Best Stud Finders 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Stud Finder
The 10 Best Stud Finders.

Finding The Best Stud Finder – What To Look For & Top 10 Stud Finders Reviewed

Whether you have a new family portrait you want to hang in the entryway, some new shelves in the laundry room or plans for renovation, finding the best stud finder is one of the most overlooked aspects.

At the same time, it represents one of your main necessities in the project, even if you do not realize it at first. The tool will locate a stud or other similar targets behind your walls.

In other words, you do not need an expert to do the job. Instead, you can manage it yourself without damaging the wall – it saves your time and money, but it also prevents frustration.

Now, what are the top-rated stud finders in commerce and what should you look for when buying one?

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Top 10 Best Stud Finders 2020:

1) Stud Finder Wall Scanner Tavool 4 in 1

Stud Finder Wall Scanner Tavool 4 in 1

Tavool’s best stud finder comes with a top-notch technology for accuracy. It will locate metallic AC wires within seconds only, regardless of the wall and it will find a stud just as fast. It makes no difference what kind of walls you have. Also, it does not matter if you are an expert and you use it for business purposes, or you are a DIY enthusiast.

The tool was designed as a four in one device. Basically, you have four different scanning modes, so it has multipurpose uses. You can use the digital scanner for AC wires, as well as metallic components and wood. For the fourth mode, you can scan for embedded objects within the wall.

When it comes to wood (whether it is a beam or a joist), the stud finder can be used against drywall for about 1.2 inches in depth. As for the metallic scanning mode, you can find aluminum, copper or pipe within 1.57 inches. The deep mode goes to 1.77 inches, while the AC wires can be detected to 2.36 inches.

The data is displayed on a large LCD screen right in front of you. It will tell you the material and the location. The display is not just large, but it is also enhanced with acoustic warnings when you find something. Moreover, you will see the direction as well. The beeping noise can be low or high – depending on how far or close you are. No matter what you scan for, the device will give you a precise location almost instantly, so you can save lots of time.

The calibration is automatic and extremely reliable. Once calibrated, try the device on the wall. It will both beep and flash once it finds a stud. It is small and compact, but it also features an ergonomic build so that you can hold it from pretty much any angle.

Pros

Automatic calibration.
Four modes.
Both visual and acoustic signals.
Good depth scanning.
Ergonomic design.

Cons

Confusing results if there are many studs side by side.
Textured thick plastic walls can be a bit challenging.

2) Franklin Sensors FS710PROProSensor 710+ Professional Stud Finder

Franklin Sensors FS710PROProSensor 710+ Professional Stud Finder

Franklin Sensors represents one of the most reliable companies on the market and its products always stand out in the crowd. The FS710PROProSensor 710+ model is probably its best stud finder in terms of accuracy and efficiency.

While traditional stud finders barely rely on a couple of sensors to scan and display results, this one features not less than 13 sensors at the same time. This system comes with two major advantages.

First, you benefit from an increased accuracy – no doubts about what is behind your walls. Second, so many sensors clear the need for calibration. Most stud finders have a calibration mode that takes a few seconds before actually measuring. This one will save you time – simply put the device against the wall, press the button and check the results.

This model can detect more studs at the same time too. It will tell you what the edges and center of a stud are, so it clears all the guesswork associated with the operation. Given its high accuracy, it will detect both metal and wood, so it will also display metallic components behind your walls. It will tell you whether the object detected is wooden or metallic – again, no need to guess yourself.

It looks a bit different from other stud finders in this range, yet it will not affect the operation and is still easy to hold, and it only weighs 11 ounces and it is available in a few different colors. Also, it requires two AA batteries to work.

Pros

More accurate than other stud finders in this segment.
Not less than 13 sensors.
Detects both wood and metal.
Easy to use.
No calibration needed.

Cons

Can get confused by pipes or thick joints.
Cannot detect electrical wires.

3) CH Hanson 03040 Best Magnetic Stud Finder - Best Inexpensive

CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder

The 03040 model from CH Hanson could be the best stud finder if you are after value for money. It is an inexpensive scanner that works like some high-end units. The best part is you do not have to struggle with large and heavy units.

Instead, this unit measures 1.25x0.75x3 inches. It is so compact that you can just throw it into your pocket. Given its compact design, you can buy it in multiple packs too – up to five packs. As for its operation, it runs with a couple of C batteries that will last forever.

You do not expect too much from such a small stud finder, but you will be surprised by its little features. For example, it features two powerful magnets. It is shallow in weight, so the magnets will allow a hands-free operation by keeping it in place. Its scanning modes go over two levels for ease of marking.

You will know precisely whether the stud is right behind the wall or a bit deeper. As for the scanning depth, the finder goes down to an inch – can almost compete with more significant and more professional alternatives.

Despite being so small and looking fragile, the device is extremely efficient. Holding and using it might seem uncomfortable, but it actually has a soft grip. Grabbing and using it is fairly simple and it will not slip out of your hands. It is only available in yellow. Its efficiency can be increased if you do not touch it.

According to some experts, you can hang it with a piece of thread and swing it along the wall. The difference between this method and holding it is amazing – its efficiency will skyrocket. Although it was not intended to be used this way, this is just a trick to make it even better.

The device has a bubble level, and it can detect most types of metals, regardless of what is behind your walls. It is more suitable for DIY enthusiasts, yet some professionals also use it for quick and convenient results.

Pros

Can fit inside a pocket.
Compact and well put together.
Can detect to an inch in depth.
Can detect most metals.
Magnets for hands-free operation.

Cons

Too small for large professional operations.
Locates the screws and not the center of the stud.

4) Drtulz Multi Function Stud Finder

Drtulz Multi Function stud finder

Drtulz's is not at its first generation. However, the latest one has been dramatically improved in terms of accuracy and scanning modes. Simply put, the new model has four scanning modes. When it comes to wooden and metallic studs, it will identify the center, as well as the edges for more accuracy. It will go down to 0.75 inches in depth.

The deep mode follows pretty much the same principles, only it goes a bit deeper – 1.5 inches. A separate metallic mode allows scanning for metal only – up to 2.25 inches. It can identify a half-inch rebar, for example. Finally, you can also scan for wires. The AC scanning mode locates AC wires up to a couple of inches in depth.

Efficiency leaves no room for mistakes, hence the popularity of this device among professionals. Obviously, it is just as handy for DIY enthusiasts and small home projects. It features a large LCD display that will indicate all the required clues to make informed decisions – no more guesswork.

Some of the things displayed on the screen include the scanning mode, intensity of the signal and battery indicator. Calibration is automatic – you do not have to do anything, but wait for a second or two. As for the low battery indicator, it will notify you before the battery actually drains, so you can still complete your task. It works with a 9V battery.

You do not require any experience to use this stud finder. The use is quite intuitive, but you also have a basic manual of instructions. It works on walls, floors, and ceilings.

Choose the right probe type, hold the side button down and scan horizontally over the surface. It will turn off by itself within 60 seconds if there is no activity.

The automatic calibration is accurate. You will have to place the device on a wall – no nails or other metallic components. When something is detected, it will start beeping, yet the LCD screen will also give you clues about the stud.

Pros

Accurate calibration.
Four different modes.
Large LCD.
Easy to use
Good depth

Cons

Manual of instructions is too basic.
Might struggle with textured walls.

5) VIVREAL 3 in 1 Stud Finder Wall Scanner

VIVREAL 3 in 1 Stud Finder Wall Scanner

VIVREAL's best stud finder is a 3 in 1 model – choose the right one from the switch on the front side. Each mode goes to a different depth. The stud mode goes down to 0.75 inches – both wood and metal. The deep scan goes down two times deeper – 1.5 inches.

The metal scan is exclusively used for metallic components and can detect pipes and bars. It goes down to 2.25 inches in depth. While not really considered a mode, you can also scan for AC wires. This mode goes down to a few inches in-depth and will help you locate wires to prevent destroying your electrical system and hurting yourself.

The LCD display includes all the details you require. It will tell you the scanning mode to double-check you are in the right one, as well as the strength of your signal and battery level. The automatic calibration is also displayed on the screen.

If the battery goes low, you will get a visual indicator. It will let you know before it is completely drained. This way, you can finish your task before replacing the battery. All in all, you need one 9V battery to run the stud finder.

When something is detected, you will get both visual and acoustic signals. You will hear a beeping sound, so you will know precisely where the object is. Once you listen to it, look at the screen for more details. Using the scanner is relatively simple. Turn it on, choose the mode, calibrate it and you are ready to go. It will calibrate by itself once turned on, and the good news is it is entirely accurate.

On another note, speed is not to be overlooked either. Once the calibration is done – a few seconds, it will indicate both the center and sides of the stud, as well as any other object behind your walls.

Pros

Automatic calibration.
Three plus one mode.
Simple and quick to use.
Good depth.
Visual and acoustic warnings.

Cons

No protective case in the package.
Reading the same stud twice might give a bit of inconsistency in readings.

6) Takihoo 4 in 1 Multi-Function Stud Sensor Electronic Stud Detector Digital LCD

Takihoo 4 in 1 stud finder

Takihoo has designed a classic stud detector available over four different modes. The electronic model features a multi-sensor technology and can be the greatest stud finder for those who want simplicity and accuracy. Having more sensors adds to the final results – you can double-check the same stud again, and results will be almost identical.

The four modes work over studs, wood, metallic components, bars, and even AC wires. Identifying AC wires is essential to prevent destroying the electrical system, not to mention endangering yourself. From this point of view, the device is suitable to experts, professionals, businesses and amateur DIY enthusiasts.

When it comes to finding studs, it will locate both the edges and the center of the unit, which adds to the accuracy and efficiency of your project. You will also spot metallic studs, rebars, pipes, and joists.

The device will work on ceilings, walls, and floors, even showing you AC wires. Using it is fairly simple, while its ergonomic design makes it easy to use by anyone. You can hold it from all angles without any discomfort at all.

The LCD will indicate a positive result in two different ways. Practically, you will hear a beeping noise when something is detected. Once you hear, take a look at the display for more details. It will show you the intensity and direction – more intense beeping means you are closer to your target.

A low battery indicator will also tell you when to replace the 9V battery, yet you still have a little time before it drains out completely.

As for the actual calibration, it is fully automatic. Place it on your wall, turn it on and let it calibrate. It takes about three seconds. Once you hear a beep, the calibration is done, and you are ready to use it.

Pros

Multiple scanning and detection modes.
Quick automatic calibration.
Can identify AC wires too.
Acoustic and visual warnings.
Accurate results.

Cons

Feels fragile.
No cover for protection.

7) Drtulz 3 in 1 Stud Finder Multi Scanning Wall Sensor

Drtulz is one of the top manufacturers of stud finders. It is hard to tell which of its units is the best stud finder because most of them are developed for both professionals and amateur DIYers.

This model is a three in one unit available in a full package with everything you want. Apart from the actual group, you have a battery (you can use it out of the box), a warranty and some instructions. Weighing seven ounces with the battery in, it is lightweight and can be used by anyone. It is shaped like a handle for more comfortable use.

The device is built with three different scanning modes so that it can tackle everyone's necessities. Once it is fully calibrated, you can choose to scan for wood studs, metallic components or live wires. Calibration is automatic – there is nothing you have to do, but just turn it on and give it a few seconds.

Apart from wood studs, metallic components will display copper pipes, steel, studs, and rebar, among others. The opportunity to scan for live wiring will prevent you from hurting yourself, not to mention having the entire building out of electricity.

There is nothing to be concerned about in terms of accuracy or depth. Despite its size, the stud finder can successfully compete against larger and more professional alternatives. It will notify you about wood studs within 0.75 inches, while metal studs can be detected up to 1.2 inches.

As for living wiring, they will be detected up to a few inches deep. You will get acoustic signals, but you should also check the LCD for more information. The LCDs basic details, such as the stud type, position of the stud and battery level.

Even if you have never used a stud finder before, chances are you will get used to this model right away. Its use is quite intuitive, but the package also includes some instructions.

There are two buttons:

  • One of them allows you to choose the scanning mode or the probe type.
  • The second one is located on the side and scans the surface.
  • You do not have to turn the unit off, as it will shut down by itself if there is no activity for 60 seconds.
Pros

Accurate.
Good depth.
Multiple Modes.
Easy to use.
Intuitive operation.

Cons

Instructions are not detailed enough.
Textured walls might display different readings for the same place.

8) Precision Sensors ProFinder 5000+ Deep Scanning Stud Finder

Precision Sensors ProFinder 5000+ Deep Scanning Stud Finder

If you look for speed and accuracy, ProFinder's stud finder might be the ideal choice for you. When compared to other similar devices in this range, it comes with a wider sensor pad area. Your scans will be wider and deeper, hence its popularity among professionals and contractors.

It makes a good choice for DIYers as well. It runs with two AA batteries, which are included in the package. You also get three pencils to mark the spots on the wall. The unit is made in the USA. Given the strict local requirements, quality is flawless.

Operating this stud finder is a piece of cake, even if you have never used one before. Turn the device on, place it firmly against the wall, ceiling or floor and press the scanning button.

The front side features some LED lights, which indicate the location of the studs. Move it around a few times so that you can get the whole surface of the stud and you will know precisely what to do next. It detects both wood and metal, while the scanning depth goes up to 1.7 inches.

While most stud finders barely come with a few sensors, ProFinder took its device to another level with not less than 13 sensors. They are excellent for the wide scanning area, as it does not reduce the accuracy. Each sensor features an additional scan, so your studs will be perfectly-identified and marked. Reading the center of a stud is easy and fast.

Apart from the device, batteries, and pencils, you also have a spirit level and ruler help features. Such functions are built into the actual stud finder and not physical. Measurements are quite important when identifying the stud size, yet it depends on the scale of your home improvement project. If you are only trying to hang a picture of your family, you should have no problems at all.

Pros

Comes with batteries, pencils, and built-in rulers.
Multiple sensors.
Good scanning depth.
Wide scanning area.
Easy to use.

Cons

Feels fragile.
Inaccurate through tiles.

9) Meterk Multi-Wall Stud Finder

Meterk Multi-Wall Stud Finder

Meterk's stud finder comes with a small learning curve regardless of your experience level or applications. It makes no difference if you just want to hang a painting in the living room or you need to reshape a whole room. It is so simple that it only features three buttons.

Getting to scan is quite easy – turn the device on, use the switch button to choose the optimal mode, then press the scan button – located on one of the sides. You will have to hold it horizontally against the wall. It also works on floors or ceilings.

The device features a bright LCD. You have the most important data at a glance. For example, the screen will display a graphical indication once you scan something. It features acoustic signals as well, so you know you are in the right place. The battery level is mentioned on the screen too, so you will never get caught off guard in the middle of a project.

There are three modes – one for wood and metal studs (around 1.5 inches in depth), another one for deep scanning, such as metal rebar (up to three inches in depth) and the third one for AC wires. The live wire scanning mode can go down to a few inches in depth. Even if you use other modes, you should still double-check with this one before drilling anything. You do not want to hit any wires and ruin the electrical system of your house or electrocute yourself.

Handling the device is relatively simple. It features a non-slip surface – great if your hands are sweaty. The grip is firm due to its ergonomic construction, and it feels comfortable – 8.8 ounces only. It works with a classic 9V battery – included in the package.

Pros

Can scan deeper than average.
Comfortable and convenient to use.
Small learning curve.
Acoustic and visual signals.
GGGGGG

Cons

No automatic ranging feature
No protective case included

10) ProSensor T6 Professional Stud Finder - Best Mid-Range

ProSensor T6 Professional Stud Finder

The T6 model from ProSensor is a bit different from the average stud finders you can find in commerce. It simply stands out in the crowd. It is not like the average scanner looking like those price scanners in supermarkets. Instead, it is wider and can be used in a more comfortable manner. The wide scanning area also adds to your speed and efficiency. It works with classic AAA batteries and despite the size and bulky shape, it only weighs 6.4 ounces.

Unlike many stud finders in this segment, ProSensor's T6 unit does not require any calibration. Simply turn it on and use it. While it is mostly designed for walls, it can also be used on floors and ceilings. It will not require multiple scans to identify the edges of a stud and the center after. Instead, it displays all contours, sides, and centers at the same time.

If a conventional stud finder normally comes with one sensor, this model has six of them – hence the self-explanatory name. It will detect both wood and metal. The maximum depth goes up to 1.5 inches in ideal conditions. In real-world conditions, you will most likely scan at around an inch in depth. The finder type is a full-width model. It is made in the USA.

The multi-sensor technology makes it easy for this stud finder to always be in the deep scanning mode.

Pros

Multiple sensors.
Highly accurate.
Large scanning area.
No calibration needed.
Easy to operate.

Cons

No bubble level.
Instructions are a bit misleading.

What to Look for in the Best Stud Finder?

There are certain things to pay attention to when looking for the best stud finder.

Types of Sensors

There are two types of sensors out there – magnetic and electronic. The magnetic ones are common in cheaper models. They do not need any electricity, as they use rare earth magnets. On the other hand, electronic sensors analyze the depth of your walls for density changes. They come with extra features, such as locating stud edges or digital displays. They even provide more scanning modes and can even detect AC wires.

Sensor Size

The size of the sensor is another important consideration. A larger sensor will come with multiple advantages. For instance, it will cover a wider area over a shorter period, so you will not have to move the stud finder too much. Some more sophisticated models come with even more features – they can locate more studs simultaneously. After all, a large scanning area can provide multiple scanning zones that work independently.

While not always a general rule, a wider model can normally go deeper. If it’s wider, it can probably house a more powerful sensor, hence this advantage.

Grip

The best stud finder should be easy to hold comfortably and firmly. You will need to move it on a surface. You will need smooth movements, or the calibration can fail and give you false readings. For this reason, the unit should be ergonomic and easy to use.

Some stud finders are covered in nonslip surfaces for even more efficiency.

Display

The display in electronic stud finders is supposed to provide plenty of information for your operation. This is a matter of personal preferences though. Usually, you should see a representation of the stud, measurements and perhaps the battery level. Anything else is just extra.

For even more info you can check on Wikipedia.

How to Choose a Stud Finder?

How to use a stud finder to locate a stud?

Conclusion

The bottom line, deciding on the best stud finder might be a matter of personal preference. Make sure you know what you need and find a model that will raise your expectations. Going with one of the above mentioned front runners will most likely give you the results you need.

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