Stud finders

Are there any inexpensive stud finders that work well and are easy to use on drywall walls? Thank you in advance for all replies.
--
I am TERRIBLY cruel to my cat. I tease him with a vine tendril
until he either jumps up in the air to bat at it or zooms around
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All I can tell you is to avoid anything with the name Zircon. These things are total garbage. I swear they're based on a random number generator that guesses where the stud is.
I tried one multiple times on a sheetrock wall and it was totally wrong multiple times.
Maybe some of the new wall scanners are better.
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I use a Zircon Studsensor Pro 4.0. Works every time. Also has a (deep scan) in case you have 5/8 " drywall or thick plaster. W W
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mine works fine..
randy

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Greetings,
I find that tapping the drywall and listening is fairly accurate and very low cost. If you find where a single stud is you can double check by tapping 16 inches to the left and right. You can tripple check by putting a SMALL nail through the drywall and seeing if it hits wood 1/2 inch in.
Hope this helps, William

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a
Or you can use a stud finder! You can get one for less than $15 and it will last you the rest of your life.
I did the tap and test hole technique for years. Yeah, it's OK in a pinch, but the rub is in the "fairly accurate" factor. I've wasted a lot of time and also put a lot of false holes in walls trying to find a stud. This never happens with a decent stud finder.
I find the stud finder much more accurate and efficient. Many, many, many times more accurate and efficient. I put it into the top category my tools - so simple, easy to use and cheap and once you have it, you never understand why you didn't have it before and it's worth every penny it cost and then some.
The only problem is that it goes nuts and lights up whenever I get close to it. 8-)
PS in answer to OP: I don't know the brand of mine, but it is a common, very basic variety that's about the size of a pack of cigarettes and uses batteries. It has a line of little LEDs that progress as you approach the stud. No audible, no other reading - but it works very well for about 10 years now. My kids can find studs unerringly with it. Battery lasts "forever".
I had a tiny one that used a magnet (stanley magnetic stud finder?). It was cheap but worthless.
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Greetings,
I own a studfinder but normally don't bother to spend the time to go get it when I need it. It's just quicker to tap. If I cannot find the stud by tapping normally the finder doesn't help much either.
Hope this helps, William

very
putting
cost
to
was
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Daniel Prince wrote:

Andy replies:
I use a little battery operated stud finder that cost me $10. It uses the reflection of sound thru the drywall to locate the areas of high reflection (when a stud is on the other side) and little LED lights to tell you where it is. I have used it for 10 years, with great success.
If the wall it rough, I put a sheet of notebook paper on the wall so the studfinder has a smooth surface to slide over.
It is also fun to try and see what other things it will work on. By messing about with a few experiments, you can get a better feel for how it works on various things other than drywall --- some things well, some not at all.....
Anyway, I think $10 is cheap for a lifetime instrument that I use 5 or 6 times a year.
Andy
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i've had one of those $10 units for about ten years now also, always works well
as to negative comments on it, don't have any, but they say a bad carpenter blames his tools...

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Daniel Prince wrote:

"inexpensive" means different values to different people. You might want to be more specific.
There is one for a couple of bucks that is nothing more than a magnet with a pointer. It works only if you are lucky enough to pass it over a nail or screw holding the sheetrock. Not worth a crap!!
There is an electronic one for about $20, available from Lowes/HD etc that works very well. It projects a beam up the wall at the wall stud's edge. Approaching from both directions gives you exact stud location. Will also indicate electrical wiring adjacent to the stud. Will also work through double thick sheetrock (firewall).
Bob S.
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You need this one when the electronic one doesn't work if you have plywood backing like the common garage wall. For plaster and lath I have no idea - x-ray machine perhaps but that's not inexpensive.

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On 12/22/2004 12:40 PM US(ET), Daniel Prince took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

Most all of them work. I was in HD the other day and saw one of those high faluttin' ones that can distinquish between wood and metal. Claims to find pipes, wiring, etc.
--
Bill

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On Wed, 22 Dec 2004 17:40:06 GMT, Daniel Prince

I use a cheap one that semi works, but always follow up with a tiny drill bit to check for accuracy. The holes are invisible.
PJ
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In my experience, they work, but are not foolproof. For one thing, they require a little bit of human intelligence to work at all. You have to "train" the unit by holding it over a spot where there is no stud. Usually 8" from a corner will do. If you happen to choose a spot where there is a stud it won't find anything. If you skip this step altogether (as many people do) you also won't get any useful results.
I have also found that the stud finder will usually read as if a 1.5" wide stud is about 3" wide. This is no trouble if you mark each end of the area and use the midpoint as your stud location. If you instead just put a screw in where the stud finder says there's an "edge", you'll have poor results. You can make it more discriminating by retraining the unit close to, but not on a known stud.
And sometimes, they just don't find everything, for reasons unknown. But I do find them useful.
Greg G.
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A FLAT magnet like the ones you remove from old hard drives works well.
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Well, I tried the stud finders but they're either gay or married. he he he
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Daniel Prince wrote:

I've never found any of them reliable. So I remove the baseboard, tap until I think I've found a stud, and drill behind the baseboard. Studs are usually 16" on centers.
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Also...do these work with old plaster and metal screen lathe walls? I'm thinking not, but am hopeful.
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I have a cheap Zircon that works kinda OK. I couldn't get reliable results with it trying to find ceiling joists behind drywall so I used one of those nasty strong Lee Valley ceramic magnets to find the nails/screws. Worked well. Brian, in Cedar
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I have 2 Zircon units. One is their cheapest--it wasn't much good so, I bought their next better unit, the Studsensor Pro 4. It does a pretty good job. Let's say, if I broke it, I'd by another immediately, but if I were buying one today I'd probably buy this one http://www.zircon.com/SellPages/ScanAndSensor/SSProSL-AC/SSProSL-AC-Main.html
As a minimum, this one http://www.zircon.com/SellPages/ScanAndSensor/SSProSL/SSSLpro.html
jim
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