Different Types of Stud Locators and How Each Work

When you want to hang heavy stuff like mirrors and shelves on the wall, it is imperative to locate where studs are so that the drilling or screwing process would be a walk in the park.  While this might seem easy for professional contractors, it may not be the same for you. Here’s when you realize you badly need a stud locator. Quite often contractors need this important device when undertaking complex projects. Stud locators are of different types and here is how they work.

Edge stud finder

This stud locator was introduced to the market in the 1970s. Before you start your project, you first have to calibrate it. Unlike new stud finders, this can only detect the left and right side of the studs. You are then left to figure out the center of the stud, which is not as challenging. Also, it comes in only two modes.

Magnetic stud finder

This type of a finder is unique as it does not use batteries but as its name suggests, it uses an unusual type of magnet. If you need to hang a bathroom shelf or wall framework, then choosing this is highly advised. With this tool, you can quickly locate screw from the wall board. To find magnetic materials on the wall, you will have to move it back and forth throughout the wall. Once it detects the metal, it will either produce a beeping sound or sticks on the wall where the magnetic material lays.

The Instant stud finder

The majority of constructors prefer this stud locator to others, for its ease of use and is quick to detect studs. It is essential for multiple engineering sites. What’s more, the unit comes with discounted accessories such as a bubble level and ruler making the project alignment a success.

The center stud finder

This type of finder and the edge stud finder almost work on the same principle, only that with the center stud locator, detects the edge and uses it to find the center of the stud. It first must be calibrated, and you do this by placing it on the wall then press the button as you move it horizontally while still pressing the button. Do this to determine the edge of the stud, and from there, repeatedly sliding it across the wall will detect the center of the slide.


Having known of the different types and how each works, you now need to be equipped with the tips on how, as a contractor, you need to choose a suitable tool for the job and benefit from it. The tips will not only ensure a stress-free buying experience but also ensure that you can line up several jobs ahead.

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