Stud finders can really be the difference-maker in your framing and home project makeovers. Think about it: do you want to hit the wooden beam once and hang a gorgeous print of the French Riviera in your den, or punch four holes in the wall and hope no one notices? Stud finders are designed to get you in and out of a home project without needing to buy drywall patches when it is over. If you’re looking for your wall’s saving grace, then here are a few stud finders we think you should check out.
What to Look for in Your Next Stud Finder
Here are a few factors to consider when narrowing down your options:
- Design Style: First and foremost, you should be familiar with the two types of stud finders and their design perks. Your traditional and most popular choice to this day is the magnetic stud finder, the choice that doesn’t necessarily find the stud so much as it locates the metal nails or screws planted in it, and your success here is entirely dependent on if the nails or screws were placed correctly. The modern choice—an electronic stud finder—is far more capable, detecting not just the metal but the center and edges of various studs and even AC wires. Additionally, electronic options feature LCD displays to offer you a complete understanding of the dimensions you’re working with.
- Detection Power: The detection power of your stud finder is, quite literally, separated by a matter of mere inches. However, that extra inch is worthwhile if you’re seeking the utmost accuracy in your framing process. At a minimum, every decent stud finder will detect up to one inch beneath a surface, while your top-tier options can sense objects as deeply embedded as two to three inches behind a variety of wall types, floors, and ceilings.
- The Hold: While not a factor associated with the detection process, the ease you feel while gripping a stud finder is of equal importance because not only do you want comfort, but you need to maintain a firm grip on the device so as to not lose your placement.
Traditional Choice: CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder
A pocket-sized stud finder that packs plenty of power in its compact frame, this CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder features, as its name suggests, a series of Earth magnets to locate that metal in that pesky stud. Its magnetic design allows for hands-free use, while its rotating level allows home workers to make vertical and horizontal markings without losing their place on the wall. Its battery-free operation only adds to the overall convenience, in addition to a soft grip that won’t pain your fingers over time.
CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder
A travel-friendly and simple to use stud finder that ditches the batteries in favor of a classic, stress-free design.
Most Versatile Choice: Tavool 4-in-1 Electronic Stud Sensor
Capable of determining the exact location of a framing stud and presenting it to you with the utmost dependability, this Tavool Electronic Stud Sensor combines four unique detection functions to put single-use options to shame. This stud finder is capable of quickly pinpointing where the wood, joist, metal, and AC wire is hiding in the walls, floor, and ceilings of your home and then showing it to you on a large, incredibly clear LCD screen. Of its varying detection modes, stud mode is accurate up to 1.2 inches behind drywall, while metal mode detects 1.57 inches deep, and deep mode locates wood, metal, and AC wires anywhere between 1.77 and 2.36 inches behind the wall.
Tavool 4-in-1 Electronic Stud Sensor
A multipurpose stud finder that's capable of locating all manner of structures and AC wires between 1 to 2 inches deep in the wall.
Best Laser-Sensor Combo: BLACK+DECKER Stud Sensor
For workers seeking a new level of accuracy to their home construction, this BLACK+DECKER Stud Sensor features not one but two balancing properties for the straightest picture hanging. On top of being a high-powered stud sensor, capable of detecting wooden beams, metal, and live A/C wires, it also features a patented auto-leveling BullsEye laser that consistently grants you even horizontal framing. Like the best electronic stud finders, this device features an easy-to-read LCD display that accommodates users of every skill set.
BLACK+DECKER Stud Sensor
This stud sensor utilizes the best electronic features to deliver consistently straight framing.
Smartphone Compatibility: WALABOT DIY Plus Advanced Wall Scanner
Your phone sits in your back pocket eight hours out of every day, so is it such a crazy idea to believe that’s where your next stud finder is hiding? This WALABOT wall scanner capitalizes on our constant phone usage with the creation of a sensor pad and an official Google Store app for Android phones running Android 6.0 and above. The pair work in unison between two detection modes: Image Mode and Expert Mode. The former presents a visual recreation of metal and wooden studs, while the former presents an unfiltered view of raw radar signals, and all of their surrounding details, in real-time.
WALABOT DIY Plus Advanced Wall Scanner
A downloadable stud finder that detects metal and wood in up to 4 inches of drywall and plaster.
Best Precision Pick: Franklin Sensors ProSensor Stud Finder
Whereas traditional stud finders feature 1 to 2 sensors in their design, this Franklin Sensors ProSensor Stud Finder is lined with 13 high-precision sensors for the most assured detection process. This option can sense multiple studs buried 1.5 inches deep in a single sweep, as bright LEDs light up to indicate when you’ve found the prize. In addition to the positioning of the stud, this finder grants you an accurate sense of the stud’s width as well.
Franklin Sensors ProSensor Stud Finder
A stud finder that features not one, not two, but 13 high-precision sensors that detect with quick, pinpoint accuracy on every job.