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The Best Stud Finder

Stud Finder Reviews

Our Top Pick is the Zircon StudSensor e50 Electronic Stud Finder

Stud finders may not be the first thing that come to mind when you are doing home improvements, but once you have used one, it sure will be the first thing you grab for the next project.

If you will be doing any kind of hammering, drilling or screwing screws into walls or joists, a stud finder is essential.  Having this handy tool will prevent you from having to fix a bunch of little holes in the wall from trying to locate the stud the “old fashioned way.”

The Zircon Studsensor™ e50 Stud Finder is an electronic stud finding device that takes the guess work out of finding the studs you need to locate.  It can locate the edges of both wood and metal studs up to ¾” thick.  When using DeepScan mode, you csn double the scanning depth to 1-1/2”.

The easy to read LCD display will alert users as to when the edge of a stud is approaching. The spotLite® pointer shines an arrow-shaped light that will reflect onto the wall and mark where the stud is.  You can use this stud finder to find the studs behind walls, floors and ceilings too.

A wirewarning® detection will let you know if there is live, unshielded wiring behind the wall as much as 2” deep. Another great feature that helps users is the over-the-stud alert that will let them know if they start scanning directly over a stud.  One more feature is the TruCal® which lets users know when the stud finder is calibrated.

Users can choose from two scanning modes so you can scan over more surfaces that typical stud finders allow. The body design is easy to hold and fits in either hand comfortably regardless of the angle. It also reduces the amount of scanning errors that can happen.  The rubber grip makes it easy to hang onto even if your hands are damp.

Who Should Buy This

When you are doing home improvements or remodeling jobs or even something as simple as putting up paintings or mirrors, knowing where the studs are is very important.  If you have ever tried to find these by “hearing” and tapping, you know how easy it is to think you’ve found it only to hammer the nail into the wall and have missed it entirely.

Stud finders are a great way to make easy work of finding the studs especially when the stud finder is a good quality item. Stud finders are used by contractors, drywall hangers, interior decorators, construction companies, home owners, DIY-ers, painters, repairmen, and many other professionals and amateurs.

Stud finders are used to locate studs behind walls, floors, ceilings, and can usually locate the studs as deep as 1-1/2” behind the wall surface.  Stud finders are used when individuals want to put up wall mounted TVs, lighting, mirrors, portraits or paintings, and many other types of home improvements.

What Makes a Good Stud Finder?

If you find yourself in the market for a stud finder, you will want to get the best stud finder you can for your money. But how do you know whether one is good quality?  The stud finder that is our top pick has been put through an extensive research process and we have found it to be the best in many different categories including performance, durability, ease of use, reliability, and more.

Stud finders have several different features that may be available, depending on the model you choose. We have outlined some of the more common features below.

Stud FinderThere are two different types of stud finder:  electronic and magnetic.  Which type you choose has a lot to do with personal preference, but if you understand the differences between the two, it makes the decision much easier.

Magnetic – There are two different types of magnets that are used in magnetic stud finders. These are stationary and moving.  Stationary magnets are used to detect the presence of the stud underneath the wall, floor or ceiling that you are trying to work with.

When a screw or stud is passed over, the stud finder will “pull” a bit as the magnet detects where it is.  The drawback to a magnetic stud finder is that if you are trying to detect a stud underneath plaster, a stationary magnetic stud finder will not be able to detect them.

With a moving magnet, they can detect studs underneath virtually any surface.  If it is a drywall stud you’ve detected, you will hear a low, deep thud. If you have detected one underneath a plaster wall, the sound will be much softer but regardless of which it is you can rely on the sound detecting that a stud has been found.

Electronic – An electronic stud finder uses a plate that detects electromagnetic changes. Most often, when a density change is noted, that means that a stud has been located.  Electronic stud finders are the most often used and purchased. There are three different kinds of electronic stud finders:

  • Edge finder – An edge finder will detect any changes in the density of the wall that is typical when the edge of a framing stud is found. Edge finders are the least expensive of the three types.
  • Center Finders – A center stud finder has many sensors that detect changes in the electromagnetic flux.  What this means is that a center finder can find the center of the stud that is behind a wall.
  • Instant Finders – An instant stud finder also has multiple sensor plates and sensors that can be placed all across the wall.  They will locate the center of a stud as well as the location of other studs all at the same time.

There are a few different things you should consider when you are purchasing a stud finder.  These considerations will help you choose the perfect stud finder for your needs.


  • Cost – Stud finders can range in price depending on many different factors.   When you are looking for a good quality stud finder, don’t make cost be the determining factor.  Look at other factors such as construction, customer reviews and comments and features.  Price needs to be looked at of course but since there is such a wide range, it shouldn’t be a determination of quality.
  • Customer Reviews – While not ALL reviews can be trusted, you should take a look at the reviews that customers have left regarding the performance of the stud finder you are interested in.  You can get a lot of good information b y reading what customers have to say that have used the product.
  • Type of Use – it is important to know whether you are going to be using the stud finder professionally or just for home projects.  If you will be using it in a professional capacity, you will want to invest in the best quality stud finder you can get.

How We Tested

Our research for the top stud finder began with a general search for stud finders.  We evaluated many different models and styles and looked at the most important and popular features including ease of use, accuracy, performance, design and cost.  Following the research, we looked at tool forums, blogs and magazines and talked to experts in the industry that have to work with stud finders on a daily basis.

We also looked at Amazon customers that had purchased these stud finders to see what they had to say about them.   From all of this we were able to determine the top pick of stud finders that delivered everything it promised and more.

Our Pick


Automatic operation no
Sound indicator yes
Battery voltage 9v
Batteries needed yes
LED display 1.5”
Scan Depth 1.5”
Case included? No
Color yellow/black
Housing Plastic
Size 2.75” x 6.75” x 1.75”
Stud Finder Type Electronic

Who Else Likes It? writes “The StudSensor™ e50 quickly and easily locates the edges of wood and metal studs and joists behind walls, floors, and ceilings.” writes “For the e50, Zircon has wrapped up their proven, patented technology into a revolutionary new form. The e50’s new body design can be held comfortably in either hand at any angle and reduces normal scanning errors. The rubber over molded grip also gives you a secure hold.”

Amazon gives the Zircon Studsensor e50 Stud Finder 4.1 out of 5 ratings from 696 reviews.  One happy customer reports “Sure enough after starting in a location without a stud the unit fired up and calibrated itself and on the deep setting accurately located the adjacent studs through all of those layers. I was well pleased. Very much worth the price for getting the job done right and no putting in a bunch of unsealed holes or wasting screws and nails.”

The Step Up

If you are looking for a good quality stud finder  for professional use, the Prosensor 710 Franklin Precision Studfinder is the way to go.

The advanced Multi Sense feature can track studs in the wall in several places at one time.  This stud sensor has bright LEDs that illuminate where the studs are beneath the wall.

It’s very easy to see where the studs are with this LED feature.

The deep scanning mechanism is always on, which means the stud finder can read up to 1.5” behind the wall. Not only will you be able to find studs and other objects behind the wall you will be able to have a great idea of how big they are as well. This is very beneficial when you are putting things on the wall or looking for studs for another purpose.

This stud sensor is more accurate than others that are available and you will experience far fewer errors as well.  The technology that this excellent stud finder works under can detect hidden studs behind the wall in 13 places all at the same time and illuminates what is in front of the stud right after detection.  If you are looking for reliability, durability and a lot of features as well, you will find it in the Prosensor 710.

Top Stud Finder Comparison

Depth Scan (mm)
1Zircon 38.00
2Stanley Advanced19.00
3Stanley FatMax38.00
4Zircon Pro38.00
6Stanley STUD19.00
10Pyle 10.16

Care Use & Maintenance

If you are careless with your tools they are not going to last very long.  It is also important to observe the proper safety guidelines when working with any tools.  Below we have provided a list of both maintenance and safety tips for users to follow regarding the Zircon Studsensor e50 stud finder and the upgraded Prosensor 710 as well.

Safety Tips

  • Don’t operate the stud finder in the presence of flammable liquids, gases or dust if electronic
  • Do not take apart the stud finder
  • Make sure you are using the stud finder on a stable surface. If you must use a ladder, be certain to have someone else around as a spotter.
  • Don’t store the finder in high humidity or high heat areas.
  • Do not expose to excessive sunlight
  • Don’t use the electronic stud finder in damp or rainy conditions.  Water can get inside the finder and mess up the mechanisms.
  • Don’t mix old and new batteries
  • W hen storing the stud finder for an extended period of time, be sure to remove the batteries
  • Always use alkaline only batteries and replace them with the same type to avoid any problems
  • Don’t operate the stud finder with the battery compartment open
  • Don’t ever use damaged batteries in the stud finder
  • Even though they are not necessarily dangerous, do not allow children to play with the stud finder

Maintenance Tips

  • Don’t operate the stud finder in damp or wet conditions
  • Keep the stud finder in a cool, dry place when not using
  • Wipe down the stud finder with a dry rag when you are done using it.

Wrapping It Up

There are many different uses for stud finders and many different types and styles on the market to fit those needs. The information in this review is designed to help you learn about the top pick on the market based on research conducted, customer reviews and other information that you can rely on to steer you in the right direction.

Stud finders are a great addition to your tool box and will make finding the studs in your home or work site much easier and more efficiently.  Finding good quality tools that make your job easier will make the work day much smoother and you won’t have to fix a bunch of little holes from mistakes in trying to locate the studs by chance.