OT: Need a Good Stud Finder


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Messages 1 - 18 of total 18 in this topic

Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 13, 2018 - 08:55pm PT
No, I don't swing that way. Looking for a good tool to locate wall studs for hanging stuff from. All the stud finders I've used in the past sucked. Anyone know of a good one?

Ice climber
Jun 13, 2018 - 09:22pm PT
Some thermal cameras claim to do this and more.

Termites, rats, leaks etc

They sound kind of fun


Jun 13, 2018 - 09:34pm PT
An IR camera would work much of the year. A good rare-earth magnet hanging from a string will easily finf the GWB fasteners.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 13, 2018 - 09:40pm PT
Thanks. I'm pretty good at finding them by tapping on the wall until there is a solid response. Kinda like banging pins. Just wondered if there was a good tool for the job.
ground chuck

Ice climber
Jun 13, 2018 - 09:53pm PT
Maria Shriver?

hammer and nail. once you figure 16 or 18, your wired.

or go under the house and tap on all the 2 x 4's till you hear a response from above. 1 tap means you missed it, 2 taps means you are inhaling rat sh#t. 3 taps means go to the hardware store and spend the $3.99.


Mountain climber
Jun 13, 2018 - 09:54pm PT
This might be helpful:

Happy Cowboy

Social climber
Boz MT
Jun 14, 2018 - 03:20am PT
I agree w’BJ ^^^ about the rare earth magnet.
I worked as a Trim carpenter and had a small piece wood with a 1/2” magnet embedded.
Found it much more reliable and convenient. It “sticks” to the underlying fasteners.

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, CO
Jun 14, 2018 - 03:37am PT
I had one of those ultrasonic ones as shown in the video. It was pretty great. You can find the edges of both sides of the studs. The other day I used the rare earth magnet kind and it also was half decent. This was for finding a stud in a popcorn ceiling, which would be a pain for the ultrasonic one as it works best when flush with the drywall.

Social climber
Sierra Madre, Ca.
Jun 14, 2018 - 06:08am PT
Back in the day, I used to be pretty good at finding them by punching holes in walls...

Ice climber
Jun 14, 2018 - 06:11am PT


I'm more interested in termites and fun, but $400 doesn't seem that bad. I haven't checked out the quality at $400 yet.


Mountain climber
golden, rollin hills of California
Jun 14, 2018 - 06:22am PT
A magnet on a string will swing toward and stick to the nail or screw in the stud.
Off White

Tenino, WA
Jun 14, 2018 - 10:38am PT
I've found this variety very helpful, it's wide enough to find both edges of the stud. It's become standard equipment for cabinet installation.
Credit: Off White

Big Wall climber
Jun 14, 2018 - 11:01am PT
When my daughter flew the nest, I bought her a set of Ryobi cordless tools - very cheap, a couple hundred for about 8 or 9 18v tools and storage duffle for all of it. She's not working construction just using one here and there to hang a picture or put together some ikea. You get a lot of stuff for the money. A stud finder was included, which to my surprise, worked perfectly. Cheap option to try
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Jun 14, 2018 - 11:41am PT
The ultrasonic stud finders work well on drywall, not so good on older walls such as plaster over board and lath and plaster.
steve s

Trad climber
Jun 14, 2018 - 03:12pm PT
A good strong magnet passed back and forth in some resemblance of a pattern works way better than any fancy electric stud finder. Pretty much all I use for n many years of trim carpentry. Also knowledge of common layout in framing and your best guess at what them old timers were thinking. What were they thinking anyhoot?
Jim Clipper

from: forests to tree farms
Jun 14, 2018 - 03:20pm PT
Another vote for the one like OffWhite posted. My brother bought me one, I was a skeptic. He likes to be right...

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jun 25, 2018 - 06:49am PT
Jon Beck speaks da truth about plaster. That said the expensive Zircon one is pretty good on plaster, unless there are metal studs. DOH!

Social climber
The internet
Jun 25, 2018 - 08:37am PT
Another vote for the one like OffWhite posted.

I went out and bought one based on reviews. It's no better overall than any other ultrasonic, such at the less expensive Zircons at Home Depot - I have 2 of those to compare.

Also - if you happen to have foil faced insulation in the wall, none of these gizmos work at all.
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