The 10 Best Stud Finders

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Best Stud Finder

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. This means that at no cost to you, I will receive a small commission if you purchase through my link. I will only ever promote the products and services that I trust and 100% recommend. You may read my full disclosure policy for more information. Thanks for supporting my business in this way.

For this post, I have put together a collection of the best stud finders currently available.

UPDATED: September 6, 2019.  


MY TOP PICK:
If you are looking for the best overall, I recommend the Franklin Sensors FS710PRO because it features 13 sensors for accurate readings and includes a helpful built-in bubble level and ruler.


What Is A Stud Finder?

As the name suggests a stud finder detects studs behind the surface of a wall. The more advanced scanners have multiple modes that detect studs, metal, live AC wiring, non-ferrous metal (such as copper pipe) and ferrous metal (such as rebar).

Detection is achieved using two different methods:

1. Magnetic

  • Uses powerful magnets to pinpoint the location of screws or nails in a stud. Therefore it doesn't detect the stud itself but rather the hardware that attaches the wall material to the stud.

2. Electronic

  • Electronic stud finders rely on sensors that detect changes in the dielectric constant (the relative permittivity) of the wall. This changes when the sensor is over a stud. The lower reading indicates the presence of a stud in the wall and this data is displayed on an LCD screen.

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How To Use A Stud Finder

The exact operation will vary by manufacturer, but here is the general procedure:

Step 1:
Power on the device and choose the scanning mode.

Step 2:
Place the device flat on the wall. Then press and hold the button while keeping the unit still until calibration is complete (1 - 2 seconds). When calibration is complete, the unit will sound a short beep and the display bars will be cleared.

Step 3:
While holding on the button, move it along the desired surface to scan.

Step 4 :
When the stud finder detects an object, it will beep continually and will display on the LCD screen (if available).

You can also check out his brief how to video:

So here is my list of The 10 Best Stud Finders.

Enjoy!


1. Franklin Sensors FS710PRO Stud Finder

  • Three tools in one: built-in bubble level and ruler.

  • 13 sensors for accurate readings.

  • One-step operation: just press the button.

  • When placed on wall LED lights instantly indicate studs.

  • Deep Sensing: more sensor pad area than other scanners resulting in a deeper scan.

  • Triple Accuracy Technology analyzes and triangulates data from all the sensors.


2. Precision Sensors Deep Scanning Stud Finder

  • Press and scan to find studs instantly.

  • Measure, mark, and level with one tool.

  • Built-in bubble level.

  • Integrated ruler and convenient pencil caddy.

  • Sensors provide up to 1.7 inches detection depth.

  • Detects wood and metal.

  • Made in USA.


3. Black & Decker BDL190S BullsEye Stud Finder

  • Patented auto-leveling technology, this leveler is actually two tools in one - an auto-leveling laser level and a stud sensor.

  • Ideal tool for hanging pictures, detecting wood and metal studs, locating live A/C wires, and installing decorative items.

  • Levels automatically without adjustments and projects horizontal laser lines.

  • Easy to read LCD display.


4. Zircon MultiScanner i520 Stud Finder

 
 
  • Quickly and easily locates studs, detects metal, locates live, unshielded AC wires.

  • Complete with the latest technology in density detecting software and circuitry, as well as an ergonomic body design.

  • 4-mode switch makes it easy to change functions while the ultra-bright LCD screen.

  • Equipped with a Signal Strength Indicator helps to distinguish between shallow and deep targets.

  • Includes ACT (Auto Correcting Technology) that automatically corrects common user errors, such as when scanning begins over a stud.


5. Tacklife DMS04 Stud Finder

  • Detects metal, wood, and AC wires that inside the wall to find studs and avoid hazards.

  • Ergonomic grip for comfortable use.

  • Display includes orange indicator light and target indicator for easy detection and positioning.

  • Automatic power shutoff after five minutes of non-use to save battery life.


6. CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder

  • Uses powerful rare earth magnets to pinpoint the exact location of screws or nails in a stud.

  • Doesn’t require batteries and never needs calibration.

  • Just place the stud finder on the wall and sweep in an "S" pattern to locate any metal fastener.

  • Magnets are strong enough to allow it to hang hands-free on a wall, eliminating the need for pencil markings.


7. Classware Stud Finder

  • Multi-scanner can detect studs, ceiling joints, hot AC wires and other metals with very high precision.

  • Once the stud finder locates an object, it will emit a beeping sound.

  • Stud material detected will be displayed on the high definition LCD screen.

  • lightweight, ergonomic design, for the most comfortable and secure grip.


8. Fetanten Multi-Scanner Stud Finder

  • Multi-scanner stud finder uses electronic signals to quickly locate edges and center of metal, studs, joists, pipes, live AC wire behind walls, floors and ceilings.

  • Easy-to-read LCD screen displaying the desired stud material as well as the precise position of the stud,

  • When the device detects an object, it will beep continually and a peck shape will also display on the LCD screen.

  • Stud mode detects wooden beams and joists in drywall up to 1.2 inches.

  • Metal mode detects pipe , rebar, aluminum and copper up to 1.57 inches.

  • Deep mode detects wood and metal parts located up to 1.77 inches while 85~240 volt AC current for voltage and live electrical lines up to 2.36 inches.


9. Aikotoo Magnetic Stud Finder

  • Latest sensor technology, this stud finder can locate:

    • Wood studs up to 0.75 inches deep.

    • Metal studs up to 0.75 inches deep.

    • AC wiring up to 1.5 inches deep.

  • Signal-strength indicator.

  • Easy to use: select the probe type, then just press and hold the side button and scan horizontally across the object surface.


10. Zircon StudSensor e50 Stud Finder

  • Easily locates the edges of wood and metal studs and joists behind walls, floors, and in ceilings with just one pass.

  • In StudScan mode, locates the edges of shallower wood or metal studs up to 3/4 of an inch (19 mm) deep.

  • Switch over to DeepScan mode to double the scanning depth to 1.5 inches (38 mm).

  • Programmed with a WireWarning Detection feature that indicates the presence of live unshielded electrical wires up to 2 inches (50 mm) deep when using both stud scan modes.

  • Comfortably hold in either hand at any angle while the rubber over molded grip.


I hope this list of the best stud finders was helpful.

If you think I left out one that is important or have a suggestion for a future article, let me know in the comments below.

Brandon Hubbard, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C