Disclaimer: This product was sent to us for free in exchange for a review. That does not affect our opinion about the product, in this article we list both what we like and dislike. Read more about this here.
What Are Moisture Meters Used For?
Moisture meters aren’t something you see every day. Most people probably have never even heard of them or seen one.
Even though they aren’t a common tool, it doesn’t mean they aren’t useful for certain people.
Related Product: Another useful RV tool is the TopTes Gas Leak Detector (click to view on Amazon).
If you are someone who uses wood to heat your home or you want a nice campfire with minimal smoke, a moisture meter like the TopTes TS-630 is a very useful tool.
Moisture meters are also great for testing the moisture in other materials like drywall, cement, and brick.
If your home was flooded or has some sort of water damage a TopTes moisture meter can be used to test the walls to make sure things are drying properly.
I’m an RVer and outdoor enthusiast, so for me, a moisture meter is great for finding the best wood for a campfire.
But it could be useful in the future if my RV roof starts to leak or a pipe breaks.
- 1/4 inch Testing Pins
- 5.5 x 2.25 x 1 inch (LxWxH)
- 7 Material Calibration Modes
- Color Code Backlight Alarms (Green, Yellow & Red)
- Large LCD Screen
- Thermometer with Celsius and Fahrenheit Settings
- Ambient Humidity Test
- Data Hold Button
- Max/Min Measurement Button
- 10 Minute Auto Off
What’s in the Box?
- TopTes TS-630 Moisture Meter
- Cloth Bag
- 3 AAA Batteries
- User Manual
- 2 Extra Pins
Materials the TopTes Can Measure Moisture In
- Wood (2 calibration settings for different types of wood)
- Anhydrous Gypsum Mortar
- Cement Mortar
- Lime Mortar
- Gypsum (Drywall)
Using the TopTes Moisture Meter for Firewood
When firewood is dry it burns hotter and cleaner.
This means there’s less smoke and you get more heat because less energy is being used to evaporate water.
If you’re heating your home with a wood stove or fireplace you will get more heat out of every log if the wood you’re using is dry.
The clean burning will also keep the chimney clean for longer.
Because properly dried firewood is better overall, it’s best to keep your wood supply under a roof and stacked so there’s plenty of airflow.
You can use a moisture meter to check your firewood stack to make sure every part is drying correctly over the summer so it’s ready to be burned during the winter months.
Wood with less than 20% moisture is considered to be ready for burning.
There are two wood calibration modes programmed into the TopTest moisture meter; A and B.
The manual has a detailed list that includes pretty much every type of wood you could come across with the correct mode listed for each one.
Some common woods for the A mode are spruce, cherry, and walnut. B is used for oak, pine, cedar, and maple.
Make sure you keep the manual handy so you can check what calibration scale is best for the wood or material you want to test.
For my testing, I used some pine and cedar logs, so I used the B mode.
There are 3 backlight colors that will change depending on the calibration mode selected.
A is green for less than 15%, orange from 15-24%, and red for 24% or more.
B is green for less than 14%, orange from 14-22%, and red for 22% or more.
On the right side of the screen next to the large % numbers there will be a D, M, or W (Dry, Moderate, Wet) that corresponds with the different color alarms.
There’s also a scale illustration and the real time moisture levels in large text displayed on the LCD screen.
The temperature reading can be changed from Celsius to Fahrenheit using the °C/°F button.
The M button changed between the different calibration scales (A, B, C, D, E, F, G)
You can use a MIN/MAX button in the center to see the maximum and minimum measurements when you are testing a material.
It’s a useful setting if you are testing a lot of different points.
There’s also an H button you can press to freeze the screen so you can see what the reading was.
This is a great feature for when you’re testing something in a hard to reach area like under a sink or a log that’s at the bottom of a stack.
I tried the TopTes out on a pine log that I knew was dry and a cedar post that I knew was going to be too wet to see how accurate it would be.
When testing wood I checked a few different spots. Make sure to insert the pins along the grain so it’s easier to push them in.
The TopTes measured the pine wood’s moisture content at 12.2% in one spot and 10% in another.
Based on those measurements I know it’s a good piece to take on my next camping trip.
The cedar post was a different story.
I could see some areas that were dryer than others and the TopTes moisture meter had no problem measuring the difference.
The cedar post was around 38%, so I won’t be burning it anytime soon.
TopTes Moisture Meter Review
What I Like
- Large LCD screen
- Easy to see and read in sunlight.
- Simple buttons for changing settings.
- Great manual with clear instructions.
- High quality batteries included.
- Extra pins included.
- Small and portable.
- Cap to cover the sharp pins.
What I Don’t Like
- Doesn’t remember previous settings.
- Always starts in Celsius (not a big deal but it’s something I change every time I use it).
- Not Waterproof
- Must have the manual to understand the different modes.
To Sum it All Up
From my testing, it seems like the TopTes works like it’s supposed to and I’m definitely adding it to my RV toolbox and bringing it with me when hunting for good firewood.
I don’t necessarily need the backlight indicators since I’m shooting for under 20% no matter what kind of wood I’m using, but I can see it being useful for other applications.
The LCD screen is huge compared to the size of the meter and it’s easy to read the data outside in the sunlight.
Being able to see the screen outside in the sun is important for tools like these.
I like that it came with Duracell batteries and extra pins.
Overall I think this is a fantastic tool, especially for campers who don’t want to be burning wet smokey wood and for RVers who might need to find a leak.
Have any questions about the TS-630 TopTes moisture meter? Leave a comment below.