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What Is A Stud? And Other Wall Studs You Should Know About

What is a stud? You’ve heard the word, but maybe you don’t know what it means. Not only will we answer that question, but we’ll also cover the different types of studs used in home building today.

What Is A Stud

And we’ll also show you the best stud finding tools on the market, and tell you how they work and why they’re great.

Building a wall is one of the most crucial parts of home construction. Walls offer support and provide structure. 

Many boards make up a residential wall. However, today, we are focusing on only one part of the wall. Whenever you learn it then you can move on to the other parts of a partition. 

What Is A Stud?

Studs are used for exterior and interior walls. In construction, a stud is a board that extends from the top to the bottom of a wall and offers support. They come in one piece and are 2x4s or 2x6s.

Studs that are load-bearing are more important. After all, load-bearing walls support an entire home, unlike partitions that only separate rooms and don’t offer structural integrity. 

What Is A Stud Finder?

What Is A Stud Finder?

A stud finder is the best way to find studs in a covered wall. You need to know where the home’s boards should you want to install a window or door. You should also know where studs are when working with drywall anchors. 

Drywall anchors make it possible to hang light items in drywall without a stud. Heavier objects will pull the anchor out, thus damaging the wall. In most cases, a stud finder can detect hidden boards and makes a beeping sound when it finds one. It also has a red laser that flashes and lets you mark as far up the wall as you want.

Best Stud Finders 2022

Best Stud Finders 2022

Here are some of the best stud finders for 2022 that make it easier to find the ones that are strangely placed. Because although you can “knock on wood” to try to find studs, we all know it isn’t as easy as it sounds. It can make one feel frustrated. A stud finder would come in handy if you needed to find steel stud framing exterior walls. 

Note: studs are generally 16-inches apart. But since not all wall lengths are divisible by 16, it’s hard to determine which side the studs start from. This is why using a stud finder is so important, even if you know the 16-inch rule. 

Tavol 4 in 1 Electronic Sensor

Tavool Stud Finder Sensor Wall ScannerView in gallery

This Tavol stud finder is truly amazing. It originally costs around $50, but if you’re lucky, you can find it on sale for under $25. It is the best-selling stud-finder and the highest-rated stud finder altogether. 

This finder has four modes, allowing it to detect woods, beam, joist, metals, AC wires, and deeply embedded objects behind floor, ceiling, wall. Which is more than a step above your standard stud finder. 

Pros

  • 4 in 1 multiplication plus deep detection 
  • Automatic Calibration and Ergonomic Grip for Comfortable Use 
  • Professional Design with Top Quality

Cons

  • Manufacturing issues
  • Batteries not included
  • Weak detection

The StudBuddy Magnetic Stud Finder

The StudBuddy Magnetic Stud FinderView in gallery

The StudBuddy is the cheapest and simplest finder you can buy. It makes the perfect small gift or stocking stuffer, so get a few of them if you get one. It can find wood or metal studs and can stay in place as a marker. The truth is that the StudBuddy works as a metal detector, detecting screws or nails. So you may need to push it up and down to detect a board. 

Pros

  • Works with all drywall applications. Not intended for use on lath & plaster walls
  • Finds wood and metal studs behind drywall by locating nails and screws in the studs
  • No batteries are required. Hangs on the wall hands free when studs are located

Cons

  • Weak detection
  • Thin plastic shell

Tavol Indented Stud Finder

Tavol Indented Stud FinderView in gallery

Another great choice by Tavol, this amazing finder isn’t as high-end as its sister stud finder but it is a solid option. This is one of Tavol’s cheaper stud finders yet it still offers the 4-in-1 combo that the expensive one does.

It also has that classic indented top that makes it easier to see where the board is and gives you a way to mark it with a pencil or nail. And don’t forget the famous laser that gives you a straight line all the way up. 

Pros

  • Five different scanning modes
  • Auto-calibration and ergonomic grip
  • Professional Design with Top Quality 

Cons

  • Inconsistent stud locator
  • Not easy to use

Zircon Stud Finder

 Zircon Stud FinderView in gallery

Zircon is a great, affordable brand available at most retailers. You can probably go out and buy this exact finder today. It has a great grip and works exactly like you’d expect a stud finder to work.

It’s a great option for beginners given the price and how easy it is to use. It is battery-operated and needs a 9v to operate which is not included. So make sure you grab one of those while you’re out too. 

Pros

  • Ergonomically designed grip 
  • Automatically corrects common user errors
  • Find studs and metal while avoiding electrical hazards

Cons

  • 9 volt battery not included
  • Inconsistent

BLACK+DECKER SF100 Wood Stud Finder

 BLACK+DECKER SF100 Wood Stud FinderView in gallery

If you’re a Black+Decker enthusiast who has everything in orange and black, then you need this for your collection. Not only does it work great, but it looks great too.

The Black+Decker tool uses laser technology not only to create a straight line for finding them but also to be a level. You can use it as a line laser level both horizontally and vertically. That’s more than a 2-in-1.

Pros

  • LEDs flash and the device beeps when studs are located
  • Ergonomic design
  • AA Batteries included

Cons

  • Overpriced
  • Inconsistent

What Is A Jack Stud?

What Is A Jack StudView in gallery

Jack studs are located on either side of windows and doorframes. They support an above header and will be the same height as the door when used for a door. When used to support window frames, things are different.

When a jack stud is placed in a window frame, it will be as tall as the window frame but will usually reach the floor. This offers the most support as making it as tall as the window alone won’t be stable.  

What Is A Cripple Stud?

What is a cripple stud? A cripple stud is for window and door frames. Sometimes there are holes in the wall, like in a breakfast area or over archways in open-concept homes. Cripple studs support the upper layers in the wall above them.

A cripple stud is placed in the shorter areas of the wall both above and below windows. They’re also placed above doorways. Without them, the boards would bow, or fall down, as the frames wouldn’t be secure. 

What Is A King Stud?

What Is A Cripple StudView in gallery

A king stud supports the jack stud. It runs along the jack stud on the outside only reaches both the top and the bottom. Its job is to support the jack stud and any studs that run along that path to support the entire frame.

A king stud is needed for each jack stud  installed. Each of them will be screwed or nailed directly to the jack stud that it is supporting as well as to the above board and the below board, which is secured to the ceiling and floor. 

What Are Wall Headers?

As for the technical headers, when talking about building a wall or partition, you can assume the word in question refers to a window or door header. This is the board that goes above the window or door.

However, not the board that goes below the window, as this is considered the window sill. A word that we are all more familiar with.

What Are Wall Plates?

What Are Wall HeadersView in gallery

Wallplates are the topmost and bottommost horizontal boards in a partition. Without them, you’d need to screw the boards into the ceiling and the floor. But with them, you can screw the boards into them.

From there, you have a complete wall that is framed by the plates, making it easy to put the wall up and screw it into the floor and ceiling. You can think of the wall plates as upper and lower “headers.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

Can I Use A Samsung 5G Galaxy Note 20 To Find A Wall Stud? 

Yes, you can, and in fact, it’s quite easy. All you have to do is download Walabot DIY Plus Wall Scanner, a free app that’s available at Google Play Store. After you’ve downloaded the app, all you do is push a button and start searching for studs in your walls at home.   

Do I Need A Stud Finder?

No, you don’t need a stud finder to find a board in a wall. You can simply knock on the wall, teaching yourself the difference between the sound of a hollow wall vs. a wall with a stud. However, this isn’t a sure thing as your mind can play tricks on you.

You may also make mistakes and drill a hole in the wall that you will later have to patch up. This becomes more complicated when you can’t match the paint you first used. 

Are Outlets Always On Studs?

Yes, in general, electrical outlets are installed next to a stud. However, apartments may have some different things going on: There may be metal studs. These are much harder to find by knocking.

Can I Use A Regular Magnet As A Stud Finder?

A neodymium magnet can’t find wood, but it can locate steel screws that hold the drywall to wood studs.

Which Way Do Studs Run?

An important thing to know about joists is they run in the same direction throughout a house. If the visible joists in a basement or attic run east to west, for example, you can be fairly certain the invisible joists under the bedroom floor also run east to west.

Wall Studs Conclusion

Now you know how to find wall studs, there’s nothing holding you back from a DIY project. Thanks to advance phone app technology, you can find a wall stud with your iPhone or Android device. This might be the easiest way to find a stud in the wall. 
 

If you’re working with double studded walls or wall framing studs, you’ll need professional help.

And if you wanted to do something different, you could try in wall storage between studs. This would give you extra space in your home while store your seasonal items so they wouldn’t be in your way.