The James Instruments Aquameter™ utilizes the latest electronic technology to measure the quantity of water within its sensing field. The unit has two modes of operation the pin mode, and search mode. In the pin mode, two pins are pushed into the material and a high frequency field is created between these two pins. In the search mode the unit uses a high frequency capacitive sensor to sample a large volume of the material, instantaneously. Changes in this electromagnetic field are directly proportional to the dielectric constant of the material through which it passes. As the dielectric constant of water is almost two orders of magnitude greater than most non-metallic materials, variations in this parameter can be correlated to the moisture content. After extensive testing of various materials, relationships between the change in this field and moisture content have been determined. These relationships have been digitized and implemented using the latest in micro-computer technology, thereby allowing the user the direct readout of moisture content for concrete, masonry, hard wood, soft wood, gypsum, and brick. The pin method has been found to be most effective in low density materials such as fir wood or pine wood. The search mode has been found to be most effective for higher density materials such as brick, masonry, gypsum and concrete.