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The 10 Best Stud Finders of 2019

Stud Finders: The Best of 2019

The last thing you want to have happen when you are wall-mounting your brand-new, very expensive high-tech television is a drywall disaster. If you don’t find a supporting stud and try to hang something heavy, it’s likely that your expensive new television will come crashing down, along with part of your wall. Or even worse … you could be driving a nail or screw into your wall and hear a sudden crackle and your lights begin to flicker. This has the potential for an even greater disaster than just some property loss or structural damage.

So how do you avoid a do-it-yourself disaster? You need the best stud finder. But where do you begin? Should you go high-tech or low? Electronic or Magnetic?

Like most technologies, stud finding tools have come a long way. These are not the same stud finders that our dads had in their toolboxes.

We did the research for you and chose some of the best stud finders on the market to give you the power to, essentially, see through walls.

Stud finders are a must-have for any do-it-yourself project. The Zircon MultiScanner 740 Electronic Wall Scanner has four modes for detection of wood or metal studs, including rebar, and non-ferrous metal like copper pipe. A live wire warning system remains active in any mode for safety, and by simply switching to AC Scan mode, the Zircon can find, trace, and mark unshielded AC wiring up to two inches in depth.

This full-function scanner locates the edges, center and direction of wood or metal studs with a dual spotlight pointing system that lights up when target objects are found. The extra bright LCD display screen gives detailed information and the integrated, erasable marker can be engaged to mark your spot by pushing down on the mark button. The pencil automatically marks the spot without interruption of the scanning process. This unique feature makes it easy to use this device with one hand while working in difficult locations such as while scanning ceilings. Extra pencil marker refills are included in purchase.

The Zircon MultiScanner has a unique auto correction technology to correct the most common user errors such as calibrating and beginning over a stud. A signal strength indicator assists the user to know the depth of shallowness of the targeted material.

Included is a low battery alert indicator. This device works best with a fully powered nine volt battery, so it’s best to replace the battery as soon as the warning indicator alerts to low power.

Key Features
  • Multi-surface scanner
  • Four-mode detection
  • Autocorrecting technology
  • Locates wood, metal, live AC wires
  • WireWarning detection safety feature
  • Integrated wall marker
Specifications
  • Power Source: 9 volt battery
  • Scan Depth: StudScan .75", deepScan 1.5", metal 1.5 "
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 4 x 2 inches
  • Manufacturer: Zircon
Pros
  • Autocorrect feature for user-friendly operation
  • Four-mode technology
  • Integrated erasable wall marker for one hand operation
  • Floating head design for textured surfaces
Cons
  • Button must be held down during use
  • Must be pressed firmly against the surface during use

TackLife Stud Finder Wall Scanner 5 in 1 is a complete tool for detecting wooden studs, metal, AC wires, and even moisture within your walls. With four functional modes you can easily find wood studs, metal pipes, rebar, copper and steel pipes, and live AC wires. This stud finder is unique in that it also has a moisture detection feature for walls and building materials.

The TackLife stud finder has a larger than typical LCD screen with a backlight for easy reading in any lighting, including dark corners, basements and attics. Three color lights on the LCD display allows easy detection, and the signal strength gives detailed indications to enable you to understand the depth of target materials. The device will also beep when it is near the edge of a stud.

To use, simply place stud finder against the wall and turn on. The stud finder defaults to metal mode. Press the wood detection mode and the scanner will calibrate. A green light indicates when calibration is complete. Then you simply slide along the wall or ceiling surface and a red light indicates the edge of a stud has been located. An audio tone also alerts you to the edge of the stud. To find the center simply repeat the process in the opposite direction to find and mark the opposite edge of the stud.

AC wire detection quickly identifies live AC wires with a flashing red light and warning buzzer.

The TackLife Stud Finder offers complete detection of any material hidden under your drywall for safe DIY projects at home, including finding moisture levels for the most complete wall scan available in a single device.

Key Features
  • Four modes for wood, metal, and wiring
  • Includes unique moisture detection mode
  • Larger backlit LCD screen
  • Three light colors and target indicators
  • Easy operation
Specifications
  • Power Source: 9 volt battery
  • Scan Depth: Metal 4.75", AC 1.9 "
  • Dimensions: 7.2 x 3.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Manufacturer: TackLife
Pros
  • Detects moisture
  • Four-mode technology
  • Comes with carrying bag
  • Error alarm signal to indicate recalibration is needed
  • Superior depth scanning
Cons
  • Does not automatically locate center of studs

The C. H. Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder is a perfect solution for those who appreciate simplicity in function. This stud finder uses the natural power of earth magnets to locate studs by identifying the hardware beneath the surface drywall.

The C.H. Hanson stud finder requires no batteries and no electronics. This stud finder never requires calibration. To use this device you simply place the stud finder on the wall or ceiling surface and sweep in an S-shaped pattern. The stud finder’s powerful magnetic force will locate the studs by pulling toward the nails beneath the surface and attaching. No pencil markings are necessary because the stud finder will remain in place. It hangs on the wall so you can work with hands free.

This stud finder is ideal for carrying in a pocket. Its small size makes it easily portable. Because it doesn’t require batteries, it’s ideal to keep around the home for occasional use and be able to pull it out of a tool bag and not have to replace an old battery before use.

The C.H. Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder has a soft grip for ease of use and fits ergonomically in the palm of your hand. Included on the device is a two way bubble level, one for vertical and one for horizontal levels to assist with place marking.

This dummy-proof, simple to use, non-electronic stud finder is ideal to have around the house for occasional projects when it’s necessary to hang a heavy mirror, shelf, television, etc. Perfect for those who love to go low-tech, and appreciate simple mechanical functioning.

Key Features
  • No battery or electronics
  • Magnetic functioning
  • Compact size for easy pocket portability
  • Ergonomic grip design
  • 2-way level included
Specifications
  • Power Source: Magnetic power
  • Scan Depth: 1"
  • Dimensions: 1.2 x 0.8 x 3 inches
  • Manufacturer: C.H. Hanson
Pros
  • Pocket sized
  • Never needs batteries
  • Accurate at 1 inch depths
  • Allows for walls to remain mark free
  • Vertical and horizontal levels included
Cons
  • Does not locate the center of a stud
  • No live wire warning feature

The Tavool Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner is used by both professional contractors and those at home working on do it yourself projects. It is critical to be able to quickly and accurately locate the position of studs behind drywall for many reasons, including wall mounting a new television, shelves, mirrors or artwork. You can save yourself a potential drywall disaster or even an electrical shock by first scanning your wall with a Tavool Stud Finder.

The Tavool is an easy stud finder to use. Simply place the stud finder flat against a wall, turn it on, wait for a 1-2 second calibration and then move it along the wall to scan. When a stud is located the device will beep and the LCD screen will display the results, showing you the edges and center of the stud.

You can set the Tavool stud finder in any of four modes for detecting wood, joists, metal and beams. Stud mode allows user to find wooden beams and joists in drywall up to 1.2 inches. The metal mode will detect rebar, pipes, copper and aluminum up to 1.57 inches. Deep mode finds wood and metal up to 1.77 inches. In all modes the Tavool will sound a warning for live electrical wires up to 2.36 inches for optimum safety.

The Tavool stud finder has an ergonomic grip for ease of handling in any position while it helps you to avoid any potential hazard.

Tavool stands by its products with a one year no-hassle warranty.

Key Features
  • Four scanning modes for wood, joists, metal, beams
  • Identifies live wires in all modes
  • LCD display screen
  • Sound warning system
  • Automatic calibration
  • Ergonomic grip design
Specifications
  • Power Source: 9 volt battery
  • Scan Depth: Drywall 1.2", metal 1.57", AC 2.36"
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Manufacturer: Tavool
Pros
  • Four modes for wood, beams, joists, and metal
  • Identifies AC live wires
  • Lights and sounds warning
  • LED display indicates direction and location of stud
  • Ergonomic grip works comfortably in any direction
  • Pinpoints center of stud
  • Live wire indication in all modes
Cons
  • 9 volt battery not included
  • Can't locate studs behind brick or cement walls

Use the Veken Stud Finder 4 in 1 Mulitfunctional Wall Scanner for any project at home when you can benefit from locating a stud for hanging wall mounted televisions, shelves, mirrors or artwork to avoid a do-it-yourself disaster and live wire danger.

The Veken is designed for ease and simplicity of function with a two button operating system which works on a nine volt battery power source, which is included. Press the scan button for fast and accurate automatic calibration, and then scan horizontally across a flat surface. Beeping occurs to alert you to the presence of object targets behind drywall. An LCD display offers information to locate centers and edges of joists, studs, pipes, rebar and AC wires.

Veken has modes to detect wood and metal studs, and live wires. The beeping sound feature increases as you near the subject, and then easy to read LCD display pinpoints the location of the desired target and indicates edges and center.

The Veken Stud Finder features a circuit design and high quality components in a lightweight design that works well on walls, floors, and ceilings. It’s a professional quality device used by botj contractors and do-it-yourself workers at home.

This device must not be placed over a stud during calibration, and will not function properly over wet or newly applied paint or metal. To use over rough surfaces such as popcorn ceilings, you must place a flat piece of cardboard beneath scanner and operate in deep mode.

Veken stands behind their product with a two-year guarantee and lifetime service.

Key Features
  • Four mode operation
  • Automatic calibration
  • LCD Display
  • Beeping detection feature
Specifications
  • Power Source: 9 Volt battery
  • Scan Depth: .75"
  • Dimensions: 6 x 2.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Manufacturer: Veken
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Four operating modes
  • Simple two button operating system
  • Beeping increases when close to object
  • 9 Volt battery included
Cons
  • Will not calibrate over a stud
  • Does not work on rough surfaces without placing cardboard between and using deep mode
  • Must be set in AC mode for live wire alerts

The Inlife LCD Display Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner has four modes for scanning for different materials such as wood and metal studs up to .75 inches, deep mode for scanning 1.5 inches and live AC wires up to two inches deep.

Backlit LCD display indicates multiple cues such as signal strength, low battery warning, automatic calibration and detection modes for wood, metal or AC wires. Live wire warning stays functional in every mode as a safety feature.

The Inlife stud finder’s laser level will continually beep and sound a buzzer signal alert warning when a target object is detected. The screen graphic displays the accurate location of target object for user to record. Graphics indicate edges and center of object.

Calibrates easily and automatically when engaged and placed against a wall with no studs, metal or AC wires. Calibrates accurately in only seconds. Then simply use center button to set mode choice and run over flat surface of walls, floors, and ceilings. Side button is on/off switch for shut off after use to conserve battery life.

Unlike many stud finders, the Inlife works on multiple surfaces including freshly painted walls, textured walls, acoustic ceilings and wooden floor, as well as typical drywall.

This easy and dependable stud finder is professional quality but can be easily used by anyone with a do-it-yourself project at home.

Key Features
  • Four scanning modes
  • LCD graphical display
  • Automatic calibration
  • Visual and sound warnings
  • Battery indication feature
  • Laser level
  • Two button operation
Specifications
  • Scan Depth: Wood .75", metal 2.25", AC 2"
  • Dimensions: 6.1 x 2.7 by x 1.2 inches
  • Manufacturer: InLife
Pros
  • Easy two button operation
  • Automatic calibration
  • Warning buzzer and LCD display
  • Low battery warning indicator
  • Continual AC voltage detector
  • Works on multiple surfaces and textures
  • Cushion taped back to prevent scratching newly painted walls
Cons
  • Brief instructions don't provide a lot of detail

The ProSensor 710 Franklin Precision Stud Finder is the perfect mating of advanced technology and ease of use. This stud finder uses thirteen sensors to identify the position, size, and placement of hidden studs in your wall. Unlike ordinary electronic or magnetic stud finders, this one can identify multiple studs inside your wall simultaneously, without the user having to swipe the sensor across the wall. The advanced technology readings uses data from multiple findings to more accurately display the position of studs. It displays both the center and edges of each stud at the same time for a more complete picture. Because it works from multiple sensors, the ProSensor is particularly advantageous in detecting two studs closely placed together, which is something that can throw off more traditional type stud finders.

No calibration is necessary for the ProSensor 710. It detects both wood and metal up to 1.6 inches in depth, through multiple surface types including textured walls, uneven thickness in plaster, wallpaper, etc. Deep scanning mode is constantly active during use.

The ProSensor 710 has a larger sensor pad area than typical stud locators and has an ergonomically designed, hand friendly grip. Bright LED lights illuminate in order to indicate stud positioning for easy visualization.

The simple one-button operation makes this stud finder easy to use despite the advanced technology, making it ideal not only for professionals, but also for home use to avoid potential disasters during do-it-yourself projects.

This stud finder is made in the USA by Franklin Sensors, Inc, and has been a favorite in the industry since 2009.

Key Features
  • 13 sensor stud detection
  • LED light display
  • Bright LED Lighting
  • Stud width identification
  • Identifies multiple studs simultaneously
  • Continuous deep scanning
Specifications
  • Power Source: 2 double A batteries
  • Scan Depth: 1.6"
  • Dimensions: 7 x 3 x 2 inches
  • Manufacturer: ProSensor by Franklin Sensors
Pros
  • No calibration needed
  • Simultaneously locates center and edges of stud
  • Deep sensing
  • Easy use, one-button press system
  • No sliding required
  • Works through many textured surfaces
Cons
  • Not as effective on lath and plaster walls
  • Some readings may be difficult to interpret

The Lehour Stud Finder Wall Scanner 5 in 1 Multi Function Electronic Stud Sensor is the perfect tool to have at your side when attempting to hang wall-mounted televisions, ceiling fans, artwork, shelves and mirrors without having to make extra holes, or have any unexpected disasters. With five mode technology, this stud finder can quickly locate wooden studs, metal nails, pipes, tubes, beams, and AC wires for safe installation.

The Lehour Stud Finder has a large LCD display screen which allows you to quickly locate hidden objects inside your walls with both a graphic display and sound warnings. Three depths of stud scanning gives you the versatility to scan over a variety of surface textures. Metal scan has interactive calibration that allows you to find the exact location of pipes and other metal objects by adjusting sensitivity. In AC scan mode a warning indicator appears in the graphic display when wires are detected.

Simply calibrate while scanner is flat against the wall. A beep will alert you when calibration is complete. Then select your desired mode with the mode switch. Press scan with the device flat against the wall and slowly slide the scanner. Edge indicators will light up to indicate the edge of a stud. Arrows will then indicate the center of the stud and a buzzer will sound when the scanner is moved into the stud center. You can change the mode for deeper depth if no stud is found in thicker walls.

The Lehour Stud Finder Wall Scanner comes with a manual with complete instructions. It’s perfect for professionals and do-it-yourself enthusiasts at home.

Key Features
  • Five scanning mode functions
  • LCD display
  • Sound warning system
  • Graphic screen display
  • Multi sense technology
Specifications
  • Power Source: 9 volt battery
  • Scan Depth: Studs 1", metal 2.25", AC 2"
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Manufacturer: Lahour
Pros
  • Large LCD sreen is easy to read
  • Ergonomic handling design
  • five modes for superior detection
  • 2-3 second calibration
  • Sound warning system
  • Continuous AC live wire warning
  • Battery included
Cons
  • Mode operation can be a little complex (manual included)

Do it yourself at home with a professional grade stud finder. Vivreal Stud Finder Wall Sensor allows you to hang heavy objects on your walls such as shelves and mounted televisions without fear of a disaster. The Vivreal has four modes: a stud scan which finds the edges and center of wood and metal studs at .75 inches depth. Deep mode locates studs up to 1.5 inches. Metal scan setting finds metal up to 2.36 inches for pipes, rebar, etc. AC scan mode will locate live wires up to two inches in depth.

To use the Vivreal Stud finder, simply power it on, select mode with slide button, place on a flat surface where it automatically calibrates to reduce errors and provide reliable information. After calibration is complete, simply press and slide across a flat surface to scan. Perfect for use of both walls and ceilings. Scanner will beep when object is found and a peck type will appear on the easy to read LCD display screen, which is visible in any light, and even in darkness. The Vivreal also indicates the location of the center and edges of the stud.

Vivreal Stud Finder Wall Scanner can easily find the location of wood and metal studs, pipes, rebar, joists, and live AC wires and issue a sound warning followed by easily read information on the LCD screen. The screen includes signal strength indicator and a low battery warning alert so you know when it’s time to replace the nine volt battery.

Key Features
  • Four scan modes
  • LCD graphic display
  • Low battery indicator
  • Beep alert sound warning
  • Automatic calibration
  • Locates edges and center of studs, joists, rebar, pipes, live wires
Specifications
  • Power Source: 9 volt battery
  • Scan Depth: Stud .75", metal 2.25", live wires 2"
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Manufacturer: VIVreal
Pros
  • Four-mode scanning for wood, metal, deep scan, live wires
  • Automatically calibrates
  • Sound warning system
  • Low battery warning
  • Good warranty
Cons
  • Power must be on for AC wire detection
  • Switch must be held in on position during use
  • AC live wire alert doesn't automatically activate in all modes

The Xmifer Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner is a four-in-one multifunctional electronic stud sensor with all the technology you need to tackle any home project with confidence. Use this stud finder to quickly locate hazards such as AC live wires, and to eliminate the possibility of a drywall disaster while working on a do-it-yourself project such as hanging shelves, television, cabinets, mirrors and artwork.

The Xmifer quickly locates wooden and metal studs at edges and center, as well as metal pipes, rebar, copper and aluminum. This device keeps you safe by automatically detecting and warning user of live wires while scanning in every mode and will alert you with wire warning flashing icon.

Deep scan mode allows you to “see” through two layers of drywall up to 1.5 inches, or through extra layers of wallboard or wood paneling. Metal scan detection is automatically engaged during StudScan and DeepScan modes.

Simply press the side button and hold to calibrate and wait for the bars to disappear. A beep will confirm that calibration is complete. Then simply slide the device along the wall while holding down the button. The Xmifer Stud finder will display a full signal bar and an alarm will beep loudest when the center of a stud has been located.

The Xmifer Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner is all you need to tackle any project whether you are a professional contractor, or a first time do-it-yourselfer. This all-purpose stud finder will prevent extra holes and other mishaps for any project.

Key Features
  • Locates wood and metal studs accurately
  • Live AC wire detection
  • Upgraded LCD screen
  • Four scan modes
  • Sound warning system
  • Automatic calibration
Specifications
  • Power Source: 9 volt battery
  • Scan Depth: Stud 1.2", metal 1.57", AC 2.36"
  • Dimensions: 7 x 3 x 2 inches
  • Manufacturer: Xmifer
Pros
  • Continuously active live wire detection
  • Fast detection
  • Easy automatic calibration
  • Ergonomic hold design
  • 30 day money back guarantee
Cons
  • Button must be held down during usage

While it’s true that there are many different types of stud finders available in today’s market, it shouldn’t be too difficult to choose the one that’s right for you. Today’s technologies allow stud finders to do more than just locate a stud behind drywall. They can pinpoint both edges and the exact center of a stud. They can find stud nails and wooden studs. A simple mode change will allow most stud finders to locate copper and aluminum metal pipes, rebar, and AC live wires.

Many stud finders now have both sound alarms and LCD graphic displays to assist you in avoiding dangerous hazards with the wiring in your home, while guiding you to the stud locations you need. They can now easily “see” through deeper layers and multiple textures such as popcorn paint, textured walls, and paneling.

Stud finders come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and technologies. You can go as low tech as you’d like if you prefer the classic simplicity of a magnetic stud finder that never requires battery changes and can fit in your pocket; or you can go high tech with a device that makes use of the latest technologies and has multiple modes and sensors to scan your walls and deliver detailed graphical information about your pipes, wires, and studs on a backlit LCD display screen. You can use a pencil to mark stud locations, or go with a hands-free device with a built-in marker or magnet to hold the device in place.

No matter what you type of stud finder you choose, you will be able to tackle that project on your to-do list with all the confidence that you need, with no fear of leaving extra holes, or damaged drywall or wiring behind you.

Resources— How Stuff WorksBob Vila, Hunker

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