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Best 10 Stud Finders

As Of July 2022

Looking to spice up your bedroom walls with a painting? Homeowners enjoy the freedom to hang up anything on their home’s walls. Any shelves or picture frames will benefit from a stud finder. There’s a high risk of drilling too deep when drilling holes and reaching the plumbing or electric wires. With the best stud finders, you won’t have an added headache! Take on DIY renovations without concerns!
Check our guide!

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1 Tavool 4 in 1 Stud Finder on white background

Tavool 4 in 1 Stud Finder

4.8 /5

Best Overall Stud Finder

  • Convenient different scanning modes for wood, metal, beam & AC wires
  • Detect wall objects accurately with the large LCD display
  • Save time and effort thanks to the close sound warning
  • Smooth & reliable stud sensor due to its automatic calibration
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2 FOLAI Multifunction Stud Finder on white background

FOLAI Multifunction Stud Finder

4.7 /5

#2 Best Stud Finder

  • Effortless targeting at the center of the stud thanks to the LCD screen
  • Use it on any angle due to the ergonomic grip handle
  • Energy-saving stud sensor as it has a fast detection system
  • Ideal for home DIYers with its precise detection features
3 FOLAI Electronic Center-Finding Stud Detector on white background

FOLAI Electronic Center-Finding Stud Detector

4.6 /5

Ideal for AC Wires

  • Perfect to use even in low-light areas as it has a backlit screen
  • Prevent accidental damage to home outlets with its AC wire warning flag
  • Measure with accuracy the center of a stud by the beeping sound
  • Straightforward & simple calibration within seconds
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4 Bosch GMS 120 Digital Detector on white background

Bosch GMS 120 Digital Detector

4.5 /5

Ideal Steel Detector

  • Don’t worry about drilling into drywall as it has a specific stud sensor mode
  • Recognises objects close by with a 3-coloured LED light
  • Convenient & portable included hand strap & protective bag
  • Stay away from electrical wires with its live wire detection
5 Tavool Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner on white background

Tavool Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner

4.5 /5

Top Pick for Warranty Protection

  • Ideal to use when there are extra wallboard layers as it has a deep stud scan mode
  • Avoid live AC wires with its beep when close to the target
  • Hassle-free stud finding thanks to the 5 scanning modes
  • Keep track of the centre target through the LCD display
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6 Bosch Truvo Digital Wall Detector on white background

Bosch Truvo Digital Wall Detector

4.5 /5

Top Pick for Beginners

  • Ideal for newbies with its super easy single-button operation
  • Heavy-duty stud detection for use on ferrous & non-ferrous metals
  • Tag the target areas with ease thanks to the marking aids
  • Uncomplicated traffic light LED system for object detection
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7 Jax WQ Stud Finder on white background

Jax WQ Stud Finder

4.5 /5

Top Pick for Maximum Scanning Depth

  • Get accurate results with up to 99.9% efficiency
  • Stress-free work around water pipes with its audible warning
  • Safe & cautious stud detector with multiple deep scan modes
  • Keep track of all info needed on the large LCD screen
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8 Tavool Stud Finder Detector on white background

Tavool Stud Finder Detector

4.5 /5

Ideal Wood Detector

  • Avoid any surprises with a consistent & accurate deep scanning mode
  • Alarms you with a beep when it automatically recognises the edge of a stud
  • Complete tasks faster with the quick detection system
  • Avoid serious wall damage with the wire warning indicator
9 Vivreal Stud Finder on white background

Vivreal Stud Finder

4.5 /5

Ideal for Metal Pipes

  • Continuous working thanks to the low battery indicator
  • Dependable & error-free as it calibrates on its own when powered on
  • Detects & notifies of objects with the beeping warning sound
  • Identify any wall stud with variable scanning modes
10 Bosch Stud Finder on white background

Bosch Stud Finder

4.5 /5

Best Compact Pick

  • Start using it instantly with the auto-calibration feature
  • Perfect to use in the dark due to the backlit LED display
  • Detect objects worry-free with the 3-colour indicator
  • Set it up effortlessly by following the instructions

Shelving or Stud Work Made Easy with a Stud Finder

Have you ever run into a scenario where you want to hang up a picture or drill holes into the wall? You will know then that there’s a high risk of things going the wrong way. A stronger drill in the drywall or too much pressure on your screwdriver can ruin the studs on the wall. That’s why we think that a stud finder is a valuable buy for any homeowner.

We have looked at the best stud finders available that will benefit any stud material. Everyone wants tools that make our lives easier. That’s why so many people take up DIY projects. Because with the correct tool, any daunting task can be effortless. Upgrade your toolbox and work on any hollow wall like a pro without letting things get out of control and costing a fortune to fix.

What is a stud finder?

A stud finder, otherwise known as a detector/wall scanner/sensor, is a handy tool that can locate a stud quickly. It saves you time and effort on any renovation project or a simple task like hanging up a painting. It’s a lightweight and portable handheld scanner that identifies studs inside walls. What are studs? Studs are thick pieces of metal or wood on drywall and plaster walls that offer stability on a vertical axis to your home’s frame.

When you’re working on a home renovation task, it’s essential to know where you’re hitting the nail or driving screws in. You should avoid hitting areas where a stud is because that can lead to damages too expensive to repair. A stud sensor can also detect live wires on the wall and water pipes to avoid short circuits and leakage.

They offer precision, accuracy and protection when taking on wall demolitions, too, so that you don’t accidentally knock over an essential part of the framing. With a stud scanner, you can target a stud’s centre without trouble giving you hassle-free work. Stud finders work in multiple depths to detect wooden beams and joists, fire lines, metal pipe rebar and other hidden floor to ceiling parts.

Why should you use a stud finder?

Anyone who isn’t a professional builder could struggle to drill holes in a wall without damaging the interior. There are many layers within the wall that you should stay away from, especially electric wires. An electric shock could be fatal or extremely dangerous. The traditional tapping on the wall method does not offer the same accuracy as a digital detector.

With the digital detector, you can securely pinpoint the exact location of a stud to give you the most efficient hole drilling. The most advanced stud finders have high-tech internal sensors that do the deep scanning for you. A knuckle tap can’t identify hidden copper pipes, live AC wiring or steel bars. But, a stud finder can!

What features should a stud finder have?

We want to ensure that you end up purchasing just the right choice for you, so we’ve handpicked the top features to look for in a stud detector. These will save you time and effort as they will give you the fastest detection possible.

1. Sensor Type

When looking for a stud finder, you will have the option to choose between two types: magnetic and electronic. Magnetic are cost-effective and don’t run on batteries. Electronic ones usually run on one 9V battery, but some run on AA batteries or AAA batteries (3-4.5 volts). The biggest pro to a magnetic one is the lack of electronics that make it a low-budget option. On the other hand, electronic sensors are versatile and give better accuracy. They are pricier than magnetic but won’t break your bank.

2. Sensor Size

An important feature to look for on your digital detector is its sensor size. A wider coverage sensor takes up less time with fewer movements around the wall. It captures a larger area of studs at once. That way, you can detect many studs with one scan and find use in multiple home scenarios.

3. Material Detection

The best stud finders’ biggest benefit is that they act as a multi scanner for different materials. All electronic sensors can detect wood, but it’s not a given that they can scan through other materials too. To avoid injuries, electric shocks and damages, make sure that the stud sensor you’re looking at has an AC scan. That will help it detect live AC wires and give you peace of mind that you don’t risk causing a short circuit. Newer models have multi-sensors, so the detection features are easier and automated between different material types.

Magnetic stud finders only detect metal because they have a magnet pull. Electronic stud finders can detect multiple wall studs like wood and metal. Some can detect electric wires to stay shock-free. Deep scanning electronic sensors can scan through lath and plasterboards.

4. Depth Adjustment

An adjustable depth sensor can pierce through thicker materials on walls with ease. Most materials behind drywall are at least 20mm deep. There are other situations like checking the floor and ceiling joists that need you to dig deeper. In those cases, you want a depth adjustment of at least 30-50mm, depending on the thickness. For ferrous and non-ferrous metal objects, look for a minimum of 80-100mm in-depth adjustment.

5. LCD Display

With the LCD screen, you get an information control panel that gives you all the necessary input to work conveniently. You won’t find an LCD on magnetic stud finders, but electronic ones have it. Some use a traffic light system to clue how close to a stud you are with a red, yellow and green colour indicator.

Others show the battery level at the top corner so that you can switch batteries when they’re almost out. There are stud finders that show you the approaching centre of the stud in the display. If you want to know which scanning mode you’re using, some screens are large enough to show that too. It’s a personal preference choice that you can pick according to what matters most for you.

6. Audible Alerts

For anyone who might be too into the loop of your project, a clear alarm can help you never miss a stud. A display is excellent, but a beeping notice is far better at grabbing your attention. It’s a handy feature that can work well on any scan mode along with a flashing light. The beep could alert when you pass through the centre of the stud. Or, it could have a continuous ring as you reach closer to a wall stud.

7. Auto Calibration

A stud sensor is a straightforward tool that doesn’t need too much pre-configuration. Even the most basic models are very simple, even for beginners. The older models could take up more time to set up as you need to calibrate them between uses. That is why you should find one that calibrates on its own. An auto-calibrating wall detector is ready in no time, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to do it before use.

Is an electronic stud finder better than a magnetic stud finder?

There are two types of stud scanners to pick from, but the choice is up to you based on your budget and needs. You can either buy a magnetic stud finder or an electronic stud finder. Each has its pros and cons, but we find that electronic sensors have better accuracy. We’re here to help you gather the most information possible for the best choice that suits you.

Magnetic Detectors

Magnetic detectors are an older model compared to electronic ones with a simple operation that makes them an inexpensive choice. They find the framing through rare earth magnets, and you feel the pull when there’s an attraction to a metal nail. Their one benefit is that they don’t run on electric batteries, which makes them an affordable and long-lasting choice.

Their downside is that they pull when you’re close to the plasterboard but not necessarily dead-centre. That can lead to a wrong stud evaluation. You could drill further away than you would have wanted. There are increased safety concerns with this type as you could drill a hole at the wrong spot, causing large-scale damages to the walls. One more limitation is that the magnet can work on metal surfaces only, so you won’t be able to spot wooden studs.

Electronic Stud Detectors

Electronic stud finders are superior to magnet wall scanners as they have advanced integrated sensors. When you move the scanner across the wall, the sensors can recognise shifts in the wall’s density. Unlike magnetic detectors, electronic sensors can scan wood studs too. A positive to this type is that most come with an LCD screen that indicates battery life, scan mode, and guidance to target the stud.

There are two types of electronic stud scanners that either find the edge of a stud or others that point to the centre. The edge finding scanners detect the stud’s endpoint, so you will have to calculate the centre on your own. The centre finding scanners have multi-sensor technology that works simultaneously to pick up readings and target the stud’s centre.

The one drawback is that unless electronic models have a mode for scanning deep, they will not be as effective on thicker walls like lath and plaster. There’s a high chance that some older walls are uneven, so a centre finding detector might need multiple scans to find the stud.

How much can a stud finder cost?

If you’re still on the fence about whether a stud finder can fit your budget, we are here to confirm that they are very inexpensive items to match any pocket. Your toolbox should include this tool as you will find many low-cost options.

Low-Budget

A magnetic detector can cost as little as £10, which can be a solid choice if you’re on a tight budget, but they lack accuracy. For a slightly upped price, stud edge finding detectors cost no more than £30 and can scan through metal and wood studs or detect AC wires. They are worthy of an investment compared to magnetic ones because they will give you more information about the wall interiors.

High-End

If you want to upgrade your stud detecting to the max, then you can invest in a £40-50 centre detector that will pinpoint straight-on the stud’s centre. They have the highest accuracy level and come with multiple sensor modes, increased depth modes and a large LCD display.

The latest, high-tech models that experienced DIY users prefer offer increased safety features like live AC wire detection and automatic shut-offs. They have different detection features like metal scan mode, wire scan mode and the standard wood scan mode.

Regardless of the price point, you will find a valuable option that can give you the most reliable and safe assistance when drilling, hitting nails or driving screws in the wall.

Can you use a stud finder on ceramic tiles?

While you can use that detector on most surfaces, ceramic tiles are harder to dig through as they are thick. There is a practical functionality on drywall, wood and metal studs, and plasterboards. But, ceramic tiles are not the first material choice to use a stud scanner for home renovations. You might find some models that support it but you won’t get a laser level precision out of it. Not to mention that they are more expensive stud scanners.

Still, it’s worth the try as some stud finders that are scanning deep could do the trick. Your bathroom tile renovation could thank you for the intervention!

Closure

Any stud scanner will help you detect studs much faster, saving you time and effort. Instead of trying to find the hollow spots on the wall with your hand, buy a sturdy digital detector that will do the work for you. Our buying guide gave you the best 10 stud scanners that are available and affordable for all. You can install your new shelves, hang up a picture frame and mount your TV without worrying about wall damages.

Take into consideration what situation you find yourself in and pick an option suitable for your stud type. A lath or plasterboard is a thicker material that needs deep screening modes. A wood or metal stud has a higher chance of accurate spotting with a stud finder. Whatever the case may be, our in-depth review has given you all the information to help you find a stud scanner to match your needs.

About The Author

Write With Glee avatar
writewithglee is a copywriter. She has always had an interest in wellness, testing out products and DIY. These passions of hers have led to her spending hours on end pinning and bookmarking to-do lists, future projects, and challenges to tick off her bucket list. Now, she writes about home & garden improvement, crafts, decor & the latest tech gadgets. Some of her interests include travel, technology, food and endlessly scrolling through Tiktok, Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration.
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