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What's the Difference Between Magnetic and Electric Stud Finders?

Should you get a magnetic or electric stud finder? We'll explain what they are. Choose the best stud finder for your home project needs.

Stud Finders: Is Magnetic or Electric Better?

The way that we decorate our homes has changed so much with the advent of new technology, and nowadays we routinely mount our television sets, heavy mirrors, furniture, and other home decor on the wall.

And wow, can hanging items on your wall make things look more modern and clean — and save spacce! (If you have ever used a TV stand before, for example, you know how heavy they can be and how hard it can be to move out of your home, which is why mounting the television on the wall is a better option.)

Another advantage of mounting TVs and other items is the fact that you’ll have a cleaner interface to work with, and the viewing angle is a lot better in most cases. When it is time to mount a television or other item, there are a few things that you’ll need to get the job done, and one of these things is called a stud finder.

To properly mount something on the wall, it takes a good deal of work, and you’ll want your electronic or other heavy or fragile device to be secured properly. Oftentimes, televisions and other items will not be mounted onto the wall correctly, and this creates damage to your drywall and insulation, whereas using a stud finder will ensure that your TV, furniture, or decor is anchored into the stud and hung securely.

Not all stud finders are created equal and there are different types of stud finder which are suitable for various applications, and we are going to look at what the difference is between a magnetic stud finder and the more common electric models. Stud finders, in general, will make the process of mounting your television or other items onto the wall an easier process, read on below as we take a look at the differences between these two stud finders.

why to use Magnetic Stud Finders

The magnetic stud finder has been around for a long time, in one form or another. Magnetic stud finders utilize a different technology then the common battery-operated stud finders that you are used to seeing, which how they can operate without battery power.

The magnetic stud finder is powered by rare-earth magnets, which work to locate the screws that are holding the studs in place via the metal in the screw. Magnetic stud finders are oftentimes more accurate than the electronic counterparts because you get a direct hit on the metal inside of the wood, whereas the electronic variations are looking for the wooden studs in the wall.

If cost is a factor for you a magnetic stud finder is going to be the better option, offering a nice range of functionality and form factor. When it comes to choosing a stud finder the price is the first aspect that you are going to look for, because after all, you might only be using it to hang your TV once. But, this is where the magnetic stud finder shines. The cost difference of the magnetic stud finder makes it an attractive purchase for someone who just needs to get something anchored into their wall quickly.

Why to use Electric Stud Finders

If you are going to be hanging something onto the wall more than once, or you work in a construction trade the electric stud finder is the way to go. The electric stud finder has a price discrepancy over the more traditional magnetic models, but if you plan on using the device more then once you’ll get your money's worth.

Electronic stud finders are heavier than the magnetic models, and this is to make up for the battery pack. The electronic stud finders scan the wall for density, locating the areas where there is a stud behind the drywall. Because this method isn’t searching for a screw-like the magnetic type this is a more accurate way to find studs, and thus why you can expect to pay a premium for the electronic models.

Electronic stud finders have become more advanced over the years and these models are beginning to add more advanced features such as Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to scan for other types of material as well. When you think about all of the features that the electric stud finder has you are in for a truly one of a kind device that will make the process of finding studs a much easier one when it comes time to hang your flat-screen television.

How to choose the Stud Finder That's best For You

Every home project is going to be different, and you can expect that you’ll need to do a little bit of due diligence before you go out and choose a stud finder. Depending on what the job entails and what your future projects will consist of is what you should base your decision off of because the magnetic and electronic stud finders both have their benefits and drawbacks. From a price standpoint, the magnetic stud finders are a great buy, but for a more detailed readout with more in-depth features you’ll want to spring for the electronic models.

Resources— MarthaStewart.com, LifeHacker.com