The Best Stud Finders

A stud finder is an essential tool for anyone planning on drilling or placing nails and screws into their walls. Having an accurate, reliable one could, in fact, make the difference between a successful day of DIY and absolute disaster, particularly if your latest home-improvement project involves hanging a heavy object on a wall or drilling into walls that may be harboring live wires, pipes, or metals. These simple tools take the guesswork out of locating pipes, wiring, and the wall’s framing studs, allowing you avoid a lot of unnecessary effort and to position your new furnishings safely and securely first time around.

We reviewed dozens of stud finders to identify the best of the best. We examined a range of factors, including detection type, ease of use, accuracy, detection depth, convenience, cost, and average customer reviews. All of these top-rated stud finders can be purchased online at Amazon.com.

Having considered a large number of stud locators, we chose the Franklin Sensors ProSensor Professional Stud Finder as our top pick. This instant stud locator has a total of 13 sensors for fast and accurate detection, does not require calibration, can detect multiple studs simultaneously, displays both the center and edges of studs at the same time, and can detect both wood and metal behind your drywall.

The 5 Top-Rated Stud Finders

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Stud Finder OverallFranklin Sensors ProSensor Professional Stud Finde4.5
Best Instant Stud FinderPrecision Sensor ProFinder 6000+4.5
Best Budget Stud FinderLomvum Stud Finder4.4
Best Electronic Stud FinderTavool Stud Finder4.5
Best Magnetic Stud FinderCH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder4.6

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Best Stud Finder Overall: Franklin Sensors ProSensor Professional Stud Finder

Best Stud Finder Overall
Franklin Sensors ProSensor Professional Stud Finder
Meet the Franklin Sensors ProSensor Professional Stud Finder, the best stud finder out there for all your home-improvement projects.

Having considered a wide array of options, the stud finder that wins our vote as the best model currently on the market is the Franklin Sensors ProSensor Professional Stud Finder.

This instant stud locator is a great choice for anyone happy to pay a little extra in order to get their hands on a device that makes locating studs quicker, easier, and more accurate than ever before. Unlike conventional stud locators, which typically use only one or two sensors, the ProSensor uses a total of thirteen sensors that can locate multiple studs within a 21-inch range in little more than a second. This device also displays both edges and the center of the stud, meaning you won’t have to worry about missing your target when drilling or inserting screws or nails.

In terms of user friendliness, the ProSensor leaves the vast majority of its peers distinctly in the shade. While with most stud locators you could squeeze in a short nap while waiting for the device to go through the calibration process, with this one all you have to do is place it against you wall, push a button, and you’re good to go.

The bottom line?  Pricey, but the best there is for frustration-free operation and pinpoint accuracy every time.

Franklin Sensors ProSensor Professional Stud Finder Key Features:

  • 21-inch sensor range
  • 13 sensors
  • Detects studs instantly (no calibration)
  • Displays both edges and center of studs
  • Can detect wood and metal
  • Built-in bubble level

Best Instant Stud Finder: Precision Sensor ProFinder 6000+

Best Instant Stud Finder
Precision Sensor ProFinder 6000+
A lightning-fast and superbly accurate stud finder that is as easy to use as any other device out there.

For those who take a pride in their home-improvement handiwork and are keen to complete their jobs with the minimum of fuss but maximum accuracy, there are few models of stud finder on the market that come close to matching the Precision Sensor ProFinder 6000+.

Instant stud finders are a relative newcomer to the world of stud finding devices. Thanks to their use of multiple sensors, they let you locate studs far more quickly and with more accuracy than standard devices that use only one or two sensors. The Precision Sensor ProFinder is a perfect example of what instant stud finders have to offer. It uses a total of thirteen sensors to detect where any stud is located behind your wall without having to move the device around and triangulates the data received from its sensors to provide a pinpoint accurate location for the center and both edges of the stud. All you have to do is hold it against the wall and let it do the rest.

This device is also capable of detecting both wood and metal, boasts an easy-to-read, 7-inch LED display, and has an impressive 1.7-inch maximum detection depth, which represents a 0.2 to 0.5-inch upgrade on most competitors in its price range.

Precision Sensor ProFinder 6000+ Key Features: 

  • 13 sensors
  • 1.7-inch max detection depth
  • 7-inch LED display
  • No calibration required
  • Displays stud center and edges simultaneously
  • Detects wood and metal

Best Budget Stud Finder: Lomvum Stud Finder

Best Budget Stud Finder
Lomvum Stud Finder
This highly versatile little device is a piece of cake to use and is capable of detecting wood, metal, wiring, and copper up to 1.5 inches in your walls.

The Lomvum Stud Finder is wonderfully practical and easy-to-use multi-functional wall scanner with different modes that allow you to identify four different types of material (wood, ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals, and wiring) that are up to 1.5 inches deep in your walls.

The LCD on this device is large, easy to read, and can display both the location of the edge and the center of studs, whilst also giving a reading of their exact depth inside the wall. To simplify and speed up the detection process, the Lomvum also uses a buzzer that sounds when you’re nearing a stud and a bright LED indicator that flashes and arrow in the direction of the detected object.

While this device may lack the speed and pinpoint accuracy of some of its pricier competitors, it’s still a great choice for buyers simply keen to avoid pipes, live wires, or other metals when drilling into their wall, or for jobs where being a millimeter or two off target won’t be the end of the world.

Lomvum Stud Finder Key Features: 

  • 5 scanning modes: Wood Exact Scan , Wood Deep Scan, Rebar Scan, Alloy Scan and AC Scan
  • Large and clear LCD screen
  • LED indicators
  • Provides exact depth of detect material
  • Simple controls
  • Displays both edge and center of stud

Best Electronic Stud Finder: Tavool Stud Finder

Best Electronic Stud Finder
Tavool Stud Finder
This simple, easy-to-use stud finder offers outstanding accuracy and can detect a variety of material types up to a depth of 2.36 inches.

The Tavool Stud Finder is a very reasonably priced electronic stud finder that is every bit as accurate, reliable, and easy to use as many of its far pricier competitors.

This device can accurately locate wood, metal, rebar, and live wiring behind walls, floors, and ceilings up to a depth of 2.36 inches. Unlike most other stud finders in the sub-$50 price range, moreover, the Tavool scanner provides the location of both the edge and the center of the object or material detected, making it far easier to drill holes accurately first time round. One feature that will appeal greatly to most buyers is that the wire detector remains on even when the device is being used in other detection modes, thereby eliminating any fears of drilling or hammering into live wiring if you’ve already scanned the wall for other materials.

The Tavool is also very easy to use. After selecting the desired scanning mode, you simply place the device against the wall to calibrate and then the direction of the detected object will be indicated by both the large, intuitive LCD display and by an alarm that beeps faster and louder the closer you are to the object.

All in all, a simple, fast, and reliable device that offers outstanding value for money.

Tavool Stud Finder Key Features: 

  • 5 detection modes with varying detection depths
  • Large, easy-to-read LCD display
  • Alarm beeps when closer to studs
  • Wire detection always on
  • Ergonomic design
  • Displays center and edges of studs

Best Magnetic Stud Finder: CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder

Best Magnetic Stud Finder
CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder
This simple, easy-to-use stud finder offers outstanding accuracy and can detect all metals up to a depth of 2.36 inches in your walls.

The CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder is a great choice for anyone who places convenience and ease of use high on their priority list and doesn’t anticipate having to locate studs or metals more than 1 inch deep inside their walls.

The wonderfully simple little device uses powerful neodymium magnets and long-lasting rare earth magnets to do its detection and can locate screws, nails and metal studs with ease, as long those materials are no more than an inch into the walls.

While this stud finder doesn’t have the edge-finder capacity boasted by the electronic devices featured above, it is far easier to use, doesn’t require batteries, gives accurate, reliable readings on the center of studs, and uses a 2-way level that simplifies alignment and marking walls prior to drilling or installing new features. It’s also small and compact enough to fit in a shirt pocket and uses a soft rubber grip to prevent drops and increase comfort.

The most notable drawback to this device is its inability to identify the exact type of material detected behind your wall. If, however, you know you’re looking for screw or nails located in a stud, it’s more than fit for the task.

CH Hanson Magnetic Stud Finder Key Features: 

  • Scans to a depth of 1 inch
  • No batteries required
  • Soft, ergonomic grip
  • Two-way level (vertical and horizontal)
  • 2-way level for alignment and market
  • Measures just 3″ x 0.75″ x 1.25″

If you’re in search of an accurate tool to locate the framing studs behind your walls when renovating or adding new furnishings to the walls of your home, these top-rated stud finders are a great choice. For more top-rated products that can help you keep your home in tip-top shape, check out our reviews of the best stick vacuums and the best step ladders.

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