Stud finders are a great tool to have in your arsenal when trying to locate framing studs. Such a device can help you locate the suitable place to hand pictures, TVs or shelves on a drywall by making sure where the framing studs are placed.
Since drywall doesn’t have enough strength to hand heavy items onto, finding a stud gives you the opportunity to install that weight on the wall without risking it failing in the future. I would like to highlight products you should consider including in your research for the best stud finder for you, so let’s have a look at the alternatives:
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Our recommended stud fiders:
Franklin Sensors FS710 PRO – Best Overall
I would consider this option from Franklin Sensors a great option to consider if you are looking for an easy to use, accurate stud finder. Thanks to its attractive price this is a great budget friendly option too. The device is designed so as to be used horizontally and comes with 13 sensors that can cover a large area which is quite handy. This design allows you to save some time while scanning and the also allows for a comfortable grip.
It works with AA batteries and it is quite durable to withstand some beating making this a great investment. The device also has a deep scanning option which is quite handy to have when working with more than one layer of drywall. Its width also allows you to identify two objects at once which is a great feature when working around light switches or windows.
Where other models would only rely on 1 or 2 sensors to cover a large area, this device can help you speed up the process and find studs quicker. Overall, this product is reliable, able to cover large areas quick and with an attractive price tag. I would consider this the best option at this price range, and definitely worth a closer look while researching for your next purchase.
Bosch GMS120 – Best for Floor and Ceiling
The GMS120 from Bosch is quite a popular choice nowadays and while it might not be the one of the cheapest units on the market, it is reasonably priced for its features. The device is very straight forward to use and allows for a great grip while you hold it against the wall. It features a great LCD screen and a three color indicator that makes detecting objects a breeze.
There are three settings you can use with GMS120 that will be you optimal results depending on your situation. You are able to use it for metal detection for easily locating nails and screws, while there is a setting optimized to locate studs through drywall. The third setting is also quite handy to have and differentiates this unit from typical stud finders as it allows you to detect cables via its live-wire setting.
I think this is an excellent choice that can really help people that need something more than a typical stud finder. It is the best choice when it comes to dense material like concrete thanks to its 4.75” scan depth and its grip allows you to comfortably hold it when working on hard to reach spots around the ceiling. Considering its attractive price, this is a unit you should consider having a closer look.
Zircon MetalliScanner M40 – Best for Metals
The MetalliScanner M40 is another option to consider if you need to track metal supports hidden behind walls, which are quite common in commercial buildings. The unit is designed as a metal detector for magnetic and non-magnetic metal. It is quite a useful tool if you need to find nail and screws or even plumbing inside the wall, floor and ceiling. MetalliScanner M40 is able to locate non-ferrous metal up to 50mm deep, while for ferrous metal it’s range goes up to 100mm deep.
Overall a great device for anyone looking for a metal detector at a reasonable price. It will help you when working with both drywall and concrete and offers LED indicator but also an audio tone indication for when it detects metal. The unit is powered by one 9V battery and can be used either as “pinpoint” scanner or “wide scanner” depending on your preference. While this is not useful tracing live electrical wiring, it is ideal for tracking studs and metal.
Bosch Wall Scanner D-Tect 120- Best for Plastics
If you are looking for the best scanner, this professional tool from Bosch will be able to detect object that most stud finder can not. This is the best option if you need to detect live or non-live cables, plastic pipes and metal apart from the typical studs. The unit is powered by a 12V lithium battery but you can also power it with typical AA batteries if need using a battery adapter.
this is a pricier option than the rest models on our list, yet it
justifies every penny you will invest as it is packed with features
any professional will appreciate. You can switch between scanning
settings allowing you to scan through drywall and concrete
effectively, while a third setting can be used when the material of
the wall is unknown.
Overall, this is among the most versatile options on the market today. You will be using this on plenty of different scenarios, detecting plenty of hidden objects up to 12cm deep, making this is a great option to consider if you want the best without breaking the bank.
Zircon StudSensor e50 – Best Budget Option
The Zircon StudSensor e50 is a popular option among DIY enthusiasts that can get you started working on your projects with minimal investment. In fact this is among the cheapest options on the market when it comes to electronic stud finders that worth investing. The unit despite its low price it is an excellent choice, capable of detecting studs. It offers to scan modes for detecting up to 1.5” when used in its deep scan mode.
Keep in mind that while it works really well with studs, the device is far from ideal to detect live wires. The StudSensor e50 is powered by a 9V battery and features a nice LCD screen for indicating when you are moving closely to studs. Overall, I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a simple stud finder without breaking the bank. If you are looking for a budget friendly option you can start your research from this one, although I think you can find many worthy alternatives if you decide to invest a little more.
VIVreal Stud Sensor
This model from VIVreal is is the cheapest stud finder I would recommend investing. If you are looking for the lowest priced option on this list, this is the one you should take a closer look. The unit is quite straight forward to use and allows for fast and effortless detection of hidden objects. It features an LCD screen and a button that let you choose of its four modes to work with.
The device is capable to detect studs up to ¾ inc deep, while the metal detection mode can locate metal struds and rebar up to 2 ¼ inches deep. There is a also a deep scanning mode that and a mode dedicated to tracking live wires that are quite handy to have. It runs on 9V batteries and also features a beeping signal for when it detects objects along with visual indicator on the screen.
Overall a budget friendly option that is great for enthusiasts that don’t plan on investing in a pricier professional device. For its price this is a decent purchase, although with a little more money you can get devices that are able to scan deeper if need. Depending on the task you work on, this might be a low priced option to consider if you don’t need extra features or need to scan in greater depths.
Tavool Stud Finder 4 in 1 – Best Value For Money
I decided to include this product from Tavool into the list since this is a reliable stud finder that you can find at a very attractive pricing, making this a great investment if you are a beginner in DIY tasks. The device offers 4 modes to choose from allowing you to detect beams and joists in drywall, metal pipes and rebar, along with live electrical wires.
The unit is pretty straight forward to operate and features a large LCD screen that can help you while working your way around looking for studs. It runs on 9V batteries and has a comfortable grip that allows for comfortable handling. Overall a budget friendly option that you should consider if you are on a limited budget since it comes with all the necessary features to get you started in no time.
CH Hanson 03040 – Best Magnetic
The Hanson stud finder is a cheap and reliable option, ideal for anyone looking for a magnetic option on the market. This unit is quite easy to operate since it will require no batteries or calibration. It is designed so that its strong magnets can locate nails and screws on drywall as you pass the device along the wall. You can even keep it hanging from those so you won’t need to mark the location if you want to.
It can be found at a really low price, so this is a reliable tool that shouldn’t miss from anyone’s arsenal, even as a backup to an electronic stud finder. Moreover, the two-way level is quite useful to have with you, allowing for accurate leveling of pictures, frames and shelves.
Tacklife DMS03 4 in 1
The DMS03 from Tacklife features a large LCD and four scanning modes that can help you with your DIY endeavors. It is a budget friendly option that you should consider if you are a beginner with limiting budget, yet you need a reliable option. The device can locate studs reliably, but It is also detecting magnetic and non-magnetic metals, along with AC live wires.
The three LED indicators along with the LCD can help you diagnose when you are close or over hidden objects. Moreover, the unit also features an audible warning which is quite handy to have. Overall, for its asking price this is a great tool to consider if you don’t need a professional model that can scan deeper.
Black & Decker BDL190S BullsEye
The Black & Decker is a great 2 in 1 tool featuring a stud sensor and a laser level as a compact solution for DIY enthusiasts. The unit is able to detect studs made of metal or wood, along with live wires. The auto-leveling laser is quite handy and it’s a feature you usually find on higher priced models.
Made from a reputable manufacturer and backed by a long lasting warranty, this is an option to consider if you want to get into DIY tasks without investing a fortune. I would suggest going for this one only if you need the leveling feature, since when it comes to stud finders you will get better performance if you invest a little more to pricier products in our list.
What To Consider When Buying A Stud Finder:
Picking the right tool for the job doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune. There are plenty of models that can help you without breaking the bank. On the market you will find magnetic and electronic stud finder, so let’s have a look at the alternatives.
The magnetic stud finders are quite simple to operate and there are in fact not detecting studs but the nails or screws that at attached to them. They are quite cheaper than electronic models, but in most cases you will find that it is very time consuming working with them and a not to rely on when working on older buildings. On the other hand, electronic stud finders are designed so as to locate studs with their sensors and inform you through their LCD, led light indicators or by beeping.