Stud finders, as their name suggests, are for finding studs buried deep into the walls. You should know where they are located if you want to drill the wall to hang something or for other installations.
Stud finders are simple devices for detecting studs in the drywall. But things can be hidden behind the walls. Electrical live wires and plumbing pass through the walls and should never be drilled. For detecting these extra, consider wall scanners. These are more advanced tools for detecting almost anything hidden behind the walls.
Stud finders come in different designs and types and can be used by DIYers and professionals. They also differ in features, detection accuracy, depth, and capability. That is why we have put this post together to review the best stud finders and help make an informed decision.
Read on for a detailed review of the best stud finders and a buying guide to help you choose the best device for the intended purpose.
Top 9 Best Stud Finders in 2023
We have picked the best stud finders. It took us time and intensive market research to compile this list of the 10 best stud finders and further review them. Let’s dive right into the main content.
1. CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder [Best Overall]
The CH Hanson 03040 is a magnetic stud finder that uses powerful magnets to help you locate studs in the walls. It boasts battery-less operation to detect nails and other metals inside wooden studs. This stud finder also features a rotating bubble level for vertical and horizontal marking.
CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder is compact and portable. It can easily fit inside your pocket. It is an ideal tool for DIY projects, remodeling, new constructions, and many others.
This tool comes at the top of the list of the best stud finders for its ease of use, durability, portability, and reliability.
- Easy to use and reliable
- Strong magnets for reliable stud detection
- Detects both ferrous metal studs and wood fasteners
- Relatively affordable
- Has an integrated rotating bubble level
- No batteries needed
- Compact and portable
- Does not detect the sides and center of wood studs
- Detects nails in the studs and not studs themselves
2. Franklin Sensors ProSensor 710
If you have a little more on your budget, the Franklin Sensors ProSensor 710 is the second-best stud finder to consider. This tool has the highest accuracy and can detect wood and metal studs buried in the wall up to a depth of 1.5 inches.
Franklin Sensors ProSensor 710 stud finder uses advanced multi-Sense technology to detect studs in different locations inside the wall. It will show the image of the stud on its large, bright LED screen. The visualizations make it an easy-to-use tool that is also useful in dark places. You can also know the stud size so that you don’t drill straight into them.
The Franklin Sensors ProSensor 710 stud finder can help you locate studs accurately and quickly and can be used by DIYers and professionals.
- Deep sensing – scans up to 1.5 inches inside the wall
- Simple one-hand operation
- Accurate and shows the entire width of the stud
- One-hand operation
- No calibration required
- Large display – can detect double studs
- Relatively big and heavyweight
- More expensive than basic stud finders
- Only scans for wood
3. Zircon StudSensor e50 Digital Stud Finder
Zircon StudSensor e50 is one of this list’s most affordable electronic stud finders. Despite the low price, this tool can detect the edges of metal and wood studs and also alert you if it detects live electrical wires. It ensures safety when drilling the wall to mount a TV or installing cabinets or shelving.
The Zircon StudSensor e50 stud finder can detect studs embedded deep into the wall up to 0.75 inches. But if set to deep scan mode, it can sense up to 1.5 inches deep.
The tools feature an easy-to-read LCD display for indicating stud edges, a spotlight pointer for marking the target on the walls, and an ergonomic design. It is small, compact, and comfortable to hold.
- Deep sensing of up to 1.5 inches
- Detects live electrical wires
- Easy to use and read
- Lightweight, compact, and comfortable to hold
- May need to repeatedly pass over a wall to detect studs
- Does not detect stud centers
4. Zircon A200 Multiscanner
Zircon A200 Multiscanner stud finder is another reliable tool to consider. It is one of the best for its capability to scan the wall. This stud finder can detect studs, iron and copper pipes, and live electrical wires buried inside the wall.
This stud scanner is accurate and reliable for detecting studs and immediately indicating their center by shining a red arrow light. You also get an alert on the LCD display if the tool passes over electrical wires with AC currents. It can also tell the difference between wooden studs and metal pipes running through your wall. However, it does not detect PVC plumbing pipes in the wall.
Zircon A200 Multiscanner is a reliable stud finder that can also indicate the depth of the stud. It may not be accurate because it shows it as a signal strength, but it is still a vital feature.
- Detects wood and metal studs and live electrical wires
- Features center and edge detection
- Large LCD screen to display information
- Ergonomically designed grip for comfortable handling
- Has occasional error messages
5. CRAFTSMAN Stud Finder
CRAFTSMAN stud finder is the most affordable tool on this list and is suitable for everyday use. This stud finder can detect the edges of wood and metal studs, allowing you to avoid them when drilling drywall. The edge light comes on when it passes over the wall where the stud is located.
The stud finder has a sensing depth of up to 3⁄4 inch through drywall and can work over wallpapers and other fabrics. This CRAFTSMAN tool boasts high durability. It is made of a shock-resistant and water-resistant body, which ensures long service life.
However, it is only a basic stud finder for DIY projects and easy home renovations.
- Straightforward operation
- Detects both wood and metal stud
- Ruggedly built for durability
- Does not detect the center of the stud
- Does not detect live AC cables
6. BLACK & DECKER Stud Finder
Once again, if you can go deeper into your pocket, buy BLACK+DECKER Stud Finder. The tool does more than help you to find studs in the wall. Thanks to its horizontal laser lines, it helps in hanging and straightening tasks.
BLACK+DECKER Stud Finder is one of the most advanced tools on this list. It features a large LCD display showing all the information from its sensors. The menu is intuitively designed to suit users of all levels. This stud finder has an edge sensor for detecting wood, metal studs, and live electrical wires buried in the wall.
The unique feature of this tool is the bullseye automatic leveling technology that enhances accuracy and makes horizontal framing possible. It is a handy tool if you want to hang or mount heavy items on the wall that require support from a stud. If you work with cabinets, mirrors, heavy shelves, and artwork, consider the BLACK+DECKER Stud Finder.
- Emits side-to-side Laser for leveling
- Audible and visible detection alerts
- Easy calibration
- Detects AC live wires
- The Laser cannot be used vertically
- No deep scan
- Must keep the power button pressed
7. DeWalt DW0150 Stud Finder
DeWalt is a reputable brand for producing high-quality power tools and other consumer electronics. It didn’t disappoint with its DW0150 Stud Finder. This tool comes in the brand’s iconic yellow and black colors. It is one of the best electronic stud finders available.
DeWalt DW0150 can accurately detect AC wires and studs within the wall up to a depth of 1.5 inches. It is a center-detecting stud finder and features LED indicators to help you pinpoint the stud’s center. As expected, this tool can detect electrical wires inside the wall and automatically recalibrates itself to match the wall density.
There is a second model, the DW0100 stud finder, which can only detect studs up to ¾ inches deep. This will cost less, but we recommend spending a few more bucks on getting the DeWalt DW0150. It is a more complete stud finder with deep sensing capability.
- Finds metal or wood studs
- Detects live AC wires
- Simple one-button operation
- Constantly auto-calibrates to match the wall density
- Detects stud centers
- Not ergonomically designed
8. Franklin Sensors T6 Professional Stud Finder
The Franklin Sensors T6 is a professional stud finder best suited for you if you are willing to spend more to get a more accurate and quick response. This tool is ideal for home use, and its small profile enhances portability. It takes up less space in the toolbox, or you can carry it in your pocket.
Franklin Sensors T6 stud finder has 6 sensors, more than most standard stud finders. This upgrade makes the tool more accurate and reliable. It can detect the center and edges of metal or wood studs buried deep inside the wall. The maximum detection depth of this tool is 1.5 inches.
Franklin Sensors T6 is easy to use. The tool automatically selects an appropriate mode depending on the changes in material or depth. It can use the standard scan or deep scan to effectively detect studs. You only need to press and hold the button when scanning the wall for studs. Also, no toggling is required as the tool automatically detects a change in material density.
This stud finder is the best choice for professionals and DIY enthusiasts who want a more intuitive, interactive, and faster tool.
- Whole stud detection
- Easy operation
- Pro-level accuracy
- No calibration needed
- Small profile stores easily
- Relatively expensive
9. StudBuddy Magnetic Stud Finder
StudBuddy makes stud finding a lot cheaper than you think. With less than $10, you can get this magnetic stud finder to help you detect studs in your wall for hanging TVs, cabinets, shelves, and other items.
StudBuddy uses supper-strong neodymium magnets to detect metal studs and screws, nails, or fasteners on wooden studs. It sticks to the wall where the stud is detected to pinpoint its location. And like all other magnetic stud finders, StudBuddy does not require a battery for operation. You no longer have to worry about battery replacements.
This stud finder is compact, lightweight, and ergonomically designed to fit comfortably in your hands. Its casing is a rubber plastic that won’t scratch your wall, allowing you to perform excellent work.
- Does not require a battery for operation
- Very affordable
- Compact and lightweight
- Ergonomically designed
- Does not detect wooden studs
Stud Finders Buying Guide
Buying a new stud finder can be challenging, given the many options available. But it can also be easy if you know the factors to consider and features to look for in these tools. This buying guide has the details to help you make an informed decision when shopping for a new stud finder.
Consider the following main features of stud finders:
1. Stud Finder Type
A stud finder can be magnetic or electronic. But which of these is the best type for you? Simply put, electronic stud finders use sensors to detect changes in wall densities and display the information on the LCD screen. Some low-end stud finders use LEDs or audible beeps to show detected studs.
On the other hand, magnetic stud finders use the power of a magnet to detect metal studs and screws, and fasteners in wood studs. They stick onto the wall where the stud is detected.
Electronic studs are more accurate and can pinpoint the center or an entire stud. But they are more expensive than magnetic studs. Magnetic studs do not need a battery and can often detect the edges of a stud. They are more cost-effective and easier to use. So, you can buy an electronic or magnetic stud depending on your budget and the features you need.
2. Depth Adjustment
Some electronic stud finders allow you to adjust the sensing depth. They typically range from 0.75 to 1.5 inches, but some can even go deeper to find hidden objects. It would be best if you had a stud finder with deep scan capability to find studs within a thick wall.
3. Detection Capability
Some stud finders can only detect wooden or metallic studs, but you sometimes need a tool to detect both. Fortunately, stud finders with that capability exist. You can find other stud finders to help locate plumbing pipes and live electrical wires inside the wall. These can prevent incidents of drilling right into these hidden structures.
It would be best if you also considered the usability, reliability, portability, and durability of the stud finder you buy. You can get this information by checking the build quality and reading reviews from other users. You can also look for a stud finder with an LCD screen over one using LED or audible beep indicators, but you will pay more for that.
Q: Can stud finders work through ceramic tiles
A: Some electronic stud finders can detect studs buried behind wall tiles. Check if the tool you buy has a deep scan mode because they have the capability.
Q: What is the meaning of the audible beeps of a stud finder?
A: Stud finders can beep if it detects a stud behind the walls, but it depends on the specific tool. Some will beep if they detect live electrical wires or blink an LED instead of producing an audible alarm.
Q: How far apart are studs?
A: Most studs are placed 16-24 inches apart, but some may be out of this range. It would be best to use a stud finder to find two consecutive suds rather than making assumptions.
Q: Do I need to find studs to hand heavy objects?
A: You may not find studs at the ideal location where you want to hang a picture frame, TV, cabinets, etc. You can use drywall anchors, which are pieces of plastic to fit into the drilled holes to hold the screws.
This review of the best stud finders should give you an idea of what you should buy. Our top pick is the CH Hanson 03040 is a magnetic stud finder. It is relatively affordable and easy to use. Besides, you don’t need a battery for this tool.
But if you want an electronic stud finder, Franklin Sensors ProSensor 710 is the best option. It is accurate, quick, and reliable, though you must pay more. This tool can scan drywall up to 1,5 inches deep and show the entire width of detected studs.
The last recommendation is the Zircon StudSensor e50 stud finder. This is a pocket-friendly option but has many features and benefits. It can detect wood and metal studs and alert you if there is a live electrical wire in the walls.
Lastly, you can use the buying guide to choose other stud finders that suit your application from the list.