Best Stud Finder | UK Guide | 2021

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A stud finder is an essential piece of equipment if you are planning on undertaking any serious renovation or construction work. Not only can a stud finding device precisely locate concealed studs and joists, they can also be used to detect live wires and water pipes. This allows you to avoid any problematic areas when clearing away flooring, ceiling and drywall and save you the time and effort involved in subsequent repairs. A good stud finder should be compact, reliable and easy to use. Our buying guide has all the resources you need to find the best stud finder for your budget.

Electronic Stud Finders Explained

In the past, magnetic stud finders were the standard. These devices used magnetic sensors to identify metallic elements concealed with flooring, ceilings and walls. Although fairly reliable, their function is somewhat limited and they are not all that precise. While you can still find magnetic stud finders available, they have largely been supplanted by electronic stud finders. These battery-powered devices utilise advanced sensors to monitor wall density and alert you to any noticeable chances.

Changes in density can be monitored with incredible levels of precision. They can also be used to identify more obstacles beyond wooden studs, including metal studs and brackets and live wiring. Readings are displayed on LCD screens, giving you accurate feedback on what the sensors have detected.

Electronic stud finders come in two main varieties. Edge finders are the most basic of the two, using a solitary sensor that will trigger an alert when a change in density has been detected. This initial detection will usually mean that the edge of a stud has been found, hence the name. You can subsequently this point and then move the device around that area to get an idea of the overall profile of a nearby stud. While this can be time-consuming, the overall results are fairly accurate.

Centre finders are a better alternative if you want to speed things up. Unlike edge finders, centre finders make use of multiple sensors. These sensors not only accurately detect the location of studs, they also give you an idea of size and the central point of any studs that have been found.

Other Detection Features

The best stud finders will also allow you to identify other things such as AC wires and piping. Should you miss these and begin demolition, you run the risk of causing significant damage that can cost a fortune to repair. Some devices will also allow you to detect moisture in materials, which is a handy feature for those looking to identify damp in older buildings, without having to remove considerable amounts of material.

Scanning Depths

Although many stud finders provide you with multiple detection modes, you will not always get the same scanning depth to work with. However, all stud finders with multiple detection modes will let you know how deep they scan scan for any given material or obstacle. A standard deep scanning mode is a good feature to have as you can use such devices with walls and surfaces of varying thickness.

Display Screens

If you want to make quick work of scanning and stud detection, a large display screen is ideal. A decent LCD screen should be large enough that you can assess readings without having to squint, while a backlight will allow you to use your device in spaces where there is limited light. If time is precious, you should look for models where multiple values are displayed simultaneously on a single screen, without you having to manually sift and sort through various display pages.

Battery Life

Although most stud finders are fairly efficient, you will want to give battery performance some thought. The majority of stud finders utilise disposable batteries, although some can also be recharged via USB. Regardless of the power source, an automatic shutdown feature is good to have as this will prevent your batteries from draining should you forget to switch off your device after carrying out scanning.

Product Reviews

Need to track down studs before carrying out renovation work? Take your pick from one of these quality stud finders to make your DIY tasks as easy as possible.

Stud Finder Wall Scanner – 4 in 1 Stud Detector Detector Beam Finders Wall Detector Sensor Center Finding with LCD Display for Wood AC Wire Metal Studs Cable Joist Detection (Stud Finder)

This 4-in-1 stud finger makes use of advanced sensor technology to quickly and precisely locate studs in various material types, including wood and metal. This digital scanning device provides you with four different operational modes, with each mode providing you with accurate stud detection for a variety of materials.

It can also be used to locate certain wiring and other embedded objects. The standard stud mode allows you to identify studs embedded in wooden beams, drywall and joists at depths of up to 1.2 inches, while the metal mode can detect objects at a depth of 1.57 inches. Th deep scanning mode will allow you to detect metal and wooden objects at depths of up to 1.77 inches, while the wire scan mode can detect active currents and live electrical lines at depths of up to 2.36 inches.

This stud finder features a user-friendly LCD screen that provides you with a host of measurement details. The screen will provide you with visual readings, while sound alerts work alongside the on-screen display to let you know when you are nearing a target object. After a little bit of getting used to, this scanner provides you with a straightforward way of detecting potentially hazardous objects fast. The ergonomic grip also makes this very comfortable to use. This will come as a welcome feature for those who need to carry out a significant amount of demolition and renovation work.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

FOLAI Electronic Center-Finding 4-in-1 Metal AC Stud Detector Wall Wire Scanner Wood Finder with LCD Display and Beep Warning

This versatile stud finder tool from FOLAI provides you with a wide detection range that will allow you to quickly identify any problematic obstacles embedded in materials. This device offers a scanning detection range of 3 inches for metallic objects, 2 inches for wiring and 1.5 inches for studs. These scanning ranges make it incredibly simple to precisely locate obstacles that might be hidden in joists, walls and ceilings. The LCD screen provides you with clear alerts when any issues have been detected, while the stud mode provides you with an audible beep once an item has been detected.

Although fairly easy to use, this stud finder will require some calibration prior to your first use. However, calibration is incredibly easy. All you are required to do is press the calibration button for a couple of seconds before each scan. This device is also compact and ergonomic, with the backlit LCD screen proving very convenient for those undertaking stud and other obstacle detection in dark places. A low battery indicator is also on hand to let you know when your device is running on minimal power, allowing you to reach for fresh batteries before you device shuts off.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

FOLAI Finder, Detector 5 in 1 Mutifunction Wall Scanner with Upgraded Smart Sensor, HD LCD Display and for Wood AC Wire Metal Studs Cable Joist Detection(Batteries Included, Gold, All

Here is another great stud finder from FOLAI that will make advanced DIY and renovation jobs straightforward. This stud finder is one of the more accurate models in this list, allowing you to carry out demolition work safely and quickly. The advanced sensor technology makes it easy to quickly locate metal studs and piping, as well as live wiring. If you are unsure of whether there are supporting beams concealed within walls, ceilings and flooring, this device will allow you to undertake the work you need to do without running into any problems.

This scanning unit provides you with five different modes of operation, allowing you to precisely locate a variety of materials. The bolt scanning mode allows you to detect beams and joists made from wood in dry wall at depths of up 1.5 inches, while the metal mode can scan to depths of 3 inches. You can also make use of the wire detection mode, with scanning detection at depths of 2 inches.

You also do not need to worry about calibrating this device, with calibration taken care of automatically. This compact device will also suit those looking for an ergonomic option that can be handled comfortably for hours at a time. The LCD screen also makes this scanning device a very convenient option, with clear readings of detection alerts. Audible alerts are also available, ensuring you never miss a stray stud again. If you are after a stud finder that is easy to use and provides you with rapid results, this FOLAI device is a good choice.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

Stud Finder Wall Scanner-5 in 1 Stud Detector Detector Beam Finder Wall Detector Sensor Center Finder, Used for Wooden AC Wire Metal Stud Cable Joist Detection, with LCD Display and Buzzer

This compact stud finder makes detecting studs and other concealed objects easier than ever. This finder device offers five individual scanning modes that provide you with a quick way of identifying metal tubes, fire lines, wooden frames, metal brackets and bars. Each mode offers reliable detection of obstacles, with varying detection depths on offer. It is particularly effective at identifying pipes concealed within ceilings, flooring and walls, offering a detection depth of 3 inches.

This device also takes the hard work out of calibration. Automatic calibration means all you need to do is press a button for a couple of seconds prior to using the device. Once calibrated, this device is incredibly accurate, providing you with a quick way of locating studs and other obstacles in a multitude of materials.

The LCD screen is fairly large and comes with a powerful backlight, allowing for clear readings in all conditions. All scanning modes result in clear displays on-screen, while the stud finder mode also provides you with audible alerts to let you know an object has been detected. The screen not only alerts you to any found objects, it also provides you with a signal strength reading that gives you a much clearer idea of what you are working with. A battery level indicator also lets you know when you might need to replace batteries to ensure you can continue using your stud finder for those longer tasks.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

Stud Finder Wood Metal Detector – 5 in 1 Electronic Stud Sensor Wall Scaner Beam Joist Finders Wall Detector Edge Center Finding with Battery LCD Display for Wood Live AC Wire Metal Studs Detection

This 5-in-1 stud finder will allow you to carry out DIY tasks and renovation work more safely than ever. This device boasts a particularly clear LCD screen that not only gives you an indication of the material type of potential hazards, but also gives you a precise idea of where studs and other obstacles are located. The device also provides you with audible alerts in some scanning modes, giving you as clear an idea as possible as where studs and other obstacles are located.

This device will impress those after significant levels of accuracy and reliable results. Upgraded internal sensors mean this finder will quickly identify changes in density in ceilings, floors and walls. It can also give you an idea of the edge profile of studs and other concealed obstacles.

With five different scanning modes, this device can be used to precisely locate a wide range of obstacles. The StudScan mode allows you to scan drywall material at varying depths, while the DeepScan mode lets you assess much thicker layers of drywall material. The Deep StudScan mode is particularly useful, providing you with incredibly high levels of sensitivity that will come in handy if you are dealing with multiple material layers. You can also use this device to check for piping and brackets, as well as live wires. This stud finder requires two AA batteries, with a battery level indicator letting you know when it is time to replace them.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

Stud Finder, Detlev Pro Stud Detector 5 in 1 Mutifunction Wall Scanner with Upgraded Smart Sensor

The Detlev Pro is a quality stud finder that will make quick work of identifying potential problems when carrying out demolition and DIY jobs. There are five different scanning modes on offer to you here. Three of these modes allow you to scan at varying depths to locate wooden obstacles, while a metal scanning mode provides you with a scanning depth of approximately 3.15 inches.

You can also make use of the AC scan mode, which will let you scan for live wires at depths of approximately 2 inches. The auto-calibration button makes calibration of your device incredibly straightforward. Simply hold down the button for a couple of seconds prior to each scan to ensure you get the precise scanning results and readings.

Advanced sensor technology makes this a very reliable choice of stud finder. You can also identify metal pipes and fire lines quickly. The LCD screen means you have a user-friendly display to rely on here. The display not only shows you slight changes in detection results, but it also provides you with feedback on signal strength and calibration progress. The display is backlit, providing you with high levels of visibility at all times. The device operates on AA batteries, with a low voltage indicator on hand to let you know when batteries require replacing.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

Stud Finder, Meterk 4 in 1 Multi Function Wall Scanner Detector with LCD Backlit Screen for Wood Metal Studs, AC Wire and Moisture Detecting

This Meterk stud finder is a multifunctional option for those looking for precise scanning performance. This Meterk finding device provides you with detection modes for identifying wood studs, as well as metal objects. You can also use it to identify live wires, as well as scan for moisture intrusion in wood and other construction materials. Each mode offer a different scanning depth, with enough detection capabilities to accommodate most DIY applications.

This finder device also allows you to identify the central location of studs. When the device identifies the centre of a stud, the signal strength will be increased significantly and be accompanied with an audible alert. You can continue to move the finder until you hone in on the exact central spot of a stud, meaning minimal damage to surrounding materials needs to occur in order to remove them.

This device can also be operated in mute mode, which is handy if you find the audible alerts distracting as you carry out your work. The LCD display also comes with a powerful backlight, allowing you to use this in dark rooms and spaces. This stud finder is also very compact and lightweight, with the large buttons making it easy to calibrate and switch between display options. A battery indicator is also present, meaning you can continue to use your stud finder for hours without encountering any downtime.

AVAILABLE ON AMAZON

Stud Finder Checklist

A stud finder is an essential tool for any DIY enthusiast and a must-have if you plan on carrying out demolition work or advanced renovations to a property. The best stud finders should provide you with multiple scanning modes, allowing you to search for wooden studs, metal brackets and hardware, live wiring and other obstacles. The most advanced devices will also allow you to search for moisture in building materials. When selecting a stud finder, assess whether the scanning depth on offer is sufficient enough for your needs.

Calibration is another thing to consider to ensure you get reliable and precise results. Most stud finders will include an automatic calibration function, requiring you to press a button prior to carrying out scanning. In order to get reliable results, you should also ensure the device includes a large LCD screen. A good display should provide you with information regarding signal strength, obstacle profiles and other data. A backlight will also come in handy if you are scanning the device in dark spaces.

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