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
Maybe some of the new wall scanners are better.
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,
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
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
I had a tiny one that used a magnet (stanley magnetic stud finder?). It was
cheap but worthless.
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,
I use a little battery operated stud finder that cost me $10. It
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
studfinder has a smooth surface to slide over.
It is also fun to try and see what other things it will work on. By
about with a few experiments, you can get a better feel for how it
on various things other than drywall --- some things well, some not at
Anyway, I think $10 is cheap for a lifetime instrument that I use
5 or 6 times a year.
"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).
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.
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
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
As a minimum, this one
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