6 Best Stud Finders for Your Home

Stud finders are one of the most overlooked tools that homeowners only remember when they absolutely need it. And what’s even sadder for this tool is the fact that many people still prefer to knock on the wall and “listen for the stud.”

This technique is not recommended. You’re going to end up wasting more time and money repairing needless holes than you would have if only invested in a stud finder to begin with.

Experienced homeowners and craftsmen typically have a stud finder in their toolbox. They recognize that jobs that require wall hanging will eventually come up and instead of hammering nails into a wall searching for a stud, they’d rather get an accurate stud finder on their hands.

That said, here are the best stud finders to satisfy all your future needs.

1. BLACK+DECKER BullsEye Line Laser With Stud Sensor BDL190S


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With the BLACK+DECKER BullsEye Line Laser with Stud Sensor, you get two tools in one. It’s the best helper when you’re hanging or installing bulky objects that need both to be firmly attached to the support stud and to be completely straight, such as cabinets, mirrors, heavy artwork, televisions, or shelves.

Use the device first to detect concealed items inside your wall, including studs, metal pipes, wood support beams, and live AC cables. The unit works on drywall, lathe, plaster, and concrete walls. Just push the power button—you’ll need to keep it down with your thumb or finger when you’re working—slide the gadget over the wall in your intended work area, and you’ll hear a beep when the tool encounters a stud or other object within the wall.

2. Franklin Sensors ProSensor 710 Precision Stud Finder


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The electronic ProSensor 710 Franklin Sensors Precision joins this list because of the accurate and detailed look it can offer you when it is in use; its 13 sensors simultaneously “look” behind walls or under boards, figuring out the positioning of wooden studs and metal objects conveniently and precisely.

The Precision will check a large area of the wall when looking for studs beneath. The extra width of the unit means that you can get a more precise sense of the position of the stud as you move the finder around the table. LED lights on the front will light up, marking the position and width of each stud, so you’ll know precisely where the stud starts and finishes when you’re working.

3. Zircon MetalliScanner M40


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Metal is another support material that is often missed by typical stud finders calibrated for wood studs. Even magnetic finders can not register all kinds of metals, since certain metals are not magnetic. The Zircon Metalliscanner M40, on the other hand, is custom-built to detect a wide range of metal supports and objects behind floors, walls, and ceilings.

The Metall Scanner detects ferrous (magnetic) and non-ferrous metals behind most kinds of non-metal walls, floors, and ceilings. Beyond metal studs and other support points, this makes the finder great for finding smaller pieces including screws and nails firmly lodged in the wall up to four inches thick. The blue coil lights up when you shift the finder to reveal the exact location of any item it finds, making it easier to spot the location of hidden materials.

4. Zircon StudSensor e50 Electronic Wall Scanner


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There is no reason to break the budget on a stud sensor for the occasional weekend home project. You will need to be cautious, though, since many lower-priced solutions lack the accuracy you need to drill into your walls consistently without touching something you didn’t expect to be there. Usually, the better budget solutions offer the basics without additional identification capabilities. The Zircon StudSensor E50 can provide you with basic wood and metal stud detection at an inexpensive price, but with no loss of precision.

This finder packs a variety of useful features with a small price tag. Able to locate both wood and metal studs, the finder can glow and beep until he has picked up the edge of the stud. It includes two scanning modes: StudScan for studs up to 0.75 inches deep and DeepScan for targets up to 1.5 inches deep. The finder also provides the ability to locate live AC wires in order to prevent drilling into unsafe electrical hazards.

5. Bosch Digital Multi-Scanner GMS120


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It is necessary to have a detailed understanding of the support behind the floors and ceilings if you have a project that involves drilling or hammering on these surfaces, such as hanging a ceiling fan. You surely don’t want a big piece of drywall falling down to the floor or the top of your head. The Bosch GMS120 is a multi-scanning option that is easy to keep in difficult places, making overhead work safer and simpler.

The ergonomic design of the finder houses a multimode sensor capable of detecting wood studs, metal support objects, and live AC wiring at the same time. This finder is the perfect option for floors as it has a depth of 4.75-inch scanning and can handle materials as thick as cured concrete. The LCD monitor and audible recognition signals both provide enough guidance for identifying and noting objects below the floor level.

6. CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder


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Using a built-in magnet, stud finders like the CH Hanson 03040 can automatically be drawn to the nails and screws that tie the house frame together, giving you a clear idea of where the studs are.

The finder uses strong rare earth magnets to find metal studs and fasteners without the need for batteries. The body of the finder also has a two-way level so that the finder can be hung from a metal stud for precise leveling of walls and other surfaces. A pointed arrow at the bottom would easily mark a protected location for screws and nails, removing the need for trial-and-error when hanging pictures, frames, and other items on the walls.

What to Look For in a Stud Finder

What you’re supposed to look for in a stud finder depends on your task.

First, what do you actually need to do with the unit? Homeowners do not necessarily require a heavy-duty stud finder to hammer their nails. In the same way, a private contractor wants something more responsive.

Second, what’s the budget? Look for a unit that does what you need to do with your budget. Don’t waste $50 when all you need is a $5 finder.

Finally, choose a finder that you just want to use. Some are designed to help you mark off leveled lines with level markers, and some are built with ergonomic handles.

So, when you pick a stud finder, look for what you like, and that helps you with the work you’re doing. A good tool isn’t meant to stand between you and the completion of your project because it’s too costly or difficult.