Pin vs. Pinless Moisture Measurement: Which Meter is Right For You?


Looking to add a moisture meter to your tool bag? Here’s what you need to know to find the right tool for you.

Moisture meters come in two varieties: pin and pinless, but what is the difference?

A pin moisture meter is both destructive and quantifiable, where as a pinless moisture meter is faster, but provides a relative reading.

Pin Moisture Meters

Pin moisture measurement (i.e., resistive moisture measurement),requires the physical insertion of the two pin probes into the wall or material in question. This method provides you with a quantifiable reading by measuring the resistance between the two probes. The disadvantage is this method requires some damage to the material being measured.

Pinless Moisture Meters

With pinless moisture measurement (i.e., capacitive moisture measurement), you don’t need to destroy your wall, but there is a catch. While the flat sensor integrated on the back of the meter is a non-invasive method, it only provides a relative moisture reading., To fully understand the measurement, it needs to be compared to a known dry sample of the same material.

Meters to Consider

FLIR MR176—$999.99 USD

Featuring Infrared Guided Measurement (IGM) technology and powered by our built-in FLIR Lepton 80x60 thermal imaging sensor, the all-in-one FLIR MR176 provides the power to either go pinless or use a pin. This meter visually guides you to the spot where the moisture may be hiding, so you don’t have to guess, you’ll know. Looking for similar features at a lower price point? Check out our FLIR MR160, the predecessor to the 176, starting at just $599.00 USD here.

Set on the 2-in-1 pin/pinless option? Don’t forget the sidekick, our FLIR MR05 Impact Pin Moisture Probe, compatible with the FLIR MR176, MR160 and MR77 for the flexibility to use both—anywhere, anytime.

FLIR MR77—$699.99 USD

The FLIR MR77 similarly has what you need for moisture remediation or HVAC, but with a pinless sensor and without thermal. Learn more here and start getting more done, in less time.

FLIR MR40—$69.99 USD

Our most portable moisture meter option, the FLIR MR40 Moisture Pen + Flashlight. Perfect accompaniment to any tool bag with a sleek, pocket-portable design and simple, 2-pin, single-scale functionality to help you confirm moisture damage on the go. Learn more here.

Whether you go pinless or not, learn more and discover our variety of moisture detection solutions at FLIR.com/Test.

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