When starting the home renovation, any additions or decoration, the best professional stud finder will come in handy to detect the location of nails or screws inside a wall. New stud finders became a win-win solution when being able to sense accurately where a stud is. This tool can “feel” the fluctuations of capacitance and determine the difference between dielectric constants.
The best professional stud finder is able to find both metal and wood studs, as well as live AC electrical wiring and nails in lath and plaster walls. Now, one can choose either electronic or magnet models, stationary or moving modifications, edge and center units. Some advanced devices come with LED displays and an automatic switch-off function or can detect the depth of a nail.
The stud finder reviews below present items from various categories, but their common factor is quality, accuracy, and ergonomics.
Professional Stud Finder Reviews
CH Hanson 03040 — Best Professional Stud Finder
When wondering where to get a professional stud finder, go into the CH Hanson 03040. It is a compact and lightweight device that fits in a pocket and is resistant to drops, tosses, and bangs. It’s a magnetic model that is powerful enough to detect nails deep inside the wall. The tool is easy to use since it comes without any electronic or other detachable parts.
The unit can detect studs on a wood paneling correctly. It will find wooden planks behind finished walls if they have any metal particles. This model also can be used to locate subfloor joist nails from above the carpet. It’s fitted with the powerful magnets that can locate nails at a distance of 2 inches. It operates flawlessly through thicker plaster and paints over the drywall.
- It has a handy little level onboard.
- A soft grip adds more comfort.
- It’s a hands-free model that has the advantage of not leaving pencil marks on the wall.
- The device is really tiny that’s why it has a small footprint and makes a user swipe it across the wall.
- The lack of a retractable magnetic belt clip with a pencil as an accessory.
Video CH Hanson 03040
The Franklin Sensors professional stud finder is notable for its 13 LED sensors for more precise detection, while many other similar models usually use only a pair of them. For example, 3 LEDs glow when a typical stud is located, and 6 of them light when a front-facing round stud is registered.
This peculiarity also made self-adjustment unnecessary. In this way, the users don’t have to wait for several seconds until the process ends before putting the unit on the wall. Moreover, this item is capable of locating several studs at a time, including their edges and centers. It covers the space of 21 sq. in.
The device discovers wooden and metal elements inside plaster, sheetrock, lath, and other walls up to 1.7 inches thick. It doesn’t work on concrete surfaces, metal siding, and roofing.
The yellow-black, 0.4-pound plastic ProSensor 710+ professional stud finder is 7.5 x 3 x 2.7 inches in size. It’s made with a bubble level onboard that is very useful when it’s necessary, for example, to hang a picture on the wall. The unit has a handle to put it on the working surface horizontally. The power button is on the handle.
- The item features a ruler on the top.
- The deep-scanning mode is always active.
- The device has a small compartment for a pencil.
- The tool doesn’t recognize the object’s material.
- It is not capable of spotting AC wires.
Video Franklin FS710PRO 710+
The professional stud finder is a sensor-based detector. It gives the user the idea of where wood joists, metal studs, and AC wires are located behind the surfaces. It’s possible to use it on textured, popcorn, plaster, and other kinds of walls, floors, and ceilings. Bear in mind that the unit is not capable of finding drywall screws since a strong magnet is necessary for this purpose. Besides, it’s not designed to be used on cement.
The device has several modes. The Stud mode helps find wooden beams and joists inside 1.2-inch walls. The Metal one reveals pipes, aluminum, rebars, and copper parts at depths of up to 1.57 inches. The Deep function is crucial to clarify where wooden and metal elements are hidden inside the surfaces up to 1.77 inches deep. The fourth AC current option identifies 85-240-volt AC current inside the walls up to 2.36 inches deep.
The unit has a bright backlight LCD display to show the material of the revealed part and its precise placement. The arrows on the display mean the direction the user should move the tool to find the part’s center. The alert sound’s intensity makes clear how close the user is to the detected object.
The device’s sizes are 6.49 x 2.75 x 1.1 inches, weighing 0.31 pounds. There is a power/mode button on the front panel to switch the device on to choose the mode. Every time the user presses this button, the relevant mark on the display notifies the selected mode.
- The automatic initial adjustment allows bypassing manual settings. Just push and hold the scan button.
- The item shows both the edge and the center of the identified part.
- I’d like the battery to be included in the package.
- It’s necessary to move the unit very slowly to provide its accurate operation.
Video Tavool TH250
The TH240 stud finder pro is made to work around the house on various surface types. The standard feature allows discovering wood and metal objects up to 0.74 inches deep. The Deep function spots them at the depth of up to 1.49 inches. The Metal one locates parts and elements inside the surfaces of up to 2.36 inches deep. The AC mode traces wires up to 2 inches deep. When the device sees the stud, it gives a sound signal, and the beeping is getting louder as it is flush against the discovered element.
The 0.34-pound device has 6.49 x 2.75 x 1.1 inches in size. Having a rectangular shape, it is made of hard and durable ABS plastic with a grayish-black finish. The legible LCD screen has a green backlight that makes object location, mode, battery level, signal strength, and automatic adjustment clearly visible. The slider on the front panel under the display has labeled modes for more convenience.
- The unit can find out the object’s center and edges, regardless of the selected mode.
- The detector operates accurately, without mistakes and false alerts.
- It takes 4 seconds for calibration each time the owner needs to discover a part while working in the same wall area.
- The On button on the side requires holding it always on while working. Otherwise, the device switches off automatically.
Video Vivreal TH240
This tool is remarkable for its 5 modes. StudScan is relevant to one-layer drywall up to 0.5 and 1 inch thick. DeepScan copes with a couple of drywall’s layers up to 1.5 inches thick. WireWarning spots wires at the depth of 2 inches. The Separate option serves to find steel objects up to 2 inches deep. The item works on gypsum boards, wood siding, plaster, lath, and tile surfaces. Still, it is not made for concrete.
The unit adjusts itself before getting started, and it alerts once the process is over. It discovers studs, joists, pieces of squared timber, and other metal, wooden, and copper things inside ceilings, walls, and under floors. The device is completely precise when defining the center of the object. Since false positives are possible, it’s better always to start working in StudScan Mode to avoid such troubles.
The scanner has dimensions of 7.3 x 3.1 x 1.45 inches, weighing 0.57 pounds. The front panel has an indicator that is red when the device is in use. The screen displays where the element’s edges and center are located. The arrows mean the direction, and the sound alert is getting louder as the user approaches the discovered part. The battery level is also visible. Five green indicators below comply with operation modes. The large Mode button, as its name implies, allows switching between modes.
- The WireWarning mode is always “on” by default. In this way, the users will never miss a wire, even if they are looking for other objects at this moment.
- No necessity to hold the button while scanning, this is very convenient.
- The unit fails on high-density textured drywall.
- Although the item produces sound when it registers the object, it doesn’t beep again when I put it on the same spot.
This tool is made to spot wooden, metal elements, and AC wires. It has a stud, metal, AC, 0.5-inches, 1-inch, 1.5-inch settings. The metal option allows discovering up to 3 inches of metal elements. The Wire Warning function is always on while scanning, which is a helpful safety feature: no one will ever miss a wire while looking for other parts. One can use the item on ceilings (including popcorn ones), plaster, textured surfaces, drywall, etc.
The LCD screen shows setups, battery charge level, AC wire warning, and the arrows to understand the precise location of the stud’s center. The unit’s sizes are 7.28 x 3.78 x 2.13 inches. It’s made of ABS plastic, weighing 0.49 pounds. There are power and scan buttons on the front panel. The user has to push the power button and hold it to adjust the device until it signals once to notify that the adjustment is over. Then, it’s time to push the scan button to start working.
- I’ve found no false positives while using this device.
- A 9-volt battery and picture hangers are in the package.
- The big screen is easy to read.
- The unit can make mistakes of about 0.4 inches. Hence, it’s necessary to recalibrate it and measure again.
- Sometimes, all the bars can glow on the screen, but no beeping to confirm a stud happens.
The Franklin ProSensor 710 professional stud finder is able to detect studs’ location across the 7-inch measurement scanning area. To that end, it uses 13 LED lights and this tech allows making just a little sliding across the wall.
The device comes with a wide handle that has a button to switch the unit on. It’s an electronic model that’s why it requires 2 AA batteries that are put in the black cover on the top of the handle. This tool is designed to scan the walls horizontally and it does its job from several sections on the wall simultaneously.
It’s able to locate two objects at the same time and determine their width. For example, 3 LEDs light up when locating usual studs and 6 ones are visible when they detect facing studs. Unlike the majority of scanners, this model can manage 2 layers of sheetrock.
- It’s able to find wooden studs.
- The device does its job when scanning corners and wall space next to doorways.
- It locates studs underneath plaster and lath occasionally and is not accurate.
- Its grip isn’t convenient since it protrudes from the base a short distance that’s not enough for a hand.
Video Franklin 710
How to Use Stud Detectors
When hanging a heavy object on the wall, it’s necessary to attach it right to the stud but not only to drywall to avoid crumbling. Where are studs or even nails and screws located? Nobody knows, except a stud wall detector. How to use it?
- Choose the area where to place a picture, TV, or any other item.
- Mark the height with a pencil.
- Take away other hanging objects with metal parts to avoid the stud scanner’s false-positive signals.
- If using an electronic detector, check the batteries.
- Make sure the unit’s surface is clean to save a wall from the mud.
- Consider that studs are usually 16 or 24 inches apart.
- Hold a detector flat against the surface, about 1 foot left of where a hole will be drilled.
- Activate it with a button if it deals with an electronic device.
- Slide a scanner to the right horizontally.
- When having a signal (sound or lights), move the detector several times in the same area to ensure correct results.
- Mark the spot with a pencil.
How to Choose Professional Stud Scanners?
What is the best stud finder? The choice is dependable on the array of tasks. If it’s necessary to locate wiring, fasteners, stud edges, etc., electronic devices are recommended.
The most advanced models can handle aluminum studs and detect nails through ceramic tile. However, they are not cheap. That’s why it would be better to choose a magnetic tool if budget is a big deal. Besides, electronic units need batteries.
Magnetic devices are also suitable for professionals since they don’t require a source of power. While electronic assemblies may make a mistake when being used on walls other than drywall, magnetic ones are rather accurate when dealing with tile, plaster, masonry, lath, and sheetrock surfaces.
When being a pro, everybody needs the most accurate stud finder. Since there are no such specs among claimed characteristics, they all work in progress, so, the professionals usually prefer to have several devices to check the results. Note that if the wall thickness is no more than ¼-inch, it’s possible to use a stud finder app.
Good Things about Professional Stud Scanners
It’s the easiest and the only possible way to identify studs, screws, nails, PVC, and steel pipes or wires without damaging walls, floor, or ceiling. Moreover, one can recognize both the center of the studs and their edges for some minutes.
The devices are compact, lightweight, and don’t take up much space in a kit. They are easy to use since requiring no setups or multi-stage adjustments. A variety of designs allows choosing any model at one’s discretion and get even the units that could be also used as levels.