Electronic Stud Finders Blog

Zircon Studsensor I65 Onestep Review: Updated For 2017

The Zircon Studsensor I65 Onestep has both a good price label (around $30) and also a manufacturer that we have so far been able to rely on for quality – Zircon.

It indicates studs with the same methods as other Zircon products (with a visual gauge and a spotlight) so if you’ve used others before then it shouldn’t be too difficult to adapt to this model. It also has two different modes for detection:

– Stud scan mode which detects studs up to 3/4 inch deep into drywall
– Deep Scan mode which doubles the range to 1 1/2 inches.

There is also WireWarning detection which will alert you to any live wires beneath the surface. This technology runs automatically alongside the two modes so whichever mode you’re in you’ll be aware of any wires to look out for.  So the I65 uses a similar system to other Zircon products, but is it as worthwhile or is there a reason for its difference in price?

It requires a little more attention to detail

Many Zircons have been found to require slower movements and firm pressure to ensure they work to their full potential, and the Studsensor I65 in particular relies on this. One point to note with this product is that haste interferes with effectiveness. We all like to get things done quickly, devoting only half of our attention to the job whilst we daydream about things we’d rather be doing than stud finding; but if you want the results quickly and without error, it’s worth focusing on a steady and firm hold and slow movements.

You also need to hold the depth setting button whilst you scan so that you can get an accurate idea of stud dimensions. This may all seem like a lot of hassle but for the money you’re saving by avoiding the more high tech models, it’s surely worth putting in that extra bit of effort. With a little patience you’ll be getting the same results for a lot cheaper price. 

It’s got classic Zircon clarity

The I65 Onestep shows you both the location of the edges of studs, by using visual bars on the LCD display, and also stud centres, by highlighting them with the built in spotlight pointing system. The different indicators for centres and edges avoid confusion and show both simultaneously.

The LCD display will also point you in the direction of studs with an arrow, should you have passed over them when you began scanning, and the word ‘stud’ or ‘AC’ will appear along with an audible tone when you have found studs or live wires, so you can always be sure when and what you have detected. The signal strength indicator will also tell you how deep or shallow the target is.

However, there is one aspect that this Zircon lacks clarity in and thats when it comes to the material of detections, as it doesn’t have the technology to distinguish between wood and metal. Only if this was something you particularly needed to know from a stud finder would this Onestep not be adequate enough.

There can be some errors, but they’re easily corrected!

Sometimes, you may begin scanning and feel this stud finder isn’t picking up on anything at all, which, if that was the case, would make it entirely useless. But this may then be an indication that your scan began over a stud.

If this happens, the ‘over the stud’ ACT (auto correcting technology) should kick in and alert you to the error, but it’s equally as easy to spot this as a difference in the device’s response patterns. You would then simply reset the depth setting and move the Zircon away from the spot you originally began on and find more accurate results by scanning from a different start point.

Summary of the I65 review

The Zircon Studsensor I65 Onestep is a reliable and accurate stud finder once you know how best to use it. It tells you what you need to know, location and depth, and warns you of live wires that might otherwise be a nasty surprise, so you can get the job done quickly and safely. It’s not as high tech as other, more advanced Zircons, but it gives you the  necessary information for most of the tasks you would use a stud finder to tackle, and for a great price too!

ProSensor 710 Franklin Studfinder: The Best REVIEW Of It For 2017

This is a more unusual stud finder, taking a different form than the typical build of most stud finders, using LED lights rather than a display screen.

It is fairly simple and cannot detect AC Current but instead focuses on its ability to precisely locate studs. The ProSensor 710 Franklin has gained quite a lot of popularity amongst users of stud finders,   so we thought we’d find out if there’s good reason behind it.

It gives very visual results

Although the ProSensor doesn’t have the display screen you’d find on most other stud finders, it is actually a much more visual device. The bright LED lights that line the top of this device light up not only to alert you to the presence of studs, but also show you their width.

There’s no ambiguous readings, only a clear depiction of the stud you’re dealing with. It’s simple, but shows you exactly what you need. This is the only indicator that the device has detected something though, so theres no audible alert with this one, which is probably a bonus for anyone who finds themselves slightly irritated by the beeping of various other stud finders.

It’s both easy and fast!

There are no buttons on the 710, apart from the power button, so literally all you need to do is hold it up to the wall and start scanning. It couldn’t be any easier.

Theres also no real concern with making sure you scan slowly, as this Franklin scans multiple parts of the wall at once and works instead with density. There’s no need to calibrate so you can just glide across a surface and find stud/s – that’s right, it can highlight more than one stud at a time, a feature we were particularly impressed with.

So with no instructions to decode, or buttons to fiddle around with, its undoubtedly the fastest and easiest stud finder we’ve come across.

It’s reliably accurate!

Often with something so simple and seemingly flawless we’d expect there to maybe be problems with accuracy or reliability.

But the Franklin ProSensor proved error free. The only thing to bear in mind is that if a stud appears to be larger than three lights wide, it may not be a stud at all. The 710 scans for density, meaning that detections may not always be studs. This shouldn’t be a problem as long as you know to look out for any unusual dimensions that the device may identify and don’t mark them down as studs. Similarly, something to be aware of is that the device may not work effectively if used on a surface with insulation with foil backing.

It’s practical

The ProSensor 710 Franklin is a relatively light product, weighing only 9 ounces it’s easy to carry around and avoids the problem of your arm tiring as you hold it to the wall. Without a display screen it also means it doesn’t matter too much if it gets scratched up somehow, as scratches wont affect your ability to read the results.

It also uses the common AA batteries, which have a fairly decent life in them. And if the pair included with the stud finder run out of juice, it’s easy to get hold of rechargeable ones or even quite likely that you’ll already have some laying around in a drawer at home.

It’s good value!

A lot of stud finders cost a lot more money than the mere $50 that this one is priced at, but this one is equally as (if not more) reliable and accurate as some at the higher end of the price scale. So for fifty bucks it’s a bargain and does exactly what you need with no messing around.
Whilst it doesn’t include an AC Scanner, it’s still fairly cheap for a simple stud finder, especially considering it can detect both wooden studs and metal joists – there are plenty of products out there that only do one of those features yet are priced higher than the ProSensor.

Prosensor review Summary

The ProSensor 710 Franklin is definitely one of the best at what it does; there’s no question of it’s reliability and no qualms over it’s price.

If you don’t already have an all-in-one tracer to detect live wires though, or if you don’t have any idea of where the wires are located, the ProSensor’s lack of AC Scanner may be a deal breaker for you. Other than that, a seemingly flawless product.

Bosch D-Tect150 D-Tect Wallscanner Complete Review for 2017

The Bosch D-Tect 150 is perhaps the most high tech stud finder out there. It’s a jack of all trades, detecting any materials you could possibly imagine behind surfaces, including plastic and AC current, as well as distinguishing between them and giving a permitted drilling depth.

It’s possibly the most diverse stud finder we’ve come across, with seven different surface modes:

– Concrete
– Wet concrete
– Deep concrete
– In-floor heating
– Drywall
– Metal
– Signal view

In theory, this is the ultimate tool for anyone working in construction, even having multilingual options so literally anyone can use it.

It’s unbelievably precise

The accuracy is never faltering as the seven different detection modes means the device can be switched to best suit the situation and consistently give accurate results regardless of other variables like the environment.

The Bosch D-Tect 150 is precise to the millimetre when giving dimensions of anything detected. The display screen will clearly show you both the edges of studs and the centre as well as the depth. You’ll have a full picture in your mind of what lies behind the surface once you’ve finished using this product.

There seems to be no problems with false negatives or positives, a common problem in stud finders, so you can rely on this device to give you the results you need without any uncertainty.

It can also show you two detections at once, using two different peaks on the display screen. With a clearer picture of what’s going on when there’s multiple detections, you’ll be able to look at the bigger picture rather than focusing on one stud at a time.

It’s durable

The D-Tect 150 might be one of the most valuable tools you’ll ever use, so you’ll be pleased to hear that as stud finders go  it’s relatively indestructible – your investment isn’t going to be short lived. It can be dropped from 1 metre without any damage occurring, which, let’s be honest, would probably mess up any other stud finder at least a little bit.

With it’s sturdy build though comes a little extra weight, the device weighing 3 pounds. But in this case that’s almost a good thing. At least you’ve got that assurance that there’s some substance behind the device you’re paying for. For a stud finder this well built and high tech you’d expect it be slightly more hefty than other, flimsier devices. Plus, it does everything, so there’s no need to carry round any additional scanners.

It’s IP rating is also IP54, meaning that you can trust that the device is sealed securely to protect the electrics inside from any water spray or dust. The 150 can handle almost any construction environment it’s thrown into, so whatever the size of the job, you’re sorted.

And then, as if it hadn’t just withstood a blitz of drill dust, water sprays, and being dropped from a height, it comes with a carry case to protect it even further on the way home.

It’s a complex device, but easy to use

Being so high tech, the D-Tect can come across as quite complex and in a way, it is. It’s complex in the way it works and the many things it does, but despite this its still actually fairly easy to use once you’ve got the hang on it.

It self calibrates once you begin and continuously does so whilst you use it, so theres no need to spend time and thought calibrating after each detection. Your thoughts should simply be with the results it’s giving you, and the display system as well as the LED light indicators let you easily see what’s going on. The LED light follows a colour system:

– Green when nothing is detected behind that area
– Red when something has been detected
– Flashing red when an AC wire has been detected

This gives a general idea of what you’re dealing with, but then the display screen (the next thing you direct your attention to) will give you much more in-depth information but displayed in a simple way. It will show you where the edge and centre of studs are, and also tell you with symbols the detected material, including, if a metal detection, whether ferrous or non-ferrous.

It also tells you if the detection is too deep to properly identify, so rather than leaving you completely in the dark, you’ll have a rough idea of obstructions that lay beyond the Bosch D-Tect’s range.

The only real difficulty comes from the four wheel design system. Whilst this design is in place to make scanning smoother and easier, sometimes the wheels cause the device to slip. This can cause the device to restart which is somewhat of a nuisance as it hinders the speed of your progress. We found though that this is easily rectified by taking a little extra care in keeping the Bosch firmly in position or on track.

The DTECT 150 is pricey, but could actually SAVE you money

More to the point, the factor that probably worries you most about this product…the price. If you’ve seen the price already that’s probably why you’re reading this review, to figure out if it’s worth it or not. If you haven’t seen it, I’ll enlighten you, it costs around $700.

I know you’re probably thinking the same as I did at first, that no stud finder is worth that much money. BUT ‘stud finder’ isn’t really a label that does the D-Tect justice, as it’s so much more than that.

It’s the perfect tool for anyone working in construction, with so many modes and the ability to identify and distinguish between different materials. It’s the precision and reliability you’re paying for, you’ll know exactly what’s behind surfaces. By the time you’ve gone through countless cheaper ones, trying to find one that actually does the trick, you might even have spent over what you’d pay for this one anyway.

There’s also the drill depth indication, so this Bosch does half of the thinking for you, eradicating any chance of human error and by extension, danger.

Using a less reliable stud finder may leave you with some irreparable damage, which in the long run is going to be a lot more expensive than simply investing in a product you know you can trust (the Bosch D-Tect 150). Besides, you can’t put a price on safety.

Review Summary

This is the ultimate stud finder for any construction professional. It will last you a while, if not a lifetime, and make redundant any other scanners in the tool box – this does everything. With a 6 inch range as well, the performance of this device is particularly impressive. It’s pricey but for good reason, its not going to let you down.

The Best Review of the Bosch GMS120 Digital Multiscanner

The Bosch GMS120 Digital Multiscanner has the standard 3 detection modes: wood, metal and live wires. It’s a fairly averagely priced stud finder (currently $70) with a reliable name.

The GMS120 does the job well!

The Multiscanner effectively identifies both wooden studs and non-magnetic metal. The detection ring flashes green as you pass over anything, and an optional audible tone will sound to alert you. It gives an accurate location of stud centres, the middle point of the screen along with ‘centre’ written underneath means you’ll get precise results easily and quickly.

The range of the GMS120 is also rather impressive as stud finders go, it detects studs up to 4 inches deep, and also indicates the signal strength and thus the depth. This will give you a clear three dimensional idea of what lays behind the surface you are scanning.

As with any stud finder though, results will be more accurate if the device is used on smooth, even surfaces and moved slowly, reliability decreases with haste.

It’s not the best live wire detector

Obviously safety is going to be your first concern here, and for that reason it’s perhaps best not to rely on this device alone to detect live wires. The GMS120 doesn’t always pick up on live wires, particularly when used on anything more than plaster surfaces. In defence of this Bosch though, the detection is slightly more reliable when the device is in metal mode.

Also, care should always be taken anyway when trusting stud finders to identify AC current, so providing you have a general idea of the whereabouts of wires (whether you already know their location, use electrical blueprints or the results of an all-in-one tracer) then this is still a reliable stud finder in all other aspects.

It’s high tech but still easy to use

The Digital Multiscanner is one of the more high tech stud finders out there and can come across as complicated. With more buttons than most to operate switching modes, it could be said to be more suited to the professional rather than the amateur DIY-er.

However, with an easy to read illuminated LCD screen to display results clearly, it only takes a quick skim of the instructions to become clued up on the ins and outs of this stud finder.

The automatic calibration also makes it a lot easier to use and avoids the confusion  in use and results that often comes from manual calibration. Not to mention its a real time saver!

It’s sustainable!

A big issue with a lot of stud finders is that they’re easily bashed around and broken. This one is both sturdy and lightweight, it can hold its own in a tool box and wont weigh you down.

To further protect it from damage or scratches it also comes with a protective carry case, which gives you that extra peace of mind that your just under $100 investment isn’t going to get beat up in a hurry.

The 9V battery is included so you can start using it straight away, and whilst it isn’t a rechargeable one, it lasts a solid 5 hours, enough to get what you need done if you’re using it for a one off job. If you’ll be using it regularly it would be worth investing a couple of dollars in a rechargeable 9V. After that, your GMS120 might even outlast you!

Review of the GMS120: summary

The Bosch GMS120 Digital Multiscanner is a great stud finder if you’re not overly concerned with it’s ability to detect live wires. It performs well in everything else and isn’t a bad price for a Bosch. It can suit anyone and would be a useful device for the toolbox.

Zircon MetalliScanner MT6 Stud Finder Complete Review 2017

The Zircon MetalliScanner MT6 is a device that specialises in finding both ferrous and non-ferrous metals in non metallic surfaces up to 6 inches deep. It is used to avoid nails, rebar, cables, pipes and the likes but cannot detect live electrical wires. It has two modes: silent and audible. The silent mode simply giving you visual results on the screen, the audible setting accompanying these visual results with a beeping upon detection.

It’s simple to use

We all want something that’s easy to understand, so we can get the job done without having to interpret complex readings, and the MT6 offers simple symbols that convey the information needed. Plus and minus symbols indicate the whereabouts of different metals, the + appearing as you approach any metals and the – appearing once you’ve moved over it and are heading away from it. There is also the depth bar that will increase as you move towards metal and decrease as you move away from it.

To the side of the depth bar you also have the depth in both metric and imperial measurements (cm and inches) so that either way you can record the measurement that’s more familiar to you with no need for conversion.

What’s great about these features is that the only thing you’re required to do to get all this information is move your device over the surface (slowly though, bear in mind). No complex switching of modes.

Strength of detection

Another advantage of this product is that it has particularly strong detection abilities. It’s range stretches further than most, identifying metal up to 6 inches deep. Not only does it locate the metal but is also able to distinguish whether the target is magnetic (like rebar) or non-magnetic (like copper pipes), a magnet symbol lighting up if the metal is magnetic.

This allows you to get an idea of what you’re dealing with and how far away from the surface it is. You can rest assured the Zircon MetalliScanner MT6 won’t leave you unaware of any hidden metal obstructions that could interfere wi

It’s very well built

This Zircon is well built, with a bulky enough design that it’s not fragile but at the same time is lightweight enough to carry around and although only made from mainly plastic, it feels sturdy to hold and rest steadily against a surface. It comes with a protective case to keep it safe should any mishaps occur in storage or in the workplace, so your MT6 should last you a fair old while.

The metalliscanner is not the most accurate

The MetalliScanner has been said to be somewhat lacking in precision, as although the simple symbol system is easy to understand, it’s not great at giving exact locations or dimensions. The plus and minus symbols show only as you approach or move away from the metal. This makes it difficult to locate where the metal starts and ends, especially if there are several metal objects identified in the same area.

Similarly the audible system doesn’t change pitch the closer you get, so in order to get a more accurate reading the area needs to be scanned several times.

Summary of the Metalliscanner review

The Zircon MetalliScanner MT6 is definitely one of the best metal detectors out there, but we have to remember that its function is solely metal. Whilst it can detect cables, it doesn’t have the ability to find live wires, so although it is a reliable tool for metal detection, it would perhaps be best to use it alongside other products, rather than basing decisions to drill on the results from this device alone.

StudBoss Digital LCD Stud Finder REVIEW (Updated for 2017)

The StudBoss Digital LCD stud finder is one of the cheaper stud finders out there, priced at around $20 (including a 9V battery) which, lets be honest, is quite a competitive price. But is it genuinely a quality bargain or do you just ‘get what you pay for?’

It’s quick and simple

There’s no denying the simplicity of the Studboss Digital, it’s almost impossible to become confused by.  It has 3 different modes for detecting studs, metal pipes or AC wires and an LCD screen to help you navigate between them. The visual bars arise on the screen when a detection has been made, whilst the audible alert wont let you pass over anything without frantically beeping at you – you’re not going to miss any positive readings.

Having the 3 modes makes it more practical than using different instruments for each type of detection. Whilst this does then pose the problem of having to manually switch between each mode, it’s surely worth the extra time and effort (clicking a button and scanning again) for its low price.

There are some problems with accuracy

Accuracy and precision are what you’re really looking for in a stud finder, so you can get the job done quickly and without error. The Studboss claims to show you exact locations of studs up to 19mm deep but has been found to occasionally identify stud locations that are slightly off target, which isn’t really what you want after spending time scanning.

Though the instructions state that it will indicate where stud edges are when they are beneath the centre of the product, often the device will alert you to a detection as soon as it begins to pass over it, meaning results can be up to an inch off target. This problem can also be caused by human error, as without a built in marker the good old fashioned pencil is required to mark out positions of detections, mistakes can easily be made.

The accuracy can easily be improved though, so there’s no need to disregard the product based on that. By repeating scans and honing in on the detection you’ll get a clearer idea of the precise stud or cable location and also eradicate any human error.

The LCD studboss is almost indestructible

A common worry with buying cheaper products is that they might not be made as well as they should be, and as a result are easily breakable. This product however comes with a hard outer case, protecting it from the wear and tear of DIY.

Additionally, to protect both the Studboss and the surface you use it on there are soft velcro straps attached to prevent any scratches. So whilst this stud finder may be cheaper than most, it should still serve you well and be fairly long-lasting. Providing you’re not throwing it around too much, the only replacements you’ll need to buy will be replacement batteries, not a whole new product.

LCD Studboss review Summary

In summary, this stud finder is undoubtedly one of the cheapest you’ll find and will do the job. It’s quick and easier to use than some more high tech models.

If you need a stud finder for everyday use, a more advanced model might be a better investment, particularly if you need to detect studs hidden deeper than 19mm or if you were hoping for a built in marker (a lazy requirement but we all love a good shortcut). The Studboss Digital LCD is perhaps better for the odd DIY job around the house, like mounting a picture or the TV for example, and for the price, you cant complain!

The Zircon Multiscanner I700 Onestep: FULL Review

The Zircon Multiscanner I700 Onestep is one of the more high tech electric stud finders. It includes 3 different scan modes: 
 -‘stud scan mode’
-‘deep scan mode’
-‘metal scan mode’
-and also an AC scanner that runs consistently along with the other settings

So not only is it capable of detecting both wood and metal studs and joists, it also scans for live, unshielded electrical wires.

The first thing you’re going to want to know about is accuracy, right? You need the job done correctly and safely.  The I700 uses an ultra bright LCD screen that shows an image of studs as you pass over them. The image will show you the stud from edge to edge, whilst the spotlight pointing system will direct you straight to it’s centre.

This combined with the signal strength indicator, which distinguishes between shallow and deep detections, means that not only are we given the location of studs up to 3/4 inch deep, but also a fairly accurate sense of their dimensions.

Not the deepest scan range

Whilst 3/4 inches doesn’t seem particularly deep, you can choose to extend the accuracy of your scans by choosing ‘deep scan mode’ which doubles it’s detection range to 1 1/2 inches.
However accurate the technology may be though, moving slowly over surfaces and scanning signals a couple of times to clarify dimensions is always a good idea to ensure best results.

As for reliability, the Zircon Multiscanner I700 Onestep has features in place to make sure you stay safe whilst using it and don’t miss anything.

The AC scanner scans for live unshielded, electrical wires that could cause injury were you to stumble across it by surprise. This feature is always on, whether the device be in ‘stud scan mode’ or ‘metal scan mode’, so you can rest assured you wont have to backtrack and do a separate scan for live currents.

Most mistakes in reliability come from human error, often it can’t be helped, but it can be fatal. The built-in auto correcting technology (ACT) ensures that common mistakes are put right so that results of scanning are just as reliable.

Lets say you were to begin scanning over a stud or a live wire and move away from it, or even just pass over one a little too quickly, the LCD screen would display an arrow directing you back to anything you might have missed. There is also an audible beeping whenever anything is detected so there’s little chance of you misunderstanding the signals or overlooking anything. The most likely circumstance that would cause errors in readings is if you were to move to quickly over surfaces; keeping it slow and as steady as you can will provide the best results.

I700 Onestep review summary

The quality of manufacturing with the I700 Onestep is debatable, as it’s lack of case has proved to be a problem to some. Being made from only plastic and flexible rubber it can get bashed around somewhat if thrown into a toolbox with other more weighty implements (which, lets face it, is quite likely). However this could be rectified with a makeshift case/container/cover – just something to protect the device from receiving a battering in the back of the van.

Though perhaps slightly more pricey than other electric stud finders (priced between $50-$60), its accuracy and reliability justify the extra expense, and with plenty of accounts of its durability it should last you a fair while, so no need to splash out on a replacement any time soon.