best stud finder with ac wire detection

How to Choose the Best Stud Finder with AC Wire Detection

Finding the studs in your walls is an important part of hanging pictures, shelves, or any other object that needs to be attached to a wall. You don't want to just randomly start hammering nails into your walls! A stud finder can help make the process a lot easier.

There are a few things you need to consider when choosing a stud finder. One of the most important factors is whether the stud finder also detects AC wires. That is because it is important to know where the current enters your house in order to determine where you need to hang your picture.

In this article, we will take a look at the best stud finder with AC wire detection available on the market and discuss the things to consider when choosing one for your future home improvement projects.

Top 3 Best Stud Finders with AC Wires Detection

What is a Stud Finder and How Does It Work?

stud finder with ac wire detection reviews

A stud finder is a tool used to help identify the location of studs in a wall. Most stud finders also have the ability to detect the presence of metal objects, such as nails or screws.

The use of a stud finder can help make it easier to hang pictures, shelves, or other objects on a wall. There are many different types of stud finders on the market, however, one of the most popular is the portable electric stud finder.

This type of stud finder is also known as a multipurpose wall scanner, which can also detect AC wires behind the wall along with wooden or metal studs.

In this article, we are going to look at the best portable electric stud finders in 2022 that can help you detect hidden electrical wires correctly and easily.

What to Look for in a Stud Finder with AC Wire Detection?

To find the best stud finder with AC wire detection, you need to consider a few factors. Let's have a look at these factors below.

  • Battery capacity: The battery capacity is an important factor to consider when it comes to stud finders. You need to make sure that the battery capacity of your stud finder is not less than 500 mAh. The larger the battery capacity, the better will be the stud finder. It will help you detect hidden electrical wires easily and quickly without having to recharge after each use.
  • Radio frequency: The frequency of the signal that comes out of the stud finder is another important factor to consider. The higher frequency will help you detect the electrical wires accurately.
  • Wireless or Corded Operation: This is another important factor to consider. The wireless stud finder will help you detect the electrical wires in a much easier way and faster than the corded one. Plus, a wireless stud finder can also be more beneficial than a corded one as you can use it in areas where there is no electrical outlet nearby.
  • The sensitivity of the AC detection sensor: The sensitivity of the sensor is another important factor that should not be overlooked. Less sensitive sensors will require more power to operate and will take longer to detect a signal. The sensitivity of the AC detection sensor should be adjusted easily to suit your needs.
  • LED light indicator: You will also find some wireless stud finders that have a LED light indicator. This is very important because if the sensor detects a stud or an AC wire, a red LED light will flash and the stud finder will beep. This is helpful in locating any type of electrical work that needs to be done in your house.
  • Price: Last but not least, you will also have to consider the price of the product. In this case, you can choose from a variety of stud finders as they are available at different prices depending on their functions, brand popularity and warranty policy.

3 Stud Finders with AC Wire Detection Reviews

Product

Type

AC Wire Scanning Depth

Our Ratings

Electronic

Up to 2 inches

Electronic

Up to 2 inches

Android compatible

Up to 4 inches (but not specifically mentioned)

Zircon MultiScanner A200 Electronic Wall Scanner Review

The Zircon MultiScanner A200 Electronic Wall Scanner is a top-rated wireless wall scanner that will allow you to scan all kinds of different things on your wall.

The scanner is able to detect all kinds of different objects hiding behind the wall including wood studs, metal studs up to 3/4 inches deep; the Metal Scan mode enables you to locate both magnetic and non-magnetic metal up to 1 1/2 inches deep; and WireWarning mode helps you to find live, unshielded AC wires in up to 2 inches deep (that means if the hidden objects are located deeper than 3/4 inches, 1 1/2 inches, 2 inches, the sensor might be inaccurate).

The ergonomic design of this wall scanner makes it extremely easy to hold and operate at any angle. The scanner is very lightweight and can be used comfortably with one hand. It is powered by a small 9V rechargeable battery (not included).

The LCD display is also backlit, which means it can be used even at night. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty and it is manufactured by a top-rated company that has been in business since 1975.

Pros

  • A tool for every job - it scans almost everything hiding behind your walls
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Compact and ergonomic design
  • Affordable

Cons

  • May not read consistently when running it across the wall
  • Do not include a battery

Bosch GMS120 Digital Multi-Scanner Review

The Bosch GMS120 is a multi-purpose tool that can be used to scan different surfaces and then give you a reading on how many hidden objects are behind the wall. It has three scanning modes, one for wood studs, one for metal objects, and one for live wiring.

This wall scanner can easily detect the deepest point in cured concrete up to 4 3/4 inches, detect live wiring that is up to 2 inches deep; and for wood studs, it goes as far down as 1 1/2 inches. The scanning accuracy of this product is 0.0625 according to the manufacturer.

The Bosch GMS120 also features a backlit graphical display that is easy to read at a glance. It also comes with an automatic detection ring that can flash automatically when you are close to a hidden object (green light means no object found, orange means there is an object nearby, and red means a high chance of hidden objects found with the sensor range).

This device has an ergonomic design that is also very helpful. It fits perfectly in the hand and weighs only 6 pounds. Its soft grip makes this tool very comfortable to use. The device comes with a 2-year warranty, so you can be sure that you will get help if you need it. 

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • 3 scanning modes
  • Compact design
  • Decent accuracy

Cons

  • A little bit pricey

Walabot DIY Plus - Advanced wall scanner, stud finder - For Android Smartphones review

Walabot DIY Plus is the most advanced smart stud finder for Android smartphones. It scans a wall, ceiling or other surface using radio frequency technology (RF) to detect wood studs, metal studs, AC wires, plumbing pipes and other hidden objects behind the wall.

The device can detect the presence of a stud at a distance of up to 4 inches deep. The special feature that makes this stud finder stand out is that it can show exactly what is behind your walls instead of just alerting you with a "beep" sound or LED flashing. In our opinion, Walabot may be the next generation of wall scanner devices.

There are two ways of showing objects hiding behind your walls: "Image Mode" and "Expert Mode". In "Image Mode", this device will show the visual image of the hidden object while in "Expert Mode", it shows the raw radio signals from the sensor.

Walabot works with any Android smartphone (6.0 and above). The app can also be used to scan a wall or ceiling to locate the location of outlets, switches and electrical wires that are not visible to the naked eye.

Pros

  • Very portable
  • Connects to your phone easily using Wi-Fi
  • Finds the location of studs, AC wires, plumbing pipes and other objects
  • It can detect up to 4 inches deep into your walls

Cons

  • It is only compatible with Android devices
  • Its functionality may not be as good as advertised

Tips for Locating AC Wires with the Help of a Stud Finder

Finding the location of AC wires in a wall can be difficult, but with the help of a stud finder, it can be a lot easier. There are a few things you need to consider when doing this task:

  • The paper trick: Most stud finders are very sensitive to the electric field. When finding live AC wires with a stud finder, you can put some paper between the stud finder and the wall to decrease the sensitivity of the sensor.
  • When finding live wires behind plaster walls, the wall scanner may show false signals because plaster is not properly grounded.
  • Since most stud finders are very sensitive to electrical fields which may lead to false signals, you have to set the sensitivity of the stud finder to a low level when finding live wires.
  • It's best to test the wall scanner somewhere else. Let's say you have an electrical outlet and you know the cables run vertically from that. Just use this area to test and adjust the sensitivity level of the stud finder before actually using it.

Final Words


Electric stud finders are very useful when you need to find not only studs but also live wires behind walls. Their design is simple and they're mostly easy to use. Through this product roundup, we found out that the Zircon MultiScanner A200 Electronic Wall Scanner is probably the best stud finder with AC wire detection on the market today due to its functionality, lifetime warranty and unbeatable price.

However, you have to know how to use these devices correctly and set their sensitivity properly, otherwise, you will not be able to find a live wire behind the wall.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave your comment below.

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