Locating studs correctly is essential when you need to perform tasks like mounting a flat screen TV, installing a wall shelf, handing paintings, doing decorations etc. If you don’t locate the studs precisely, the results will be unpleasant; the chances of messing the things around are high. Creating multiple holes on the walls is a way to ruin the appearance and value of your interior. However, you can eliminate all this mess and ensure a neat and tidy job if you can find a good stud finder. In fact, using a stud finder is a great way to save a significant amount of time and focus on the neatness of the work you do. As of today, you can find a plethora of stud detectors in the market and therefore it can be pretty difficult for a person to distinguish the best out of the rest. The information provided in this review article can be considered as a buying guide when you are shopping around next time.
Best Stud finder Review
Basically, stud detectors are available in three varieties; Magnetic Stud detectors, Metal Detecting Stud detectors, and digital Stud detectors. Each of these stud detectors come with unique features and therefore, one product might differ from the other on many fronts. For your perusal let’s take a look at the best products available on Amazon under each category.
A.Magnetic stud finder
First, let’s take a look at the best magnetic stud finder products in the market.
01.CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud finder
This is a small and portable product that can perfectly fit in your pocket. Because of the special magnets integrated to this stud locator, you can expect a hands-free use. As a measure of increasing the ease of marking, it comes with a 2-way level. Because of the powerful earth magnets used, this stud detector can pinpoint the studs precisely. It is operated without batteries and you don’t need to worry about any tuning too. All you have to do is to swipe it resembling an ‘S’ pattern on the surface of the wall to detect the metal studs. It is designed to be a very ergonomic tool. Thanks to the sturdy design and top quality materials used, this magnetic stud locator can last for very long time even with heavy use. It comes with a very affordable price tag too. To be frank, this is not a very complex product that has advanced features such as electronic readers or LCD display screens. But, it does the job of finding metal studs perfectly. It is practically useful for both DIYers and professional contractors alike.
Compact size that fits your pocket
Based on the functionality of rare earth magnets
Soft and firm grip
No batteries are required
Durable and sturdy finish
No LCD displays or electronic readers
Not powerful enough to locate studs in thick walls
You have to swipe the device pretty slow
02.Studpop Magnetic Stud finder
This is a handy little stud locator that operates based on the power of the magnet. It doesn’t require any external power source or batteries to operate, which is a great relief for most of the DIYers and contractors. The product is manufactured in the USA assuring the quality, durability and the sturdiness. It works on almost all the walls such as tiles, sheetrock, and plaster. The design is manufactured to be highly portable; elegant design and the rounded shape of this stud locator makes it unique among the other products. The materials used to manufacture this stud locator is pretty durable. Although it doesn’t have any digital displays or electronic readers integrated, you can simply get the correct position of the metal studs. Particularly, if you are a DIYer, this tool can be a good assistant for you. As a value addition, the manufacturers offer you different colors; you can select the favorite color depending on your personal interest.
Functionality is based on powerful magnets
Works on many wall surfaces
No batteries are required
Made in USA
Available in different color verities
No LCD screen or electronic readers
Less accuracy can be experienced on thicker walls
B.Metal Detecting Stud Sensor
Next, let’s take a look at the metal detecting stud sensors.
03.Zircon SS 70 StudSensor Center-Finding Stud finder with WireWarning Detection
Being an excellent stud sensor in the market today, Zircon SS 70 comes with a deep scanning mode that makes it possible to locate the studs pretty easily. Thanks to this deep scanning technology integrated to this stud locator, it can practically scan for up to 1 ½ inches deep, which is impressive functionality for any DIYer or even a contractor. It also can detect live wires (unshielded) that are located up to 2 inches deep from the surface of the wall. In order to make the detection process easier, this tool comes with a unique, Patented SpotLite Pointing System and Audio Tone signal that notifies you whenever a stud is detected. As a measure to increase the usability, of this tool, there is a ready light (to show if the device is ready to use). It is also equipped with a built-in erasable wall marker.
2 scanning modes
LED indicators to notify the directions, edges, and center of the located studs
Patented SpotLight pointing system
Easy to operate
Scans up to 2 inches deep
Auto Correcting Technology
Built-in erasable marker
Expensive than the magnetic ones
Replacement of batteries is required
04.Zircon MetalliScanner MT6 Professional Metal Detector
This is a pretty smart metal scanning stud detector that can identify and distinguish magnetic metal from non-magnetic materials. The smart detection technology integrated to this special metal detector can map the grid of metal components penetrating any non-metallic material such as tiles, marble, concrete, plaster etc. as a measure to provide you a correct reading, this device is equipped with a convenient LCD screen. It can identify the metals components precisely (to the nearest inch). The figures (the depth of the metal from the surface) is shown in both inches and centimeters for an accurate reading. Adding more value and professionalism to the product, it comes with an aluminum case too. It is powered by batteries (which are included). If you have an intention to map out the grid, this sophisticated product might be your perfect match.
Can detect and differentiate magnetic metal and non-magnetic metal
Can map the grid of metal avoiding any nonmetallic materials
LCD screen to show the accurate location
Highly protective aluminum case
Batteries are included
Can distinguish metallic from nonmetallic items
Figures are shown in both inches and centimeters
Needs some practice
05.ProSensor 710 Precision Stud finder
This is a hi-tech stud detector that is capable of detecting the studs in multiple locations at the same time. Because of the integration of the bright LED lights, you can clearly see the accurate position of the objects underneath; this is a very effective way to visualize a realistic map of the studs underneath the surface of the walls. Apart from showing the locations of the studs underneath, this stud locator shows the sizes of the objects too. Thanks to the deep scanning option, it can practically scan up to 1.5 inches. When you have the assistance of ProSensor 710, you don’t need to worry about sliding; you can detect multiple (up to 13) locations at once. As soon as the studs are detected, it will show notify them through the illuminating display. Practically, this is among the most accurate, easiest and speediest products in the market.
Advanced multi-sense technology to locate multiple studs
Bright LEDs to show the position of the objects underneath
Deep scanning feature
Shows both location and the size of the objects
No need to swipe
Resolution of the display is average
C.Digital Stud finder
Last but not least, let’s take a look at the digital stud locators.
06.Walabot DIY – In-Wall Imager
This is a next generation stud locator that can integrate with Android smartphones to provide you a better insight about the things inside the walls. This sophisticated device lets you see up to 4” deep and detect the studs and other objects. It can effectively penetrate (virtually) dry walls and even concrete and locate stuff like electrical wires, studs, pipes, water pipes etc. and provide you a comprehensive map. This special device can let you have three modes;
- Map mode to provide you a panoramic view including the distances
- Image mode to visualize the stuff like wooden studs, pipes, and wires inside
- Expert mode to indicate the raw signals
As a result of this hi-end technology, you can accomplish the toughest challenges with less effort no matter whether you are a contractor, installer, plumber or even a DIYer. Thanks to the versatility of this device, you can even use it to assist pest control tasks.
Can see up to 4” depth into walls
Can use with dry walls and concrete too
Compatible with Android smartphones
Highly versatile design; can use to detect almost anything inside
Three modes to match your purpose
Does not support Apple devices
Why do you need a stud finder?
If you are a DIYer or a contractor who involves in tasks like mounting anything on to walls, fixing a wall shelf or any other task that demands you to find the framing studs, you probably need a stud detector. If you don’t attach the respective structures on to the studs and instead, just nail them into drywall, you will end up with a damaged wall. Eventually, it will ruin the interior appearance and the overall value of the house. Therefore, what you spend to purchase a stud detector is an investment you make to protect the house and eliminate potential damages to the equipment. Apart from that, if you use a highly sophisticated device like a digital stud locator, you can use them to accomplish more tasks like mapping your wiring system and plumbing network.
What to consider before buying Best Stud finder
When you are shopping around for a stud locator, you should have a good understanding of the following facts.
If you are not going to use the stud detector repeatedly (you intend to accomplish only one or two tasks), you should not go for a very expensive model. You can just rely on a magnetic stud locator. There is no point of searching for models with sophisticated models in that case. However, if you are a professional contractor or you have many serious tasks to perform, you should go for a high-end model. Under such circumstance, you will have to seek the assistance of an electronically operated device that has a detailed display and multiple sensors.
The amount of money you are willing to spend is another crucial aspect when you need to purchase a stud detector. In fact, the prices of these products can range from as low as $10 to as high as $100. Between these price ranges, you will find devices with various features and functionalities. What you should remember is that the most expensive stud finder may not be the best just because it comes with some fancy features that are hardly useful.