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How to Choose a Multipurpose Stud Finder
Multipurpose stud finders allow you to gain the benefits of several useful scanner tools in a single device, often saving you time and money, not to mention some space in your tool box. If you’re stuck deciding between several models and just can’t choose, check out these helpful tips and you’ll be able to make a decision in no time.
Understand the Functionality
First, you should always understand the full functionality offered in any type of multipurpose stud finder, since this is going to be the biggest deciding factor in almost every situation. It’s typical for most models to offer you the ability to scan for metal objects as well as live electric wires in addition to locating wooden studs, so any features beyond these three should be considered bonuses.
In terms of the core scanning ability, take the time to learn about the specifics of each method to make sure that it meets your exact needs. You never know when a model is going to have an unexpected shortcoming or nuance in a scanning type that could make it completely useless for you.
Prioritize Your Primary Needs
A good way to approach the entire subject is by determining what type of scanning tool is most important to you, and looking at all of the specifications from that perspective. Odds are you’re going to be focusing on the stud finder capabilities, which means you should think about the scanning method, visual notifications, and what the display shows (more on this last one below). Remember, it doesn’t matter what kind of fancy features a tool has if it doesn’t perfectly meet your primary needs.
However, if you want something different, such as a wire detector that also happens to check walls for wooden studs, then you might want to consider checking out separate tools for those needs. It’s always a good idea to cross-compare multipurpose tools so that you can really get a good understanding of the features you’re getting.
Examine the Display
Multipurpose stud finders are always going to feature some form of digital display, often an LCD screen that shows symbols to represent your proximity to a stud or object during a scan. Make sure you understand how the display conveys this information and that you are comfortable reading it. Also, the display should have clear icons that show you what mode you are in at any given time, as well as the remaining battery life in the device.
Keep an Eye on Depth
The maximum depth of the scanner is going to be key in a multipurpose tool like this, since each mode functions differently and is intended for different materials. The metal scanning mode should offer greater depths than the stud finder or electrical detection mode, for example, since it is commonly used to detect inside of thick concrete.
Making the Choice
If you still can’t make a choice, think about compiling a list of all the pros and cons of each tool to help you get a thorough comparison. Don’t forget to include price in the list, too, as it can often be a deal breaker when it comes to tools.