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Best Stud Finder For Detecting Wire and Pipes Behind The Surface Of A Wall

Are you a fan of doing DIY home projects? If so, you might want to consider investing in a stud finder. Having a stud finder will allow you to know what’s on the other side, especially if you’re trying to hammer or screw things into walls or even ceilings. While some stud finders are good for basic detections, others come with more advanced scanners.

If you’re new to purchasing a stud finder, we’re here to help! Below, we’ll provide detailed reviews of seven of the best stud finders that we’ve found. Prior to that, however, we’ll talk a little about what a stud finder is, and some of the things that you should look for when purchasing one. 

What is a Stud Finder? 

As the name suggests, a stud finder refers to a device that’s able to detect studs that are situated behind the surface of a wall. It’s a helpful device that’ll save time, money and effort on your projects. Purchase a more advanced scanner, and it’ll even be able to detect live wiring as well as a non-ferrous metal such as a copper pipe. 

With a stud finder, it detects studs through either a magnetic or electronic method. For magnetic stud finders, there are powerful magnets within the device that’ll help locate where the screws or nails in a stud are. Electronic stud finders, on the other hand, have sensors that change when the sensor detects a stud. The reading is usually displayed on an LCD screen for your convenience. 

How Do You Use a Stud Finder and How To Find A Stud In The Wall

While the exact way to use the stud finder will depend on the actual device, the general steps are: 

  1. Turn on the device and select the scanning mode of your choice 
  2. Place the device flat on the wall and hold the button until the calibration is complete. You should be able to hear a short beep to let you know that it’s good to go. 
  3. Continue to hold the button and move the device along the surface to scan it. 
  4. When the stud finder detects that there’s an object, it will beep, and the corresponding data will be displayed on the LCD screen.  

What to Look For?

When it comes to selecting your stud finder, not all devices are made equal, and there are a couple of things that you should look for. 

First, you’d want to consider the stud material. If you’re using your device at home, your studs are likely made of wood. In commercial buildings, however, most studs are made of metal and even plastic material. Certain stud finders are only calibrated to identify one type, so you’d need to take the material of your stud into account when you’re selecting your device. 

Next, you’ll have to consider the location of your studs – is it in the ceiling, the floor or the wall? Some stud finders only have basic features and will not be able to penetrate through thicker material. If you plan on using your stud finder often, you should also purchase one that comes with a comfortable grip, that way you’ll be able to hold it at any angle with no issues at all. 

Finally, you’d need to consider the cost and if you’d prefer to look for a stud finder that has additional features. While there are basic models, pricier stud finders can be helpful with more complex projects. For example, some models can detect live wiring, and even provide you with a map of the wall that you’re examining. 

Best Stud Finders For DIY worry-free

1. Franklin Sensors with Built-in Bubble Level & Ruler

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When it comes to a stud finder, accuracy is vital. The last thing you’d want is to purchase a stud finder that doesn’t accurately show you what you’re dealing with on the other side of the wall. You won’t run into that issue with this particular stud finder as it comes with a total of 13 sensors for incredibly accurate readings. It also has a multi-sense technology that allows you to simply place the device on the wall and press a button. 

It also comes with a large sensor pad area for a more in-depth scan, and it can even detect multiple studs at the same time. As you use the device, LED lights at the front of the device will light up and mark the location and width of the stud – so you know exactly where it is before you begin your DIY project. It’s also able to detect both wood and metal and is a fantastic product that comes with a plethora of excellent reviews. 

Pros: 

  • Comes with 13 sensors for accuracy 
  • Multi-sense technology
  • Large sensor pad area 

Cons: 

  • It’s a little bulkier than some of the other stud finders out there 

2. DIY Zircon Stud Finder

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If you’re looking for something that isn’t overly expensive, this is a great stud finder to purchase. It’s able to detect both wood and metal studs that are up to 1.5 inches deep and will even let you know if it detects live electrical wiring. This stud finder has both Studscan and DeepScan modes for your convenience, and there’s even an indicator and pointing system that will help with ensuring accurate results.

For your comfort, the stud finder also has an ergonomically designed grip no matter what angle you hold it in. Customers who have purchased this stud finder have given it great reviews and like how it’s inexpensive, accurate and efficient. 

Pros: 

  • Comes with two modes – Studscan and DeepScan 
  • Detects live electrical wiring 
  • Ergonomically designed 

Cons: 

  • Some customers have mentioned that it regularly gives an error message and sound 

3. PERLESMITH Stud Finder Wall Detector 5 in 1

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Another great stud finder, this particular model comes with a range of fantastic features. To start, it has five total detecting models which include three different stud scans, a metal scan and an AC scan. It’s also able to detect a range of materials from wood to metal pipes, beams, rebar and even live AC wire behind walls, floors and ceilings. 

It’s also easy to use as the readings will automatically show on the LCD display, and there’s also a sound warning to help with accuracy. As a bonus, this stud finder is also lightweight, sturdy, and can be used anywhere from your home to the office and more. It’s also easy to calibrate and comes with an ergonomic design for added comfort. 

Pros: 

  • Comes with five different detecting modes 
  • It can detect live wiring, metal pipes, beams and more 
  • Comes with a large LCD display and sound warning 

Cons: 

  • Some mentioned that it isn’t very accurate 

4. Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner

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One of the best stud finders out there, it has Advanced Sensors Technology to help with detecting both metal and wood studs along with AC wires. It has four different scanning modes that’ll help detect a range of materials and any other objects that may be deeply embedded behind ceilings, floors and walls. 

The large LCD display screen and sound will let you know when it has detected the location of a stud. The sound will also get louder to let you know when you’re close to a stud, and the direction you should go will also be indicated on the LCD screen. This stud finder also has both an ergonomic grip, and it comes with automatic calibration for reliability and accuracy. 

Pros: 

  • Has Advanced Sensors Technology 
  • Four different scanning modes 
  • Will let you know when you’re close to a stud 

Cons: 

  • Some have mentioned that they’ve gotten inconsistent readings 

5. CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder

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If you want a stud finder that’s small, compact and easy to bring with you, this is a great option. It can easily fit in your pocket, so it’s not hard to take with you on the go. It also comes with a powerful magnet so you won’t need any batteries to operate it. 

While it only has a scan depth of an inch, it’s an excellent basic stud finder for someone that’s not looking for something overly complicated. The two-way level also allows for ease of marking, and the ergonomic grip provides additional comfort. It’s also able to detect all kinds of metals, and individuals have mentioned that it’s effective and easy to use. 

Pros: 

  • Small and compact
  • Easy to use 
  • No batteries required 

Cons: 

  • Doesn’t work with thicker materials 

6. Meterk 2 in 1 Wall Scanner Detector & Laser Distance Measure 40M

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This fantastic stud finder will quickly detect wood, metal and AC wire with ease. It has a few different modes – precise, depth, metal measurement, magnetic metal and power cable to cater to your needs. It can also measure rods, copper pipes along with cables that are hidden under walls, ceilings, floors and other materials. 

What’s great about this stud finder is that it comes with laser precision technology that’ll allow for accuracy. You can even switch the measurements between inches, feet and metres in accordance with your needs, and it comes with 30 sets of data storage functions. It even has an energy-saving function, and the device will automatically shut down if there’s no function within 20 seconds. 

Pros: 

  • Comes with a variety of different modes
  • Consists of laser precision technology for accuracy 
  • Has 30 sets of data storage functions 

Cons: 

  • A little complicated to figure out 

7. BLACK+DECKER Line Laser

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Lastly, we’ve got this stud sensor that’s a two-in-one, it has both an auto-leveling laser level along with a stud sensor. You can use this device to detect a good variety from metal to wood and AC wires. It also has an LCD display that’s easy to understand and comes with a two-year limited warranty in case you run into any issues.

At the same time, the stud finder also has auto-leveling technology which means that you can use the device to hang and mount objects accurately. Individuals are a fan of this tool and mentioned that it’s durable and lasts for many years. They also said that it has an excellent range and appreciate that the device doesn’t make any annoying noises. 

Pros: 

  • Two-in-one tool – auto-levelling laser level and stud sensor 
  • Easy to read LCD display 
  • Long-lasting 

Cons: 

  • Some have mentioned that it’s not very accurate 

Bottom Line 

We hope that this article was helpful and helped you find a stud finder that suits your needs. Whether you choose to go for a basic stud finder or one with more advanced features, it’s important that it’s able to detect the stud material that you need. The last thing you’d want is to purchase a stud finder that only detects wood when you need it to detect metal as well. 

If you’re not sure, it’s best to go with one that has more features just in case. These also usually come with an LCD screen that makes for easy visualization. Once you’ve gotten the stud finder that you need, you’ll be all set to continue with your DIY home projects.