In this guide we’ll look at the best stud finder.
We’ve compared accuracy, performance, design and cost
to give you our top recommendations.
What Are The Best Stud Finders?
More Detailed Stud Finder Reviews
This Tacklife DMS03 Metal Detector Wall Scanner Stud Finder is the best stud finder if you want to easily locate studs, wires or pipes so you know exactly the right place to drill.
This stud finder has three modes of detection that allow you to locate metal, cable or wood. As well as helping you find a stud to drill into for fixing shelves or cabinets, this detector can also ensure you don’t drill through live wires or pipes and cause major damage. It is very precise and detects wires, wood and metal with pinpoint accuracy.
The scanner can detect ferrous metals up to 80mm deep, non-ferrous metals up to 60mm deep and live wires up to 50mm deep. It can also find the centre of a wood beam up to 20mm deep. It auto-calibrates, making it easy to use, and gives reliable results.
The stud finder is easy to read and comes with clear instructions. The large LCD display is clear and the red, amber and green light make it obvious when it is safe to drill. The product is great value for money and an essential item for any DIYer to prevent costly and potentially dangerous accidents.
The detector takes 1x 9V battery which is included.
This stud finder is versatile, very accurate and the easiest to use with its super clear display and traffic light warning system.
This Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner is effective, reliable and easy to use.
This stud finder easily allows you to find the centre of a wood or metal stud in order to fix shelves, pictures and cabinets securely. It can also detect metal studs pipes and live wires. It has two depth modes: one that can detect up to 25mm and a deep stud scan mode that can scan through two layers of plasterboard up to 38mm thick. It is easy to calibrate by holding the tool against the wall and pressing the calibration button. It must be calibrated before every scan.
This stud finder also finds live wires up to 50 mm deep and this feature is always turned on for safety. It gives an audible warning when it is close to a live wire. The LCD display clearly shows the details of what lurks behind the plaster in your walls. The stud finder requires one 9V battery which is included.
This stud finder is accurate and easy to use and features an audible alarm to warn you of live wires.
This Senma Electronics Multi-Functioning Stud Finder has a clear, backlit display, is easy to calibrate and the comes with clear instructions making it easy to use.
This wall scanner effectively alerts you to the presence of live wires, studwork and metal pipes once calibrated. The screen is easy to read, and the symbols are clear. The tool also features an audible warning for live wires. The instructions are detailed and make this tool simple and effective to use.
This scanner is simple and effective and comes with clear instructions for calibration and use.
This Dr.Meter Backlight Stud Finder has an audible alarm for live wires and can also detect wood and metal.
This scanner has a clear backlit display and is easy to read. It can detect metal studs up to 38mm deep, metal pipe up to 76mm deep and live wires up to 76mm deep. It can also be used to find the centre of a stud for fixing. It comes with a 9V battery ready for use. The case is non-slip and is a nice bright yellow so you can find it easily in your tool box.
The stud finder needs to be recalibrated before each scan on an area of wall with no wood, metal or pipes behind otherwise you will not get accurate results.
This item is reasonably priced and features an audible alarm for live cables.
The Senma Electronics Electronic Center-Finding 4-in-1 Metal AC Stud Detector detects wires, wood and metal effectively in plasterboard walls.
This detector requires calibration and this is easy to do by placing it flat against any wall and pressing the calibration button.
The screen is clear, and the scan results are easy to read. The detector features an AC wire warning to alert you to the presence of live wires. The scanner requires 1 X 9V battery which is included.
This is an effective detector that will alert you to the presence of wood, metal and live wires in your walls.
This Tavool Stud Finder Wall Scanner is versatile, accurate and easy to use.
This stud finder is really useful for locating studs or beams so you can secure items to the wall. It also effectively alerts you to the presence of pipes and wires. The screen is easy to read, and the product has a nice ergonomic design that is comfortable to use. The tool also emits an audible beep that speeds up as you get closer to the target.
This Lekind Multi-functioning Stud Finder has a clear screen, is easy to use and gives reliable results.
This detector will find wood and metal studs up to 18mm, metal pipes up to 60mm deep and live wires up to 60mm deep. It is easy to calibrate, and the clear screen is easy to read. It also has an audible alert and has a non-slip, ergonomic body that is comfortable to use. It effectively finds live wires and metal pipes but it can be a bit trickier to locate wall studs, however, it is generally accurate.
The detector does not have a backlight and you will also have to buy a 9V battery, but it is cheaper than some product so still offers good value.
This is an economical buy that will keep you safe when drilling into walls.
Stud Finder Buyer’s Guide
Most stud finders have the ability to detect a range of material located within your walls. This can ensure you find secure studs for fixing items like shelves, TVs, mirrors and cabinets. Most stud detectors also alert you to the presence of metal and live wires in your walls, thus preventing you from accidentally drilling into electric wires or gas and water pipes.
Stud detectors do vary in the depth they can scan but most scan to an adequate depth for allowing you to fix items to walls safely.
Stud detectors sometimes have an auto-calibration feature which makes them foolproof to use. Other models require you to calibrate them by holding them against the wall and pressing a calibration button then keeping the product in the same place until a beep or sign on the screen tells you that calibration is complete. Many stud finders have to be recalibrated before every use.
Stud finders generally have clear LCD screens which are easy to read. Many also have backlit screens which is useful if you are working in badly lit areas.
What is a stud finder?
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).
How does a stud finder work?
Electronic stud finders have sensors that measure changes in the dielectric constant of the wall. Wood and metal studs have a much higher dielectric constant than the voids of air filling the area between the studs and have a greater influence on the electric field. The stud finder measures these changes and display the results on an LCD screen.
In addition, modern stud finders can also detect the presence of live wires. They contain sensors that act as a receiver which can detect 50/60-Hz. Again, the presence of this current, and therefore live wires, is indicated on a screen and some models also give an audible warning of the presence of live wires.
Modern stud finders also contain an inductive sensor which generates a magnetic field in order to detect metal. The magnetic fields is boosted in the presence of ferrous metal and deformed in the presence of nonferrous metal. Again, the results are analysed and reported on the LCD screen.
How deep can a stud finder scan?
In general, a stud finder 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 finders can detect will depend on the technology used in each particular model so you should check your user guide.
How do I use a stud finder?
Most stud finders require calibration before use. To do this, you hold the scanner against the wall and press the calibration button. The machine will usually beep to let you know calibration is complete. Calibration must be completed before each scan. Some stud finders have automatic calibration which makes them easier to use.
You can choose from different settings on your machine depending on what you want the scanner to search for.
Once the machine is calibrated you move it slowly across the wall, keeping it flat against the surface. The LCD screen will then show the presence of whatever you have set the machine to search for. Some scanners will also use an audible alarm to alert you to the presence of live wires no matter which mode you have the scanner set to. Some scanners emit a beeping noise which speeds up as you get closer to a target item.
You should always check the instructions that comes with your stud finder to make you use the tool properly otherwise you may not get safe and accurate results.
Who needs to use a stud finder?
Stud finders and wall scanners are essential tools for anyone completed DIY or refurbishment tasks that require drilling into walls, floor or ceilings or adapting the structure of buildings.
These tools are also vital for anyone working in the building profession to ensure costly and potentially dangerous accidents do not occur.