Most modern homes will have some stud walls or partition walls. These are internal walls that contain a wooden stud frame, that usually has drywall attached which can then be plastered and painted/wallpapered.
Drilling into walls can be tricky, as you want to try and drill directly into a beam. If you do not, you risk breaking any unsupported drywall and potentially cracking your partition walls.
This is why the best stud finder in the UK is an invaluable tool. A stud finder is an electronic tool that can scan walls to detect different materials like wood, metal, and cables.
In this guide, we have found ten of the best models for your benefit. This includes some multiusage tools that can scan for other items too.
Best Stud Finder Reviews – Top 10 Picks
The Bosch Professional Stud Finder GMS 120 is our choice for the best stud finder UK stores have to offer. It is a robust device that has multiple functions and is relatively easy to use. Also, it is ergonomic and comfortable to hold.
This detector has a small screen and a limited menu selection, but it shows the scanning function and detection range clearly. The basic package comes with a quality carry case and a wrist strap which is great for working on site.
For detection, this product features a three-colour LED indicator ring. It lights up either red, yellow, or green depending on your proximity to an object beneath the wall surface.
It also has advice and instructions for safe usage and how you can gain the most accurate results without potentially incurring electrical injuries.
Although this is one of the best stud finders it may not be perfect. For example, some could find the metal detection features a little inaccurate. Also, some could find the results difficult to understand on the screen.
For tradespeople and those who do some serious DIY work, the Bosch Wall Scanner D-TECT 120 is a great product. It has various modes and can be used as a detector for materials like plastic pipes, magnetic metal, and wooden studs.
This Bosch product uses advanced radar technology to provide accurate results. It also has an enhanced screen compared to many other models on this list. The screen is clear and shows what you are detecting in superior detail.
You can choose from three different settings including drywall, concrete, or universal. This gives you great flexibility to scan on different surfaces and different parts of the building.
In the basic package, you also get a battery adapter and 4x AA batteries so you can start using it immediately. If you don’t want to use the AA batteries, you can make use of the 12V Li-ion battery instead.
This wood and metal stud finder could still have a few issues, however. For example, the battery life may not be the best. Also, the results of the wall scanner could vary depending on the quality of the walls.
For those who want a simple but effective electronic stud finder for home usage, this JAXWQ product is a good option. The screen is easy to read, and it has some useful features for detecting live wires, metal, and wood studs.
This product features an intelligent micro-sensor chip that provides good sensitivity and accuracy when scanning. It can be used to detect the centre of wooden studs, metal studs, pipes, joists, and other objects.
It has also gone through a rigorous testing process and should provide accuracy as high as 99.95%. Tradespeople and DIY enthusiasts will find this product useful due to its 5 in 1 functionality.
We also like the simple LCD display that provides great detail of what you have detected. For usage, this product also automatically calibrates which saves you the hassle.
These JAXWQ stud finders are decent, but they may have some small problems. Firstly, the centre locator feature could be temperamental. Secondly, this tool may not provide the most accurate results for finding live wires.
The Tavool Wall Scanner can give good readings across the wall and has an easy to read LCD screen. It is also one of the best multifunctional stud finders and can be used to scan for a good range of materials.
As a 4 in 1 scanner, this product is versatile for walls, ceilings, and floors. The screen features a simple menu that shows a positioning indicator. It also shows when you have found the centre of the object you are scanning.
For ease of use, the chassis of this stud finder has a curved grip with indents where you can comfortably hold it.
Also, it has a simple operation with a single push button on the side. You also receive a sound warning when objects are detected. It can be used on pipes, wires, beams, rebar, and metal studs.
This tool could still present a few issues, however. For example, to find studs this works great, but for other materials, the results may be less accurate. Also, this device could be tricky to use so it is advised to use a stud finder on test walls beforehand.
The Jurgen K Stud Finder can be used for more than just studs – it also detects AC live wires and metal in walls/floors and ceilings. If you want a good value product with an LCD screen that is easy to interpret, this is a good option.
This stud detector has a simple menu display beneath the screen that shows various detection items including the thickness. Aside from this, it has five scanning modes that you can use to detect anything from wood studs, metal studs and beams, to wires and pipes.
When scanning, once something is detected like metal studs, for example, a beeping noise sounds to give greater feedback.
Also, we like the shape and design of this stud finder. It should prove comfortable to use and easy to grip.
This Jurgen K tool may not be perfect, however. For example, it may not have the clearest of instructions. Also, the chassis of this wood and metal stud finder may not be made from the best quality materials.
The Tavool Stud Finder offers an advanced LCD screen that shows the positioning and type of material in good detail. If you need a great value product to find studs and the location of other items behind your walls, this is a decent option.
At the bottom of the screen, there is a host of icons that relate to different depths. The screen also features a power indicator, and lights to show which type of material it has detected.
We also like the deep scan mode which can scan through multiple layers of drywall and thicker surfaces. For metal studs, AC wires, wooden studs and more, this is a great product.
It also features a shaped handle for comfortable usage.
This tool is a great stud finder, but it could have some minor issues. Firstly, you could find the scanning mode to be over-sensitive. Also, you could find that this magnetic stud finder requires regular calibration.
The FOLAI Electronic stud finder has a 4 in 1 function and can be used to detect various materials. It also offers a good detection system and audio feedback when objects like wood and metal are found.
This product can be used to find wires, studs, and other items through plaster walls, ceilings, and floors. It features several modes that are easy to cycle through using the single power button.
Also, it has a large LCD screen that shows the location of studs but also shows the material you are scanning. It also provides beeping feedback when an object is detected behind a wall.
We also like the backlit LCD as this provides great visibility even if you are working in difficult and cramped conditions.
These FOLAI stud finders are great products, but they could still present a few issues. For example, the accuracy of the stud finder may depend on the quality of the wall you are scanning. Also, this stud finder may not have the easiest of calibration processes.
This FOLAI product is one of the few 5 in 1 tool available and is great if you regularly need to scan surfaces that could contain any number of materials.
This stud finder features five modes and it can scan for wires, studs, and more. For example, it can detect wooden beams behind drywall up to 5 inches deep, or pipes up to 3 inches deep.
For ease of use, it automatically calibrates, and it also has a shaped handle so you can hold and sweep it comfortably.
The LCD screen is one of the best quality models available and it offers a clear display with real colours compared to some stud finders that have older monotone screens. For detecting studs and wires, this is a great product.
These FOLAI magnetic stud finders are good products, but they may not be perfect. For example, when detecting AC wires, you could find the results inconsistent. Also, this tool may not have the easiest of operations and you could find it difficult to use.
If you want the best stud detector for multiple materials, the Zircon Stud Finder A200 is a decent choice. It has a fantastic design and is comfortable to hold, it also detects various materials including non-ferrous metal and ferrous metal.
When you use a stud finder you want it to be comfortable to hold. This Zircon product offers that with a curved handle that provides a solid, but comfortable grip.
Also, this stud finder features several modes so you can find the location of things like wooden studs, AC cables, and metal. For beginners, it also has an ACT (auto-correcting technology) feature that helps overcome basic user errors.
For scanning, it can detect iron-based and non-iron based metals, but also AC cables, wood, plastic pipes, and more.
This is a great stud finder for wood and metal, but it could have a few issues. For example, it does not come supplied with a battery which you may find inconvenient. Also, each time you turn the stud finder on, it re-calibrates which can slow down the scan process.
The Zircon MultiScanner A250 is a comfortable and ergonomic stud finder that has a simple LCD screen and is one of the best stud finders for pure comfort and ease of use.
This tool can easily detect the location of different materials even inches deep across the wall. You can find wood studs, metal studs, and wires. For detection, the LCD screen has multiple colours when it detects various objects.
Also, for simple usage, these stud finder models have auto-correcting technology. This means that if you use the device wrongly, it will correct and help you scan walls properly.
We also like the design of these magnetic stud finders as they have a comfortable grip that has an ergonomic shape to fit in your hand.
Although this is an easy to use stud finder, it does not come with a 9V battery supplied so you have to buy this separately. Also, you could find that the scan detector button gives little feedback when you have it pressed down.
How to Choose a Stud Finder?
There is a great choice of stud detectors to choose from, but which is the best tool for you? This depends on when and where you intend to use it, and other important factors. There are many factors that we took into account when formulating these stud finder reviews; factors you should consider, as well.
First, consider the capacity for usage. Are you a tradesperson who needs a stud scanner for work? Or do you merely require an electronic stud finder to use at home when hanging frames? This may dictate the quality of the product you buy and which product reviews you look at. Once you have done this, consider the factors listed below:
Firstly, look at the LCD display screen. The multi-scanner should have an easy to read LCD or LED screen. The screen itself should be of high quality with a decent resolution.
Also, it should be easy to understand. There is nothing worse than using a device only to find that the screen shows a complex array of numbers and text that you don’t understand! Obviously, you will need to read the instructions and learn how to use a stud finder, but still, the screen should display info in an easy-to-digest manner.
Next, you should look at what the stud wall detector can scan for. Obviously, as a bare minimum, it should be able to detect wooden stud walls. All the electronic stud finders listed above can do this.
However, some electronic stud finders also have a range of scanning mode options. Some, for example, can scan for metal objects like screws and nails. Others can scan for metal and live cables and wires. Many scanners can also find pipes.
Generally speaking, the more materials the magnetic stud finder has, the better. However, if you just want it for hanging picture frames and you know you only have certain aspects to worry about, one of the more basic ones may suit you, too.
Precision and Accuracy
You should also consider the precision of the scanning modes. Some electronic stud finders simply detect studs in a wide area. Others, however, offer greater precision and can pinpoint the exact location of the studs.
Also, some electronic stud finders even offer a deep scan mode which can be used to show the centre of a stud beam, and it’s edges. This is highly useful as in most instances you want to drill or screw nails directly into the centre of the stud for the best connection.
Finally, look at the accessories, if any, the stud finder comes with. Ideally, it should have a protective case or bag so you can keep it safe when not in use. Also, some stud finders have attachable wrist straps so you can keep them handy when working.
Also, consider the battery and power source. Some stud finders have rechargeable ion batteries, whereas others may use traditional alkaline batteries.
We hope you have found this guide beneficial. Stud finders are important tools that can save you much time, effort, and hassle. Imagine if you drilled through a partition wall and collapsed the drywall? Or if you accidentally damaged important electrical cables or pipes? Stud detectors can help avoid such situations.
Any one of the above best stud finders would make a great tool. However, our choice for the best stud finder UK stores have to offer is the Bosch Professional Stud Finder GMS 120. Bosch is a reliable manufacturer of DIY tools and equipment, and the GMS120 is a versatile stud scanner with an easy to read LCD and ergonomic design.