If youre new to stud finders you may think that they sound complicated. But theres nothing complicated about them, really. With a little bit of help, you can easily choose the right stud locator for your needs.
There are a number of models to choose from, but you can narrow your list down by using the guide below. It will help give you an idea of what you can expect to find on the market and it will also give you the confidence you need to pick out the best Stud Locator best suited for you.
Choosing Between Electronic and Magnetic Stud Locators
Thankfully, stud locators are generally inexpensive tools. Even though they may not be as expensive as a brand-new table saw, it is still an investment, and you need to make sure you choose something worth your money. Even with a fixed budget in mind, it can become difficult going through the hundreds of products available on the market at that price.
Luckily for you, you only need to choose between two kinds of stud locators: electronic and magnetic. Electronic stud locators tend to be more popular than magnetic ones because of the extra features they come with. However, like any other tool, they also both have their pros and cons.
Electronic Stud Locator
The reason why this type of stud locator is popular is that it not only locates studs behind the wall, it also helps locate wires, stud edges and fasteners, and any other things that may be behind a wall that you would want to avoid hitting.
These stud locators work by measuring the density of the wall, and where there may be a stud or anything else, they emit a beeping light. When compared to its counterpart, electronic stud locators tend to be more accurate than magnetic ones. Because of this, they cost more than magnetic stud locators. An additional cost is that you will need to buy batteries in order for the stud locator to work.
Under electronic stud locators, there are various types as well and even though they differ from each other in appearance and cost, they still function the same. One type is an edge finder which works by locating stud edges, which is useful because then you can mark the center of the stud. Other more advanced types find the center of the stud for you helping you save time.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Electronic Stud Locator
When shopping for an electronic stud locator, these are the factors you need to consider:
- An LCD screen which will display the stud and anything else that may be found behind the wall. The hi-tech models even have a backlight that allows you to read the locator in the dimmest lighting conditions.
- Locators with different modes offer flexibility in choosing whether you want your locator to locate studs or other things such as wiring, pipes or other things.
- Electronic locators with AC wire warnings help prevent you from accidentally drilling into a live wire.
- Choose locators that have an LED indicator which lights up when you place the locator over the stud. This can help alert you, in addition to the LCD readings.
Magnetic Stud Locator
These are simple locators, and the best thing and advantage they have over electronic locators is that they do not require a power source to function. Run out of batteries? Not a problem. This stud locator works by using a magnet to locate the nails used in the fastenings. They are not as accurate as their electronic counterparts, but they are still a nifty tool to have.
The one advantage magnetic locators have over electronic ones is that they are reliable no matter the wall type. Electronic stud locators are accurate on drywalls and give less than accurate results on tile, plaster and masonry walls.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Magnetic Stud Locators
When choosing a magnetic stud locator, this is what you should look out for:
- Choose a compact design that can easily fit on a keychain or into your pocket.
- Choose a magnet that is powerful enough such that it sticks to the wall as you mark the stud locations.
Now you can have an easier time shopping for stud locators armed with the information from the guide above.