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Best stud finder 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated December 1, 2019
Best stud finder of 2018
Check them out and decide which one suits you the best to splurge upon. I’ve based my selection methodology on customer feedback, the size, functionality, and budget to meet various demands.
If you’re reading this, it is very likely that you’re scouting for the best stud finder. Here, I will review 3 of the best stud finder of 2018, and we will also discuss the things to consider when looking to purchase one. I hope you will make an informed decision after going through each of them.
Test Results and Ratings
№1 – Zircon StudSensor 70 Center Finding Stud Finder with Live AC WireWarning Detection and Built-In Erasable Wall Marker
Why did this stud finder win the first place?
The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product.
№2 – Zircon StudSensor 40 with Bonus 9″ Level – Edge Finding Stud Sensor for Wood and Metal Studs / Live AC WireWarning Detection / Patented SpotLite Pointing System – FFP
Why did this stud finder come in second place?
The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed.
Why did this stud finder take third place?
A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new.
stud finder Buyer’s Guide
If you’re hanging heavy pictures, mirrors, or shelves, you need to know where your wall studs are—and the best tool we found for the job is the C.H. Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder. After 30 hours of research and testing against five other magnetic stud finders, we found the C.H. Hanson to be reliable, durable, and accurate, and because it’s magnet-based, it doesn’t need batteries or any kind of calibration. While the other magnetic stud finders in our test group have only one magnet, the C.H. Hanson has two, which doubles the scanning area and reduces the time it takes to get a hit. It’s also the most durable model we looked at, by far—from what we can tell, breaking it would take some serious effort.
We’ve tested the Ryobi ESF5000 Whole Stud Detector and added it to the Competition section. We’ve also added a note on the Precision Sensors Profinder 5000, which appears to be the same as our upgrade pick, the Franklin ProSensor 710.
The C.H. Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder includes a small level that you can rotate either vertically or horizontally depending on the orientation of the tool, a feature that helps with locating the stud as well as leveling a picture or mirror. In addition, the tool has a pointed end that makes marking the center of the stud easy. Lastly, the C.H. Hanson is relatively inexpensive, especially compared with electronic stud finders.
If the C.H. Hanson isn’t available, we also like the Studpop, another magnet-based stud finder. The Studpop is unique in that it gives both an audible and visible signal when it detects a stud. It isn’t as compact or durable as the C.H. Hanson, and it has only one magnet, so the scanning area isn’t as wide.
An electronic pick
The most accurate electronic stud finder we tested scans the wall in 1places to display the entire width of a stud, and unlike the competition, does not require a fussy calibration process.
If you want a stud finder that is quicker and easier to use (although pricier), we recommend the Franklin Sensors ProSensor 7Of all the electronic stud finders that I’ve used over the years, this is by far the fastest and most accurate. Because it scans 1points simultaneously, the tool can visually display the entire stud, rather than just a single edge, making it painless to use and virtually eliminating the false positives that plague other electronic stud finders. In addition, this model doesn’t require a fussy calibration step each time you use it, which gives it another advantage over the electronic competition. It isn’t cheap compared with a magnetic tool, however, and it requires batteries. The ProSensor 7is also available as the Precision Sensors Profinder 5000; the two are the same, so you should get whichever one is currently cheaper.
Why you should trust me
I have a decent amount of knowledge about locating studs. With years in residential construction and eight years writing about and reviewing tools (with articles appearing in Fine Homebuilding, The Journal of Light Construction, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, This Old House, and Tools of the Trade, where I’m a contributing editor), I’ve spent a lot of time with a stud finder in my hand. I’m familiar with electronic stud finders, magnetic stud finders, and all of the classic tips and tricks for stud finding (which I learned from grizzled carpenters with white beards).
Why you need to use a stud finder
A standard wood-framed wall consists of horizontal plates at the top and bottom and the vertical pieces that connect them and create the body of the wall—those are the studs. You might need to find a stud in a wall for a lot of reasons. The most common is if you’re trying to install something heavy, such as a large mirror or a TV mount, or an anti-tip bracket for a tall bookshelf. In all of these instances, you could use some kind of wall anchor, but if you want to feel secure in the stability of your work, your best bet is to screw through the wall and directly into a stud.
In most post-1960 construction, studs sit 1inches on-center, leaving 14½ inches of clear space between the studs.
Most wall framing uses × or × wooden studs, which are 1½ inches wide (they used to be inches, thus the name). In most post-1960 construction, studs sit 1inches on-center, leaving 14½ inches of clear space between the studs. Some new construction uses 2-foot on-center spacing, but it isn’t that common. Older houses can be a mixed bag: My own house, built in the early 1900s, has framing that ranges from 1to 30 inches on-center, and it also has true-dimension 2-inch studs. So understanding the basics as a guideline is a good thing, but you never know exactly what you’ll find.
How we picked and tested
You can choose from two different types of stud finders for home use: electronic and magnetic. We prefer the simpler magnetic type because they cost less and tend to be more reliable.
From left: the Magic Stud Finder Plus (our previous pick, now apparently discontinued), the Franklin ProSensor 710, and the C.H. Hanson 03040.
Where to Get One
Know that you are aware of the various types of stud detectors that are available in the market. There are still a number of factors that you need to consider when choosing your brand. The first thing that you need to consider the material used to cover the detector. Most detectors break easily after a short period of being used. That is why you need to make sure that you stud detector is durable and meets customers quality standards.
Another primary factor that you need to emphasize on is specs of your tool. Latest stud detectors in the market are not only accurate at detecting studs but also possess other features that notify you of where the stud is located. Make sure that the stud sensor you choose possess at least some of these features so that you can always get accurate results.
Things You Need To Do Before You Use A Stud Detector
Stud sensors function on their own once you turn them on. However, there are a number of things that you can do to make the work of finding the stud easier for you. The first thing that you need to do is clear the area or the wall where you are looking for the stud. The main aim of doing this is to ensure that there is nothing else on the wall being detected except the stud behind the finished wall.
After doing this you need to hold your sensor against the wall and move it smoothly on one direction and wait for it to detect. If the tool does not detect the stud try moving it on the opposite direction and see whether you will detect the stud. If your stud finder produces a beep sound or flashes light when it detects the stud, it could be more convenient to use since you do not have to concentrate too much on the gadget while moving at the same time.
Once the gadget detects the stud or the edges of the stud, you a pen or any other writing material to mark the position where the stud is before moving the stud sensor away from that specific position. If your stud sensor only detects the edges of the stud, mark the first edge that you find and try to locate the other edge by moving the stud sensor in the opposite direction.
There are also
MultiScanner stud finders, which are very useful in the sense that not only do they locate the studs with ease, but they also find the centers of the studs and recognize any electrical wires within the walls so you know to cautiously avoid them.
There are two types of stud finders: magnetic and electronic. Magnetic stud finders work by sensing the location of screws or nails that hold the drywall to the studs. Once you find the metal fasteners you’ll have a general idea where the support stud in located. To find a stud you slide the magnet across the wall until you feel the magnetic pull of the nail or screw. Some magnetic stud finders will make a click sound or even have a rotating magnet that points to the nail. The downside is that the magnet sometimes cannot sense a metal fastener deeply embedded into the wall. This makes the installation project more difficult and time consuming. Keep in mind that magnetic stud finders only sense where a metal fastener is. It cannot sense the presence of wood studs or window and door framing.
Electronic Stud Finders are far more advanced than their magnetic counterparts. They rely on electronic sensors to find the wall studs and other objects in and around the wall. Electronic stud finders rely on batteries to power the sensors and provide a visual and audible alarm when the stud is detected. There are three types of electronic stud finders.
Edge Finders don’t rely on metal fasteners. They simply sense changes in density behind the wall. Edge Finders are first calibrated by “zeroing” it on a stud-free section of wall. Next, the finder is slid back and forth across the wall. The finder beeps and flashes when the finder senses the edge of a stud. Once both edges of the stud are marked, you know to attach the fastener in-between the edges.
Center Finders have two sensors that find both edges of the stud at the same time. Center Finders beep of flash, indicating where the center of the stud is located. Center Finders also have to be calibrated on a stud-free area of the wall.
Instant Stud Finders/Scan Tools are the most advanced wall-scanning devices available. They can detect wood and metal support studs in walls and in concrete along with copper and steel pipes and live wires. This type of scan tool does not have to be slid back and forth across the wall like magnetic and other electronic finders. Simply place the scan tool on the wall. Multiple sensors determine where the stud is, it’s thickness and where the center is located. Instant stud finders also indicate where stud-free areas are in case you want to avoid a support beam, as in the case when installing dryer vents or electrical outlet boxes.
Electronic Stud finder
The easiest and most common method of locating studs within a wall is to use an electronic stud finder. Each model varies slightly, but generally speaking, you place the stud finder on the wall, hold down a power button until the device beeps – this indicates that it has finished taking an initial reading of the well – then slowly move the stud finder along the wall until it lights up/beeps indicating a stud.
Magnetic stud finders are cheap, reliable, and pretty much fool proof. You simply move the stud finder back and forth on a wall until you cross over a drywall screw. The magnet in the stud finder will snap to the drywall screw, and now you know where a stud is.
Reference Wall Fixtures
Even after utilizing the first three methods, you still might not where the studs are. This is a common scenario when trying to find studs above a fireplace, where there may not know actually be any studs to find. At this point, you need to drill into the wall.
You can choose one of two methods when drilling pilot holes. The first is to use a very small drill bit, or even a small precision screw driver, to poke a hole in the wall where you think a stud should be – below are tips to help you with this guess. Keep drilling/poking these small holes horizontally across the wall until you find a stud. Obviously, the problem with this method is that you could end up with a long line of small holes in the wall.
The second method is to cut out or drill a hole that’s large enough for you to “see” what’s in the wall. You could make the hole large enough to actually peer inside the wall, or just large enough to fit an angled, thin tool in the wall. The tool can then be fed at angle into the wall until it stops, hopefully indicating that you found a stud.
Other Stud Finding Tips
Most homes are built with 16” on-center studs, which means there should be a stud every 16”. If you have trouble finding studs on a wall, verify how far apart they are in the home by locating and measuring them on another wall.
Be aware that some external basement walls are only built with 2x2s because that’s all that’s needed to hold up the drywall.
When using a stud finder, use painters’ tape to mark out at least three studs in a row, then measure the distances between the studs. If the studs are equidistant apart, you can be sure the stud finder actually marked studs, as opposed to some other object in the wall.
It’s becoming common practice to use plywood backing above fireplaces. This is done to make TV mounting easy because you can anchor anywhere into the plywood using a hollow wall toggle. Keep this in mind if you have trouble finding studs above a fireplace.
When using a stud finder on popcorn ceiling, put a piece of cardboard between the stud finder and ceiling to ensure accurate results and minimize damage to the ceiling texture.
B.Metal Detecting Stud Sensor
Next, let’s take a look at the metal detecting stud sensors.
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 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 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.
C.Digital Stud finder
Last but not least, let’s take a look at the digital stud locators.
Starting with the specifications of the Franklin Sensors ProSensor 7Precision Stud Finder, the dimensions are 2.inches X inches X 12.2inches. It can detect the presence of wood or metal inside the walls and up to a depth of 1.inches. You can simply slide the Franklin Sensors ProSensor 7Precision Stud Finder across the wall for detecting any hidden objects in it. They can be detected on or without sliding and you can start the detection from any place on the wall.
The problem with most of the stud finders in the market is that they generally do not show the exact location and you have to drill the wrong positions and you end up drilling many holes in the wall. The Franklin Sensors ProSensor 7Precision Stud Finder gives accurate and the best results which are also reliable such that you have to drill only one hole and you will get the best results.
The Franklin Sensors ProSensor 7Precision Stud Finder can find the items like wiring systems or pipelines within the walls such that you do not drill straight into one and it is effective on all kinds of surfaces like dry walls, thick walls, uneven walls, ceilings, etc. You can also start looking for the items inside the walls from anywhere you like.
Another stunning feature of the Franklin Sensors ProSensor 7Precision Stud Finder is that it can determine the length of the material inside the wall. It has a mechanism of thirteen LED lights in parallel such that you can get the exact and accurate location of the object and also its length. So, you do not need to search for the object without any clues like you had to do if you are using other stud finders.
The Franklin Sensors ProSensor 7Precision Stud Finder can also be used to detect more than one object in the walls with the help of the LED lights that are installed. So, it is a very useful home appliance and is almost a must keep for all the houses in today’s world.
Apart from the above features, the best feature which has made the Franklin Sensors ProSensor 7Precision Stud Finder famous among the people all over the world is its user friendly nature. It is very easy to use and the device will start instantly once the switch is pressed on and the LEDs start working also. It also finds the objects that are hidden in the walls and irrespective of the condition of it.
It is operated by a battery of AA size and a voltage of 3V.The price of the Franklin Sensors ProSensor 7Precision Stud Finder is also reasonable and is also within the reach of the common people. It also comes with a good warranty.
Studpop Magnetic Stud Finder
So, there you have it. No more fumbling with expensive stud finders that give you all kinds of weird readings. Other than the metal detector, these techniques have been used for decades to find studs in plaster walls. The best part? They cost you almost nothing. And saving money is an important thing with all the other repairs lingering in an old house.
We thoroughly tested 1products, surveyed 6random consumers, spoke to industry experts, and spent 1hours researching reviews online. Each metric below is computed by taking the weighted average of many computed data points. Data points are quantified on a 1-scale based on test results, consumer and expert opinions, and online reviews.
Zircon StudSensor e50 Electronic Stud Finder
The Zircon StudSensor e50 is the best stud finder if you want a very accurate electric stud finder. This internal capacitor stud finder finds wood and metal studs in your wall by calculating differences in density. The Zircon StudSensor e50 has two mode: stud finder and deep scan. Stud finder mode finds studs up to ¾ inches deep while deep scan mode are for thicker walls that can find studs up to 1.inches deep.
It even has a wire warning sensor that tells you if there is a live wire present behind your wall up to inches deep. Operating this stud finder is very easy. All you need to do is place the device flat against the wall vertically and hold down either the stud finder or deep scan button and scan left or right. When the stud finder locates the edge of a stud, arrow shaped light up light up, indicating the exact position of the edge.
You need to mark this spot with a pencil and then scan the other direction to locate the other edge. Then all you need to do is to drill at the center of the edges to place your screw. The Zircon is powered by a replaceable 9V battery and lasts quite a while. The only pitfall with this device is that it cannot scan of lath and plaster walls due to inconsistencies in the density and thickness of the material.
Boasts two-way level that conveniently helps you accurately mark up the wall for your specific project.
Measuring 4.inches by 1.inches by 7.inches while weighing 3.pounds only, this is one of the best compact and lightweight stud finders.
While there are many affordable stud finders on the market, finding a reliable tool that is right for the job can be a challenge. That is why we bring you this Zircon e50-FFP Stud Sensor e50.
This stud finder offers many great features and boasts a great body design thereby allowing you to hold it comfortably by hand at any angle. Being electronic, it is highly accurate hence chances of normal scanning errors are very minimal. It also features rubber over-molded grip to give you a more secure hold while using it.
Diamond Resource 10129-ST Stud Thud Finder
Lauded as one of the most professional stud finders in the industry, 10129-ST provides two magnets which are pretty effective at locating studs in ceilings and walls. It is a relatively inexpensive way to eliminate guesswork in identifying positions behind different surface thicknesses or internal materials in your home.
Competition for the top spot was pretty stiff especially with the likes of Profinder 5000 and Bosch GMS120 in play. The overall top position, however, goes to Zircon e50-FFP which is renowned for its accuracy, great grip and above all the patented spotlight pointer technology.
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First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your stud finder wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of stud finder
- №1 — Zircon StudSensor 70 Center Finding Stud Finder with Live AC WireWarning Detection and Built-In Erasable Wall Marker
- №2 — Zircon StudSensor 40 with Bonus 9″ Level – Edge Finding Stud Sensor for Wood and Metal Studs / Live AC WireWarning Detection / Patented SpotLite Pointing System – FFP
- №3 — Tacklife DMS04 Stud Sensor with Large LCD Display LED Indicator Multi-Wall Detector For Metal