In this guide we’ll look at the best stud finders for the UK market.
I’ve compared accuracy, performance, design and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best Stud Finder?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
Best digital detector on the market!
The Bosch Truvo Digital Detector is a simple, reliable and accurate wall detector. It’s light, ergonomic and self-calibrating as well, so you can use it straight out of the toolbox. Made by Bosch, you know it’s going to be a quality piece of equipment, and it’s so simple a child could use it.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Stud Finder Reviews
Bosch Truvo Digital Wall Detector Review
The Bosch Truvo is probably the best stud finder because it’s simple, reliable and easy to use. Made by German tool champs Bosch, the Truvo uses a series of LEDs and different audio tones to tell you when you’re close to metals and live electrics. Specifically, steel at 70 mm, copper at 60 mm and live cables at 50 mm.
It’s a ridiculously easy to use bit of kit- one button to operate and a clear set of lights that ping on when you hover above metal objects- there’s even directional bars that help guide you to the exact location of the ferrous or non-ferrous metal hiding below the surface.
As someone who often forgets to switch off tools, I was pleased to see an auto-turn off feature- something you’d expect from the best stud finder on the market. The three included AAA batteries offer a useful five hours of continuous use as well, so you’re ready to work straight from the box.
Tacklife DMS03 Wall Scanner and Stud Finder Review
If you want to detect for timber studs, live wires, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, the Tacklife DMS03 is the best wall scanner for you. It’s an advanced device that doesn’t just find objects under the surface, it can tell you how deep they are as well.
If you’re planning on putting up shelving or drilling into any sort of wall, knowing what’s behind is essential. With an impressive 100 mm depth range for ferrous metals like steel, 50 mm for live cables and up to 38 mm for timber, it’s one of the best stud finders available right now.
The display is large and backlit, so it’s easy to read, and it makes use of a handy “traffic light” system to indicate when you’re bang on the middle of a stud. Green means you’re scanning; amber means you’re close and red marks the spot for safe drilling.
It’s a versatile tool to have in your arsenal that’s packed full of features that you might or might not need to use. It’s not as simple to use as the Bosch, but I still think it’s one of the best wall scanners around.
Tavool 5 in 1 Stud Finder and Wall Scanner Review
With an impressive range of measurement and inspection devices and other handy tools, Tavool know a thing or two about making the best stud finder for the UK market. Their TH510 sensor wall scanner features five scan modes to detect anything that lurks behind your walls.
I was impressed with the ergonomic design, it’s easy to hold and looks like something out of a sci fi film. The white body alongside the green backlit screen looks good and it’s thankfully easy to use with just a single button to operate all the modes.
The three stud scan modes work at depths of 12 – 25 mm, and the Deep Scan mode is a particularly useful feature- you can use it to look through two layers of dense plasterboard up to 38 mm thick. It’ll pick up metals at 60 mm and live current at 12 mm.
FOLAI Multifunction Wall Scanner Review
If you want a 5 in 1 wall scanner without breaking the bank, the FOLAI TH250 wall stud finder is one of the best wall scanners for the money. Even though it needs calibrating for every use, I think it’s easy to operate and seems accurate as well.
The large screen shows you everything you need to know- when you’re close to a stud the display comes to life with a handy arrow that points to where the middle of it is. And when you’re dead on, it plays a tone and tells you “centre”. Simple.
The three depths for timber stud scanning are 12, 28 and 38 mm, it can read AC current at 51 mm depth and check for metals up to 60 mm deep. That means it’s up there with some of the best stud finders in terms of wall penetration.
JAXWQ Multifunction Stud Detector Review
It’s not a brand name you can say quickly, but JAXWQ make one of the best wall detectors I’ve tried out. It feels like a premium bit of kit without costing the earth, and even though it doesn’t come with the required 9V battery, it belongs in any serious DIYers tool kit.
Their multifunction stud finder boasts an “intelligent chip” that helps it find timber studs at 12, 28 and 38 mm deep- the equivalent of three layers of standard plasterboard. It’s detects the expected AC current and bits of metal under the surface as well.
The display is big enough, and with just two buttons to choose from it doesn’t take long to work out how to use it.
ULTRATOOL LCD Stud Detector Review
If you need to find wall studs and you don’t want to hit live cables when you’re putting up a TV bracket, the ULTRATOOL stud detector is one of the best cable finders for the money. It’s not as accurate as a premium device but it’s better than tapping on a wall and listening for a hollow sound.
It’s not quite as straightforward to use as some of the stud finders on our list, but after carefully reading the manual I got the hang of it- there are two buttons on either side of the case, one for scanning metal and the other for studs.
It’s a useful bit of kit to have in the toolbox, but for some reason the detection depths are in imperial measurements- ½”, 1” and 1½” stud depths. It works the same way as the competition- the arrows flash up and it beeps when you’re on the centre of a stud.
Things to Know Before Buying a Stud Finder
Stop tapping the wall when you need to find something solid to drill in to.
If you want to put up a TV bracket or a set of shelves, you’re going to have to drill some holes in your walls. The old way of finding where your wall studs are is by tapping across the surface until it stops sounding hollow. It’s not accurate and it won’t tell you where live electric cables are, which you’ll agree is pretty important.
A digital wall detector takes all the guesswork out of where to safely drill a hole. Simply turn it on and pass it across your wall to find out where, and where not, is a safe place to start making holes.
The best stud finder makes it easy to find the timber supports behind your walls. If you want to put up shelves that can hold heavy weights or hang a TV that won’t fall down though, finding the stud isn’t enough. You need to find the exact middle to ensure a solid fixing, and the best wall detectors will do just that with an audio tone and on the display.
Some more basic models of stud finders will require calibrating between uses to scan your wall accurately. Even though it only requires a push of a button, it takes time and can cause problems if you forget to do it, so an auto calibrating wall scanner is a premium feature to look out for.
Stud Finder FAQs
A stud is the technical term for the piece of timber or metal that sits inside your wall and makes up part of the wall frame. It adds strength to the wall and works as a place to attach the wall covering like plasterboard.
A stud finder is a small, handheld device that can be used to detect items that are hidden behind plaster or plasterboard or above ceilings or under floors. More advanced scanners, such as the ones in this review, have multiple modes that detect studs, live AC wiring, non-ferrous metal (such as copper pipe) and ferrous metal (such as steel reinforcement bars).
The best wall scanners can detect wood or metal studs to a depth of up to 38mm. The scanner can also detect live wires up to a depth of 50- 60 mm. The actual depth a stud finder varies between models, so check your user manual.
Operating a stud finder is pretty simple- you turn it on, select the mode for detecting studs, metal or electric current and pass it across the wall until it beeps. Different makes and models vary in their operation, but the principle is the same.