If you are an agricultural enthusiast growing or selling grains, you will learn that nothing beats the accuracy of grain moisture testers. Such testers come in handy especially when it comes to maintaining the quality and speed of your work.
Grain moisture testers are proven tools that help farmers monitor and control the moisture content of grain crops during the time of harvest and storage. They help in reducing risks of spoilage, excessive drying costs, moisture shrinkage and other grain-associated problems (Source).
A good grain moisture tester should help you access the quality of grains quickly and precisely. Generally, you ought to consider the various factors that determine the equipment’s usability. These includes the device’s portability, accuracy, probes, and pans.
What’s a Grain Moisture Tester and How Does It Work?
Table of Contents
- 1 What’s a Grain Moisture Tester and How Does It Work?
- 2 Best Grain Moisture Testers 2019
- 3 1. The Dickey – John Grain Moisture Tester – Best Overall
- 4 2. The Sensor – 1 MTC – 999 – ES Grain Moisture Tester – Best Heavy Duty Grain Moisture Tester
- 5 3. The YD – 640 Digital Grain Moisture Meter – Best for the Money
- 6 4. The Hanchen Lab Fast Halogen Moisture Tester – Most Versatile
- 7 5. The CTI DX – 101G Digital Moisture Meter – Most Portable Grain Meter Tester
- 8 Usage Prerequisites of Grain Moisture Testers
- 9 Tips on Using a Grain Moisture Tester
- 10 What Type of Moisture Tester Do You Need?
- 11 Things to Consider Before Buying a Grain Moisture Tester
- 12 Benefits of Having a Grain Moisture Tester
- 13 Frequently Asked Questions
- 14 Final Thoughts
As the name suggests, a grain moisture tester is a device that measures the moisture content of the grain. It allows you to strictly monitor the moisture of your products and have better control over the outcome. That can help you save money in the long run.
It’s quite easy to use. After setting your tester to the specific sort of grain, you will need to pour in your sample on a pan and let the tester display the moisture content.
Most grain moisture testers calculate moisture percentage using the electrical conductivity of the moisture. However, the way of determining moisture content may differ from model to model.
If you searching for a reliable moisture tester, our guide below will help you narrow down the top choice for you.
Best Grain Moisture Testers 2019
|Dickey – John Grain Moisture Tester|
|Sensor – 1 MTC – 999 – ES Grain Moisture Tester|
|YD – 640 Digital Grain Moisture Meter|
|Hanchen Lab Fast Halogen Moisture Tester|
|CTI DX – 101G Digital Moisture Meter|
1. The Dickey – John Grain Moisture Tester – Best OverallCompared to other moisture testers on the market, the Dickey-John Grain Moisture Tester is one of the less intimidating meters. It rose to popularity due to its compact design, but not as portable with other meters with probes.
The working ability of this equipment is quite different from the rest. It doesn’t simply involve pouring in the grains. To test the moisture content on your grains, you will need to turn the container upside-down and pull the stopper at the bottom to allow the grains to fall into the chamber.
Note that the chamber can fit up to 250gms of normal grain. The main purpose of turning the container upside down it to allow the user to control the amount of grain being poured, without having to pour few amounts repeatedly.
The accuracy testing of the Dickey-John Grain Moisture Tester is top-notch. The tester shows fairly accurate results close to pre-identified moisture content on the grains, regardless of the type and stage of grains being used.
This grain meter has a simple look/design. However, as mentioned before, operating it can be quite daunting, even for experts. Many people get stranded when trying to connect this handheld device to a computer or other devices. This can be made easy by reading and understanding the manual.
2. The Sensor – 1 MTC – 999 – ES Grain Moisture Tester – Best Heavy Duty Grain Moisture TesterIf you are in the market for a heavy duty grain moisture tester, the Sensor – 1 MTC – 999 – ES Grain Moisture Tester should be your product of choice. This is a tabletop grain moisture meter, with an accompanying built-in printer that expertly does the job.
Unlike other common grain moisture testers on the market, this model comes with a tube feature that contains the grain instead of a pan. To many though, this sounds more complicated compared to the Hanchen Lab Fast Halogen Moisture Tester for grain, mineral, chemical raw materials, biological products, food and paper. However, you can easily get the device working by reading through its operating functions.
Being a heavy-duty grain meter, the Sensor – 1 MTC – 999 – ES Grain Moisture Tester can accommodate at least 250gms of grains. Even with such amounts, it provides precise results with high-end accuracy. It is an excellent tool to use if you have large quantities of grains for processing.
Compared to other handheld models with small display screens, this tabletop device has a larger screen display. Besides, the operating buttons are powered through the equipment’s touchscreen. Despite being an advanced control method, most people voiced experiencing screen sensitivity issues when being used.
Like other models, the Sensor – 1 MTC – 999 – ES Grain Moisture Tester can be connected to PC or USB drive to transfer or store data. This is an added advantage is you are handling big batches as it can help you manage and organize your data effectively.
3. The YD – 640 Digital Grain Moisture Meter – Best for the MoneyThe YD – 640 Digital Grain Moisture Meter shares most of its features with our second product of choice. It features a measuring probe LCD display tester for corn wheat, rice, bean wheat hygrometer and other humidity analyzers.
Perhaps the most apparent difference between this grain moisture tester and other models is the block-like body replacing the thin handle common with other models. The probe is connected with a wire and not directly to the body. However, this is useful when testing big piles of grain, making work easier and faster.
With such a big body, the device comes with a big screen and buttons that make it easy to use. The big buttons allow users to operate the device conveniently, as its operational functions are clearly labeled.
When it comes to the accuracy, the YD – 640 Digital Grain Moisture Meter provides more than accurate average readings. The automatic shut down feature also sets this grain moisture meter apart from other grain moisturizers. This helps the user’s save battery over time.
4. The Hanchen Lab Fast Halogen Moisture Tester – Most VersatileThe Hanchen Lab Fast Halogen Moisture Tester is a good product of choice for chemical raw materials, grain, pharmaceutical raw materials, paper, biological product and food grains. It performs more than just analyzing the moisture content in grains.
It can be used to determine the moisture content of various materials including raw materials, paper and food. This makes this equipment more valuable and versatile, especially those who deal in a myriad of products.
Concerning its functionality, the Hanchen Lab Fast Halogen Moisture Tester provides halogen-heating ranging from 50 to 80 degrees. Halogen heating process makes the equipment direct and effective compared to other heating processes such as infrared. It provides results that are more accurate.
Perhaps adding to the intriguing features of this tester is the large pan that allows about 0.5kgs of grain. This is a good sample size for those working with huge quantities. Despite the amount of grain, you can still determine the true moisture content of the grains.
The operational buttons of this device are simple and easily understandable even for first-timers. It also packs a decent LCD size that provides a clear display. This makes a difference when working on different kinds of grains or with large quantities.
5. The CTI DX – 101G Digital Moisture Meter – Most Portable Grain Meter TesterOur final product of choice is the CTI DX – 101G Digital Moisture Meter. This is an overly portable grain moisture meter that works well for corn, rice, beans, wheat and rice. The device is overly portable, thanks to its lightweight nature.
With such weight, it is a good choice if you are searching for a grain moisture tester to carry along in the field. It makes a perfect choice for doing preliminary testing, especially grains at an early stage of processing.
Due to its size, the meter’s LCD display is quite small and quite not perfect for convenient display. The buttons are also small and close together, making it quite difficult to operate.
The main benefit highlight of this tool is that it can accommodate various types of grains. This feature is comparatively limited, especially when compared to other testers that can accommodate a hundred types of grains.
Besides, the CTI DX – 101G Digital Moisture Meter uses probes for testing. You simply need to stick your meter on a bowl of sample grains. This eliminates the hassle of transferring grains to the meter’s pan, as with other moisture testers.
Usage Prerequisites of Grain Moisture Testers
Whether you are a professional experienced in moisture testing or a newbie who do this for the very first time, here are some prerequisites to keep in mind when using a grain moisture tester:
- Get familiar with the functions: You should have a good understanding of how a grain moisture tester works before using it. Take a look at the owner’s manual to see how the settings and adjustments work in order to get accurate measurements.
- Let the grains cool: If the grains have been recently harvested, let them cool gradually prior to beginning with the moisture testing. Most people are prone to neglecting this when preparing the grains, which can affect the accuracy of readings.
- Know the standard percentage and moisture margins: These figures vary greatly between different kinds of grain. Bear this in mind when carrying out the tests. Depending on whether it’s tabletop or handheld, the tester should be set to the particular kind of grain you’re testing.
- Keep a record: It’s important to do it after every testing so as not to mix up data. While it may take some time for you to get into the habit of keeping a diary, it’s worth the effort.
Tips on Using a Grain Moisture Tester
It is all about accuracy. Growers, vendors, and farmers require that grain moisture is determined accurately. This is where grain moisture testers come in handy. Of course, you should know how to use them properly.
The following are moisture meter tips and strategies that will help you use your tester like a pro:
- Check out the grain temperature: This has a great impact on moisture readings. While some testers come with automatic temperature compensation, others have a control button for this purpose.
- Warm up the cold grains: If the grain is cold, the measurements will likely be low unless the moisture is only condensed on its exterior. Use an enclosed container to warm up the cold grains before testing.
- Avoid testing hot grains: It can be tricky to test hot grains from the dryer. When it comes to rapidly chilled or hot grains, digital testers tend to underestimate the levels of moisture. That’s why you should always allow hot grains to cool before the screening.
- Be aware of measurement variation: You may notice different measurements when analyzing the same sample. For that reason, it’s best to test each sample at least three times and calculate the average result.
- Always work with a representative grain sample: Be sure to choose representative samples to get the genuine results and know what you can really expect from your grains.
What Type of Moisture Tester Do You Need?
There are two main types of grain moisture testers:
- A handheld or transportable tester: This type of tester is excellent for fast assessments of grain moisture. However, the assessments may not be so accurate.
- A bench tester: Bench moisture testers are better fitted and have more power, so they can do a better job of evaluating grain. These devices allow you to determine appropriate moisture levels by providing increased precision.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Grain Moisture Tester
There are endless models of grain moisture testers available on the market that farmers can use. Each model often comes with unique benefits. This makes the process of finding the best equipment quite daunting.
To help you find the best grain moisture meter for your needs, below are some of the essential factors you should consider.
There are three main types of grain moisture testers. They can be either portable, tabletop, or those with probes. Selecting one depends on your usage needs and comfort. Tabletops are bulkier and heavier, thus meant to be stationary within your storage unit or lab.
Portable testers are lightweight and perfect for field assessments. You can do field grain assessments with portable testers regardless of the location. Note that tabletop grain testers can accommodate more grains compared to handheld devices.
Top-notch accuracy is the main aim of getting a grain moisture meter. Therefore, you should ensure that the meter provides accurate moisture content readings of the grains. This ensures that the grains remain healthy and of good health when being stored and packed. Just to mention, the presence of moisture during storage can result in degradation.
Probe and Pans
Handheld or portable grain moisture testers are in two forms. They can use either feature pans or probes. Pans are container-like receivers in the tester in which you fill with the grain for the meter to test the moisture. Tabletop meters have bigger pans compared to handheld ones.
On the other hand, probes are pole-like or bard devices connected to the tester that is stuck into the grains to read the moisture content. Probes are easier to use but not as accurate as pans.
Benefits of Having a Grain Moisture Tester
Perhaps the most important benefit of having moisture testers for grains is to minimize wastage. These devices allow farmers to assess the moisture levels of grains. This is an important factor when maintaining the quality of grains.
These devices are also easy to use. With a single click of a button, the meter displays the moisture content of the grain. With this, work proceeds seamlessly. Having a clear knowledge of the moisture content helps in the accurate weighing of the grains.
Note that the actual weight of grains is when they are dry with no water or moisture in it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the questions frequently asked by farmers include;
Which model comes with better accuracy?
Generally, the benchtop model is more powerful and accurate than the handheld models. However, benchtop models don’t suit all occasions.
Which is the best model for field-testing?
Portable grain moisture meters or the portable models are the best choices. They come with replaceable batteries that make them light.
Can I use a grain moisture tester with any type of grain?
Yes. Most high-end moisture testers can assess the moisture content in all grains.
Regardless of whether you are a first-time user or a veteran in grain moisture testing, finding the right product for this task isn’t an option. Always ensure that you understand the functionality of the tester to ease your user experience.
When preparing the grains, allow some time to cool before initiating the test. This is especially important when the grains are newly harvested. You should also be conversant with the various moisture margins and standard percentage for various kinds of grain.
Bearing that in mind, find a grain moisture tester that suits your need. Always prioritize an accurate, portable and affordable moisture tester. Portability is dependent on your intended use.
That said, which one is your favorite grain moisture tester from our list? Share with us in the comments section below.