Best Stud Finders & Wall Scanners in 2020

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When pursuing a DIY project for the first time or the thousandth time, finding the proper tools required can seem daunting. From there, the work can sometimes seem like a guessing game. There are so many tools and gizmos on the market it can be difficult to know what you are buying and if it will work. We’ve reviewed the top fourteen stud finders and scanners to aide your search for the perfect tool. When in the market for a new scanner or stud finders, it is important to know what matters most to you – accuracy, ease of use and readability.

List of Best Stud Finders & Wall Scanners in 2020 on Amazon.com

# 14 – Zircon Multiscanner i520

 14 – Zircon Multiscanner i520</h3> <p>

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The Zircon Multiscanner i520 is designed to easily locate studs, metal and live, unshielded AC wiring within walls, floors and ceilings. It has four easy to switch settings for ease of use.

This stud finder has an integrated LCD screen that shows where edges and the center are on a stud. With its auto correcting technology, the finder auto calibrates to guide you back to a stud should you happen to begin scanning from one without knowing. This makes finding them much quicker. By switching the scanner to deep scan mode, you can readily identify deeper targets up to three inches deep. The metal scanning mode locates ferrous as well as non-ferrous metals (pipes) and the AC scan mode identifies wiring.

Features and Specs:

  • Four mode switch on face of the scanner
  • Ultra bright display screen
  • Audio tone to indicate target located
  • Signal strength indicator to determine depth of target
  • Stud finding ability up to 1 ½ inches deep
  • Metal finding ability up to 3 inches deep
  • AC scanning ability up to 2 inches deep
  • Backlit LCD display
  • Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Metric Measurement System
  • Dimensions: 6x9x3 inches
  • Requires one 9 volt battery (not included)

Pros:

  • High accuracy rate
  • Able to gauge and measure width of studs

Con

  • Screen is difficult to view when held at odd angles
  • Battery life diminishes quickly, even when idle

#13 – Ryobi ESF5000LED Whole Stud Detector

13 – Ryobi ESF5000LED Whole Stud Detector</h3> <p>

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This scanner features material detection indicating when it is over metal, wood or AC wiring. It also automatically determines the thickness of your drywall. ILED lights indicate when an entire stud has been detected. It is capable of detection up to 1 ½ inches deep.

Features and Spec::

  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Dimensions: 6x1x3.3 inches
  • Requires one AA battery (not included)

Pros:

  • Center punch button to mark wall for easy drilling
  • Comparably more accurate than similar products

Con

  • Must be calibrated over a gap between the studs
  • Requires two hands to operate

#12 – Precision Sensors ProFinder 5000+ Deep Scanning Stud Finder

12 – Precision Sensors ProFinder 5000+ Deep Scanning Stud Finder</h3> <p>

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This product was built for convenience and fights for a top spot as a best stud finder. With one press of a button, LED lights instantly light up to indicate that is has located a stud. It uses multiple sensors giving it a much higher accuracy rating than its competitors. It also comes with a built in level, ruler so you don’t have to set it down, pick up a level and pencil and mark your drill spot.

Features and Spec::

  • Larger sensor pad area for deeper scans
  • 13 individual sensors to provide more accurate readings
  • Built in level and ruler
  • Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Dimensions: 7x2x3 inches
  • Requires two AA batteries (included)

Pros:

  • Easy to use and operate
  • High accuracy ratings

Con

  • Does not detect metal or wiring
  • Not recommended for flooring or roofing usage

#11 – TackLife DMS04 Stud Sensor

11 – TackLife DMS04 Stud Sensor</h3> <p>

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Similar to the Zircon Multiscanner i520, the DMS04 scanner detects metal and wooden studs. It also detects live AC wiring and has a “thick scan” setting. However, the sensor can only detect up to .75 inches deep and only 1 ½ inches when in thick scan mode. With automatic calibration, it makes it easy to use and the audio tone as well as LCD display make detection simple. It does come with a manual and warranty to guarantee customer satisfaction which is very helpful.

Features and Spec::

  • Four detection settings
  • LED light and audio indicators
  • AC wire detection
  • Requires 9V battery (included)
  • Includes 24 month warranty and user manual
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Dimensions: 8.9×3.7×1.9 inches

Pros:

  • Battery, warranty and manual are all included
  • Works on floors and ceilings to detect live AC wiring
  • Easy to use, easy to read

Con

  • Comparably weaker depth detection to other scanners

#10 – DEWALT 1 ½ inch Stud Finder

10 – DEWALT 1 ½ inch Stud Finder

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Dewalt’s Stud finder earns its name as best wall scanner because of its handiness and shows up ready to work. It fits easily in your pocket and is light weight. It can be used at different angles, as well, without compromising its accuracy. It has a small hole directly above the indicator lights to assist in marking the center of where the stud is found.

Features and Spec::

  • Center find technology
  • AC and live wire detection
  • Center marking channel for convenience
  • Weight: 8 ounces
  • Dimensions: 6.9×1.3×10.2 inches
  • Electric

Pros:

  • No batteries required
  • Light weight and slim design to transport/carry around on a job

Con

  • I was hard pressed to find anything negative on this product! It certainly has earned a spot as best wall scanner of 2020.

#9 – CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder

9 – CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder

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At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much to this gadget. It lacks the flashy screens and technology of most stud finders. However, it functions on the most accurate and impressive level. Using rare earth magnets, it locates screws and nails in studs up to one inch beneath drywall. Then, with its magnetic strength, it hangs on the wall so you can mark the wall without having to hold it.

Features and Specs:

  • Compact design fits easily in a pocket or tool belt
  • Includes a bubble level built in
  • Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Dimensions: 1.2×0.8×3 inches

Pros:

  • No batteries required
  • Provides hands free option for marking walls
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • No calibration

Con

  • Does not detect edges
  • Takes a bit longer to locate since it only locates metal screws/nails and it is so small

#8 – Stud Finder by Classware

8 – Stud Finder by Classware

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Like most, this stud finder detects metal, wood, ceiling joints and live AC wires. It has a high definition LCD screen that reads the edges and center of a stud as well as an audio alert that beeps when it detects material. What sets this scanner apart is its longer battery life. Because of its efficiency, you get stronger reads and can work longer without having to pause to change out batteries.

Features and Spec::

  • High definition LCD screen
  • Audio “beep” alert
  • Detects metal up to 3 inches, wood up to 1 ½ inches, and live AC wiring up to 3 inches deep
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Dimensions: 9.5×6.5×1 inches
  • Requires one 9V battery (not included)

Pros:

  • More efficient battery life
  • Stronger reads because of battery strength for a longer period
  • Easily portable in tool belt or box
  • Includes 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee

Con

  • Seems to have difficulty in detecting center of studs
  • Questionable accuracy

# 7 – Franklin Sensors FS710PRO ProSensor 710+

 7 – Franklin Sensors FS710PRO ProSensor 710+

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The ProSensor 710+ uses thirteen sensors to allow for excellent precision. This also eliminates the calibration step, which seems to cause most users the biggest headaches. Need I say more?! It also is able to detect and show the edges and the center of a stud at the same time for most accurate marking. In addition, it can detect multiple studs at one time. This saves a lot of time when marking spots to drill! It is able to detect both metal and wood studs. With its extra large sensor pad, it also is able to detect deeper into the walls for most accurate readings.

Features and Spec::

  • 13 Precision Sensors
  • Multi Sense Technology
  • Detects wood and metal
  • Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Dimensions: 7.5x3x2.7 inches
  • Requires 2 AA batteries (not included)

Pros:

  • No calibration required
  • Built in bubble level and ruler
  • Scans 21 inches at a time
  • Detects edges and center of a stud at the same time

Con

  • Does not detect AC live wiring
  • Detection depth is limited to 1 ½ inches deep at all times
  • Larger design makes it more bulky to carry and handle

#6 – Franklin Sensors Prosensor 710

6 – Franklin Sensors Prosensor 710

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This sensor is exactly like the Franklin Sensor 710+ without the built in ruler and level. Not much changes other than the size and weight. It is still a great product. It is a little heavier but a bit smaller than the 710+. (Weight is 9 ounces; Dimensions are 7x3x2 inches)

#5 – Studpop Magnetic Stud Finder

5 – Studpop Magnetic Stud Finder

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To own a Studpop is to own one of the best stud finders on the market. Its outward appearance beckons questioning but this gadget has proven itself among consumers far and wide. Its no battery, no calibration, simple design makes it a no hassle addition to your toolbox. Simply run it along the wall until it “clicks” and the ball indicator moves. Then, you know you have found a metal fastener (or a metal stud).

Features and Spec::

  • Detects metal up to ½ inch deep
  • No batteries required
  • Weight: 1.12 ounces
  • Dimensions: 8x6x2 inches

Pros:

  • No confusing calibration process
  • No batteries required
  • Easily tucked into a toolbox and extremely light weight
  • Highly accurate for detecting metal screws, nails and metal studs

Con

  • Small size makes it harder to find small metal parts in a wall
  • Detects metal only up to ½ inch deep
  • Only detects metal
  • Does not detect wood or live AC wiring
  • Cannot decipher edges of a stud

#4 – Zircon MetalliScanner m40

4 – Zircon MetalliScanner m40

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A metal detector by design, the Zircon Metalliscanner detects non-ferrous and ferrous metals within a wall. Use the pinpoint scan method to identify metal screws and nails and the wide scan method to easily find rebar. Watch as the red LED lights increasingly light up as it moves closer to a metal object and the blue LED light when an object is located. Audio alert also sounds when the signal reaches its strongest. It is one of the best stud finders because it has proven to work on a wider array of surfaces such as wood, drywall, stucco, paneling, tile, plaster and even concrete. It is not limited to just a stud finder – use it for to plumbing projects, duct work, rebar and even nails and screws in re-purposed lumber.

Features and Spec::

  • Locates ferrous metals up to four inches deep
  • Locates non- ferrous metals up to two inches deep
  • Requires 9V battery (included)
  • Weight: 9.3 ounches
  • Dimensions: 5.5×1.1×7.5 inches

Pros:

  • Capable of much detecting much more than a standard stud finder
  • Works on many more surfaces than most products like this

Con

  • Geared more to metal detection than a wooden stud finder
  • Seems to be overly sensitive and will confuse items such as wedding rings or door hinges, etc.

#3 – Zircon Stud Sensor e50

3 – Zircon Stud Sensor e50

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Just as accurate but a little less to offer than its brother, the Zircon i520, the e50 locates the edges of wood and metal studs. It has an “over-the-stud” indicator that alerts you when it is started out over a stud so you can properly move it over for recalibration. By sliding it over the wall, the audio tone as well as LCD screen will indicate when the edge of a stud is reached. By marking this spot and then sliding in the opposite direction to find the opposite edge and marking it, you find the center of the stud by measuring the distance between the two edges. This is where you would drill.

Features and Spec::

  • Ergonomic grip for easy handling
  • Integrated LCD screen
  • Deep scans up to 1 ½ inches
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Dimensions: 8.5x4x2 inches
  • Includes active AC wiring detection up to 2 inches
  • “over-the-stud” indicator
  • 9V battery required (not included)

Pros:

  • Easy to hold and operate
  • Detects live AV wiring
  • Accurately detects edges of studs

Con

  • Does not locate the center of a stud
  • Does not work with lath or plaster
  • LCD screen is not backlit so must be used in a well-lit area to read

#2 – Bosch Digital Multi-Scanner GMS120

2 – Bosch Digital Multi-Scanner GMS120

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This tool is one of a kind with its three- sensor laser detection. A true testament to its strength, it detects wood studs and metal objects with ease up to 4 ¾ inches deep in cured concrete! It also detects live wiring up to 2 inches under most any surface. It is self – calibrating which makes it easy and quick to use.

Features and Spec::

  • Three sensor laser detection
  • AC live wiring detection
  • Wood and metal detection
  • Weight: 1.1 lb.
  • Dimension: 9.8×5.9×2 inches
  • Requires one 9V battery (included)
  • Includes 1 year warranty
  • Audio detection alerts

Pros:

  • Works on concrete
  • Detects AC wiring and metal pipes
  • Auto calibration makes it easy to read, easy to use
  • Finds the center of a stud and alerts user via audible beep

Con

  • Heavier weight makes it more burdensome to transport and use
  • Can be difficult to distinguish between orange lights indicating “near an object” and the red “object found” light

#1 – Black & Decker BDL190S

1 – Black & Decker BDL190S

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The best stud finder on the market is the Black & Decker BDL190S because it uses all of the best features in the above detectors and integrates them into one small, multi tool gadget. It literally does it all. With laser technology, it finds studs, metal objects and detects AC wiring. It also has a built -in automatic level and laser projection lines to perfectly line up wall art or hang shelves, televisions, etc.

Features and Spec::

  • Bulls eye auto- leveling technology
  • AC live wiring detection
  • Requires 2 AA batteries (included)
  • Includes wall hangar to affix to wall
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs
  • Dimensions: 7.9×2.8×10.5 inches
  • Includes 2 year warranty

Pros:

  • Two tools in one (stud finder and level)
  • Detects AC live wiring
  • Detects metal as well as wood studs
  • Horizontal laser provides fool proof leveling across an entire wall
  • Can affix the tool to your wall to work hands free while using the laser level

Con

  • Heavy weight can be cumbersome
  • LCD screen can be difficult to read
  • Laser level does not work vertically

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