includes sanders, grinders, air compressor, folding trailer, etc., etc. I'd never buy a precision tool from them (or anyone else, at that pricepoint). I personally believe a lot of the notoriety stems from the fact that their stuff is made in China. For what it's worth, so is most of the competition, which bears traditionally American-made labels.
  19. newcomtd

    newcomtd New Member

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    I thought the average man is about 57% water? I don't think your meter is accurate. :)
  20. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    So have I. Mostly fine, a few not so fine. You just have to be careful. I've also had some Kobalt tools from Lowes which were worse. HF stuff has allowed me to get a lot of tools including power tools that I wouldn't have otherwise ever bought because I don't use often enough to justify DeWalt-like prices.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
  21. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Maybe if I stuck the pins in all the way...

    Actually, I'm kind of surprised at how consistent the palm thing seems too be. It's just a very rough check, but most people who have tried it seem to be around that. I'm sure there are exceptions.
  22. R2.0

    R2.0 New Member

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    Everyone's blood has pretty much the same salt content, so electrical conductivity is going to be pretty consistent.
  23. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    I think there are less painful ways to test that theory.
  24. newcomtd

    newcomtd New Member

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    Surface readings are not accurate though, so you will need to resplit...ok well you get the idea !!!
  25. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    I think I'm getting ill now...;sick

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