Stud Sensors: Accuracy ?

I've got Home Depot's fanciest-schamanciest stud finder: "Zircon HD 70".
This one claims to find the center of the stud and has a precise-looking display.
But I am getting significantly-different "center' locations each time I locate the same stud... especially when coming in from the left vs right and vice-versa.
My workaround is to take a bunch of measurements, take the center of the resulting cluster as the center of the stud, and then drill little pilot holes starting 7/8" to the left/right and working inwards until I hit wood.
The Question: Is this about all I can expect from this thing, or might I be missing something?
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On 03/15/2016 12:57 PM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

...

Yep...they're approximations at best...Fine Homebuilding had a comprehensive review some time ago where they did testing against a known set of prefab wall surfaces over small wall sections. None were perfect by any stretch; their ability decreases rapidly with anything else on the wall surface than the minimal plain sheetrock and are also easily confused when there are other materials in the cavity such as blocking, plumbing and/or HVAC lines, etc., etc, etc., ...
I forget which came out where in the ratings; a search online at the Fine Homebuilding site will probably uncover the review which testing and results will probably help you understand limitations when you see the testing done and results...plus I know it had at least a couple of the Zircon models in the test and seems like several others were the same innards (or they were the same innards as somebody elses's, I forget which).
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Per dpb:

Kinda what I figured.... no disappointment there...
Just wanted to make sure I wasn't doing something dumb.
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Most women are Stud Sensors......
Use your wife! (unless you are NOT qualified as a stud) :)
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wrote in message
Most women are Stud Sensors......
Use your wife! (unless you are NOT qualified as a stud) :)
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wrote:

This one doesn't require any movement ; and can also locate things besides studs - if they are not too deep into the wall cavity
http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?pi828&cat=1,43513
John T
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Per snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.com:

That one rings a lot truer to me than the thing I have.
Wish I had done my homework before spending the bucks.
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I thought that looked interesting, and I had never seen one like that before.
But, one thing that I noticed in the photo of the device in action is that it detected the pipe on the right that is behind the wall. We can see that it is a pipe because the wall is open. But, in real life, without being able to see what is behind the wall, would the readings look like there were two studs behind the wall? And, couldn't that lead to someone thinking the place on the right was a good place to nail or screw into the wall because it looked like it was a stud location and not a pipe location?
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On Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 7:42:26 PM UTC-4, TomR wrote:

If you look at the LEDs, there are 3 lit for a full width stud and only 2 for the pipe. I would think (but can't be sure without actually using the device) that you could use some basic facts, such as the location of known studs (a doorway for example), 16" measurements, etc. to differentiate between studs, pipes and other things inside the wall.
e.g. If I see 3 lights every 16" and then 2 (or even 3) lights 4 inches away from one of 16" OC locations, I would probably be safe in assuming that those lights are not showing me a stud.
In other words, I would use other "tools" - even my brain ;-) - in combination with the stud sensor to help locate the studs.
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On Thu, 17 Mar 2016 12:07:23 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03 wrote:

Just drive in a nail and see if you get sparks or spray.
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On 3/15/16 1:57 PM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

Instead of doing that chicken dance, just tap the wall with your knuckle, locate the right and left stud edges, approximate the center, and nail away.
Return the stud locator to HD and take the missus out for a nice dinner with the money;-)
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wrote:

The one my brother bought me 25 years ago -- no display, just 6 leds in a vertical line -- works great.
Maybe there are some places where it could get confused but the vast majority of the time the distance from the left to the right side was accurate to less than an 8th of an inch. 1/16 on each side.
This looks very much like it: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ZIRCON-STUDSENSOR-3-0-Stud-Finder-/141908144175?hash=item210a62702f:g:UVwAAOSwrklVNWQo
I did a lot of stuff and it was great to have.

I didn't have these problems. I can go from either direction and I can continue from the start of the stud to the end of the stud and get the same as from the other direction afaicr. And I think it was a Zircon. If you want me to look for it, I will.
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