One question that the team here at Delmhorst frequently hears is: “Where can I buy a moisture meter for…?” The “…” is usually filled with a specific application, such as restoration, agriculture, concrete, or wood.
A lot of the time, people who are searching for a moisture meter can find a low-end model at their local tool or department store. For hobbyists or homeowners who only need a very basic model of moisture meter for wood, such low-end meters might be enough. However, specialists who need extreme precision or special functionalities will probably have to look elsewhere.
One example would be a moisture meter for soil. This is a kind of tool that is normally used for agricultural purposes. It requires a separate sensor block that is installed deep into the soil, near the depth of the roots for the crop. This isn’t a tool that the average homeowner who visits their local tool store is going to need—and these tools can be costly to stock.
Because of the specialized market and high cost, these moisture meters aren’t very common in general tool or department stores.
With that in mind, where can you find specialized moisture meters?
Online shopping sites, such as Amazon, are becoming an increasingly popular option for ordering specialized tools that are difficult to find in local area stores.
The advantages of these online stores often include:
- Selection. Because these stores don’t have to maintain a storefront and can ship products from a large, centralized warehouse, they can often maintain a very large selection of tools.
- Convenience. Most online stores will ship straight to your home or office, making them very convenient compared to traveling to a physical store.
- Cost (sometimes). Large online stores may be able to offer moisture meters at a discounted rate compared to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. However, for moisture meter products that are in especially high demand, the price can actually be much higher than normal.
The disadvantages of shopping online versus going to a brick-and-mortar store include:
- Speed of Delivery. Many online stores have a significant delay between the time you order something and the time you get it. However, some stores do offer faster shipping—but, usually at a cost. So, if you need a moisture meter immediately, this may not be the best option.
- Warranties. If you’re buying a used moisture meter online, you may not always be able to redeem a manufacturer’s warranty because the meter was sold second hand. Some online stores mitigate your risk by offering their own product warranties, however.
- Caveat Emptor. Buyer beware—if you see a deal for a moisture meter online that’s too good to be true, that could be a warning sign of some problem. This is especially true of moisture meters that are sold “as is” online, where you cannot test the meter prior to purchase. When shopping online, be sure to check the store’s (or the individual seller’s) return policy before buying.
Overall, shopping online can be a good way to find the right moisture meter for your needs without having to travel miles to the nearest professional moisture meter distributor.
Moisture Meter Distributors and Other Specialist Stores
For those who need a particular moisture meter as soon as possible, there are stores that specialize in moisture meters and stores that specialize in serving specific industries that heavily rely on moisture meters.
An example of a store that serves an industry that uses moisture meters (and might carry a good selection of moisture meters for that industry) would be an agricultural or farming supply store. Because farmers often need specialized moisture meters for hay, soil, grain, and other farming applications, a farming supply store is more likely to carry moisture meters made for such agricultural uses.
Likewise, a store that services restoration contractors or wood manufacturers is more likely to carry high-quality moisture meters for wood with lots of special functions.
The pros of buying moisture meters from a reliable distributor include:
- Warranty Support. Distributors selling new moisture meters are more likely to be able to help you get your moisture meter repaired or replaced under the manufacturer’s warranty—especially if you save your receipt with date of purchase.
- Moisture Meter Manufacturer Support. A lot of moisture meter distributors are part of a partner network with various manufacturers. This means that they often have access to support and resources from the manufacturer you might not get through an online store.
- Immediacy. As long as the distributor has the meter in stock, you can buy it right away. Even online retailers’ one-day shipping options can’t beat that speed.
- Advice from an Experienced Retailer. Odds are, the people who run the counter at your local moisture meter supply store (or other specialist supply store) know what you need your moisture meter for and how you’ll probably use it. As such, they’re often well-equipped to provide advice for choosing and using a moisture meter that you can’t get from an online store page.
Need help finding a moisture meter retailer near you? Check out our dealer locator page to find a moisture meter distributor near you! Or, learn more about moisture meters by checking out our free guide at the link below.