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Best Stud Finders

When it comes to home improvement or DIY projects, a stud finder is a must-have tool. It's essential for locating the solid wood studs behind your drywall to ensure you can safely hang heavy items like televisions, shelves, and artwork. In 2023, the market is flooded with a variety of stud finders, each with its own unique features and advantages. Here, we've taken a closer look at some of the best stud finders of the year, comparing their features, strengths, and weaknesses.

Types of Stud Finders

There are three main types of stud finders: magnetic, electronic, and combination.

  • Magnetic stud finders use a magnet to locate the metal nails or screws that are used to attach drywall to the studs. This type of stud finder is the most affordable and easy to use, but it is not as accurate as electronic stud finders.
  • Electronic stud finders use a combination of sound and vibration to locate the studs. This type of stud finder is more accurate than magnetic stud finders, but it is also more expensive.
  • Combination stud finders combine the features of magnetic and electronic stud finders. This type of stud finder is the most versatile, but it is also the most expensive.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Stud Finder

When choosing a stud finder, there are several factors you should consider, including:

  • Accuracy: The most important factor to consider when choosing a stud finder is its accuracy. An accurate stud finder will be able to locate the studs in your walls with precision.
  • Price: Stud finders range in price from around $20 to $100. The price of a stud finder will depend on its features and accuracy.
    Ease of use: A stud finder should be easy to use, even for those who are not very handy.
  • Range: The range of a stud finder refers to the distance from the stud finder to the stud that it can detect. The longer the range, the more versatile the stud finder will be.
  • Features: Some stud finders come with additional features, such as a built-in level or a laser pointer. These features can be helpful, but they are not essential.

Our Top Picks of 2023:

1. Zircon MultiScanner i700 OneStep

Zircon MultiScanner i700 OneStep

The Zircon MultiScanner i700 OneStep continues to be a popular choice in 2023, thanks to its ability to detect both metal and wooden studs. Equipped with Auto Correcting Technology, it automatically corrects common user errors, like starting a scan over a stud, which makes it ideal for beginners. It also features a wire warning detection to indicate the presence of live unshielded electrical wires.

However, its standout feature is the ACT (Auto Correcting Technology), which makes it user-friendly for both novices and professionals. Nonetheless, it's a bit pricier than other models, which may be a deterrent for those on a tight budget.


  • High resolution and scanning speed
  • Built-in auto document feeder
  • Variety of scanning features
  • Affordable


  • Not as portable as some other scanners
  • Some users have reported issues with the software
  • Limited warranty

2. ProSensor 710 Franklin Sensors

ProSensor 710 Franklin Sensors

The ProSensor 710 from Franklin Sensors is known for its wide sensor pad and quick detection. This model can simultaneously read 13 data points, providing a more accurate understanding of what’s behind the wall. It has a straightforward interface with a bright LED lights indicating the location of studs.

While it lacks some of the advanced features found in other models, like deep scanning or electrical wire detection, its simplicity and accuracy make it a great choice for those who prefer a no-nonsense approach.


  • High-performance
  • Non-contact
  • Wide temperature range
  • Fast response time
  • High accuracy
  • Resistant to harsh environments


  • May be more expensive than other sensors
  • Requires a power source

3. Bosch GMS120 Digital Multi-Scanner

Bosch GMS120 Digital Multi-Scanner

Bosch GMS120 is a versatile tool that can detect wood studs, metal objects, and live wiring. It offers three modes for different scanning approaches: stud, metal, and wire. This makes it ideal for more complex projects where a variety of materials might be encountered.

The automatic center finder provides the center location of the stud, not just the edges, which is a handy feature when precise measurements are required. However, it has a slight learning curve, so it might not be the best option for beginners.


  • Versatile tool for a variety of tasks
  • Built-in laser distance meter, inclinometer, and digital display
  • Easy to use
  • Accurate measurements


  • May be too expensive for some users
  • Not as durable as some other multi-scanners

4. Stanley FMHT77407 FatMax Stud Sensor 300

Stanley FMHT77407 FatMax Stud Sensor 300

The Stanley FMHT77407 FatMax Stud Sensor 300 is a budget-friendly option that still packs a punch when it comes to performance. It has a depth detection of up to 1.5 inches for wood and metal. One standout feature is the one-step operation; you press the button and scan once to find the center of the stud.

While it might lack the bells and whistles of other models, like multiple scan modes or wire detection, it offers reliable performance and great value for money.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Accurate
  • Compact and portable


  • May not be as accurate in some wall materials
  • Not as powerful as some other stud finders
  • Battery life may be short

5. DEWALT DW0150 1.5" Stud Finder


The DEWALT DW0150 is a high-end model that offers both stud and live wire detection. It has a center-find feature and can detect studs through up to 1.5 inches of material. It has a clear, large LCD display and indicates the direction of the stud as well for added convenience.

The DEWALT DW0150 is a durable option with a robust design, and while it's more expensive than other models on this list, its array of features and the reliability of the DEWALT brand make it a worthwhile investment.


  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Accurate
  • Digital display
  • Built-in laser line


  • Not as powerful as some other stud finders
  • May not be as accurate in some wall materials
  • Battery life may be short

How to Use a Stud Finder

Once you have chosen a stud finder, it is important to know how to use it properly. Here are the basic steps on how to use a stud finder:

  • Turn on the stud finder.
  • Hold the stud finder parallel to the wall.
  • Move the stud finder slowly along the wall until it beeps or vibrates.
  • The beep or vibration will indicate the location of the stud.

Tips for Using a Stud Finder

Here are a few tips for using a stud finder:

  • If you are having trouble finding a stud, try moving the stud finder in a different direction.
  • If the stud finder is not beeping or vibrating, try moving it closer to the wall.
  • If you are still having trouble finding a stud, try using a different type of stud finder.


The best stud finder for you depends on your specific needs, budget, and comfort level with technology. The Zircon MultiScanner i700 and the DEWALT DW0150 are excellent options for those who value extra features and don't mind paying a higher price. The ProSensor 710 and Stanley FatMax Stud Sensor 300 are perfect for those who prefer simplicity and value for money.

All of these stud finders are top performers in 2023, so you can't go wrong with any choice. Just remember to consider what features are most important to you and choose accordingly. Happy DIY-ing!