Best Stud Finder – Buying Guide

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One of the biggest mistakes people make is rolling the dice and drilling a hole in the wall or hammering a nail in without actually knowing what is running through it. While the odds are you won’t hammer a nail through an electric wire, there is still a 30% chance that you will and consequently cause a few hundred dollars’ worth of damage. The best way to take the guesswork out of knowing if you are drilling in the right place, without damaging wires or worse puncturing a water pipe, is to use the best stud finder out there.

Whether you are the original owner of the house or have just purchased it using a stud finder makes the whole process of knowing if you’re drilling in the right place easier. There is no longer a need to squint over electrical or plumbing blueprints just to hang a photograph!

A professional stud finder is an excellent tool that’s often used by interior designers and architects. While most people may not know this, but it is also an excellent tool for DIYers who want to carry out simple work around the house on their own. As a homeowner, learning to use a stud finder takes a few minutes, and yet it can save you hundreds of dollars in the way of damages.

Now that you know how useful a professional stud finder can be, it is just as important to find the best one. Fortunately, we’ve done the heavy lifting to list some of the best that money can buy today!

Top Professional Stud Finders in 2020

Now for many people, this may be their first time buying a stud finder, and so the large number of them from literally dozens of brands can be confusing. Local stores and online stores alike don’t offer enough information or a comparison, perhaps, which makes it difficult for newbie buyers. Fortunately, we have you covered. We’ve gone through, tested, checked, and used some of the most highly recommend brands of stud finders. Below is a list of the best ones we recommend, and a brief review outlines why we recommend them.

Tacklife DMS04 Stud Sensor: Best Professional Stud Finder

The Tacklife DMS04 is one of the best, most accurate electronic stud finder or wall scanners as it is often referred to. While there are many reasons why the Tacklife DMS04 made it to the top of our list, the most prominent reason is its durability and accuracy. We dropped this rugged-looking professional stud finding tool a couple of times, and to our surprise, it held up. Not only that, but it was able to detect a stud 10/10 times. We were able to find various other metal obstacles like wires, studs, nails that were painted over, etc.

We wouldn’t be doing the Tacklife DMS04 justice without talking about its compact design. Even though it weighs slightly more than the others, we’ve reviewed, but its small size means that it can easily be slipped into an average-sized pocket. The sides are easy to grip, which makes holding on to it as you try finding a stud easy.

The Tacklife DMS04 has two modes, the first is ‘stud mode,’ which enables users to find studs, and the other is ‘wire scan’ mode, which, as the term suggests, helps to find wires. We give the Tacklife DMS04 a solid thumbs up for anyone who wants an accurate, durable, and reliable stud finder that’s priced sensibly.

Pros:

  • Very easy to use and initially learn
  • Visual and auditable alerts
  • Offers deep scanning which makes detection more accurate

Drtulz 3-in-1 Multi Scanning Wall Sensor Stud Finder

The Drtulz 3-in-1 Multi Scanning Wall Sensor stud finder has a couple of unique features that we’ve not been able to find with any other scanner on the market. For one, it has the ability to find wooden studs and metal studs alike. It can also detect various other objects within the wall, which means that finding if there is a pipe running through the back of the wall, is something the Drtulz can do.

The compact body is designed using hard plastics and a bit of rubber around the sides, which reinforces its already rugged design. Furthermore, it’s easy to operate, and just about anyone should be able to navigate the simple menu system.

One of this wall scanner’s unique features is the fact that the LCD is bright, and the fonts are easy to read. Almost everything you’ll need to know about the wall being examined is provided onscreen.

During our time with the Drtulz 3-in-1 Multi Scanning Wall Sensor stud finder, we found it extremely accurate. The narrow grip, coupled with the wide scanning head, allowed us to keep a hold of it despite being able to scan a larger area. The only drawback, if you can think of it as one, is that it does not beep as loud as the other wall scanners we’ve used. That said, since you’re standing so close to it anyway, the decibel level does not make a big difference.

Pros:

  • Results are accurate and quick
  • Very easy to use especially when a larger area needs to be scanned
  • A multipurpose scanner with numerous useful features apart from being able to detect studs

CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder

When it comes to a compact design, the CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder is the most compact stud finder tool in our lineup of the best ones. However, being compact is not the only feat that impressed us. The CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder uses what’s called “magnetic” sensors to help detect metal studs. These sensors are trained to use powerful magnets in order to detect the presence of metal pieces or studs in the wall. Not only can it find studs in the wall but also wooden flooring and other places making it ideally suited for numerous DIY projects.

In addition to its stud finding prowess, the CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder also has a two-way level tool, and because it does not require batteries, you don’t have to worry about running out of power. Furthermore, the device is very easy to use, and so anyone can use it with little to no training.

Pros:

  • Does not require a battery to operate
  • Easy to use by people of all skill levels
  • The compact design makes it easy to carry
  • Built-in two-way level tool which makes it an excellent 2-in-1 solution

The CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder gets our seal of approval for anyone who wants a stud finder they can rely on. Most of all, it’s a budget-friendly device that most people should be able to afford and eventually make a solid DIY companion.

VivReal 3-in-1 Electric Multi Function Wall Detector Finder

Now, if you want a stud finder that’s reliable and easy to use, its hard to go wrong with the VivReal 3 in 1 Electric Multi-Function Wall Detector Finder. It is a DIYer’s dream come true because it offers a multitude of functions within a compact form factor. Most of all, it is highly accurate and can find studs in the thickest walls as per our personal experience with using it.

The VivReal 3 in 1 Electric Multi Function Wall Detector Finder’s multi-feature offering does come at a slightly higher price. Some may see it as being expensive, but if you compare it feature for feature, it isn’t hard to see that the tool is cheap especially compared to carrying a separate tool that represents every feature. Furthermore, most people will love the fact that the device is easy to hold, and the large LCD makes reading it easier compared to other magnetic or sensor-based stud finders. That’s one reason why the VivReal 3 in 1 Electric Multi Function Wall Detector Finder is also the tool of choice for many professional builders, architects, and handymen.

Other stand out features include its ability to detect wood studs and metal studs in addition to live wires, and pipes. All of which makes it a great buy for anyone regardless of who they are. The only thing they might have to initially stomach is the slightly steeper price point.

Pros:

  • The large and bright LCD screen makes reading and using the device easy
  • Almost no false positives which make it reliable
  • Comfortable grip coupled with a compact design makes it a pleasure to work with on all types of surfaces

Tavool Stud Finder Wall Scanner

When it comes to using the best stud finder tool, the one thing we always talk about is if it’s ergonomically designed. In our opinion, the Tavool Stud Finder Wall Scanner is one of the most ergonomically designed stud finder tools out there, or at least we’ve come across. As a bonus the two-tone color and textured body give the stud finder a premium feel, despite the fact that this isn’t a premium product.

Like many top-quality stud finders, the Tavool Stud Finder Wall Scanner offers more than what meets the eye. The device’s advanced sensors make it easy to find metal bolts, wooden studs, wires, pipes, and rods. During our time testing the device, we didn’t run into any false positives. The device felt comfortable in our hands and, unlike others, didn’t numb our fingers. In our opinion, this is the best stud finder for people with small hands.

Pros:

  • Quick and accurate results
  • Easy to grip and move across any surface
  • Can detect a myriad of materials in the walls
  • Audible beeping
  • Long battery life

Precision Sensors ProFinder 5000+ Deep Scanning Stud Finder

While the Precision Sensors Stud Finder Professional Deep Scanning LED Profinder 5000 is a mouthful, we assure you that it has made it to our top 10 list for a reason other than that! During our time testing the Precision Profinder 5000, we were surprised to see that not only was the device highly accurate, but it was also easy to use. In our experience, if you want fast results and accuracy that’s down to the centimeters, then the Profinder 5000 is an excellent choice.

The device is designed so that when searching for a stud, the user is informed about one by a blinking LED light. While the lights do take some getting used to, it is a no-brainer to figure out within the first few seconds of using it. Furthermore, we were impressed with the accuracy of the sensors; in our experience, these are some of the most accurate sensors on any device we’ve tested.

While we suspect that the Profinder 5000 is more geared towards professionals because of its accuracy, but just about anyone can use it. We guess most people reading this would always prefer a device that has better accuracy than one that isn’t as accurate. Clearly, the company has put a lot of effort into ensuring that their device is highly accurate.

Pros:

  • The Profinder 5000 is very easy to hold for an extended time which makes it a breeze to operate
  • LED lights make it easier to know when you’re getting close to an object in your wall
  • The use of highly advanced sensor technology makes it an excellent buy for professionals in the construction, renovation, and interior design industry

The StudBuddy Magnetic Stud Finder

When it comes to using a magnetic stud finder, the market is flooded with them, but the StudBuddy Magnetic Stud Finder is different. Unlike what you usually find, the StudBuddy Magnetic Stud Finder is simple to use and highly accurate. Just about anyone can pick up the device and start searching for studs in the wall.

After testing the StudBuddy Magnetic Stud Finder, we noticed that unlike other magnetic stud finders, this one uses a high-powered rare-earth magnet. Rare earth magnets are known for being extremely powerful, and here that translates to the device’s ability to detect objects buried deep within thick concrete walls with excellent accuracy.

While it may not be the most affordable magnetic stud finder, we have no problem recommending it. Not only because it is accurate but also because it is built to last. If anything, you’ll be able to use it for years to come.

Pros:

  • The compact design makes it easy to hold and carry in the pocket
  • Powerful magnets make the stud finder highly accurate
  • Start operating and finding studs within seconds

We can safely say that the StudBuddy Magnetic Stud Finder is at least amongst the best magnetic stud finders out there. It’s easy to grip and use, which gets our seal of approval because anyone can use it.

Preciva Wall Scanner Multifunctional Wall Detector

Are you searching for the best stud finder in terms of value for money? Then you can’t go wrong with the Preciva Wall Scanner Multifunctional Wall Detector. One of its stand out features is that unlike other stud finders in this price range, this one is compact and easy to hold when examining walls or any other surface. In addition to being able to detect metal studs, it boasts of a few other features which are otherwise found on higher-priced options.

During our time testing the Preciva Wall Scanner Multifunctional Wall Detector, we were impressed by its extensive battery life and the loud audible warning sound when a stud is within range. The scanner has four modes, which allow you to choose what type of stud you’re looking for like metal scan, deep mode, stud scan, and AC wire scan. We used deep mode to find plumbing inside the wall, and the AC wire scan mode was quickly able to detect wiring well within the wall.

Pros:

  • One of the best features it its unique audible alert when a stud is found
  • Four modes which allow you to detect plumbing, AC wiring, studs, and deeply embedded
  • Long-lasting battery means you can go days without charging
  • The large LCD display and fonts make it easy to read

MAOZUA Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner 4 in 1 Multi Function Electronic Stud Sensor

Anyone who is looking for a stud finder that also doubles as perhaps a tool to find wiring and plumbing would want to consider the MAOZUA Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner. The scanner is surprisingly accurate at detecting most obstacles in the wall. Furthermore, while this isn’t a product available at a premium, it sure fooled us, with its excellent build quality and accuracy.

It is the ideal wall stud scanner for someone who wants a reliable device that feels good in the hand. During our testing, we found that the device is best suited for people with small hands and those with thick fingers. The display is also large and bright enough to be visible in direct sunlight.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality that incorporates premium materials
  • Durable finish and easy to hold
  • Highly accurate results
  • Very bright screen

INTEY Stud Detector Electric Cable Detector

The INTEY Stud Detector Electric Cable Detector is one of the best, if not the best, stud detectors on the high-end of the market. It is reliable, easy to use, and highly accurate. We were able to find studs within seconds of turning it on.

We should also underscore the fact that the INTEY Stud Detector Electric Cable Detector hardly weighs anything. After having used so many stud finders, it was hard to believe that they could make a tool like that so light. The stud finder can find AC wires, detect wood, plumbing, and other types of metal in the walls.

Pros:

  • An excellent set of features
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around thanks to its use of lightweight materials
  • Surprisingly accurate

Final Word on Our Roundup of the Best Stud Finders of 2020

After years of testing some of the latest and greatest stud finders, it is our job to narrow the selection down to the very best. We need to take several things into consideration, including pricing and consequently value for money. Our top 10 best stud finders of 2020 check most if not all boxes when it comes to durability, ease of use, battery life, and ergonomics.

Why Should You Have a Good Stud Finder Around the House?

We strongly believe that having a stud finder around the house is essential. As people who do a lot of DIY, we can attest to the fact that having a stud finder makes it a lot safer to find a spot in the wall where it is safe to drill. It can also help with determining if plumbing lines are running through the wall before you decide to knock it down to make more room in your home.

Using a stud finder does not require that you know how to read blueprints or be an engineer. All the ones we recommend are straightforward to use. Here are a couple of more reasons to have a good stud finder in your toolbox:

  • You can map out the internal wiring of a home for which the blueprints aren’t available
  • Deal with emergencies like finding out the source of a leak or drilling a hole in the right spot
  • Plan how to layout your interior design based on your understanding of what’s in the walls

How We Define the Ideal Stud Finder

How We Define the Ideal Stud Finder?
Today there are many brands that manufacture stud finders; some are manufactured in Europe and America while most others are in China and Taiwan. However, with so many different types around, it is hard to find what will work best for you. That said, there are a couple of things you should consider when in the market for a stud finder. We will take a look at what exactly you need to keep in mind when searching for a stud finder, which should hopefully help you find the best one for yourself.

  • The screen of the device should be bright and easily readable
  • Offer additional features
  • The device should be easy to handle or grip and be very accurate
  • Offer the most features for the lowest possible price
  • Be by a well-known brand

When you keep these things in mind, it becomes easier to find a stud finder that works best for you. You can then shortlist the ones that meet these criteria and eventually find one that fits the bill for you.

Types of Stud Finders

Now there are two categories of stud finders, and the way they are categorized is based on how they find studs and other obstacles in the wall. Each type has its own set of pros and cons.

A Magnetic Stud Finder

Magnetic Stud finders, as the name implies, uses magnets to help detect metal studs in the walls. While magnetic stud finders are cheaper and simpler to use, they have certain limitations. For instance, despite being relatively compact, magnetic stud finders can’t find a stud is very thick walls. Generally, it will work if the wall is around four inches thick, which to be fair is the standard.

However, there are many different types of magnetic stud finders, but most will show you the depth of the stud based on its magnetic fields’ ability to pick it up. You can also buy a magnetic stud finder that shows you a few figures, and you need to calculate the depth of the stud on your own. Not exactly DIY friendly, which is why this type of tool is best suited for professionals.

Magnetic stud finders will work best for places like pillars or where the studs are made of metal. However, keeping their limitations in mind, most magnetic stud finders have only a single feature.

Electronic Stud Finders

Electronic stud finders use a dielectric which is capable of detecting the varying density of the wall. As it nears a stud, it can detect the density change. The benefit of using an electronic stud finder is the fact that it can find more than just metal studs. Some machines have the ability to find wood studs, plumbing, and plastic tubing. That’s why electronic stud finders are the most popular types for DIYers and professionals alike.

Electronic stud finders can be a little more expensive compared to their magnetic counterparts. However, they are lighter and, for the most part, accurate. Though because they use batteries, they require charging.

The Best Stud Finder 2020: Buying Guide

Now that you are aware of the various types of stud finders, it is time to take a look at what makes a stud finder better than others. Below we have a couple of buyers’ tips which should help you choose the best possible stud finder. However, these are just our recommendations and should be adjusted to suit the type of work you do.

Functionality: You will always want to purchase a stud finder that offers good functionality. By functionality, we mean that it’s easy to use and understand. Plus, it should be easy to handle for you. That’s one reason why we talk so much about how the stud finder feels in the hands when reviewing them.

Feature set: Like any other tool or gadget, you need to make sure that the gadget you are buying offers all the features you want. The price to features ratio matters a lot. For instance, if you can get five useful features, for $100, that’s far better than getting a single feature for $80. However, make sure that the stud finder is the best for you in terms of if those features offered will be something you’ll use.

Accuracy: The accuracy of your stud finder is the most important aspect of it. You will want to check the accuracy of the device before buying it. We often mention the accuracy in our reviews, and that way, you don’t have to take the manufacturer’s word for it. In our opinion, you should try to buy the most accurate stud finder possible.

Usability: Does the stud finder have a bright, easy to read screen? Is the audible alert loud enough for you? Is there a light that blinks when a stud is nearby? All of these features matter and are part of the usability experience and hence should be considered when in the market for a stud finder.

Sensor type and size: Finally, you’ll want to know what sensor type the new stud finder has. As mentioned earlier in this guide, there two types, i.e., magnetic and dielectric sensors. So, you will always want to choose a stud finder that can find what you are looking for in the shortest time. Our pick would be a dielectric sensor, but if you’re on a budget and don’t want to bother with batteries, then a magnetic sensor-based device will be the right choice.

Final Word

Now you should be able to find and buy the best stud finder for your home. We have made sure to cover all bases, which should be helpful to everyone from a DIYer to a professional. If you want to cut to the chase, then perhaps just choose our top pick. However, if that’s not available, the guide we’ve put together will help you find the best one.