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?

IMAGERECOMMENDED PRODUCTSPRODUCTFEATURES
  • Detects metal, wood and electric wires accurately
  • Easy to use with auto calibration
  • Clear backlit display
  • Detects metal, wood and electric wires accurately
  • Easy to use
  • Clear backlit display and audible alarm
  • Clear LCD display
  • Audible warning
  • Ergonomic body
  • Accurate
  • Easy to read
  • Ergonomic design
  • Clear backlit display
  • Audible alarm
  • Non-slip body
  • Clear screen
  • Economical option
  • Ergonomic design

More Detailed Stud Finder Reviews

Tacklife DMS03 Metal Detector Wall Scanner Stud Finder

FEATURESRATINGPRICE
FEATURES
  • Detects metal, wood and electric wires accurately
  • Easy to use with auto calibration
  • Clear backlit display
OUR RATING
98
PRICE
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Tacklife DMS03 Metal Detector Wall Scanner Stud Finder Review

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 is also a wire detector and pipe detector, so it can be used to ensure you don’t drill through live wires or pipes and cause major damage. It is very precise and detects wires, pipes and metal with pinpoint accuracy.

The scanner can detect ferrous metals up to 80 mm deep, non-ferrous metals up to 60 mm deep and live wires up to 50 mm deep. It can also find the centre of a wood beam up to 20 mm 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 one 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.

Tavool Sensor Wall Scanner Electronic Stud Finder

FEATURESRATINGPRICE
FEATURES
  • Detects metal, wood and electric wires accurately
  • Easy to use
  • Clear backlit display and audible alarm
OUR RATING
96
PRICE
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Tavool Sensor Wall Scanner Electronic Stud Finder Review

This Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner is effective, reliable and easy to use.

This stud detector 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 25 mm and a deep stud scan mode that can scan through two layers of plasterboard up to 38 mm 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 electric cable detector 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.

Folai Electronics Electronic Centre Stud Finder

FEATURESRATINGPRICE
FEATURES
  • Clear LCD display
  • Audible warning
  • Ergonomic body
OUR RATING
93
PRICE
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Folai Electronics Electronic Centre Stud Finder Review

The Folai Electronics Electronic Centre-Finding 4-in-1 Metal AC Stud Detector detects wires, wood and metal effectively in plasterboard walls.

This cable 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 one 9V battery which is included.

This is an effective cable and pipe detector and wall scanner that will alert you to the presence of wood, metal and live wires in your walls.

Tavool Stud Finder Wall Scanner

FEATURESRATINGPRICE
FEATURES
  • Accurate
  • Easy to read
  • Ergonomic design
OUR RATING
81
PRICE
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Tavool Stud Finder Wall Scanner Review

This Tavool Stud Finder Wall Scanner is versatile, accurate and easy to use.

This stud wall detector 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 wall scanner 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.

Dr.Meter Backlight Stud Finder

FEATURESRATINGPRICE
FEATURES
  • Clear backlit display
  • Audible alarm
  • Non-slip body
OUR RATING
80
PRICE
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Dr.Meter Backlight Stud Finder Review

This Dr.Meter Backlight Stud Finder has an audible alarm for live wires and can also detect wood and metal.

This stud scanner and live wire detector has a clear backlit display and is easy to read. It can detect metal studs up to 38 mm deep, metal pipe up to 76 mm deep and live wires up to 76 mm 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 scanner does need 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.

Lekind Multi-functioning Stud Finder

FEATURESRATINGPRICE
FEATURES
  • Clear screen
  • Economical option
  • Ergonomic design
OUR RATING
80
PRICE
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Lekind Multi-functioning Stud Finder Review

This Lekind Multi-functioning Stud Finder has a clear screen, is easy to use and gives reliable results.

This stud and cable detector will find wood and metal studs up to 18 mm, metal pipes up to 60 mm deep and live wires up to 60 mm 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 wire detector does not have a backlight and you will also have to buy a 9V battery, but it is cheaper than other similar stud finders so still offers good value.

This is a relatively cheap stud finder that will keep you safe when drilling into walls.

Stud Finder Buyer’s Guide

Most stud finders, also known as stud detectors, cable detectors, wire detectors or wall scanners, 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, wire detectors and cable 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.

FAQs

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 and cable detectors 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. These wire detectors 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 field 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 metal detector’s 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.

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