Stud finders are handheld devices that locate thick pieces of wood inside walls. These studs are used for framing and mounting. There are many applications for a stud, such as mounting a TV wall mount or hanging up a picture frame. It also allows you to avoid wires and rebar when you’re in the process of opening up a wall. Different stud finders function in different ways but have the same goal, to find the exact location of a stud efficiently.

This makes choosing the right one very important. With this, we made a list of the five best stud finders that have been reviewed by our in-house professionals. We will give you all the essential information you need to find the best stud finder for you. Now let’s get to the list and don’t forget to click that button to check out these great prices.

Best Stud Finders Comparison & Rating

Stud Finders

Features

Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner - 5 in 1 Electronic Stud Sensor Locator Wood Beam Joist Finders Wall Detector Edge Center Finding with LCD Display for Wood Live AC Wire Metal Studs Detection (Silver)
  • upgraded internal sensors
  • five scanning modes
  • wire warning indicator
Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner -4 in 1 Electronic Stud Posi Tioner with Digital LCD Display, Central Positioning Stud Sensor and Sound Alarm are Display for Wood AC Wire Metal Studs Detection
  • center indicator
  • sound indicator
  • good depth detection
Stud Finder Wall Scanner - 4 in 1 Electric Wood Detector, Sensor Wall Scanner with LCD Display, Beam Finder Center Finding & Sound Warning for Wood AC Wire Metal Studs Detection (Black)
  • sound indicator
  • multiple modes
  • intuitive design
Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner - 4 in 1 Electronic Stud Sensor Beam Finders Wall Detector Center Finding with LCD Display for Wood AC Wire Metal Studs Joist Detection
  • high-quality ABS plastic
  • multiple modes
  • upgraded internals
CRAFTSMAN Stud Finder, 3/4-Inch Depth (CMHT77633)
  • shock-resistant
  • water-resistant
  • lifetime warranty

1. Tavool Stud Finder

Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner - 5 in 1 Electronic Stud Sensor Locator Wood Beam Joist Finders Wall Detector Edge Center Finding with LCD Display for Wood Live AC Wire Metal Studs Detection (Silver)
Specifications:
95% Overall

Dimensions

7.3 x 3.1 x 1.45 inches

Weight

9.4 ounces

Material

ABS

Batteries

Included

94%
features
96%
easy to use
94%
accuracy
96%
value  for money
Pros:
  • Utilizes upgraded internal sensors that can locate stud centers with great accuracy.
  • The shape of the scanner shows the stud edges which will help you recheck the stud center’s location before installation.
  • Has five scanning modes that can reach up to 60mm in depth.
  • StudScan mode can be used through one layer of drywall up to 0.5 in.(12mm) and 1 in. (25mm) thick.
  • DeepScan mode can scan through 2 layers of drywall up to 1.5 in. (38 mm) deep. This mode has a higher sensitivity that works great even with extra layers of wallboard.
  • Has a wire warning indicator that prevents you from drilling into a live wire.
  • The LCD screen is easy to read, which allows you to find stud edges and centers without any difficulty.
Cons:
  • This stud finder lacks a shockproof case.
  • Not water-resistant.
Final Take:

This stud finder offers the best deal on the list for people who are willing to spend for quality. You get 5 different modes that give you very good versatility. It has a max depth range of 60mm or 2 34/64 inches. This gives you great accuracy when scanning your walls. Tavool has years of experience developing the technology in its stud finders. If you want a stud finder that offers great quality for the price, this is the one for you.

2. FOLAI Stud Finder

Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner -4 in 1 Electronic Stud Posi Tioner with Digital LCD Display, Central Positioning Stud Sensor and Sound Alarm are Display for Wood AC Wire Metal Studs Detection
Specifications:
93% Overall

Dimensions

7.3 x 3.2 x 2.1 inches

Weight

8 ounces

Material

ABS

Batteries

Included

92%
features
93%
easy to use
93%
accuracy
94%
value  for money
Pros:
  • Has great accuracy because it has upgraded internal sensors.
  • The design of the stud finder makes it fit well in your hand because of its great ergonomics.
  • You get a center indicator that makes locating the center of studs and measuring easier.
  • Makes finding stud corners easier, thanks to a sound indicator.
  • Has good depth detection, it can scan up to 1 ½ inch deep.
Cons:
  • Does not offer a shockproof case which makes it less durable.
  • Not water-resistant.
Final Take:

Like the number one pick on the list, this stud finder has 5 modes that give you different depths and material detection. You get high-grade ABS plastic which ensures a high-quality durable case that also has good ergonomics. The sound indicator for locating the center of a stud makes use easy. The 3-inch deep scan mode is great for thicker walls. This is a solid choice for a good reliable stud finder.

3. VIVREAL Stud Finder

Stud Finder Wall Scanner - 4 in 1 Electric Wood Detector, Sensor Wall Scanner with LCD Display, Beam Finder Center Finding & Sound Warning for Wood AC Wire Metal Studs Detection (Black)
Specifications:
91% Overall

Dimensions

6.49 x 2.75 x 1.1 inches

Weight

5.4 ounces

Material

ABS

Batteries

Not Included

90%
features
90%
easy to use
92%
accuracy
92%
value  for money
Pros:
  • The simple and intuitive design makes it easy to use.
  • Clear and precise indicators on the screen make finding studs easier.
  • Features a sound indicator that is great for informing you of objects behind the wall.
  • The inclusion of multiple modes gives this stud finder great versatility.
  • Ergonomic exterior and lightweight at 5.4 ounces.
Cons:
  • The 9V battery is not included.
  • The case of this stud finder is not shockproof.
Final Take:

This stud finder makes quick work of finding studs thanks to great internals and a simple design that is intuitive and functional. You don’t only get 5 scanning modes, you also get a digital level. The digital level is a good addition because you can just use the stud finder to level out what you are mounting on the wall. If you want a stud finder that offers more for the price, this is a great choice.

4. Tavool Stud Finder

Stud Finder Sensor Wall Scanner - 4 in 1 Electronic Stud Sensor Beam Finders Wall Detector Center Finding with LCD Display for Wood AC Wire Metal Studs Joist Detection
Specifications:
90% Overall

Dimensions

6.49 x 2.75 x 1.1 inches

Weight

5.4 ounces

Material

ABS

Batteries

Not Included

90%
features
90%
easy to use
90%
accuracy
90%
value  for money
Pros:
  • The upgraded internals make this stud finder very accurate.
  • A bright and clear screen displays information clearly which makes finding studs easier.
  • Well-designed and fits well in the palm.
  • A very durable stud finder because of the high-quality ABS plastic.
  • Multiple modes make finding studs safer because it gives you extra info about what you have detected behind the wall.
Cons:
  • The 9V battery is not included.
  • No warranty
Final Take:

This stud finder’s tapered design makes it the best to hold compared to the others on the list. You also get a bright and clear display that has an intuitive layout. Its audio alarm and fool-proof LCD screen make locating stud centers and edge an easy task. This is the stud finder to get when you want one that is intuitive and accurate.

5. CRAFTSMAN Stud Finder

CRAFTSMAN Stud Finder, 3/4-Inch Depth (CMHT77633)
Specifications:
86% Overall

Dimensions

8.7 x 3.9 x 0.4 inches

Weight

8.8 ounces

Material

ABS

Batteries

Not included

85%
features
80%
easy to use
81%
accuracy
98%
value  for money
Pros:
  • The most budget-friendly on the list but its price doesn't compromise its quality.
  • Includes a case that is shock-resistant which makes this very durable.
  • The case is water-resistant which makes using it in wet situations no issue.
  • Has a lifetime warranty. If it fails at any point, you can contact Craftsman for a replacement.
  • Battery is included.
Cons:
  • Only has a depth range of ¾ inches which makes this stud finder not ideal for thicker materials.
  • Does not offer multiple modes of detection or depth.
Final Take:

Craftsman has made this terrific stud finder that is a complete bargain. This stud finder does one job and does it well. This does not have multiple modes and depths like the others on the list. It only has a depth of ¾ inches. It is accurate and well made with high-quality ABS that is Shock & Water-Resistant. The main selling point is the price, if you want a stud finder that is incredibly budget-friendly this is the one.

Best Stud Finders - Buyer's Guide

sensor type

There are two main sensors that stud finders have, magnetic sensors and electronic sensors. Magnetic sensors are typically used in the more budget types of stud finders. This is because they don’t need electronic parts and batteries or any other power source. Magnetic sensors rely on strong rare-earth magnets that locate the stud via the nails used during the wall’s construction.


Electronic sensors on the other hand check for the depth of a wall and changes in density This makes their scanning more accurate because they can distinguish between drywall and a solid stud behind the drywall. These stud finders also offer additional features like edge detection of a stud, digital displays, and multiple scanning modes. This makes them more expensive and more complicated to use.

visual display

Most magnetic stud finders don’t have a display This is because they indicate the location of a stud by stopping in place. Only electronic models have displays that convey the location of the center of the stud.

 
Some electronic models only have an LED that blinks or illuminates when it detects a stud. Others come with an LCD screen that could have a visual system that explains how close or far you are from a stud. Some also have icons that tell you if you’re operating in or using a different scanning mode. You might also get one that also has a visual indicator that the battery is running low. You should look for a stud finder that has an intuitive display that can easily be understood.

indicators

Each stud finder will have a different sound indicator, and it’s all based on the type of sensor. Magnetic stud finders rarely have another alert system. Electric stud finders will always have a visual indicator on the display to tell you the location of a stud.


When you want to really make sure you never miss a stud, go for models that also offer an audible warning beep. These will trigger every time you go over a stud.

ergonomics

A well-designed stud finder will be easy to grip and use for extended periods. If a stud sensor is uncomfortable to hold it can affect the accuracy of the readings. You could get a false reading from the stud finder if you drift a lot when scanning. This is because it could lose its calibration.

center targeting

This feature will only be seen in more advanced electronic scanners. This is because it involves a more complex and expensive internal system. Stud finders that have center targeting capabilities make locating the center point of the stud easy through scanning. You don’t have to do manual calculations and hope that the size of the stud is standard.


You locate the center of a stud by making multiple passes which let the scanners recalibrate to determine the exact size of the stud by using the edges of the stud. This can take some time because it needs to decrease the detection zone and locate the center.

Best Stud Finders - FAQs

How deep is the detection of a stud finder?

Most models have a max depth of about 2 ½ to 3 inches.

Do stud finders work through concrete?

No, concrete is too dense and thick. You can only use stud finders on thin wall material like drywall and plasterboard.

Why do I need to calibrate my stud finder?

Stud finders can only see the wall in one location at a time because of this the user needs to slide the stud finder back and forth across the wall to detect and learn the wall.

How can I differentiate between metal and wood studs?

To verify whether the stud you located is metal or wood, you need a MultiScan stud finder that has a metal Scan mode. Switch to this mode and scan the stud again. If you receive a positive metal indication the stud you located is metal.

Author

Jimmy Black started his career as a construction and carpenter foreman. After years of hard work, he decided to go on his own. Now, Jimmy is one of the trusted experts at SolidSmack who knows at first glance whether your hammer would do a great job or not. He still involves himself in various construction projects and works for individual clients. Behind formalities, he enjoys being a father to two lovely kids who keep on asking him why they can’t quit school and travel the world like Dora The Explorer.