Framing has been around since civilizations themselves and metal stud finder has been sought after since they started using it for framing. But recently people started using metal instead of wood for the framing. There is so much metal and wood used to build a structure but you can hammer a nail into a wall and almost always hit air. That can be frustrating especially after a few tries to find a stud in a wall. Metal studs are used mostly for commercial and rarely for homes. If you work in a building or office, it probably has metal studs and it would be hard to find studs in those walls with a traditional wood stud finder.
Wood Stud Finder
Wood studs have been around for centuries to build homes and buildings. If you have either then you probably have needed to find a stud in the wall but didn’t want to tear holes in it to find them. You can find studs without tearing holes in the walls but it isn’t that easy. It requires tapping the wall and listening for hollow sounds which represent a wood stud. This is not very accurate but sometimes it will work in a pinch.
Magnetic Wood Stud Finder
An old technique, using magnetic wood stud finders was revolutionary one hundred years ago. It’s fairly simple actually, they use a magnet to sense a nail or screw in or behind the drywall and graduate toward it kind of like a divine rod. Not very accurate but it would work if you had nothing else.
Electrical outlet could tell you where a stud is hiding
More than likely if you find an electrical outlet then you will have a stud next to it. Outlets are usually attached to an adjacent stud on one side or another. Not very practical but if you don’t have an electrical wood stud finder then this technique might be useful.
Electronic wood stud finder – easiest way to find a stud
Technology has come a long way and now we have electronic wood stud finders to make stud finding easier than ever. These wood stud finders measure the density of a wall. When the sensors pick up a drastic change in density, that represents finding a wood stud and an auditory sound or visual one is made to alarm the user.
Metal Stud Finder
Metal stud finders use a different technology to find studs in walls. They work by emitting a signal into a wall and receive a signal back depending on the walls density. Denser means there is a stud behind the wall and less means air. It works kind of like sonar.
Metal Stud Finder is not usually for the normal home owner
If you’re working with metal studs, more than likely you need a professional quality stud finder. These are very sophisticated now with wood, metal, pipe, and AC detection. Some even find metal, such as rebar in concrete.
Many advanced stud finders come with extra features.
Many metal stud finders we show you on this site have the ability to find wood and metal studs, electrical wiring, and some find pipes and rebar. Depending on what you need it for, they are relatively inexpensive and work very well.
Check out the 7 Best Stud Finders on the market right now:
1. ProSensor 710 Franklin Sensors, Yellow
The ProSensor 710 incorporates innovative stud sensing technology that instantly finds hidden studs. No sliding is required. This patent-pending detector senses the wall in thirteen locations simultaneously, then immediately illuminates the display elements that are in front of a stud. The ProSensor 710 is faster, less error prone and more accurate than other products on the market. It is the easy way to find studs.
2. Precision Sensors Stud Finder Professional Deep Scanning LED Profinder 5000
The Profinder 5000 has innovative stud-sensing technology that instantly finds hidden studs. No sliding is required. This advanced stud finder senses the wall in thirteen locations simultaneously, then instantly illuminates the display elements that are in front of a stud. The Profinder 5000 is faster, less error prone, and more accurate than other products on the market. It is the easy way to find studs. Instantly detects wood, metal, and other hidden objects. Can detect multiple objects simultaneously. One-step operation: Hold button down to turn on. Place on wall and the LED lights will instantly indicate the location of hidden objects such as studs, beams, etc. Has more sensor pad area than conventional stud finders to detect more accurately through many difficult architectural features. Can be initialized before, or after, being placed on wall. Can be initialized at any position along a surface. Senses hidden objects with, or without, sliding across the wall. Always-on deep scanning (up to 1.5″). Intuitive LED display instantly indicates the location of hidden objects. Identifies the width of hidden objects. Advanced technology senses the wall in multiple locations simultaneously to determine the location of studs. Soft, comfortable grip.
3. Zircon e50-FFP Stud Sensor Edge-Finding Electronic Stud Finder
Zircon has wrapped up their proven, patented technology into a revolutionary new form. The e50’s new body design can be held comfortably in either hand at any angle and reduces normal scanning errors. The rubber over molded grip also gives you a secure hold. In addition to a new shape and updated components, the sensor E50 offers several additional features to make finding studs and joists as easy and as accurate as possible: 1. Easy-to-read LCD display indicates stud edges updated spotlite POINTER shines an arrow-shaped light on the wall to mark the target. 2. Wire warning detection indicates the presence of live, unshielded electrical wiring up to 2 inches (51 mm) deep. 3. Should scanning begin over a stud, Zircon patented “over-the-stud” indication alerts the user to start the scan in a new location. 4. Patented trucal technology indicates when the tool is calibrated and ready to scan. The sensor E50 is a higher-end edge-finding tool, striking the right balance of affordability and features for casual users.
4. Zircon m40-FFP Handheld Electronic Metal Detector
The Zircon MetalliScanner m40-FFP Handheld “In Wall” Electronic Metal Detector quickly and easily detects metal in wood, drywall, paneling, tile, stucco, plaster, concrete and other non-metallic surfaces. It locates ferrous (magnetic) metal up to 4-Inch (102 mm) deep and non-ferrous (non-magnetic) metal up to 2-Inch (51 mm) deep. The m40-FFP has two scanning positions, each with a progressive LED display. As it approaches a metal object, the red LEDs progressively light from the bottom up. The top lighted blue coil and an audio tone indicate when a metal target is located. This amazing tool easily solves the very difficult problem of finding studs in lath and plaster walls. It works by finding the pattern of nails that attach the wood lath to the studs. Additionally, the m40-FFP finds plumbing, ductwork, rebar, nails and screws in your walls, floors and ceilings and is great for scanning reclaimed lumber for hidden metal. Now in easy open packaging, this product comes with everything you need to get started, including the battery!
5. FOLAI Stud Finder
This FOLAI wall stud finder quickly and easily locates the edges and center of metal studs and joists behind walls, floors and ceilings. Its easy-to-read display screen indicates directions, edges and center of studs, while Wire Warning detection indicates the presence of live AC voltage.
Stud mode: detect metal studs with 1/2 inch, 1 inch and 3/2 inches mode.
Metal mode: detect metal pipes, rebars etc up to 3 inches.
AC mode: detect unshielded AC live wire up to 3 inches.
6. CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder
The Stud 4 Sure is a stud finder that uses powerful rare earth magnets to pinpoint the exact location of screws or nails in a stud. The tool doesn’t require batteries and never needs calibration. By keeping the tool free of moving or electronic parts, the Stud 4 Sure is easy to use and fits easily into any tool pouch. Just place the stud finder on the wall and sweep in an “S” pattern to locate any metal fastener. The rare earth magnets are strong enough to allow Stud 4 Sure to hang hands-free on a wall, eliminating the need for pencil markings. The ergonomically designed, China made product is guaranteed to last a lifetime of being tossed, dropped, and banged around.
7. Studpop Magnetic Stud Finder
Studpop® magnetic stud finder. Unique popper indicates when it finds the metal fasteners in studs. Invented by a contractor. Works on sheetrock, plaster, lath, tile. No batteries. Makes stud finding fun! USA made.