Imagine the frustration of hanging a heavy mirror or installing shelves on drywall only to find it's not secure. The culprit behind this mess is likely the elusive wall stud that you failed to locate accurately. Enter the world of stud finders - these convenient tools are every DIY enthusiast’s dream!
In this article, we will introduce you to three of the best studs finders for drywall, complete with reviews and ratings, easing your way into successful home projects.
Do You Need a Stud Finder for Drywall?
It's a resounding yes!
When it comes to hanging heavy pictures, shelves, or TV mounts, knowing the exact location of the studs behind your drywall is crucial. A stud finder becomes an indispensable tool, reducing risks of property damage or personal injury that could result from guessing the stud positions.
While it's possible to locate studs by tapping on the wall or looking for dimples in the paint, these methods are hit-or-miss and can lead to miscalculations. A stud finder removes this guesswork, providing a reliable and accurate way of finding studs behind your drywall.
The principle behind a stud finder is simple: it uses sensors to detect changes in density behind the wall surface. When the device scans over a stud, its signal strength increases due to the higher density of the stud compared to the surrounding drywall or plaster. This change in signal strength is then translated into a visual or audible alert, indicating the presence of a stud.
Reviews of the 3 Best Stud Finders for Drywall in 2023
LCD screen, SpotLite Pointer
Good but slow detection
The Franklin Sensors ProSensor 710 is renowned for its great precision, which can be attributed to its advanced multi-sensor technology. This unique technology enables it to locate studs with just a single pass, saving you valuable time during home improvements or construction projects.
This stud finder prides itself on being user-friendly and intuitive. It features an auto-calibration function that cancels out any need for adjustments or setup before use - simply turn it on and get to work.
Nevertheless, like all sophisticated tools, the ProSensor 710 comes at a higher price point compared to some other models in the market. Also, despite its high accuracy, this device might struggle slightly when detecting studs over thicker walls.
But overall, it effectively combines convenience and accuracy in one sleek package.
The Zircon StudSensor e50-FFP has gained wide popularity primarily due to its combination of affordability and advanced features. The sensor stands out from the crowd because it doesn't burn a hole in your pocket, yet offers sophisticated functionalities.
Among these impressive features is the live wire warning detection. This feature adds an extra layer of safety for users, alerting them if there are electrical wires present where they intend to do work.
It also comes with two scanning modes that find the edges of wood or metal studs or joists up to 1 - 1/2-Inch deep. This versatility makes this stud finder great for various projects that may involve different materials.
Additionally, users find the LCD screen easily readable. Alongside that, the device boasts an updated arrow-shaped SpotLite Pointer and precise audio tones that clearly indicate stud edges. These combined features streamline and simplify the identifying process immensely.
However, potential buyers should note some reported drawbacks. Certain users have found its calibration process somewhat daunting. Minor accuracy issues have also been reported, though it seems these occurrences are not very frequent overall.
The CH Hanson 03040 stud finder is a tool of surprising efficiency, fitting various user needs despite its compact size and understated design. Designed with the ability to locate studs behind drywalls, it boasts impressive utility not always found in tools of similar size.
One outstanding feature includes a built-in level that negates the need for external tools or batteries, amplifying its convenience factor. This two-way level assists you in finding the exact center of the stud while ensuring your hooks and other hangers remain straight upon attachment to the wall.
On a note of caution, users should operate the CH Hanson 03040 stud finder's magnetic feature with slow and deliberate movements for effective detection of studs. It might however have limitations in identifying non-magnetic substances hiding behind walls.
Despite this minor shortcoming, this tool proves useful across an array of scenarios where accurate stud detection is required.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Stud Finder for Drywall
There are different types of stud finders available on the market, each with its own specific features and capabilities. Some models only detect wooden studs while others can also locate metal studs, pipes and even electrical wiring hidden behind walls.
Advanced models come with additional features like deep scanning mode for thicker walls or auto-calibration for enhanced accuracy. No matter what type of stud finder you choose, there are several key factors to consider:
How to Use a Stud Finder on a Drywall
Arm yourself with a stud finder, if the aim is to hang something onto your drywall without causing unwanted damage. A stud finder is an invaluable tool that locates the framed-in support beams (studs) behind the wall.
- 1Start the process by placing the stud finder on a part of the wall you know doesn’t contain a stud.
- 2Power the device on and then slowly glide it over the drywall. When the finder identifies the presence of a stud, it usually imparts this information through a beep, flashing light, or some other noticeable alert.
- 3Take a moment to mark the location of the stud, so you don't lose track of where it is. Many who jump into home improvement jobs without properly outlining their work end up creating unnecessary holes in walls. To avoid this, accurately mark the exact stud location.
- 4Once a stud's position is clear, use it to hang heavier items or to ensure your wall décor placement is sturdy and secure.
Following these steps when using a stud finder on drywall will make any home project more successful.
How to Find Studs in Drywall Without a Stud Finder
While having a stud finder is the most convenient option, there are several ways to find studs in drywall without one.
Just a friendly reminder, locating a stud behind drywall without using a stud finder can be quite challenging and requires certain skills and experimentation. If you're not sufficiently confident or experienced, we'd advise against attempting it.
In the realm of stud finders, the Franklin Sensors ProSensor 710, Zircon StudSensor e50-FFP, and CH Hanson 03040 emerge as top contenders. Each has unique features that appeal to different consumer segments.
The Franklin Sensors ProSensor 710 is renowned for its precision and instantaneous results, thanks to its innovative 13-sensor technology. For those seeking cutting-edge performance and a professional finish, this is hard to beat.
On the other hand, the Zircon StudSensor e50-FFP stands out for its ease of use and affordability. It's a good pick for non-professionals seeking reliable results without the hefty price. It boasts exclusive features like WireWarning Detection and an edge-finding feature for better accuracy.
Lastly, the CH Hanson 03040 is a no-battery-required, compact magnetic stud finder, making it the most portable yet reliable option. It's acclaimed for its simplicity and economical price point, a handy tool for occasional or hobbyist users.
Choosing the ideal stud finder depends on the user's needs and budget. It’s essential to assess the features and price before deciding. However, regardless of the choice, all these three stud finders possess undeniable quality, making them excellent tools for both DIY and professional use.