best magnetic stud finder for plaster walls

The Best Magnetic Stud Finder For Plaster Walls

To be the best stud finder, you need to be magnetic, charming, and dress like a queen...oh wait, wrong stud finder. What you really need is to be able to do your job well and work when you are supposed to work.

Finding wall studs is not that hard when you have one of the top 5 best magnetic stud finder for plaster walls working for you. The one we liked best was the StudPoP On the LEVEL magnetic stud finder but it was a close race as another one was almost as good. Keep reading to find out why we chose that model.

Why Should You Use Magnetic Stud Finders on Plaster Walls?

People need studs for a variety of reasons. One is that they like to hang pictures of grand children or their children. They also like to hang their diplomas and knick-knacks on the wall. For that, you need a good stud finder.

The ones in this roundup work day or night, with or without power, and they do not need outlets or batteries. They do their job all year round and make finding studs a lot simpler and easier.

Plus, they are easy to store when they are not in use. Finding studs is every homeowner’s or renters task when they DIY their honey-do lists.

What We Found

In the world of finding metal studs, there are big stud finders that need lots of power because they come with all sorts of gadgets and features. But sometimes those expensive models do not work as well as they should. Simple magnets can do the same job for a cheaper price, plus you do not have to buy batteries.

Size may not matter in most aspects of life and that is true in finding studs. You only need a magnet powerful enough to reach deep into the wall to find those metal studs or nails.

Reviews of the Best Magnetic Stud Finder for Plaster Walls


Bubble levels

Wall Material

Our Ratings


Drywall, plaster, wood and more




Plaster, drywall, wood


Plaster, & drywall


Plaster, wood, drywall

StudPoP On the LEVEL magnetic stud finder Review

When you want accuracy you turn to this product to find your metal studs. Its 9-inch size makes sure you can find those metal studs with ease. Plus, the 2 bubble levels make sure your placement of your hooks, nails or other items are in the right spot.

Made from unbreakable ABS plastic you should be able to drop this stud finder by accident and still find that it is in top shape to do its job. That is not the only good news as this stud finder works on plaster, drywall, wood or even tile walls.

In addition, it should be able to find wood or metal studs. The magnets should focus on the metal nails in wood studs making them easier to find. To make everything nice and simple, once you locate the metal stud, the popper pops out to let you know you have had success.


  • Works on most walls
  • Finds metal and wood studs
  • Has an easy indicator to help you
  • Hard to break


  • Made of plastic
  • Has to be over the top of screws to find them
  • May not search deep enough

CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder review

It is small but good things come in small packages. With a range of 1 inch you should be able to detect metal studs or metal drywall screws through 1/4 to 3/4 inch plaster. Not bad for such a little guy. Also, you can place it in position and leave it there.

Then when you are done at one job site, just slip it into your pocket and transport it easily to the next. Its 2 way level lets you find the center of the stud and keep your hooks and other hangers straight when attaching them to the wall.

With a soft grip, you should not have this little device slip through your fingers when positioning it or getting it or out of your pocket. Then the good news is that no batteries are needed to make this magnetic stud finder work. The power is all in the magnets.


  • Small, easy to transport
  • 2 way level action
  • Soft grip


  • Easy to lose
  • May be too fragile
  • Only finds ferrous metals

Vaughan - Magnetic Stud Finder review

When you want accuracy but do not have time to change batteries, pull this handy little magnet stud finder out of your pocket or tool kit and go to work. Power failures are no problem as this handy little device works without power and remains accurate.

Its bubble level should help you find the straight line your metal stud is going in and keeps you on target when you place your nail into the wall material. Made from tough materials, this little stud finder should be able to endure construction site treatment.

Then it is made by a company that has been around for 150 years. They have a reputation to maintain so expect superior quality when you pick this magnet stud finder out of the crowd. Its finding range should reach about 1 inch and it is great for finding metal screws hidden by plaster or drywall mud.


  • Ease of use
  • Made from tough products
  • Uses powerful magnets
  • Made by a company that has a long history
  • Very portable


  • Poor quality control
  • Level pops out too easily
  • May be too small and will get lost
  • Not for all walls

Stanley 47-400 Magnetic Stud Finder review

This stud finder may not detect ac wires but it does a good job as it detects metal nails and studs. From the Stanley and Black and Decker company, this stud finder comes with a strong magnet to make sure you find those hidden studs.

Like the other stud detectors on this list, it may be better than the electronic models that cost a lot more and use batteries. There are different types of stud finders but these magnetic models do not miss out on much

With a limited lifetime warranty, you can work worry-free knowing the tool is well protected from any bad craftsmanship. Plus, when you find the stud, the bottom is notched so you can mark where it is. This helps you place your nail, etc., when hanging picture frames or other objects

When you want to find studs, go with the brand name you can trust.


  • Made by a top brand
  • Easy to use
  • Has a notch in it to mark studs


  • Too small & easy to get lost
  • Magnet may find other metals
  • Did we say too small to do any job well

Studpop Magnetic Stud Finder review

This little unit has an indicator that moves and clicks when it comes across the stud you are looking for. Once over the stud, it should stand up straight and tall. In addition, it can be placed in its own level to help you mark a straight line that is not off kilter.

Its finding range reaches about 1/2 inch so if your wall is a little thicker than that, you may have some trouble using this magnetic stud finder. If it isn’t, when it should do the job for you. Then like the other stud finder in this round up, it does not need a battery to work.

Also, it should work on several different styles of walls making it a valuable tool when you have different surfaces to search for studs. It should work on popcorn and slap brush ceiling finishes among other types of finishes.


  • Easy to use
  • Comes with a level to help you
  • Makes noises to help you find the stud
  • Made from tough plastic


  • Too short of depth range
  • Easy to get lost
  • May not be that good at finding studs

What to Look For in a Magnetic Stud Finder?

There are lots of stud finders on the market today. Finding the right one for you is another issue. Whether you are a pro or not, you can use a good magnet stud finder if you know what to look for.

  • Price - these are not that expensive so find one at the price that you can afford easily
  • Size - a small magnet may be able to find the stud but a bigger one has a deeper reach and can find them better. Go big, not small
  • Construction - you do not want these to break right away so find the ones made with ABS unbreakable plastic or similar tough materials
  • Accessories - those that come with bubble levels are better than those that do not. 2 bubble levels are great but 2 in 1 options are also good
  • Wall material - make sure the stud finder can find studs in more than just plaster. Not every house is built the same and if it can only look through plaster it has limited use.


Which is the best one to buy?

Does the size of magnet really matter?

Are they easy to use?

How to Use a Magnetic Stud Finder?

This is not going to be rocket science here. Stud finding is a simple task and stud finders work in simple ways, especially the magnetic ones. All you have to do is take the magnet stud finder out of its packaging and place it against the wall.

Then move the finder in a horizontal direction until the stud finder clicks, pops up or lets you know you found a metal stud. That is all there is to it. A child could use these devices and find all the studs in his or her room.

And the winner is...

There has to be a winner and in this case, the winner is the StudPoP On the LEVEL magnetic stud finder. It is made from tough raw materials and it comes with 2 bubble levels to make sure your markings are straight and true.

Plus, it can work on just about any wall material besides plaster. That is a good tool to have around. Its small size is just large enough to be handy for other tasks needing accurate marks. While there were some close competitors, this one stood out as the best of them all.

Final Verdict

Finding studs can be a tricky business as knocking on walls can put holes in them. When that happens you are looking at spending more money to fix the holes. These magnet stud finders work when there is power and when there isn’t making sure you can find what you are looking for in the dark or in broad daylight.

There are also small and compact making them very portable and easy to transport. The only drawback is that they may be easy to lose.


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