How to check firewood moisture content

It is important when using a wood burning stove that you use dry firewood. Checking firewood moisture content can be done quickly and easily with a moisture meter.

Your firewood moisture meter can help you make sure that your firewood is the right moisture content for use in your stove. Aim for a moisture content of 20% or lower and check your appliance manufacturers instructions for any specific guidance for your appliance.

We recommend using a moisture meter to check your firewood moisture content. Woodsure Auditors use a Valiant moisture meter. You can purchase these for around £20 either online or via a local DIY store. You can also contact the Woodsure team and order a meter with us directly.

Take a look at our handy video demonstrating how to correctly check firewood moisture content using a pin meter.

Moisture Readings explained

Moisture content is measured in 2 ways. Wet basis is the normally accepted value used for wood fuel and used by Woodsure, but please be aware that some moisture meters have duel use for construction and may be reading on a dry basis


  • If your pin meter has variable settings make sure they are correct e.g. Species of timber, ambient temperature and moisture content on a wet basis.
  • Split the log and Measure moisture in the centre of the split surface as soon as possible; the moisture content can quickly change.
  • Make sure you take a representative sample from throughout the load, choosing logs from the middle of the pile as well as the surface.
  • Make sure the pin meter is in good condition and the battery is not low.


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