Stud Finders

The purpose of any hand tool is to help you do a better job faster and easier. Stud finders are designed for the exact same purpose as they help you discover studs hidden in the walls so you won’t damage the structure and stability of the wall whenever you make some changes or redecorate. The best models offer superior precision and reliable readings that will guarantee the success of any building job. There are so many types and models of stud detectors, that finding the best for your needs is almost impossible unless you know what to look for.

After a lot of research into the pros and cons of various models found on the market, we picked our final 6. While some of them use intelligent technology, others are equipped with a lot of impressive features, specially made to make your work much easier. There are also other things to consider, including safety, convenience or price. Therefore, take a look at the comparison table below and you will surely find the right tool for your needs.

Top 7 Stud Finders Comparison

Photo Stud Finder Price
Franklin  ProSensor 710
1. Franklin ProSensor 710
  • It can detect studs up to 1.5″ deep
  • The Advanced Multi-Sense Technology uses thirteen sensors
  • One step operation with bright LED lights that indicate stud position
  • It requires two AA alkaline batteries
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Zircon 68314 MultiScanner i520
2. Zircon 68314 MultiScanner i520
  • It locates the edges and center of wood or metal studs up to 1 ½ inches deep
  • AC Scan detects and traces unshielded electrical wiring up to 2 inches deep
  • Easy-to-read LCD display and Auto Correcting Tehnology automatically corrects common user errors
  • Requires a 9V battery to operate
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Precision Sensors Profinder 5000
3. Precision Sensors Profinder 5000
  • It detects wood, metal and other hidden objects
  • One-step operation and deep scaning is always active
  • Built-in bubble level makes projects easier
  • Includes two AA alkaline batteries
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Zircon e50-FFP
4. Zircon e50-FFP
  • It locates the edges of wood or metal studs up to ¾ inches deep
  • WireWarning detection indicates the presence of live wire up to 2 inches
  • Easy-to-read LCD and updated SpotLite Pointer shines
  • Requires a 9V battery to operate
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CH Hanson 03040
5. CH Hanson 03040
  • 3/4 inches in maximum wall thickness
  • It uses powerful rare earth magnets to detect nails, screws and other metals
  • It features three anchor points on each side for easy leveling
  • No batteries required for operation
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Black & Decker SF100
6. Black & Decker SF100
  • It detects wood studs up to 3/4″ thick
  • Sensor lights and beeps when it detects a stud
  • Compact design and plastic hoousing for easy grip
  • Includes two AA alkaline batteries
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VIVREAL 3 in 1 Detector Finder
7. VIVREAL 3 in 1 Detector Finder
  • It finds the center and edges of wood or metal studs up to ¾ inches deep
  • The device will beep when it detects a stud
  • Its Graphical LCD display helps detect the accurate location of the objects
  • It requires a 9-volt battery
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Stud Finder Reviews


Nonetheless, these are tools that any handyman should carry around whether they are changing the shape of a house or simply trying to install a new shelf. They are small and compact so they are very easy to use and they never miss finding a stud. The models we have selected for you are the ones that customers where most pleased with so we recommend them to you.

Franklin ProSensor 710

The Franklin ProSensor 710 is a professional-grade stud detector that is more accurate than many other products available on the market, today. It senses the wall in thirteen locations simultaneously, illuminating the display elements that are in front of the stud. This incredible product features an innovative stud sensing technology that instantly finds hidden studs with no sliding required. In addition, it uses multiple sensors which will provide accurate readings every time. It has 13 individual sensors and each one of these sensors offers an individual scan so that every stud is correctly identified. Thanks to the triple accuracy technology, this mode analyzes and triangulates the data from all sensors in order to accurately identify the precise location and width of each stud. Furthermore, it’s important to know that this tool has more sensor pad area than other products, so that you get a deeper scan even when conditions are not ideal.

PROS
CONS
  • Easy-to-read display
  • It detects multiple studs
  • It detects objects with different width
  • The bright LED lights indicate the position of hidden objects so that the position of studs can be easily visualized
VERDICT

We selected the Franklin ProSensor 710 as the most efficient models available for sale as it uses an interesting technology and it comes with a lot of useful features. It is equipped with 13 individual sensors thanks to which it is able to identify every stud correctly. It is more accurate than its competitors and it has the ability to detect objects with different width.

Zircon 68314 MultiScanner i520

The MultiScanner i520 is another interesting product that can easily locate the edges and center of wood and metal studs and joists behind walls, floors, and ceilings. It features an LCD display, an audio tone and a laser pointer which provides accurate detection of both metal and wooden studs. It has four scanning modes, such as a stud, deep, metal and AC scan which make it ideal for both home carpenters and tradesmen. However, the factor that makes this product stand out is the live AC electrical wiring. Also, keep in mind that it has a signal strength indicator which helps to distinguish between deep and shallow targets. Plus, the Auto Correct technology automatically corrects common user errors, including when scanning begins over a stud. Therefore, if you are looking to purchase a quality product which can do a great job, this model is the best choice you can make.

PROS
CONS
  • The ultra-bright LCD screen indicates direction, edges and center of studs
  • The metal mode detects ferrous metal, including rebar, up to 3 inches deep
  • Audio tone indicates the location of the target
  • It constantly scans its surroundings and recalibrates itself if necessary
VERDICT

The Zircon 68314 MultiScanner i520 is our second option. It is a great device that comes with an LCD display and a laser pointer thanks to which it provides accurate results. Also, it uses an advanced technology, the Auto Correct technology that finds and corrects user errors. It is very easy to use and setup. Plus, in comparison to the above models, it has a more reasonable price.

Precision Sensors Profinder 5000

The Profinder 5000 features an innovative stud-sensing technology that instantly finds hidden studs. This product senses the wall in multiple locations simultaneously in order to find locations of the stud. Furthermore, it is more accurate and less error prone than other models on the market. This 3-in 1 tool comes with a built-in bubble level and ruler in order to make every project easier. In fact, the built-in bubble level makes projects easier and the built-in ruler is designed for quick and simple measurements. Additionally, it features one-step operation, which means that you have to press one button to turn it on. Plus, the LED lights instantly indicate the location of objects, making it incredibly easy to read and visualize the position of the studs. This amazing unit operates effectively even through difficult architectural construction patterns such as wall and ceiling textures, uneven paint, wallpaper, thick walls and so on. All in all, by choosing this product, you will certainly make an excellent choice.

PROS
CONS
  • It has more sensor per area than other conventional models
  • The detector can be initialized at any position along a surface
  • Built-in ruler for simple and quick measurements
VERDICT

It should come as no surprise that our third option is the Profinder 500 from Precision Sensors. It is equipped with a built-in bubble level and LED lights which help you discover the location of objects more easily. Also, it comes with a built-in ruler thank to which you can complete your projects quicker. Although it lacks certain features, it still is a good option to consider when making a purchase.

Zircon e50-FFP

If you are thinking about buying an electronic handheld device, you should confidently choose the Zircon e50-FFP. This great product features an advanced technology and plenty of impressive features. As such, it’s important to know that it comes with two scanning modes that allow you to scan more surfaces in your home than other products. It can easily locate the edges of wood and metal studs and joists behind walls, floors, and ceilings. Plus, the integrated LCD screen combined with the density analyzing technology requires a steady flow of energy to run effectively. In addition, it has a DeepScan mode that doubles the scanning depth to 1 ½ inches deep and allows for increased accuracy on deeper targets. Also, the WireWarning detection is an amazing feature which indicates the presence of live, unshielded electrical wiring up to 2 inches deep. In fact, this function works in both DeepScan and Stud Scan mode.

PROS
CONS
  • DeepScan mode doubles the scanning depth to 1 ½ inches
  • It features an ergonomic design which allows you to hold the tool comfortably in either hand, at any angle
  • Easy to use
VERDICT

Another interesting model from Zircon is the e50-FFP model. It is an electronic device that comes with a lot of features. It has an integrated LCD screen and a DeepScan mode that provides increased accuracy. What we really like about this model is that it features a WireWarning detection feature which will indicate the presence of electrical wires. It is also worth mentioning that it detects the edges of metal and wood studs behind walls.

CH Hanson 03040

This is a magnetic unit that uses a tried-and-true method to reliably locate studs behind sheetrock and drywall. It features rare earth magnets that detect screws, steel studs and nails, allowing you to pinpoint suitable locations in order to mount wall decor, shelves, cabinets and so on. If you are looking to purchase this tool, you should also know that it is small and compact, fitting easily into your pocket. Plus, it doesn’t require batteries and never needs calibration. A built-in rotating bubble identifies plumb and level alignments for vertical and horizontal precision. Aside from being efficient and extremely accurate, it is quite affordable, as well. It only costs $10.24, meaning that it is a great value for money. Therefore, if you are looking to purchase a quality product, this unit will surely fulfill all your needs.

PROS
CONS
  • Small and compact, easily fits in pocket
  • Soft grip for easy grabbing and gentle touch
  • Great value for money
VERDICT

The 5th position is occupied by a reliable device that is able to discover studs behind drywall and sheetrock. It is equipped with a built-in rotating bubble which can locate plumb for increased precision. The fact that it has a small size and a compact design is a major perk as it can easily fit in your pockets. Moreover, it is more affordable than its competitors, so if you have a limited budget, this is a great option to consider.

Black & Decker SF100

This stud-finding tool is designed to detect wood studs only, which makes it less practical than the previous ones. However, it has proven to be very accurate in detecting studs to tp 3/4″ thick and it provides edge-to-edge measuring so you will mount your paintings with precision. It has an easy-grip design so you can operate it with one hand. For accurate readings and increased ease of use, the SF100 includes not only sensor lights but also audio indicators that let you know when a stud has been detected. Make sure you insert two AA alkaline batteries to make sure the finder will operate accordingly.

PROS
CONS
  • The ergonomic shape make sit easy to grip and use
  • Features LED lights and sound alerts that make readings easier
  • It detects studs from edge to edge
  • It can’t detect metal studs
VERDICT
The Black & Decker SF100 is a great stud-finding tool. The Black&Decker SF100 is extremely easy to use and provides accurate results. As compared to the above models which can also detect metal studs, this one can only detect wood studs. It includes sensor lights and audio indicators. It lacks certain features, but considering its price range, it is an option worth taking into consideration.

VIVREAL 3 in 1 Detector Finder

In home renovation, a stud finder plays a very important role. In fact, it is the most popular handheld devices used for renovation projects. It is used as a stud detector or stud sensor. The VIVREAL 3 in 1 is a stud detector that features 4 scanning modes. Depending on your task, you can switch to the desired mode. Like any other detector, this model is widely used for non-professional home repair and installation. It is highly used for discovering the center and edges of wood studs. The Stud scan will help you find studs up to ¾ inches deep, the Deep mode is for scanning walls up to 1 ½ inches deep, the Metal scan is for locating studs up to 2 ¼ inches deep and the fourth mode is the AC scan will help you find wires up to 2 inches deep. Furthermore, it comes with an LCD screen thanks to which you will be able to operate it easily. Plus, there is a sound alert that will announce you with a long beep when an object has been detected. Overall, this is a good handheld device and a nice option to make.

PROS
CONS
  • It has 4 scanning modes
  • Features LCD display
  • It has a beep signal alert that announces you when something has been found
VERDICT

Looking for a new stud detector that can help you scan walls for discovering metal, wood or wires? Then, this is exactly what you need. With 4 scanning modes and an easy to understand LCD display, the stud detector by VIVREAL is by far one of the best models out there.

Things to Know

Before making any purchase, it’s important to know that there are two main types of finders on the market. Finding a model that satisfies your needs could be a bit difficult, however, it’s not impossible.

  • Magnetic finders

    The magnetic finders are the most popular type of finder. It uses magnetism to discover the mails or screws embedded in studs. They work well in different situations, and they are used as a supplement to the electronic method. One drawback of this model is that it also detects pipes and metal conduits. That’s why you need to be careful when selecting the location of the actual studs. Keep in mind that they are typically 16 inches on center.

  • Electronic finders

    One of the most convenient and easiest ways to discover a stud in the wall is to use an electronic stud detector. Their role is to measure the density of a portion of a wall. When the finder identifies the stud it lights up. Compared to the magnetic finders, these models are a bit more expensive.

Advantages and Benefits

Whether you are going to mount a TV or hand a picture on your wall, you will probably need a stud detector. Stud sensors are tools that help you find studs. Everybody thinks that, but in fact, they are more than some simple tools. This impressive tool uses different methods to return signals that give you accurate information about the location of the wood reinforcement in your home.

  • Safety

    The main benefit that a finder can provide you with is that it helps you find wires and pipes. As you probably know, the wires and power lines that run through your walls don’t have special protection. This way, the nails or bits used without hitting a finder can cause accidents and injuries while you are doing your job. Although that most of them are very accurate, you can also find models that give you a false reading. Whether it is about power lines or burst pipes, a stud detector is a safe tool that can be used without incidents.

  • Convenience

    When it comes to stud finders, we think about convenience. Have you ever wondered how it will be to hang a paint on the wall where you can find a stud by tapping? Think about using the use of these products and stop worrying. They are so efficient that you won’t have to worry about either of hanging TVs or heavy pictures on the walls.

  • Good value for money

    If you are thinking about a new project, also think about the cost of your tools. The cost of quality models can vary a lot. Think about the brand, the condition and the technology. If you are looking for a complex machine designed for professionals, be prepared to pay a lot of money on it. On the other hand, if you are on a limited budget, there are a few models that can easily help you complete your projects.

How do They Work?


Back in the days, people would simply put nails into the walls to find a stud or they would use a magnet to find nails that had been driven into the studs. Today, finding a stud behind a wall is much easier thanks to the handheld devices that are very accurate and simpler to use. This handheld tool basically uses changes in capacitance to detect where a stud is located inside a wall. In simpler words, it analyzes the density of the wall to sense where a stud is placed with the help of a plate placed inside the device. When this plate goes over a plain wall, it senses a dielectric constant but when it goes over a stud, the constant changes. This enables the tool to detect the change and to alert you on its display so you will know there is a stud there and that you shouldn’t put a nail.

A quality stud finder will help you prevent home disasters. Whether you are a professional or a DIY worker who want to screw things into walls or ceilings, this tool will help you discover what is on the other side of the wall. Its main purpose is to detect studs and joints that are along the wall. While some models can detect everything, including live electrical wiring, others are able to detect only wood, plastic and metal. However, in this article we have tried to review the best models on the market, so you can find the right one for your needs.

Our first option is an incredible device that can detect studs up to 1.5″ deep. The Franklin ProSensor 710 comes with an Advanced Multi-Sense technology with thirteen sensors. Compared to the second option, the Zircon 68314 MultiScanner i520 that uses a 9V battery, this one needs two AA alkaline batteries to operate. Our favorite model is a tool that detects almost every stud, including wood, metal and plastic. The Precision Sensors Profinder 5000 requires two AA alkaline batteries to operate. All of the above models are quality and affordable. Some of them have a full list of useful features while others only have the standard settings. Each model has pros and cons, so if you are interested in purchasing one of these models, take a look at their characteristics and choose the one that meets your requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions


1 What type of finder do I need?
As mentioned above, there are two different types of finders. The electronic one measure the capacitance in the wall, while the magnetic finder detect a metal screw or nail fastened to the stud. So, you choice depends on what you want to do with the finder.
2What is the difference between a metal and a wood stud?
You can verify if a stud is metal or wood with a MultiScanner stud sensor with Metal Scan mode. Tools with MetalScan mode are specially made to detect metal close to wall surfaces, such as joist brackets and nail heads. Keep in mind that it cannot find pipes containing within walls or under floors.

3How can be calibrated a StudSensor or MultiScanner stud sensor?
To calibrate a StudSensor or MultiScanner stud sensor, you have to place the finder flat against the wall, press and hold the power button for 1, 2 seconds. The device will automatically calibrate to the wall’s surface.

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