Although certain DIY tasks seem all too easy, we never know how important it is to find a stud until you need to drill a nail into the wall for a number of reasons. For those of us who were saddled with the task of managing DIY tasks before the advent of stud finders, we all know very well that it was no easy feat and as such, finding the best stud finder out there is as important a task as ever. Whether to hang up a picture on the wall or to install your new set of kitchen units, a stud finder is a tool that will certainly come in handy. Luckily you have some great options to pick from which we have listed below.
The Best Stud Finders
Topping our list of the best stud finder is the ProSensor 710 Franklin Sensor. This device definitely sets itself aside with its advanced multi-sense technology which can detect the wall in a number of locations all at the same time; this device has not one or two but 13 sensors which totally trumps the calibration step that other brands of stud finders mostly rely on. It also helps that it is as easy to use as they come, all you have to do is to place it on the wall and push the button, the rest is history; it is as quick to use as it is efficient.
This stud detector comes fully fitted with bright LED lights that light up when the presence of a hidden object is detected and, in most cases, the hidden objects are studs, which means that you are not playing a guessing game. In addition, this stud sensor not only points out the position of the object but identifies the width of it as a whole. It can clearly show you the centre as well as the edges of a stud and as such, it takes the stud finder game to a whole new level. Make sure you also check our guide to the best cordless drills.
Has 13 precision sensors
Possesses accurate and deep sensing
Easy to use
Can display both wood and metal
- ModelProSensor 710
- Weight9 ounces
Next on our list is the CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder, another one of the top stud finders currently out on the market and for the best of reasons too. Its general design is quite suitable for everyday use with its small and compact frame, which means that you can easily carry it from place to place, safely tucked in your pocket or in a carrier bag. For your further convenience, this device does not need batteries to function, which alone makes it altogether an efficient product to use. The device is typically identified as a magnetic stud finder, mostly due to reasons that are self-explanatory, but for the benefit of everyone; it employs the use of powerful magnets which in turn enables users to go handsfree. Note that it is also capable of easily detecting all sorts of metal which in itself is a big plus.
In addition, the CH Hanson 03040 magnetic stud finder also features a two-way level which makes it easier for you to mark any spot necessary whilst allowing you to scan a depth of 1 inch; which is pretty adequate for a piece of equipment its size. What’s more, for your all round comfort, it offers a soft grip which makes it more than easy to grab and hold on to as a whole.
Can detect all metals
Does not need batteries to function
- BrandCH Hanson
- Weight0.16 ounces
The Zircon StudStensor e50 Electronic Wall Scanner is a very efficient stud finder for walls making quite high up on the food chain. Whether you are putting up some cabinets, mounting a TV or simply putting up a picture, when it comes to stud finders as a whole, it has the uncanny ability to detect the edges of wood as well as metal studs. It does that by alerting you of the presence of any live AC wires enabling you to conveniently locate studs as well as avoid hazards of any kind when carrying out day to day activities.
The Zircon StudStensor e50 Electronic Wall Scanner is fitted with a stud scan mode which further enables it to pinpoint the actual location of the edges of wood or metal studs which measure up to 0.75 inches deep; while in DeepScan mode, it can find objects that span up to 1.5 inches as a whole. In addition to this, it has WireWarning Detection which altogether shows you exactly where there is unshielded electrical AC wiring. The plus side is that it does this in both StudScan and DeepScan modes.
This device is battery powered
Functions on both StudScan and DeepScan modes
Detects both wood and metals
Fitted with an ergonomic handle for comfort.
- Weight8 ounces
This next magnetic stud finder is as sturdy and handy as they come and has been fashioned from unbreakable ABS plastic. You best believe that it brings a fun twist to locating studs as a whole. So, what makes this stud finder stand out from all the others? Well, unlike all other magnetic stud finders, it is not solely dependent on the feel of the magnet pulling on a stud or screw in order to pinpoint a location which means that there is less room for error. As an added advantage, it can even locate studs in mere seconds. It typically operates with the use of a popper which indicates exactly when the device itself recognizes the presence of the metal stud fasteners that are waiting to be found in your wall.
In addition to all this, the Studpop Magnetic Stud Finder works perfectly on a number of materials; some including drywall, plaster, lath as well as tile. It generally does this by pinpointing the location of stud edges as well as their centres whether they are ceiling, walls and even textured walls such as stucco.
No batteries needed
Uses a popper to indicate the presence of a stud in the wall
Works on a number of materials
Fast and easy to use
- Weight1.12 ounces
The Precision sensor ProFinder 5000+ is a piece of high-tech equipment wrapped into a portable device and best believe that it is all for your comfort. This stud finder makes use of a deep sensing technology which is embedded with an added sensor pad area to get a deeper scan as a whole. In addition to its efficiency, this device carries out its work by the use of a one-step-operation which basically involves the pressing of a button and the rest is history. This efficiency is due to the fact that the LED lights immediately indicate the presence and location of the studs once they are placed on any wall.
So, what makes this device highly efficient? Well, the Precision sensor ProFinder 5000+ is embedded with 13 individual sensors and each one single-handedly scans the wall so that all the studs are accurately identified; and you best believe that you will be given accurate results every single time, which means that locating the stud centre will be as quick and easy as possible.
Comes fitted with a built-in spirit level and a ruler help
Easy to use
Has 13 individual deep sensors
LED lights that indicate the presence of studs
- Weight15.5 ounces
The Black+Decker BDL190S BullsEye Auto-Levelling Stud Sensor is yet another device that can definitely stand the test of time and it is mostly used for testing, measuring and levelling. It does this by employing the use of two tools in one which include an auto-levelling laser level as well as a sensor or beam finder. This on its own sets it ahead of most of its counterparts on the market. Another unique aspect is that it is both a wood stud finder as well as a metal one and it is able to locate live A/C wires and studs. The Black+Decker BDL190S BullsEye auto-levelling stud finder equally operates by levelling automatically whilst proceeding to display accurate results, and just so you know, it also projects on a horizontal level line.
It does all this by making use of a patented auto-levelling technology and also has a very readable LCD display which makes for all-round accessibility.
Readable LCD display
Dual duties as it functions as an auto-levelling laser level as well as a stud sensor
Gives thoroughly accurate results
Projects on a horizontal level line
- Weight1 pound
Coming from a well-known brand that has made its mark in the world of DIY tools, this Bosch stud finder is definitely one of the top stud finders on the market as a whole. On the topic of smart sensing, this device has been fitted with a multi-mode laser detection which can recognise materials such as wood studs, metal objects (some of which are rebar, studs, and steel or copper pipes) as well as live wiring. The Bosch Digital Multi-Scanner makes good use of the latest three sensor laser technologies which involve a wide range of detection performance that spans from up to 4-3/4 inches deep in cured concrete, 2 inches for live wiring, 3-1/8 inches with copper and 1-1/2 inches in the case of wood studs. If by any chance you were wondering about the accuracy of this product as a whole, the manufacturers can actually put a number to it, and it is 0.0625.
In addition to this, the device makes room for three selection modes; one for wood, the other metal and another for AC wiring. It also comes with an LCD display which helps to keep you up to speed with the mode, detection strength and other things that need to be monitored during the whole process. If no object is found, the detection ring flashes green; it turns orange when the object is near and finally turns red when the object is well within the sensor range.
Includes a centre finder
Uses multi-mode laser detection
Employs the use of three sensor laser technology
Has a handy LCD display
- Weight1.1 pounds
The Zircon MetalliScanner Handheld Electronic Metal Detector is a top-notch stud sensor that is as versatile as they come. Seeing as it locates magnetic and non-magnetic metal, it also speedily and effortlessly pinpoints the location of metal embedded in wood, drywall, panelling, concrete, stucco, as well as other non-metallic surfaces altogether. It has quite impressive ranges to which it locates metals behind walls; in the case of magnetic metals for up to 4 inches and nonmagnetic metal for up to 2 inches.
The Zircon MetalliScanner is also known to do some of its best work when it is being used on plaster walls and also packs a mean punch when it comes to finding rebar in concrete. Luckily for you and any user of this stellar stud finder, it can effortlessly locate plumbing, rebar, nails, screws as well as ductwork which are embedded in walls, floors and of course ceilings. For your convenience, this stud finder comes in an accessible open package and 9-volt batteries in the mix.
Locates both magnetic and non-magnetic metals
Comes fitted with 9-volt batteries
Pinpoints the location of metals under a wide range of materials
Quick and easy to use
- Weight9.6 ounces
This next device altogether saves you a whole lot of time and money as it can locate studs, ceiling joints alongside AC wires, as well as a wide range of metals. The plus side is that it does this as accurately as possible. With this device, the job of locating studs doesn’t have to be linear and boring as the Stud Finder by Classware puts the fun back in a good day’s work. One thing that really makes this the stud finder to own is the fact that anyone can use it, from professionals to first-time DIY’ers. Although it has been constructed with a very advanced technology, it is as easy to use as can be.
Once in full operation, this stud finder has the ability to detect metal and send out a beeping sound that announces the presence of a stud. Simultaneously, the stud itself will be shown on the HD LCD screen. You can be guaranteed that this stud sensor will deliver a top-notch service mainly due to the fact that it has been tried and tested more than a couple of times and the manufacturers were sure to include a very detailed manual to guide you all through the process. In addition, the stud finder itself comes in a handy little design that enables you to use it as effortlessly as possible.
30-day satisfaction guarantee
Easy to use
Light-weight and ergonomically produced
Is powered by 9V batteries
- Weight1 pound
The Stanley brand as a whole is well-known for producing stellar hand tools which means you know that you are in good hands once you make this purchase. The Stanley FMHT77407 FatMax Stud Sensor 300 comes fitted with LED’s in collaboration with audible sounds in the form of beeps that help to indicate readings; the actual marking channel with the LED points out the actual target which makes the process of marking surfaces an easy and accurate one. The LCD screen, which happens to be backlit if you did not know, displays the readiness of the sensor even in the case that there is limited lighting.
This Stanley stud finder possesses the ability to perform deep metal scans that sense metal through up to 3 inches of practically any surface. In addition, the AC detection goes as deep as 2 inches when it comes to wood and metal and 1-1/2 inches in the case of material. Another wonderful attribute of this sturdy stud sensor is its one pass centre-find technology which helps with the location of the studs themselves as well as an auto-calibrating unit.
World renown brand
Unique LCD characteristics
Can perform deep metal scans
Possesses one pass centre-find technology
- Weight9.4 ounces
Stud Finder Buying Guide And FAQ
There are so many products on the market that claim to be the best stud finder out there and as such, it is hard to know for sure which product to go for all on your own. This guide will give you all the information you need to ensure that you actually purchase the best pick on the market.
What To Look For In A Stud Finder
Center targeting capability-Depending on how savvy you are, you may generally require a stud finder that has very precise center targeting capabilities. If you are not well versed with the calculations involved in location stud finders, then you are better off purchasing one that has made provision for center targeting, as they allow you to determine the center point of the stud through scanning. It makes the whole process a lot easier and straightforward, not to mention convenient.
Type of sensor-There are different types of stud sensors and for the most part, it would be wise to take a look at some stud finder reviews in order to get a real sense of what you type of stud sensor you want to purchase. The two main types of stud finders come in the form of magnetic and electronic sensors. In most, or all cases, magnetic stud finders are battery powered and rely solely on the fact that they can attract other metals to locate studs or at least the nails holding the studs in place.
Their electrical counterparts are a bit more complicated to use; it is not only the fact that they typically need to be connected to a power source that sets them apart, but the fact that they operate by scanning the depth of the wall for any changes in density and as such, they can actually help you tell the difference between studs and other objects that may be embedded in the wall. They also come with a range of other features such as the uncanny ability to identify the edges of the studs themselves, other modes for scanning as well as LCD’s. Note that the first option is a bit more on the affordable side and still gets the job done, but if you want something more, you can opt for the electrical option.
Size of the sensor-This is another important factor that should be highly considered, as the larger and the smaller sizes have various advantages that their counterparts do not have. For instance, in the case of stud sensors that have wider sensor ranges, they can easily cover more space in a short period of time and in some cases, they can locate more than one stud at a time. The stud finders with larger sensors seem to be on the winning side, seeing as they can also scan deeper into surfaces. To put it simply, once you know the magnitude of your work, you can then make a choice on which size to get.
Mode of alerting-In the case of magnetic stud finders, you are highly unlikely to get any form of alert when a stud is found, but if you are well versed with them, they could work for you just as well as a digital sensor. Electric stud locators on the other hand usually give a visual alert or an audio one. Some even go as far as to display a light on the wall right above the scanner in order to enable you to mark the spot with ease. So, depending on your level of expertise with these devices, you will need to be conversant with their method of alerting.
Additional Features-Depending on the magnitude of the work you are hoping to do, you may need a stud finder with some additional features to lighten your workload. There are some models of this device that come with a hands-free option, and as such, they can find the studs in the wall and stay attached to it while you mark them with a pencil. Similarly, some models are embedded with a level that makes it easy for you to draw accurate lines when it comes to hanging up shelves, TV’s and other appliances. There are so many things these devices can do, so be sure to look at stud finder reviews and descriptions in order to pick the perfect fit.
Benefits Of Using A Stud Finder
- The use of a stud finder provides easy access to studs; seeing as they are behind the walls.
- Stud finders have the ability to detect other objects that may confuse you in the case that you are manually looking for studs
- These devices leave little to no room for errors and as such, make your work altogether neater
- They make for a safer work environment; studs are not the only things behind a wall, there are wires and pipes, so as not to cause any work-related accidents, the use of a stud finder is highly recommended
- They reduce the overall time and stress involved with these devices.
Stud Finder FAQ
Q: What is a stud finder and how does it work?
A: A stud finder is a device that is used pinpoint the location of studs in walls as well as the framing elements which are in your home, which provide support to the walls as a whole.
As aforementioned, there are two main categories of stud finders, the magnetic versions function by using magnetic plates to attract other metal fixtures in walls. The electronic versions make use of a couple or multiple sensors to locate multiple stud edges as well as their centers wherever they are located in the walls. They usually notify users when they have done this either through displays on LCD screens or audio alerts.
Our Top Pick
ProSensor 710 Franklin Precision Stud Finder
This highly sensitive piece of equipment is our top pick for good reasons. It uses top-notch technology to identify multiple materials as they are in the walls and it does the good deed of identifying them so that you do not make the mistake of thinking they are all studs. It also comes with LED lights that help to pinpoint the actual location of these objects. Last but definitely not least, it allows for deep scanning that goes as deep as 1.5 inches.