The short answer to the title question of this article is no... and yes. Wood moisture meters can not increase flame strength on their own. Though, they can give you good information so you are able to do so.
The purpose of a wood moisture meter is quite simple. It's a meter that measures the moisture in firewood. Wow, you gotta love the English language and all its complexity right? Since the product defines itself within its own name, we can stop spending time trying to solve the riddle and move on to what this little appliance can do for us.
- wood moisture meter
The meter has four prongs that can be stuck into a piece of firewood. Then the prongs read the moisture content and display the reading on an LCD screen. This reading will help you solve two problems:
A) it tells you how much moisture is in the piece of wood you are trying to burn and
B) it helps you decide when that piece will be ready to be burned.
This is super important when trying to start a fire because wood that is too wet, or has more than 20% moisture content, will cause excessive smoke and soot to rise from the fire.
This typically happens with fire wood that has not been "seasoned" properly. The process of seasoning happens once a tree is cut down, chopped into pieces and put into dry storage for at least one year.
When you buy wood marketed as "ready to burn", it's a good idea to use a wood moisture meter to verify that it actually is. For wood that is already known to be unseasoned, a moisture meter will help you plan ahead and decide when the logs will be ready to go in a fire.
Also, soft woods, like cedar and pine, will dry more quickly but they also burn faster. Hardwoods like Douglas Fir, Beech, Ash and Oak are the exact opposite. If you are unsure of what type of wood you have or if it has been "seasoned" long enough to use, it's a good idea to keep a wood moisture meter handy, so you don't spend hours trying to build a fire with unusable wood.
If you have any other questions about using or purchasing a moisture meter, you can reach out to our NFI certified techs anytime. Call us at 800.203.1642 or email us by clicking here.