Factors to Consider When Buying a Stud Finder

home wallWhen you need to mount shelves in your study room or hang a painting in your living room, a stud finder can be a worthwhile addition to your toolbox. Ideally, this tool saves you from the hassles involved in locating studs. This means that you will be able to save a considerable amount of time and improve on quality.  

First, what is a stud finder? This handheld device allows you to locate the location of thick pieces of wood. There are two main types of stud finders – magnetic and electric. Each of these options offers unique features as far as the location of a stud finder is concerned. If you are shopping for studs finders, then here some essential factors to consider.

Sensor Type

Most stud finders that you find out there either have electric and magnetic sensors. Magnetic sensors do not need a power source to work. They rely on the earth’s magnetic field, to help you locate studs using the magnetization effects on the nails. Electric sensors, on the other hand, rely on density changes to detect the presence of a stud. Unlike magnetic sensors, electric stud sensors are reasonably accurate. However, they also tend to be more expensive to use. 

Sensor Size

Besides the nature of the sensor, you also need to consider the size of the sensors when comparing stud finders. Bigger sensors offer distinct benefits, such as the ability to cover more space in less time. Besides size, you might also explore the possibility of buying a sensor with multiple sensors. Multiple sensors give you wider coverage and deeper penetration. 

Center Targeting Capabilities

Although advanced scanner mostly offer this feature, it can be incredibly helpful. This feature saves you from the hassles involved in doing manual calculations to determine the center of a stud. However, most stud locators that offer this feature take some time before locating the center. So it might be advisable to find a scanner that has some form of visual display to let you know when it has successfully located the stud’s center. 


A good stud finder should be easy to hold. The lack of grip or other ergonomic features can limit you from holding the stud properly, and this might lead to some functional issues such as loss of calibration. While most models are comfortable to use, always make sure you choose a device that is comfortable to you.