Introduction To The Top Rated Stud Finders For The Money.
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!
What Is a Good Stud Finder?
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.
When and How Should You Use a Stud Finder?
When you’re attaching anything (particularly shelving or TV mounts) to drywall, you are best to know where the framing studs are so that you can ensure you’re attaching them to something secure. If you skip the stud-finding step and simply attach the shelves anywhere on the drywall, it’s likely that the moment you put something heavy on the shelf, it will give way, damaging the wall at a far greater expense than buying a stud finder would have cost you.
How Do You Choose a Stud Finder That’s Right For You?
There are several different factors you should take into account when buying a stud finder. Before you start shopping, ask yourself these questions:
1. How often will you be using it?
If you just want to buy a stud finder to put up a set of shelves securely and safely, you probably don’t need to invest in the top of the range model. A cheap magnetic stud finder will help you make sure the job is done well and you don’t need the specs, durability, and features of more expensive models.
2. Is it for professional or home DIY use?
If you’re a tradesperson who relies on a highly accurate, durable and reliable stud finder, you’ll need to invest in a better model. We recommend buying an electronic device with an LCD display and multi-sensors for greater accuracy, particularly those that can identify more than one stud at the same time, ensuring a level result.
3. What is your budget?
Prices for stud finders can vary dramatically: from around $10 for a basic magnetic model to $70 or more for a high-end electronic stud finder, and everything in between. You can get a fairly decent model for between $10 and $40, so it really depends on how much you want to spend. In fact, some of the more expensive models have extra gadgets and gimmicks that tradesmen find much less useful than the more basic models. When it comes to stud finders, the highest price does not necessarily mean the best product.
The 10 Best Rated Stud Finders On Today’s Market With Reviews:
Today, we check out the specs, features, and reviews of 10 leading stud finders to find out which is best. Read on to find out which one wins the top spot and why:
#1 CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder Review:
You may be surprised to find one of the cheapest models in the number one spot, but this one is by far the best-rated stud finder on the market with thousands of reviewers can’t be wrong. This basic magnetic stud finder is highly portable and reliable: it requires no batteries, can easily be slipped into your pocket and features a two-way level to make marking easier. Also its one of the most accurate stud finder tools. Ergonomic grips make prolonged use more comfortable and the powerful magnet facilitates hands-free marking and measuring.
There’s not much else to it – no LCD display or electronic readers but it is a simple and trusted model which can help you with almost any DIY job involving the interior walls of your home. We think it’s the best model for home enthusiasts and a portable and convenient option for tradespeople (you may also need something with more function for bigger jobs). We recommend buying a level to accompany this model.
This model wins the top spot because, although it is very small and simple, professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike find it accurate, durable and reliable. After close to 6,500 consumer reviews on Amazon.com, it has an average buyer rating of 4.6 stars and nearly 80% of users rated it the full five stars. This tool can be purchased for just over $10.
#2 ProSensor 710 Franklin Sensors Precision Stud Finder Review:
Squeezing into second place, this model features a few more bells and whistles than the previous one. It’s an electronic stud finder with multi-sense technology which can locate studs in multiple locations on your wall, making it ideal for larger scale jobs. It also has bright LED lights which show you the location of studs, making accurate marking easier. It also detects other hidden objects, so you’ll never find yourself drilling through your wiring or plumbing. It operates with 2 AA batteries.
After more than 2,500 reviews, this model has an overall consumer rating of 4.6 stars on Amazon.com and more than 75% of users rated it the full five stars. Buyers frequently comment on how easy it is to use (you don’t need any carpentry experience!) and how the LED locator lights are far better than other devices which simply beep at you. This stud finder generally retails for just over $50 and comes with a three-month manufacturer’s warranty.
#3 Zircon Multiscan i520 Center-Finding Stud Finder Review:
And the bronze medal goes to this best electronic stud finder, which features and LCD display, an audio tone and a laser pointer for accurate detection of both metal and wooden studs. It will also detect live wiring up to two inches into walls. The four scanning modes (stud scan, deep scan, metal scan and AC scan) make it ideal for both tradesmen and home carpenters. The thing that makes this model stand out is the live wire detector, as drilling into wiring is the last thing you want.
After more than 350 customer reviews, this product has an overall customer rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. Reviews are mixed with some buyers saying it is not a professional standard tool and others swearing by its reliability and effectiveness. It retails for just under $50.
#4 Studpop Magnetic Stud Finder Review:
This very simple magnetic stud finder is a no fuss model which locates studs by detecting the metal fasteners on the framing stud and activating a “popper” to let you know where it is. In terms of functionality, it does exactly what it says it will – finds studs – and nothing extra. It requires no batteries and works on all kinds of drywall including sheetrock, tile, plaster, and lath. It is designed by professional contractors and made in the USA.
After nearly 500 customer reviews, it has an overall consumer rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars and more than 70% of reviewers gave it a full 5-star rating. Buyers frequently comment on how easy it is to use and how well the magnet holds it in place as you mark the wall and use your level or other tools to prepare the task. It retails for less than $10 and is perfect for home DIY jobs.
#5 Zircon StudSensor e50 Electronic Studfinder Review:
The main way that this model differs from the other Zircon stud finder that we featured above is that it has only the stud scan and deep scan modes (no metal scan or AC scan). For less than half the price of the i520, you still get the LED display, tone alert, and laser pointer to identify the edges of structural studs. It generally retails for around $20.
After more than 800 consumer reviews on Amazon.com, this product has an overall consumer rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars. The reviews for this product are a little mixed – many home users said it did just what they needed to while others told horror stories of drilling into walls in a spot that the finder said was safe, only to find it wasn’t. We are still fairly confident in the reliability of this product, but recommend reading the instructions very carefully before you start making holes in your walls!
#6 Studboss Digital LCD Stud Finder Review:
This model features an LCD display screen, a precision pointer to make marking more accurate, and an ergonomic handle for more comfortable grip. And it even comes with a free 9volt battery! After more than 100 consumer reviews, it has an average rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars and around 60% of users have given it a five-star rating. Most customers said it was really effective but those that tried to use it on outside walls found that the stud location wasn’t accurate. We still recommend this product but acknowledge that it’s best for walls that are fully interior. It retails for just under $20 and comes with a full satisfaction guarantee and a 1-year warranty on parts and service.
#7 Precision Sensors Stud Finder Review with Professional Deep Scanning and LCD:
This electronic stud finder features a larger sensor pad area in order to detect studs more accurately. It is designed for easy use by inexperienced home carpenters and works with one touch operation. It is fairly new to the market and, after nearly 100 buyer reviews, maintains an average rating of 4.5 stars, with more than 70% of users rating it the full 5 stars. If you’re looking for something with a bit more functionality than a basic magnetic stud finder but want something that’s easy to use, this model seems to be a good bet. It can be purchased at just under $45.
#8 Bosch GMS120 Digital Multi-Scanner Review:
This electronic stud finder features three detection modes: wood, metal and AC wiring and promises to detect objects up to 121mm deep behind any surface. After nearly 250 customer reviews, this product has an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars. Lots of users found it reliable and accurate but a number commented that it was difficult to use and less effective than cheaper models. Bosch has an excellent reputation for making quality tools and we’re wondering if the negative reviews are the result of inexperienced users or incorrect use of the device by people who would have been better off with a simple magnetic stud finder. It costs just under $70 and does come with a 30-day money back guarantee and a 1-year warranty so if you’re willing to give it a try, you’ve got nothing to lose.
#9 Black & Decker Bullseye Auto-levelling Interior Line Laser and Stud Sensor Review (BDL190S):
This model is a really good idea – combining a leveling laser with an electronic stud sensor – but reviews suggest that it tries to do too much and doesn’t quite hit the mark at either task. After just under 150 consumer ratings, it has an average of 3.8 out of 5 stars and the reviews from buyers have been pretty mixed. The most common complaint is that the laser level works very well but the stud finder function is highly inaccurate. So, as this is a post about stud finders and not laser levels, we had to let it drop (almost!) to the bottom of the list. At a very pricey $56, we think you’re better off investing in one of the other models.
#10 Stanley FMHT77407 FatMax Stud Sensor Review 300:
This product came in the last place in our top 10 list simply because it has the least positive customer reviews of any of the products we’ve looked at today. After just under 50 reviews it has an average rating of 2.3 out of 5 stars and buyers frequently comment that it is unreliable, has unclear instructions and is cheaply made. Unfortunately, we agree that it does not live up to Stanley’s usually good reputation and that, at $20 a piece, it is not worth the price. If you’re going to put a hole in your wall, you want to know that you can trust you’re in the right spot! There are plenty of other models with the same functionality and more reliable results for the same (or even cheaper!) price. Scroll back up the list and choose a model that meets your needs!