The Contractor’s Guide to Choosing an Effective Stud Finder


In the world of construction and professional contractors, choosing the right tools is absolutely essential to getting the job done and ensuring that you can line up more jobs down the line. No contractor should be without a good, dependable stud finder, since they function in a myriad of common construction situations. This guide covers the most important characteristics of a contractor’s stud finder, so that you don’t end up with a tool that’s a total dud.

Efficiency and Comfort

Being able to keep your productivity high is key when you’re out on the job site, and one of the best ways to do that is by choosing a stud finder that is easy for you to hold in your hand. If you know that you commonly wear work gloves, then consider features like anti-slip coating and large buttons so that you don’t have to take off your gloves to use the tool.

Another key factor that contributes to efficiency is the accuracy of the stud finder. A tool that requires multiple passes to find a stud, for example, is going to slow you down and make you waste your time on what should be a simple task. For some, this could mean choosing an electronic stud finder over a magnetic model.

The Power of Scanning Depth

Scanning depth is likely going to be one of the most important specifications you look at on a stud finder, because it’s going to determine if you can actually use it effectively in your job site. Even if you typically only work on residential homes with single sheets of drywall in place, deep scanning functionality is ideal. Being able to check walls 1 inch thick or more means you can operate in a wider range of environments, so look for models with a high scanning depth.

Benefits of Multipurpose Scanners


Odds are you’re going to be dealing with jobs that require you to do more than just locate a stud in a wall, which is why multipurpose scanners can be a contractor’s best friend. A good multipurpose scanner should allow you to check walls for metal targets, such as piping, as well as live AC wires. In these models, make sure to check the scanning depth for each mode, to make sure that they all meet your needs.

Marking Features

Finding the stud is only half of the procedure, since you’re going to need to make note of its location and then get to work on your project. Many contractors can benefit from stud finders that feature center scanning functionality that lets you pinpoint the exact center of the stud and not just the sides. Also, some models may feature holes built into the scanner head for making marks, or offer display lights to easily mark above the scanner.

Closing Notes

Some models may offer additional features or components that can make your life a little easier, such as including a sheath that clips onto your tool belt. Remember to read through the product description for each model so you know exactly what you’re getting with that unit.