13 Best Stud Finders (Review) In 2021
Ever since he was a child, Jason has loved repairing, building and creating things. Growing up, he spent all his free time carving intricate woodcraft pieces that soon caught the eye of neighbours and friends. Before he knew it, Jason turned his hobby into a job, earning an income from being his hometowns handyman. Many years have passed since then but Jason’s enthusiasm for woodwork remains the same. He can usually be found in his workshop, crafting furniture or restoring old treasures.
- The Best Stud Finder
- 1. Tavool Electronic Stud Finder
- 2. Franklin Sensors Pro Sensor 710+ Stud Finder
- 3. Zircon StudSensor e50 Wall Scanner
- 4. Walabot DIT Plus
- 5. CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder
- 6. Tavool 5-in-1 Wall Scanner
- 7. Perlesmith Stud Finder Wall Detector
- 8. Bosch Digital Multi-Scanner
- 9. Tacklife DMS03 Stud Finder
- 10. The StudBuddy Magnetic Stud Finder
- 11. CRAFTSMAN 1-1/2 Inch Depth Stud Finder
- 12. BLACK+DECKER Line Laser Stud Finder
- 13. Zircon MetalliScanner m40
DIY is a fast-growing hobby. It's fun, proactive, and leaves you with a sense of fulfillment when done. However, there is something people tend to overlook: studs. Designed to reinforce stability in the frame of a house, missing one can easily cause a DIY disaster. A stud finder is a tool used to detect studs, as well as AC live wires. They flash and beep when one is detected, and some come with lasers or markers attached so you can pinpoint your drill holes. You don't realize you need one until it's too late. Stud finder will be a perfect addition to your toolbox. Below is a selection of the best stud finders to consider for your next DIY project!
The Best Stud Finder
Ergonomically designed grip
Detection range of 1.2 inches to 1.77
Four modes to choose from
LCD display screen
Made with years of research and development
Let’s begin with our selection for best choice which is brought to you by Tavool. Tavool have been specializing in stud finders for years, and this one is no exception to the rest of their products. Equipped with the most advanced sensor technology, it accurately detects studs in the wood and among AC wires. There is a selection of modes to choose from and will always indicate the Live AC wires. Whether you are a professional, homeowner, or DIY hobbyist, this stud finder could be the fit for you.
Tavool Electronic Stud Finder includes four modes that can be used on woods, beams, joists, metals, AC wires, and deeply embedded objects behind hard unsuspecting places. ‘Stud mode’ can detect studs in wooden beams and joists up to 1.2 inches. For metals, the ‘metal mode’ will detect pipe, rebar, aluminum, and copper up to 1.57 inches. ‘Deep mode’ detects studs, wood, and metal parts up to 1.77 inches, all the while 85-240 volt AC current lines up to 2.36 inches. An upgraded model, the LCD screen displays everything clearly, the machine is fast, and everything works to make completing the task at hand that much easier. Tavool have developed this stud finder with years of dedicated research and development, which has contributed to the automatic calibration feature, and the ergonomically designed grip for comfortable use. If you are specifically looking for one of the best stud finders on the market, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything better.
It has a good feel when being used
The layout of the device is straightforward
Display screen is easy to read
It is priced fairly
Does not come with batteries
Activation button feels awkward to use
Batteries keep falling out
Initial calibration is painfully slow
Initial detection might be off by about half an inch
Accurate and deep sensing
Instantly finds studs – no calibration required
Displays stud center and edges simultaneously
Detects wood and metal
13 precision sensors
Most conventional stud finders come equipped with one or two sensors. The Franklin ProSensor 710 is far from conventional. It is equipped with 13 sensors that simultaneously work to detect studs. Multi-sense technology removes the need to calibrate altogether, putting it a step above traditional models. It’s so simple and easy to use, all you need to do it put it up against the wall and press the button, then simply let this stud sensor do its job.
The ProSensor 710 can detect multiple studs at the same time, and accurately displays the center and edges of whatever stud it detects. This stud finder works with a high degree of accuracy, analyzing the data it collects when pressed against the wall to triangulate the location of one or multiple studs. It also has a built-in bubble level, which makes it the perfect 2-in-1 tool. As fas as the best stud finders go, this one is right up there!
It’s an upgrade over the original design
Readings are trustworthy
Good enough for professionals
The level bubble comes in handy when you least expect it
Awkward to hold but you get the hang of it quickly
Does not work well for ceiling joists
Susceptible to false readings
Does not live up to the hype surrounding it
It needs the calibration step
Works for single studs, but multiple studs might confuse it
Patented ‘Over the Stud’ indicator
WireWarning detection function
Detection range of 19-38mm
DeepScan and StudScan modes
Our next spot on this best stud finders review list goest to Zircon’s SS e50 electric stud scanner. It detects studs, the edges of the wood, and alerts you if there are any live AC wires. This is a super convenient feature that helps you avoid hazards while performing your typical DIY. This best stud finder is enabled by the WireWarning Detection function, which warns of you the presence of live, unshielded electrical AC wires. This magnetic stud scanner has a StudScan mode which locates the edges of wood up to 19mm (0.75 inches), and the DeepScan mode locates anything up to 38mm (1.5 inches) deep. Zircon have made this with patented ‘Over the Stud’ indicator and SpotLite Pointing System to ensure the e50 produces trustworthy, accurate results. It is also designed with an ergonomic grip. When it comes to electronic stud finders, this is an excellent choice.
Feels comfortable to hold
Once you get the battery, you do not need to change it
Works with limited hassle
Detection is a lifesaver
Display works wonders
Battery not included
The battery can be difficult to get hold of
Does not work on ceramic tile
Users have reported that this scanner might not work consistently
Accuracy has been reported to vary
Connect to your phone via USB cable
Detects as deep as 10 centimeters (4 inches)
Shows the center of the stud
Can detect movement
Among our favorites when t comes to the category of magnetic stud finder, probably with one of the coolest names too, is the Walabot DIY Plus. One of the more sci-fi electronic stud finders you will see on this list, you will be able to see the studs as well as hear them with cutting-edge technology and detect electrical wires. You can download an app that will display the studs and wires as it finds them. When it comes to wall scanner and stud sensor products, this magnetic stud finder takes some beating. This is much more than a simple ‘beep’ function. Wooden studs, metal studs, lath, and plaster walls are hardly anything of a challenge thanks to the deep scan function. Not only that but with this magnetic stud finer, you may also find that unwanted pests might become less of a problem. That’s right! With this multi-tasking best stud finder, you can even detect pests. This magnetic stud finder can detect up to 4 inches (10 centimeters) deep in the walls and will automatically find and show the center of the stud. If you are searching for a product that can deep scan, stud scan and detect electrical wires, then you will love this magnetic stud finder from Walabot.
Works very well for finding Romex
Works as long as you follow the instructions
The display feature is pretty cool
Offers more control over finding studs
Works almost instantly
Calibration is fussy
Graphic display for the app is faulty
Shows wires which are not there
Does not come with a cable
Not accurate for wall plaster
Fits in your pocket
No batteries required
Scans up to one inch deep
Soft grip for easy grabbing
Hands-free magnetic use
Simplicity is the key to happiness, so they say, and Hanson have designed this nifty little stud finder around that very principle. It does not need batteries, nor does it need to be charged, thanks to its magnetic stud operation. CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder relies on magnetic precision to locate metal and wooden studs, and active wires up to one inch (2.5 centimeters) deep. It’s one of the best stud finders we’ve seen in a long while, specifically, if you are searching for magnetic stud finders. It also includes a 2-way level to make marking much easier. This best stud finder is made with a soft grip so that it does not feel awkward in your hand, like some conventional models. Another factor to consider is that the magnets also allow for hands-free use. Just hold it up against the spot you want to check, and the magnets are strong enough to keep it in place. For magnetic power, this is an excellent choice.
Does not require batteries to operate
Usually finds studs
Good for small jobs
Easy to hold
Display works well
The magnets are not as powerful as you think
Calibration is a struggle
Gets slippery when holding it
Overly reliant on magnets
WireWarning indication system
Easy to read LCD display
High degree of accuracy
Five scanning modes
Scans up to 60mm deep
Another Tavool product, this best stud sensor delivers a great degree of accuracy. It is designed with professionals in mind and has been upgraded so that it works much more efficiently than previous models. As a bonus, the shape of the sensor has been fitted so that it shows the edge of the stud as well as the center. Tavool 5-in-1 Wall Scanner has five scanning modes and can detect studs and wires up to 60mm deep. It really is one of the best electronic stud finders around at the moment. The Tavool stud finder includes the ability to detect live AC wires in walls, floors, and ceilings. Speaking of wires, this electronic stud scanner has been designed with Tavool’s WireWarning indicator, so you can drill without fear of hitting a live wire with a drill bit. Everything will be displayed on an easy-to-read LCD display monitor, and it sounds off when a stud is detected. The locations of wires and studs are shown with a high degree of accuracy according to size, location, and shape. For those among you looking to invest in one of the best electronic stud finders with the convenience of led lights and deep scan, this is well worth considering.
Easy to use
Multiple depths come in useful for DIY projects
You don’t have to hold down the buttons
Detects AC power
Recalibrates itself whenever you use it
Detection is so sensitive it can cause inconsistent results
AC detection is somewhat erratic
The ring is loud and high-pitched
Five deep detection functions
Good for DIY projects
LCD display screen
Perlesmith have designed this stud finder with five deep detection functions and can detect up to 1.5 inches deep. It also comes with led lights. This helps you easily identify wood, metal studs, joists, beams, metal pipes, rebar, and live AC wires. It’s lightweight and easy to hold, so using it will be much less hassle. Perlesmith Stud Finder Wall Detector is so sensitive it can detect everything under walls, floors, and ceilings. Once a stud or wire has been identified, this will sound off and save you a significant amount of time by displaying everything you need to know on a helpful LCD display screen. Automatic calibration makes the process easier as it removes the hassle from having to hold down the buttons; it will even let you know when it’s ready by flashing and beeping. This will make your home DIY projects much simpler. This stud finder comes highly recommended and is among the best finders on offer.
Identifies all metals
Finds just about anything
LCD display is clear and precise
Comes with a battery
Works right out of the box
Inconsistent in finding studs
Does not detect wires as easily as studs
Finicky, challenging to calibrate
Graphic LCD display
Flashes when something is found
Everything is displayed
Masters of DIY tech, Bosch have designed the GMS120 Digital Wall Scanner with multiple modes and laser detection to locate wood studs, metal studs (and all metal objects), and live wiring. The latest three-sensor laser technology offers a wide range of detection performance, detecting as deep as 4.75 inches depending on the material of the wall. The Bosch Digital Multi-Scanner is also self-calibrating and includes three selection modes: wood, metal, and AC wiring. It will continue to calibrate throughout the course of your project for precise detection. All of this is displayed on an illuminated, graphic LCD display to indicate mode, detection, strength, and a whole lot more. It will flash when something has been found and display the center of the stud. If a value for money is a key concern, then you will certainly appreciate this magnetic electronic stud finder.
Very sensitive detects just about everything
Great indication system
Ideal for home DIY enthusiasts
Self-calibration becomes annoying
The flashing can become frustrating
Laser detection can stop working
LCD display screen
Audible warning system
Four modes for deeper detection
Our ninth spot goes to Tacklife DMS03 Stud Finder. This is an updated version of a previous finder from their range that includes four scanning modes for deeper detection. It can detect studs metal and wires up to 100mm deep. Everything that is detected is displayed on a large LCD screen with three signal lights. You can use the screen to control the stud finder itself, as the modes and depth detection are displayed. Tacklife has also included a self-calibration function withing their finder and audible warning system so that your DIY projects are much easier to perform. An audible tone will noticeably sound when something has been detected in proximity to the finder. The design has also been updated so that it is more ergonomic and easier to hold. A cotton back prevents damage to the wall.
Easy to hold
Upgraded, improved from above the previous models
Three signal lights
Everything comes in the box
Does not work for thinner walls
Has a cheap feel to it
Cotton back is rough
Simplicity is key
Locates studs and wood
Works well on drywall
No batteries required
When you think of stud finders, you probably think of the StudBuddy. The world’s simplest stud finder. Some of the world’s best inventions are simple, and DIY enthusiasts will have an easier time using it than a more advanced model. The StudBuddy Magnetic Stud Finder was designed with amateurs in mind. It finds wood and metal studs behind all drywall and locates nails and screws as well! If you have a wall to scan then you need our budget pick in your workshop. No batteries are required in this machine, and it hangs on the wall hands-free. Hang everything you need to hang, DIY anything you need to DIY. Everything you need comes in the box. Additionally, the makers of the StudBuddy support some worthy causes such as Hire Heroes USA and the National Breast Cancer Coalition.
Supports good causes
Works on drywall
Finds just about everything you need to find
Easy to use
Works right out of the box
Does not work on lath or plaster
Tends to fall off the wall
Feels cheaply made
Erratic and sporadic accuracy
Does not work with thin walls
Detects center of a stud
Detects live AC
Crafstman is yet another brand worthy of its enviable reputation. CRAFTSMAN 1-1/2 Inch Depth Stud Finder from their range of stud finders gives you some of the most accurate results you are likely to get from any stud finder. It detects wood and metal studs up to one and a half inches deep. The arrows light up whenever a stud is detected, and the device sounds off! Consistent readings are bolstered by the auto-calibration feature. Some users have reported that the LED lights start to die after a while, so it might be a good idea to get some good-quality batteries and keep an eye on it. This stud finder is also ergonomically designed for comfortable use and storage.
Lovely color scheme
Auto calibration works
Easy to use
Turns itself off to save power
Upholds Craftsmen’s reputation
Instructions are not that clear
Batteries don’t stay in place
You have to keep holding the button down
Difficult to mark the stud
The design is difficult to work with
Auto-leveling line laser
High degree accuracy
Detects just about everything
Another kingpin of DIY, Black and Decker’s line laser/stud finder is good enough for professional contractors. BLACK+DECKER Line Laser Stud Finder is more than a simple stud finder. It has an auto-leveling interior line laser, making it a handy 2-in-1 tool for all of your DIY needs. The stud detector measures through most types of drywall, can detect through ceilings and is accurate to a high degree. You can use both features at the same time and can be used for typical stud detection as well as measurements and leveling like a measuring tape would do. The stud finder detects wood studs, wood beams, metal studs, and live AC wires with its patented technology, and everything is displayed on the easy-to-read LCD screen.
Laser liner works perfectly
LCD screen works well
Easy to use
Well-established name brand
Great for people who are new to DIY
Stud finder does not work as well as the liner
Does not use a rechargeable 9V battery
‘AA’ batteries not included
LCD screen starts to dim after a few months
Detects metal just about everywhere
Works well on plaster
Our final spot goes to Zircon’s Metalliscanner m40. This scanner is a metal detector that uses rare earth magnets to locate both ferrous and non-ferrous metal up to 2 inches deep. It works best through plaster and drywall, but can work with tile, stucco, and concrete. A 9-volt battery is included in the box, so it works the minute you pull it out, although it is recommended that you give it some time to charge first. Detection is quick, easy, and has a high degree of accuracy. For best results, do not use it on metallic surfaced as this may have a negative, or false effect on readings.
Works well on plaster
Detects metal very well
Works perfectly after a few tries
Has a decent depth detection
Can detect even old pieces of metal
Does not work on lath
Does not work well as a stud detector
Requires a lot of testing to make sure it works
Sometimes it will beep for no reason
Will sometimes pick up small pieces of metal
Features To Consider With Stud Finders
Below are some of the key features that we recommend you consider before investing in a new stud finder.
Studs can be made from any kind of metal, though the standard is ASTM A193.
Studs are used to provide more accurate torque values. They function as framing elements in the home, offering more stability. It is of great importance to locate studs in the wall before you decide to perform any kind of construction or deconstruction activity on that particular wall.
A few of the models you will see on this list feature either LED or LCD lights, on screens, or with light-up arrows to indicate where studs are located.
Some stud indicators have a dual function as levels. If you are looking for a 2-in-1, look for a bubble finder. Alternatively, some have laser lines.
Typical stud finders have ergonomically designed grips so that they can be handheld. Others can be attached to the wall and work hands-free.
Look for something that uses rare earth magnets for better efficiency and results.
How To Use A Stud Finder
In order to get the best out of your stud finder, we recommend that you place the unit against the wall, hold down the button to turn it on and slide it horizontally. The unit will beep or flash when a stud is detected.
Tips For Using Stud Finders
Below we've listed out our top recommendations on how to get the best out of your new stud finder.
- Make sure the batteries are charged
- Search for studs from right to left
- Mark drilling points clearly
- Move up and down in a location where a stud has been detected
Types Of Stud Finder
There are two main types of Stud Finder currently available on the market:
These stud finders use magnets to locate studs and wooden beams and will include rare earth magnets.
These stud finders are battery-powered and work by triangulating the location of studs and wooden beams.
Best Stud Finder FAQ
Q: Q: How do stud finders work?
Depending on the type of stud finder, this will differ. Magnetic stud finders must be moved along to detect metal screws and bolts, while electronic stud finders detect density changes in electrical current.
Q: Q: What does a stud finder detect?
Studs, wooden beams, and AC live wires. Of course, whenever you deal with live wires, make sure to have safety gloves, duct tape, or some other protection from electricity.