If you are looking to do any DIY work at your office or home, you will definitely need the best stud finder you can get hold of to ensure that you can find all of the studs behind the surface of your walls for security and safety.
Stud finders are a vital part of DIY work, but to the untrained eye they often look similar to one another, and distinguishing between a bad stud finder and a good stud finder can be time-consuming and difficult at the same time.
We’ve done wide research into the world of stud finders in order to help you work out which options are best for your needs and yourself. Below, you will find our best stud finder wall scanner review, where we will discuss our top stud finders in detail.
We will break down all of the important features of every stud finder to help you understand what you are looking at, as well as raising any concerns you need to be aware of before you purchase.
Also, there is a helpful buyers guide, where we will talk you through some important considerations that you need to bear in mind when you are looking for a new stud finder.
- 1 #1 Bosch Digital Multi-Scanner GMS120
- 2 #2 Walabot DIY, Stud Finder
- 3 #3 CRAFTSMAN Stud Finder
- 4 #4 Zircon Stud Sensor
- 5 #5 Metrik Stud Finder Sensor
- 6 #6 Auto-leveling with Stud Sensor
- 7 #7 WELQUIC Electric Stud Finder
- 8 #8 Zircon MultiScanner i520
- 9 #9 Zircon e50 Electronic Stud Finder
- 10 #10 Stanley FMHT77407 FatMax Stud Sensor 300
- 11 Stud Finder Buyer’s Guide
- 12 How Do Stud Finders Work?
- 13 What does a stud finder detect?
- 14 Why false positives are common when using a stud finder?
#1 Bosch Digital Multi-Scanner GMS120
If you are working on a project that needs any sort of drilling or hammering into ceilings or floors, then it is mandatory to understand the support holding up those surfaces.
The Bosch Digital Multi Scanner GMS120 is an outstanding choice for this specific problem and is a multi-scanning stud finder designed to be contented to hold in awkward positions, making it easy to reach the ceiling or floor.
This tool can detect metal or wooden studs, other metal elements buried in the ceiling, wall or floor, and live wiring beneath the surface makes you able to find any elements that could pose problems for DIY actions and drilling.
- Detects metal objects, wooden studs, and live wiring
- Automatically self calibrates
- Clear graphical display
- Ergonomic grip
- Audible detection signal
#2 Walabot DIY, Stud Finder
This best stud finder detects metal and studs, metal and PVC pipes, electric wires and cables inside walls. It uses cutting-edge radar technology to check what is inside the drywall.
This stud finder scans up to 4 inches deep into the walls. It greatly works with Android phones running Android 6. 0 and more with USB on the go (OTG).
Well, it does not work with iPads, iPhones, and tablets.
- Detects metal and wood studs, electric wires and cables inside the walls
- Uses cutting-edge radar technology to check what is inside the wall.
- Scans up to 10 centimeters deep into the walls
- Works with Android phones with USB on-the-go (OTG).
- Not compatible with tablets, iPhone and iPads
#3 CRAFTSMAN Stud Finder
This best stud finder depth range of 3/4-in through the drywall. It also works on surfaces covered with fabric or even wallpaper.
Not only has this but it also had an edge detection to locate stud edges of both metal and wood stud.
Its water-resistant and shock-resistant body is great for long life and durability. Well, the great thing is that it takes one 9-volt battery.
- Depth range of 3/4-in through drywall
- Works on surfaces covered with fabric and wallpaper
- Edge detection to locate stud edges of both metal and wood stud
- Water-resistant and shock-resistant body for long life and durability
- Takes one 9-volt battery
- Offers lifetime warranty
#4 Zircon Stud Sensor
The Zircon SS 70 best stud finder detects the center and edge of metal and wood studs and it also alerts you of AC wires that easily help you to find studs in order to avoid hazards.
Its Stud Scan mode finds the edges of metal and wood studs up to 0.75 inches deep. The Deep Scan mode finds targets up to 1.5 inches deep.
Wire Warning Detection shows the presence of unshielded, live electrical AC wiring while scanning in Deep Scan and Stud Scan modes.
Auto Correcting Technology (ACT) automatically corrects the common user errors like when scanning begins over a stud, in both Deep Scan and Stud Scan modes. Its LED lights indicate when the stud finder is regulated and ready to use while the patented Spot-Lite Pointing System illumines when the stud center is located. The integrated erasable wall marker makes the user able to mark targets with the simple feature of the push of a button.
- Ergonomic grip design
- Patented Zircon “over the stud” indicator
- WireWarning detection system
#5 Metrik Stud Finder Sensor
Metrik stud finder sensor has 5 in 1 Multi-Function Mode. The stud finder is compared with other great stud sensors, Metrik stud finder features detection for wood stud deep mode, wood stud exact mode, metal objects mode (non-ferrous and iron metals), copper conductors mode. It also detects moisture in the wood and other building materials and offers a huge range of performance in detection.
It greatly locates the Center of Stud. Metrik stud finder can be used to find the center of the stud in one operation only. When the stud sensor is approaching the stud’s center, the signal strength will accompany and increase the sound.
At the center, the center icon (+) will appears and the signal strength shows full on the screen. Anyhow, other products need to be operated twice in the right and left direction to find the center simply by looking for the edge of the stud.
Well, the stud sensor can detect wood, metal, and also live cables on the floor, ceilings, and walls. The wood exact mode can scan through one layer of drywall up to 0.79 inches thick.
Deep mode scans through 2 layers of drywall up to 1.50 inch deep. Deep stud scan mode is an advanced sensitivity scanning mode that could be used when there are so many extra layers of wallboard.
This best stud finder is made of convenient design. Metrik sensor detector has a mute setting that is convenient for those who think that the alarm sound is irritating or use it anywhere in the library.
This sensor detector has an LCD display, the backlight function is able to detect studs even in dark areas. Whether you are a homeowner, professional worker, or a DIY enthusiast, you can find the great uses in it.
Quickly this wall detector locates the center of the material, helps you avoid danger when installing the TV, garage racks, cabinets, and more. The ability to measure the content of moisture in wood and building materials can be of great help in water damage repair, wood processing, and home renovation.
- 5 in 1 multi-function mode
- Locate the center of a stud
- wood exact deep mode
- convenient design
- make your DIY homework easy
#6 Auto-leveling with Stud Sensor
If you are looking for the best stud finder with a lot of extra features, then the Black and Decker BDL190S Sensor is definitely a good choice.
Its core stud finder functionality is not reliable, which is a significant mark against the stud finder, but its laser leveling functionality is very effective and versatile aswell.
This tool can detect metal, studs, wood, and AC wiring, and needs no adjustments to change between the different detection options.
- Auto leveling laser level functionality
- Easy to read LCD
- No adjustments required
- Ideal for smaller projects
- Detects metal, wood, studs, and live AC wiring
#7 WELQUIC Electric Stud Finder
This best stud finder can accurately trace hot wires, find pipes, nails, rebar, and other metallic objects, and detects wood studs with auto-calibration
It can detect metal up to 76mm depth, voltage up to 76mm depth, metal and wood and stud up to 39mm.
Also, it features a built-in backlit LCD screen and a visual and audio indication with a beep sound alert for the optimal signal alert.
It is designed with a soft grip in order to provide better control of the tool and comfort. This stud finder has an energy-saving mode. It is equipped with an auto shut-off function powered by a 9V battery. The battery is not included.
- High accuracy
- Max finding depth
- Easy to read
- Ergonomic design
- Energy saving
#8 Zircon MultiScanner i520
The Zircon Multiscanner i520 is well designed to locate metals, studs, and unshielded AC wiring in the walls, ceilings, and floors. For ease of use, it has four easy to switch settings.
This best stud finder has an integrated LCD screen which shows where the center and edges of the stud are.
With its auto-correcting technology, the stud finder auto-calibrates to guide you that how you can begin scanning without even knowing how you can.
This makes finding them very quick. By switching the scanner to deep scan mode, readily you can identify deeper targets up to 3 inches deep. The metal scanning mode traces ferrous as well as non-ferrous metals and the AC scan mode identifies wiring.
- Four mode switch on the face of the scanner
- Ultra-bright display screen
- Audio tone to indicate target located
- Signal strength indicator to determine the depth of the target
- Stud finding ability up to 1 ½ inch deep
- Metal finding ability 3 inches deep
- AC scanning ability 2 inches deep
- Backlit LCD display
- Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Metric Measurement System
- Dimensions: 6x9x3 inches
- Requires one 9 volt battery (not included)
#9 Zircon e50 Electronic Stud Finder
If you are in search of the best stud finder which is easy to use and is affordable without so many extra features, then the Zircon StudSensor e50 Electronic Wall Scanner is the best choice.
This is a great stud finder with no frills, but it offers the best detection of both metal and wood studs at an affordable and accessible price.
It offers a regular Stud Scan mode for studs up to 0.75 inches deep, or an alternate DeepScan mode for the studs which are up to 1.5 inches deep.
This stud finder can also detect live AC wiring in your walls in order to help you stay safe and avoid drilling into hazardous electrical elements. This is a great quality stud finder at a budget price offering the basic functionality you need for simple DIY home projects.
- WireWarning detection system
- Ergonomic grip design
- SpotLite Pointer function
- Easy to read LCD display
- Patented Zircon “over the stud” indicator
#10 Stanley FMHT77407 FatMax Stud Sensor 300
Stanley FMHT77407 is the best stud finder. Its audible beep and sequential LEDs indicate reading. The marking channel with LED finds the target and makes marking surfaces with ease and accuracy.
It is available in colors ( black/yellow). The backlit LCD screen displays a sensor’s reading, even in low lighting. It can detect stud, metal, wood up to 2 inches deep in the wall.
A deep metal scan can detect metal through up to 3 inches of material. It’s one pass center-find technology that can locate the stud centers.
Also, it has an auto-calibrating unit
- Sequential LEDs and audible beeps indicate reading
- Marking channel with LED identifies the target ·
- Color: Yellow/BLACK
- Backlit LCD screen to display the sensor’s reading, even in low light conditions
- AC detection up to 2 inches deep
- Wood and metal detection to 1-1/2 inches deep in surface.
- Deep metal finds the metal through 3 inches of material
- One Pass center-find technology to locate stud centers
- Auto-calibrating unit
Stud Finder Buyer’s Guide
Types of Stud Finder
Basically, there are two main types of stud finders that you can find in the market, classified by the methods they use to locate the studs in any building.
These two types of stud detectors are electronic stud finders and magnetic stud finders, and both of them have some advantages and disadvantages that are worth bearing in mind.
Magnetic stud finders use highly powerful magnets, usually neodymium, to find the metal screws, which are used to hold the stud in place.
This means that they can be a little less detailed than electronic stud finders, but the lack of electronic components makes them more reliable and durable, and less likely to give false detection.
The magnets also have a limit on how far they can detect metals so deeper studs may not register nice on magnetic stud finders.
The huge difference, though, is that the best quality magnetic stud finder tends to be cheaper than a decent electronic stud finder, so if the cost is an aspect in your decision making, you are likely to choose a magnetic stud finder.
Meanwhile, electronic stud finders, work through a system of sensors that can detect any changes in the electrical conductivity in the wall.
This means that the areas of different density and conductivity in the wall, like studs, are detected, bringing up reading on your LCD screen.
Often they can penetrate into the wall than a magnetic stud finder is able to achieve but this comes at the cost of consistency.
Many cheap models of electronic stud finders are susceptible to false positives, and the electronic systems are much fragile and easily damaged than magnetic stud finders are. Electronic stud finders are able to detect other features in your walls and they are more versatile than their magnetic counterparts in a lot of situations.
In so many cases, you are going to be looking for studs in your building’s walls. If this is the case, then pretty much any stud finder can do the job, as they are designed for use on walls. In some cases, though, you will have to look for studs in either the ceiling or floor of your building. If this is the case, you may need a more advanced stud finder. Floor studs can be hidden deeper under the surface, and more basic stud finders may not have the power to detect deep studs on the floor.
For this, you will require something more powerful that usually comes at a high price. It is also worth seeing the grip on your chosen stud detector, as looking for studs in the floor or ceiling often requires holding your tool at a different angle, which can be uncomfortable unless your stud finder has been intended for a comfortable grip at different angles.
Types of Stud
Studs in walls can be made from a wide range of various materials, and certain stud finders are calibrated only for finding precise types of studs. This means that being aware of the type of stud you are finding will make the calibration and location process much easier. Many walls of the home are made of wooden studs in the walls, but many commercial buildings have heavier duty metal studs. In some cases, buildings may have plastic studs built in the walls which are very rarer and therefore less likely to be supported by the technology of detection used in any stud finder tool.
Other Ways to Find Studs
In addition to electronic and magnetic stud finders, there is an old fashioned method that you can try for stud detection. It is not always going to be accurate and will not work on each and every wall, but it might be your best option if your stud finders are not working properly. If you rap your protuberance against the wall, it will make a hollow tapping sound. When you tap just over a stud, the sound changes to a solid noise, which can a sign of indication of where the studs in your wall are located.
You can also use electrical sockets as a rough guide. Usually, the sockets are placed next to studs and tend to be more predictable than you may think. As many people are right-handed, the majority of electrical sockets are situated to the right of a stud other than the left.
This means that you can find a stud simply to the left of an electrical socket. That being said, not every electrician is right-handed, so this is not a reliable method, as you always have a risk of finding a socket that has been installed by a left-handed electrician.
You might think a stud finder is not a vital tool, but you could be wrong. The construction of walls is a complex and precise system, and you do not want to drill into the wrong part of the wall.
Did you know?
The walls in older houses are often thicker, with studs sunk deep behind the wall. This means that the older your house is, the best quality stud finder you will need for getting good results.
What to Look for in a Stud Finder
Many houses have wooden studs, but commercial buildings might have metal studs and there are instances when plastic studs are used. Certain stud finders can only find one type, so take the stud material into account before purchasing your best stud finder.
You want to ponder whether you are looking for studs in a ceiling, wall, or floor, some basic stud finders may not be strong enough to penetrate through a thick floor. Also, you will want to ensure that your tool has a best and comfortable grip which allows you to hold it at any angle.
You might want a basic tool that finds studs and not anything else. Anyhow some high-end models have extra features that can be helpful for complex projects. For instance, some units can detect wires or even keep a map of the wall that you are examining helpful information for greater tasks.
How Do Stud Finders Work?
A magnetic stud finder works without any batteries. It uses a rare-earth magnet. It does not actually detect studs but locates the screws or nails that are attached to the wood. It’s a little time consuming to operate since you are hunting for metal fasteners and does not work very well on the walls of older buildings where a deeper scan is required. Conversely, an electronic stud finder contains electronic components with the ability to use sensors to assist you in finding the actual location of studs. Moreover, such electronic devices come up with LED lights and audible tones to notify you the moment the edge of a stud is spotted. Their greatest negative is that they need a 9-volt battery which can provide bad results if not replaced regularly
What does a stud finder detect?
A stud finder is used to detect framing studs that are placed behind the surface of the wall, typically drywall. Sometimes it depends on detecting the metal in the studs to find them. A few models are very useful on ceilings and floors.
Why false positives are common when using a stud finder?
Usually, it is a variety of reasons. Sometimes builders rush and studs in walls totally are not straight or have little shifted over time. Sometimes the drywall has small bubbles that may obstruct with a stud finder. With electronic models, batteries that are drained can give bad results.