Finding the Best Wood Moisture Meter of 2024

moisture readings with the Orion 950 moisture meter

Pinless wood moisture meters like the Orion 950 can take moisture measurements when you place the underside of the meter on top of a flat, wood surface.

Let’s say you’ve had the same wood moisture meter for years, and it’s not working like it used to. Or maybe you’ve never even owned a moisture meter before. Either way, you’re looking to buy the best, most accurate, user-friendly meter to help you prevent moisture from ruining your projects.

You start looking for meters online, only to be overwhelmed by your choices.

How can you possibly narrow down which meter is right for you?

We’ll point you in the right direction by showing you one of the best moisture meters the market has to offer—the Orion 950.

We’ll explain:

Let’s begin.

Why choose the Orion 950

The Orion 950 moisture meter has proven to be accurate, efficient, and user-friendly.

Though many meters may advertise these qualities, only a few actually deliver on these promises. The ones that do will usually be the ones with the higher price tags.

And with moisture meters, you get what you pay for. If you buy a cheaper meter, you might save money at first, but you’re much more likely to get an inaccurate reading.

And with moisture testing, even being off by a few percentage points from the equilibrium moisture content (EMC) can spell disaster for your projects. So it’ll end up costing you a lot more when you’re called back to fix moisture-related problems…or even start over.

That’s why quality should come before price tag when the success of a project is at stake. Let’s look at some factors that speak to the Orion 950’s quality:

  • Accuracy
  • Ease and efficiency
  • User-friendliness
  • Temperature, humidity, and EMC calculation
  • Smartphone compatibility and data storage
  • Warranty and customer support


calibrate the Orion 950 moisture meter whenever

The Orion 950 allows for on-site calibration, enabling you to calibrate your meter anytime, anywhere.

The entire purpose of using a moisture meter is to gain an accurate understanding of how much moisture the wood contains so you know when it’s reached its equilibrium moisture content (EMC).

But when every manufacturer claims their meter is accurate, how do you know which one you can rely on?

This is when it’s a good idea to look for third-party sources that verify the meter’s claims. A good place to start is by browsing customer reviews, though you will also want to look up which meters have had their accuracy confirmed in research studies.

For more than 50 years, Wagner Meters has been known for its dependable, accurate moisture meters. The Orion 950 is no different. Third-party research studies have indeed confirmed their consistent accuracy.

This is partly because of their unique capability for onsite calibration. While other meters have to be sent back to the manufacturer for recalibration when they become damaged or stop giving accurate readings, you can calibrate Orion meters by yourself.

All you need is the provided calibration block and 30 seconds of your time. You can recalibrate your meter anytime, anywhere.

Ease and efficiency

Here’s how the Orion 950 can make your wood moisture management more efficient.

For one, it’s a pinless meter. Unlike a pin meter, it doesn’t require you to punch holes into your wood to take a measurement.

Instead, you set the bottom of the meter on top of the wood. The meter will send out an electromagnetic wave that moves through the wood. This wave will be received by the non-damaging pinless sensor pad and tell you how much moisture your wood contains.

On top of saving your wood from unnecessary damage, pinless moisture meters can get results in a matter of seconds, whereas driving in pins takes extra time and measures a smaller area.

Second, the Orion 950 can account for wood species. Simply put in the correct wood species number and you’re set to go. No need to calculate it manually afterward!

There’s also the Orion 950’s dual-depth setting that allows it to accurately measure boards of varying thickness.


Beyond being pinless, the Orion 950 has a user-friendly interface. Each of its buttons is clearly labeled. Its digital display and backlit screen make it easy to read the moisture percentages it detects.

For help using the meter, you can access short training videos that can lead you through the motions with simple, straightforward instructions. Or call our dedicated customer service team. They’re on hand to answer any of your questions. (Call 877-305-6050 or email

Temperature, humidity, and EMC calculation

On top of providing accurate moisture readings, the Orion 950 scans the temperature and relative humidity levels of its environment. Then, it uses those numbers to calculate the EMC, which tells you what moisture content your wood needs to reach before it’s ready for a woodworking or flooring project.

This is a game-changer for many woodworkers, flooring installers, sawyers, and more.

Smartphone compatibility and data storage

use the floorsmart app with the Orion 950

The Orion 950 connects to the FloorSmart App on your phone via Bluetooth, allowing you to store your moisture data.

Wagner’s Orion 950 is unique in its ability to send moisture readings to your phone.

No longer will you have to record your measurements by hand or risk losing all the data you worked so hard to gather. You can automatically transfer and store your data on the FloorSmart App.

This feature allows you to show clients the readings you’ve taken. If a client has any questions, you’ll have the data, further cementing your reputation as a reliable and trustworthy business.

Warranty and customer support

The Orion 950 comes with a 7-year warranty to give you extra security with your purchase. If any problem occurs with your meter, you can reach out to our team and we’d be glad to assist you or answer your questions.

When you buy one of our moisture meters, you aren’t just making a purchase—you’re making an investment. Though cheaper meters are available, they won’t offer the accuracy, ease, efficiency, reliability, and longevity of Orion moisture meters.

But you don’t have to take our word for it! See what our customers have to say.

What Customers Are Saying About the Orion 950

Our customers report that the Orion 950 is faster, more reliable, more convenient, and more user-friendly than competing meters.

Cam Anderson is a woodworking YouTube influencer and owner of Blacktail Studios, a business in Portland, Oregon, that sells hand-crafted wooden furniture. He uses his Orion 950 to check the moisture levels of his wood before starting his projects.

He says:

“Wagner is kind of the industry standard. … Wagner being able to tell the moisture deep inside the wood—it’s just critical for me. And also being able to trust it because there are other [meters] out there that claim that [they’re accurate] but they don’t have the reputation that Wagner does so you don’t know if the reading they’re giving you is actually correct or not.”

Anderson also enjoys the additional features of the Orion 950, particularly how easy it is to record and store moisture measurements. He believes this is especially valuable for any projects that require many different readings as the Orion 950 can easily organize the measurements into one file for you.

Mikel Imel is the owner of Imel and Sons Hardwood Floors, a floor installation business in Grants Pass, Oregon. He uses the Orion 950 to check the moisture of wood floor coverings and subfloors.

He says:

“20 years ago we had a moisture meter to read the humidity of the wood and the subfloor, we had a hygrometer to measure the ambient humidity, and we had tried to calculate equilibrium moisture content. And I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to create a moisture meter that does all three and calculates it for you.’ And low and behold, Wagner came up with it—with the Orion. I love it as far as everything that it does. It’s extremely critical to our industry. The Orion is, by far, the best meter on the market that I’m aware of.”

Where you can buy the Orion 950

To get your own Orion 950, visit our store.

Got questions about moisture meters? Email us at Our moisture testing professionals are standing by to help you.

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