Magnetic Versus Electronic Stud Locator – Which One to Buy

Magnetic Versus Electronic Stud Locator – Which One to Buy

Stud Locator

Widely known as stud finders, stud sensors and stud detectors in mainstream home improvement. If you are a rugged type of guy who likes to do house maintenance on his own and enjoys every bit of it than you must know what a stud locator is but just for a reference a stud is any protruded and elongated metallic piece that is readily fixed inside a wall without any visual appearance on the wall’s surface. It has to be discovered and utilized to hang articles on the walls of different kind of vicinities. These articles can be a painting, a cabinet, a shelf or even your plasma TV loves to hang with them.

To manually discover or find a stud hidden inside a wall is the high time to keep a stud locator at hand because finding studs behind walls can give you a tough time and causing you to literally spend frustrating hours just to locate the studs and still there is a good chance that you may ruin walls by drilling at wrong locations until you may finally learn or get an admission in a construction course.

There are two types of stud finders magnetic and electronic. Both are very easy to use but in order to help you decide, you can have a look at the comparison between the two on the following link .

Magnetic Stud locators

Magnetic stud locator is a simple magnet hinged or placed on a spinning point and responds to presence of hidden metallic objects.

Upsides of Magnetic stud locators

  • A cost effective deal.
  • Lighter in weight.
  • Smaller in size.
  • Ease of use.
  • Functionality without batteries.
  • Good for Half an inch to one inch studs.

Downsides of Magnetic stud locators

  • Inaccuracy, may not give you the exact center of the stud.
  • Other metallic objects in the wall may confuse the reading of magnetic stud locator.
  • You cannot detect the metallic materials that is inside the wall.
  • Deep rooted studs inside walls may be undetectable.

Electronic Stud locators

The electronic stud finders sense the changes in capacitance (or changes in dielectric constant) to detect objects inside the wall.

Upsides of Electronic Stud Locators

  • High accuracy.
  • Up to three-inch-deep scanning.
  • Can detect other metallic stuff in the wall like pipes, wires etc.
  • Can detect nonmetallic objects like wood and others hidden materials.

Downsides of Electronic Stud Locators

  • Sometimes very high on expense.
  • Can run out of batteries at the moment of high need.
  • Complication of functionality can require a learning curve.
  • Taxing on physical space for carrying and keeping.


If you are a beginner, amateur or have a DIY business, magnetic stud finders are a good choice to get the hang of these kinds of scanning devices. If you are a professional constructor than one of both stud finders can come in handy.