A moisture meter is a piece of equipment that, unfortunately, sometimes gets overlooked as it is not explicitly necessary the same way that say, a router is. Indeed, shopping for a moisture meter isn’t nearly as fun as investing in a high-caliber power tool, but it nevertheless is an extremely handy device for the woodworker looking for quality assurance.
Of course, it isn’t enough to know that you want a moisture meter. You also need to know which one to get. That’s where we come in to help. Today we will be taking an in-depth look at the Tramex MEP Moisture Encounter Plus Moisture Meter to see if it is right for you.
What’s in The Box?
- Carrying Case
- Moisture Meter
The contents of the package are relatively simple, but you are getting what you need here—no more, no less.
- Item Weight: 13.6 Ounces
- Dimensions: 8.7 x 4.4 x 2.2 Inches
- Manufacturer: Tramex
Pros & Cons
Now that you have all of the basic information about this device, let’s expand and elaborate as we now dive into the pros and the cons.
Deep Signal Penetration
This product allows for a deep signal penetration that is able to bypass up to 1” of the material. This allows you to get accurate reads without damaging your lumber. The value of this component is obvious, I think. You want as much feedback as you can get, but you also don’t want it to come at the expense of your workpiece. The Tramex gives you the best of both worlds in that regard.
Multiple Ranges of Sensitivity
Though most of the people reading this post are probably woodworkers, you may also be pleased to know that you can use the Tramex for more than just inspecting the condition of your lumber. This device has multiple ranges of sensitivity so that it can be used to detect the moisture levels of a wide variety of common work materials.
Should the need arise, you will also be able to test for the moisture conditions of drywall, roofing, plaster, and brick. For the builder, this is absolutely crucial, and for the woodworker or devoted do-it-yourselfer, it’s simply a really nice perk. Keep in mind that the Tramex isn’t exactly cheap. Every time you can find more ways to use it, it is certainly a positive thing.
Wide Range of Readings
The Tramex has been calibrated to detect moisture in wood at a range of 5%-30%. The percentages here are, of course, referring to the overall moisture content of the workpiece. In general, a good range for wood is usually thought to be around 8%-11%. The degree to which you find your wood to differ from that range will tell you a number of things—such as whether or not you need to change the way in which you store your lumber.
Too dry or too saturated could simply mean that an adjustment to your storage is necessary—in which case the timber may still be salvageable. Other times you may need to dispose of the material but the information will still be of use.
I always hesitate to list price as a con when it comes to buying, well, anything really. Cost often enough correlates with quality and features to the extent that even when a product has something of a markup, it is still worth the money.
I list it here because the Tramex really is on the higher end of the price range. Certainly, it does come with extra features and a guarantee of quality that is sure to make it worthwhile for many buyers, but that does not detract from the fact that this unit dwarfs the price of many comparable products.
If you plan on really using your moisture meter a lot, you are getting a good buy for your money. The contractor, or even the do it yourself drywaller is definitely going to get their moneys worth here, but if you only plan on using this with your woodwork, you may be able to find something similar for a lot less.
The purpose of a moisture reader is, of course, to get information on the interior of a work piece. While that is what this piece of equipment does, unfortunately readings can be effected in a significant capacity by surface-level moisture, which will result in inaccurate readings.
The solution is to make sure that you keep the surface area as dry as possible before a reading, but nevertheless, this isn’t something you want to have to do for a product of this price.
You never want something to go wrong, of course, but it’s also certainly nice to know what route you can take in the event that the unthinkable happens. Tramex offers a satisfaction warranty of up to three weeks, which means that if you aren’t pleased with your purchase within the first twenty-one days you can get your money back.
In order to receive this warranty, you will need to ensure that your moisture meter is in like new condition, and you will also have to be able to supply proof of purchase. For defect protection, Tramex has you covered for up to a year. While there are definitely better warranties out there, this is a pretty standard protection guarantee.
I’ll say it again: if you are a casual woodworker, the Tramex MEP Moisture Encounter isn’t going to be right for you. You’ll wind up spending too much buck for bang that you have no use for. On the other hand, if you are a contractor or even a do-it-yourselfer with a diverse set of needs, this versatile tool is an excellent buy. No, moisture meters are not the most exciting acquisition in the world, but they make a big difference in your work. Investing in one now will help you know what pieces of wood are stable enough to use for many years to come.
Share this Post