Best Stud Finder 2017

Whether you are a do-it-yourselfer or construction is your business, a stud-finder is an essential tool for completing tasks such as framing drywall or even hanging pictures, TVs or other objects. Studs can hold much more weight than drywall, and the ability to find them will help ensure that whatever you are hanging remain securing connected to the wall and will not fall. The best stud finders are one of the most important tools in your tool belt. They also make great gifts for that handy person in your life!

Before you hammer or drill into your wall to hang a picture, install shelving, mount your TV (or for any other reason at all!) you should really think about investing into a high quality stud finder so that you can do it safely and accurately, without damaging your wall, the things you are fixing to it, or your head!

Compare: The 10 Top Rated Stud Finders

1ch-hanson-0-stud-4-sure-magnetic-stud-finder-2CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud FinderCH Hanson$4.6
2zircon-studsensor-e50-electronic-stud-finderZircon StudSensor e50 Electronic Stud FinderZircon$$4.8
3prosensor-710-franklin-sensors-prosensor-710-precision-stud-finderProSensor 710 Franklin Sensors ProSensor 710 Precision Stud FinderProSensor$$4.7
4studpop-magnetic-stud-finderStudpop Magnetic Stud FinderStudpop$4.8
5black-decker-sf100-wood-stud-finderBlack & Decker SF100 Wood Stud FinderBlack & Decker$4.9
6bosch-gms120-digital-multi-scannerBosch GMS120 Digital Multi-ScannerBosch$$$4.7
7precision-sensors-stud-finder-professional-deep-scanning-led-profinder-5000Precision Sensors Stud Finder Professional Deep Scanning LED Profinder 5000Precision Sensors$$4.8
8stanley-ssi77-050-advanced-stud-sensorStanley SSI77-050 Advanced Stud SensorStanley$4.6
9the-studbuddy-magnetic-stud-finderThe StudBuddy Magnetic Stud FinderStudBuddy$4.7
10dewalt-dct419s1-12v-max-hand-held-wall-scannerDEWALT DCT419S1 12V MAX Hand Held Wall ScannerDeWalt$$$$4.9

Our Stud Finder Reviews

Best Cheap Stud Finder – CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder

This model offers everything you need for simple jobs with the smallest price tag. It is very reliable and can locate most studs without too much hassle. It’s low price tag and unrivaled durability makes it one of the best choices for the precarious and simple job. It even allows you to perform a simple level of marking to keep track of the stud location. Since it is capable of sticking to the wall with no hand support, it comes in handy in the planning stage of construction.


It is very affordable. It does simple and shallow jobs without too much hassle. It has received great feedback from satisfied customers. It comes with a warranty.


It has an unconventional handheld design that may be difficult to handle. It is not the most precise model on the market. It does not include that many features or customizable options.

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Best Stud Finder for the Money – Zircon StudSensor e50 Electronic Stud Finder

One of the best stud finders at a very reasonable price, the Zircon offers plenty of features to make your stud-finding experience as painless as possible. You can easily locate the edges of wood or metal studs in ¾ inch deep wall. It detects when you are over live wiring for added safety. In addition, it features an easy to read LCD display and a spotlight pointer that clearly marks where your stud is situated. With its easy to grip and rubber design, you will have no problem getting hand support in the most awkward of spots. With the audio tone feature, you will instantly get notified when you are passing over a stud with a clear sound.


It is compact and easy to use. It has a large number of included features. It comes with a warranty. It has an ergonomic design. You can use it on many different kinds of materials.


It is a bit pricier. It tracks smoothly against the wall. The number of features can become a bit confusing. You have to constantly hold it to use it. It is somewhat heavy.

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Best Stud Finder Overall – DeWalt DCT419S1 12V MAX Hand Held Wall Scanner

You will feel very confident knowing where you studs are when you use this device. Not only are you getting an array of included features and capabilities, but you also have greater protection from live wires and damage done while undertaking your job. There is no better model out there for contractors that work frequently and with a diverse number of materials.


It does a very complete and accurate job. It has a variety of settings for any kind of stud finding. You will create much less collateral damage. It comes with a warranty.


It is very expensive. It is a very large device that can be difficult to handle. It is meant more for professional contractors, not the do-it-yourself crowd. It may be hard to understand all of the included features.

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Our Top Rated Stud Finders


Best Overalldewalt-dct419s1-12v-max-hand-held-wall-scanner

Best For The Money zircon-studsensor-e50-electronic-stud-finder

Best Cheap ch-hanson-0-stud-4-sure-magnetic-stud-finder-2

What Is a Stud Finder?

You use stud finders to determine the location of solid wooden studs behind a wall’s surface. Different stud finders work in different ways to determine the locations. They use magnetic fields, sensing where the nails used in the studs are located or ultrasound, which will also help you outline the edges of a stud so that you can attach whatever it is you are hanging to the center.

Put simply, a stud finder is a device which helps you to locate and mark the framing studs behind the surface walling. They are used by both home DIY enthusiasts and professional tradespeople. There are two main categories of stud finder: electronic and magnetic. The best electronic varieties work by detecting wall density and will identify the solid areas the studs create. Many electronic stud finders also include levels, AC detectors and can be used to scan for multiple studs. They are battery operated. The magnetic devices have a much more straightforward design and identify wooden studs by detecting the metal fasteners on the studs.

Why Is A Good Stud Finder Important?

With a standard wood-framed wall there are horizontal plates at the top and bottom and the vertical pieces, which link them and form the body of the wall—also known as studs. You may need to locate a stud in a wall for any number of reasons. Most of the time, you are attempting to install something heavy, like a TV mount, a large mirror, or an anti-tip bracket for a tall bookshelf. Sure you could use a wall anchor, but the only way to have a true sense of security about the sturdiness of your wall supportive structure is through directly drilling into a stud.

There are certain tools that everyone must have in their tool boxes, and one of these tools is one that will help you to easily locate studs in your walls. You can use these tools instead of having to feel your way around or tap the walls until you find the solid spot. You will have much more accurate results when you are using the right tool for the job, and when it comes to something as important as finding studs in your walls, you really do want to have a tool that has been made specifically for that purpose.

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If you are going to be doing any type of remodeling in your home, you should make sure that you have at least one of these tools handy. You will need to nail new paneling or plasterboard when putting up walls, and it is important that these are nailed into the studs to make sure that they are going to stand the test of time. You will also need this tool in order to properly hang artwork, mirrors, photographs, shelves, etc. After all, the last thing you want is for everything you hang to come crashing down just because the nails or screws were not in one of the wall studs.

What Are The Different Types of Stud Finders?

If you want the best stud finder for the task at hand, you must make sure that the type of stud-finder matches up to the job you doing. Otherwise, you will not be able to properly locate the framing studs behind varying surfaces. If you are able to spend a little more for an ultrasound stud-finder, you will nail into the wall with the greatest degree of precision.


These types were some of the first to come available and thus have problems with accuracy. Rather than sensing for the stud itself, it finds the nails that keep the drywall attached to the stud. While it may take many sweeps over your wall to find the nails, these devices are very cheap.

These particular stud sensors are the oldest of them all. Even though these gadgets are supposed to be easy to use, this traditional sensor was complicated to use according to most people. That is because the magnetic stud sensor was not built to detect all kinds of studs, but steel studs. Unless you are in an office or apartment that has steel studs it would be impossible for you to detect any stud using this detector.

Metal detecting

This kind searches for the nails through an electromagnetic field. These are much more sensitive than the magnetic type, so it is easier to locate the nails. Due to the incidence of false positives, many consumers consider them a waste of time and money.

Metal detecting stud sensors are almost similar to the magnetic stud sensors in terms of how they work. These gadgets are also complicated to use because they only detect metal. That means if your stud is made of any other material, then it would be impossible for you to detect it using this gadget. However, if the stud you are looking for is made of metal then you will be amazed at what this tool can do because it will not only detect the stud but any other materials in the wall that are made of metal.


Generally these are the most accurate. To detect studs, these determine the change in density of the wall. You locate the exact spot of the stud once you slide it along it along the wall and it flashes or beeps to indicate it has found an edge. It is a nice feeling to be able to confidently drive a nail through your wall with an exact understanding of the stud layout.

This is the most accurate and reliable stud detector that you can find in the market. It is not only easy to handle but accurate as well. However, you need to acknowledge the fact that this device does not detect the flat surface of the stud but rather its edges. The ultrasound stud sensors works by sensing the change on density taking place on the wall. However, you need to set your sensor at zero for you for you to get accurate results.

Considerations for Buying a Stud Finder

Whether you are putting up a new series of shelves, hanging pictures, or beginning to start a new addition, it always helps to know where your studs are located. Before the time of stud finders, all you could do was pound a small nail into the wall until you found a stud or use a small pivoting magnet. Both techniques are inefficient but this all changed with the development of the stud finder.


An important factor to always consider is the price. If you really only plan on using the stud-finder one or twice, it makes sense to purchase a cheaper model. If you are a professional carpenter who needs many features, you should invest in an effective model.


When you are trying to use a stud-finder in a tight or cramped space, you are going to want to find one that can adapt to your limitations. Your device will be of no use if it is too large to fit over the area, which you are trying to examine. It really helps when you have to reach at an awkward angle to have a stud-finder that has a graspable and comfortable design.

Included Features

For professionals that need to use their stud-finder across multiple types of material, it helps to have a stud-finder that can adjust accordingly. If you need to map exactly where you are going to be drilling or nailing, purchase a model that includes a mapping display on an LCD screen.


When the time comes to figure out where your framing studs are located, you are going to want the best stud finder possible such as the DeWalt DCT419S1 12V MAX Hand Held Wall Scanner. You should go for the stud finder that meets or exceeds the requirements of your job so that you can use it for other sheet wall and other hanging needs. You need to balance out the prices and functions of the above models and get the one that suits the level work you expect to do around the house or at work.