which stud finder?

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fru-gal
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which stud finder?

Post by fru-gal »

I want to get a stud finder so I can install a grab bar in my bathroom. The prices of these vary from $10 to $50. I just want one what works well, so I have no clue how much to fork out. Can anyone recommend one or say something illuminating? Thanks.
Silk McCue
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by Silk McCue »

The cheapest one is the one you borrow from a neighbor, friend or relative. Apart from that buy the cheapest no frills unit with decent reviews.

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funktor
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by funktor »

My wife asked me out for our first date, so I would say she did a pretty good job. Costs a lot more than $50 though!

Now that the obligatory stud finder joke is out of the way, rare earth neodymium magnets have done me well here, and they have other uses. For those who find more studs than me, a standalone piece of hardware may work better. My father just taps the wall and listens, but I don't think I have the ear for that.
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new2bogle
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by new2bogle »

Shallowpockets
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by Shallowpockets »

You can get a cheap one in Harbor Freight. A magnet. Run it over the wall. They find a drywall nailhead. Then confirm it vertically. Then confirm again.
if you have tile maybe not.
There are grab bars made with a system that allows very secure adhesion through and to the wall without a backup stud. It's 2019, after all.
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FlyAF
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by FlyAF »

I went through several cheap ones before I found this one and threw all the rest away. It is awesome and better than any other I've used by a longshot.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Franklin-Se ... lsrc=aw.ds
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MrBobcat
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by MrBobcat »

Shallowpockets wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:34 am You can get a cheap one in Harbor Freight. A magnet. Run it over the wall. They find a drywall nailhead. Then confirm it vertically. Then confirm again.
if you have tile maybe not.
There are grab bars made with a system that allows very secure adhesion through and to the wall without a backup stud. It's 2019, after all.
I've great luck with the magnet variety.
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Bengineer
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by Bengineer »

A hammer and a finish nail. Tap wall to find most solid sounding point, use nail to find solid wood.
bob60014
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by bob60014 »

The Zircons work well. I like the Live AC feature to prevent a possible shocking surprise. I have one similar to this....

https://www.amazon.com/Zircon-StudSenso ... 2378&psc=1

I didnt think I would but surprisingly I use it all the time.
ponyboy
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by ponyboy »

This is the one I use...works great. No batteries required.

https://www.amazon.com/CH-Hanson-03040- ... way&sr=8-5
Liberty1100
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by Liberty1100 »

I have been using this Zircon Stud Finder A100 model (similar to Bob's) (Amazon link) as I install bookcases, towel bars, and hang pictures throughout my new house this summer. It is very reliable, easy to use, and detects the edge and centers of studs. Best of luck
fulltilt
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by fulltilt »

MrBobcat wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:53 am
Shallowpockets wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:34 am You can get a cheap one in Harbor Freight. A magnet. Run it over the wall. They find a drywall nailhead. Then confirm it vertically. Then confirm again.
if you have tile maybe not.
There are grab bars made with a system that allows very secure adhesion through and to the wall without a backup stud. It's 2019, after all.
I've great luck with the magnet variety.
+1 for the magnet. A neodymium magnet covered in painters tape to prevent scratching of the wall. I have a "real" stud finder, but it rarely gets used.
lazydavid
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by lazydavid »

ponyboy wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:18 am This is the one I use...works great. No batteries required.

https://www.amazon.com/CH-Hanson-03040- ... way&sr=8-5
Love these. I have 3 scattered throughout the house, so I never have to go looking for one when I need it..
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MrBobcat
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by MrBobcat »

ponyboy wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:18 am This is the one I use...works great. No batteries required.

https://www.amazon.com/CH-Hanson-03040- ... way&sr=8-5
That's the one I use, bought them for all my kids too.
KyleAAA
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by KyleAAA »

Get a strong magnet and tie it to a string. Move it across the wall and it will be attracted to the nails in the studs. Works like a charm. Can't detect electrical, though.
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Sandtrap
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by Sandtrap »

Magnet
Or tap with knuckles.
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Ed_Sandwich
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by Ed_Sandwich »

Magnet kind works like a charm. Others have all had issues for me.
fposte
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by fposte »

How old is your house, and do you know what the walls are made of? Most stud finders fail dismally on my plaster walls.
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cheese_breath
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by cheese_breath »

Bengineer wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:13 am A hammer and a finish nail. Tap wall to find most solid sounding point, use nail to find solid wood.
+1 Just make that a small finish nail so the hole won't show if you miss the wood. All it needs to be is just a little longer than the wall thickness.
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whomever
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by whomever »

+??4?? on neodymium magnets.

I have, I think, 3 or 4 of the various electronic ones. Sometimes they work great, but more often not (and this is on 1/2 inch sheetrock walls).

I have one magnet the diameter of a quarter, and several that are the diameter of a pencil. I use the big one for a fast coarse search, then mark each screw it finds with a little one (they will center precisely on the screw; for reasons I don't understand the big one doesn't always center precisely). You end up with a vertical line of the little ones. Since screws won't be precisely positioned, it won't be a straight line. I hold up an aluminum (non-magnetic!) level and visually interpolate the most likely stud centerline. Then I use pliers and the skinniest nail I have to poke a hole at the position I'm thinking of putting in a screw. If it hits wood, yay, if not, offset to one side and try again.

This isn't to dump on the electronic ones; sometimes they work great. But I try the magnets first.
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Ben Mathew
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by Ben Mathew »

The magnetic type worked best for me too.
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fru-gal
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by fru-gal »

fposte wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:08 pm How old is your house, and do you know what the walls are made of? Most stud finders fail dismally on my plaster walls.
About forty years. The wall is wallpapered, so no idea what is underneath, It's the wall in the bathroom that's next to the outside, which I think rules out electrical stuff, no sockets, lights, etc.

How do non-magnetic stud finders work? I was assuming they were all using magnets...
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lthenderson
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by lthenderson »

FlyAF wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:48 am I went through several cheap ones before I found this one and threw all the rest away. It is awesome and better than any other I've used by a longshot.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Franklin-Se ... lsrc=aw.ds
+1

I have a similar style to this one and will never use a different one. With the other ones, you have to come in from both directions to identify stud edges and even then, reliably hitting the exact edge is not repeatable. With the one linked above or similar style, you just hold it over the stud, press the button and the stud is highlighted allowing you to put a mark on the stud center without all that swiping back and forth. Another feature I like is that I can use this in conjunction with a level and a pencil and mark multiple studs at the same level without sitting anything down because this stud finder will sit on top of my level while I am making my pencil mark. I need a third hand in order to do the same with the other style of stud finders.
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fru-gal
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by fru-gal »

dsmclone
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by dsmclone »

FlyAF wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:48 am I went through several cheap ones before I found this one and threw all the rest away. It is awesome and better than any other I've used by a longshot.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Franklin-Se ... lsrc=aw.ds
Yes, same here.
Housedoc
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by Housedoc »

Precision Sensor found at Costco for about $25
Has never failed to work. Uses LEDs to show width of stud(s).
j0nnyg1984
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by j0nnyg1984 »

Assuming wood frame and drywall, a strong magnet is all you need.
50/50
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by 50/50 »

Another C.H. Hansen user. Very satisfied with it. Fits easily in the pocket or tool pouch.
Smoke
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by Smoke »

A cheap one, mine is around 30 years old and still works just fine.
I am sure I didn't spend more that 15 bucks for it.
Arguing for the sake of arguing is something I am not going to engage in.
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SmileyFace
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by SmileyFace »

I've heard that Tinder is the stud-finder of choice.
diy60
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by diy60 »

brad nail and hammer works every time.
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fru-gal
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by fru-gal »

diy60 wrote: Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:28 am brad nail and hammer works every time.
wallpaper...
diy60
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by diy60 »

fru-gal wrote: Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:36 am
diy60 wrote: Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:28 am brad nail and hammer works every time.
wallpaper...
Nail and hammer still works, just have to pre-plan so the nail holes are covered up by the object. Don't get me wrong, I have 2 stud finders ($15 & and $40), but I find myself confirming the stud position with a brad nail even after using the stud finder.
mpnret
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by mpnret »

Housedoc wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:26 pm Precision Sensor found at Costco for about $25
Has never failed to work. Uses LEDs to show width of stud(s).
+1. I also picked one up at Costco for about the same price. Looks to be the same one in the HD link posted above. These new stud finders really work well, nothing like the ones I owned in the past.
limeyx
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by limeyx »

fru-gal wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:14 am I want to get a stud finder so I can install a grab bar in my bathroom. The prices of these vary from $10 to $50. I just want one what works well, so I have no clue how much to fork out. Can anyone recommend one or say something illuminating? Thanks.
I have this one

https://smile.amazon.com/CH-Hanson-0304 ... 210&sr=8-3

Cheap, never runs out of batteries and works great. I could never get any of the electronic ones to work reliably
bhsince87
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by bhsince87 »

I have one of these pinpoint metal detectors to use along side my main metal detector.

They work great for finding studs as well!

I have a different brand, but this looks like it would do the trick.

https://www.amazon.com/Kuman-Resistant- ... MXH5EBQDDF
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Lee_WSP
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by Lee_WSP »

Costco sells the Franklin one unbranded. But you need a Costco and a membership.
ddurrett896
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by ddurrett896 »

I've got an electronic stud finder, but picked up one of these and find myself using it more and more. Smaller so I can easily carry while working,never gives a false reading and no batteries required.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000I ... UTF8&psc=1
renue74
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by renue74 »

FlyAF wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:48 am I went through several cheap ones before I found this one and threw all the rest away. It is awesome and better than any other I've used by a longshot.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Franklin-Se ... lsrc=aw.ds
+1000 I remodel rental properties in my "free" time and went through a ton of finders. This one has an array of sensors and works absolutely the best out of all the ones I've had.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Franklin-Se ... lsrc=aw.ds

Battery life is great. I've think I've replaced batteries 1x in a few years and I use my finder often, especially when wrapping up a project with trim carpentry.
ZapRowsdower
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by ZapRowsdower »

renue74 wrote: Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:50 am
FlyAF wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:48 am I went through several cheap ones before I found this one and threw all the rest away. It is awesome and better than any other I've used by a longshot.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Franklin-Se ... lsrc=aw.ds
+1000 I remodel rental properties in my "free" time and went through a ton of finders. This one has an array of sensors and works absolutely the best out of all the ones I've had.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Franklin-Se ... lsrc=aw.ds

Battery life is great. I've think I've replaced batteries 1x in a few years and I use my finder often, especially when wrapping up a project with trim carpentry.
+2000 on this one. I've thrown away a few others over the years, especially the Zircons, I've had better luck with a magnet than those. Might be a bit pricey up front if you only have one job in mind, but I wish I had bought something like this first instead of throwing away money on lesser quality ones. I second the magnet route if this is a one time deal, may take a bit longer but for a one time job probably not a concern.
Lee_WSP
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by Lee_WSP »

ZapRowsdower wrote: Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:29 am
renue74 wrote: Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:50 am
FlyAF wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:48 am I went through several cheap ones before I found this one and threw all the rest away. It is awesome and better than any other I've used by a longshot.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Franklin-Se ... lsrc=aw.ds
+1000 I remodel rental properties in my "free" time and went through a ton of finders. This one has an array of sensors and works absolutely the best out of all the ones I've had.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Franklin-Se ... lsrc=aw.ds

Battery life is great. I've think I've replaced batteries 1x in a few years and I use my finder often, especially when wrapping up a project with trim carpentry.
+2000 on this one. I've thrown away a few others over the years, especially the Zircons, I've had better luck with a magnet than those. Might be a bit pricey up front if you only have one job in mind, but I wish I had bought something like this first instead of throwing away money on lesser quality ones. I second the magnet route if this is a one time deal, may take a bit longer but for a one time job probably not a concern.
Costco sells that same model for $30. Actually the current model they stock is the slightly upgraded one with a bubble level built in.
Finridge
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by Finridge »

ZapRowsdower wrote: Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:29 am
renue74 wrote: Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:50 am
FlyAF wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:48 am I went through several cheap ones before I found this one and threw all the rest away. It is awesome and better than any other I've used by a longshot.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Franklin-Se ... lsrc=aw.ds
+1000 I remodel rental properties in my "free" time and went through a ton of finders. This one has an array of sensors and works absolutely the best out of all the ones I've had.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Franklin-Se ... lsrc=aw.ds

Battery life is great. I've think I've replaced batteries 1x in a few years and I use my finder often, especially when wrapping up a project with trim carpentry.
+2000 on this one. I've thrown away a few others over the years, especially the Zircons, I've had better luck with a magnet than those. Might be a bit pricey up front if you only have one job in mind, but I wish I had bought something like this first instead of throwing away money on lesser quality ones. I second the magnet route if this is a one time deal, may take a bit longer but for a one time job probably not a concern.
+10,000. I came here to recommend this one, but see others beat me to to. I find this type of finder exponentially easier to use than normal finders. It lets you "see" exactly where the beam is. For me, it was worth every penny.
Tamales
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by Tamales »

fulltilt wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:38 am
MrBobcat wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:53 am
Shallowpockets wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:34 am You can get a cheap one in Harbor Freight. A magnet. Run it over the wall. They find a drywall nailhead. Then confirm it vertically. Then confirm again.
if you have tile maybe not.
There are grab bars made with a system that allows very secure adhesion through and to the wall without a backup stud. It's 2019, after all.
I've great luck with the magnet variety.
+1 for the magnet. A neodymium magnet covered in painters tape to prevent scratching of the wall. I have a "real" stud finder, but it rarely gets used.
Exactly the same for me. I have an electronic zircon model, but it can give ambiguous results for a variety of reasons. So I only use it to get in the general area, then I use magnets to find the line of drywall nails (although the drywall people can "miss" too). If it's for something heavy-duty like installing lag bolts for a wall-hanging TV mount, I also double check using a fine-gauge finish nail that I pound incrementally along a horizontal line so I find the exact edges of the stud(s). That way I can be certain I am installing the lag bolt in the exact center of a single stud (and importantly, not in the center of a double stud). The tiny holes from the finish nail test line are easily filled if they aren't being covered by whatever you're mounting.
Luke Duke
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by Luke Duke »

FlyAF wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:48 am I went through several cheap ones before I found this one and threw all the rest away. It is awesome and better than any other I've used by a longshot.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Franklin-Se ... lsrc=aw.ds
This is the correct answer. Mine is yellow.
michaelingp
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by michaelingp »

Will the Franklin detect studs through tile?
Silk McCue
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by Silk McCue »

michaelingp wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:19 pm Will the Franklin detect studs through tile?
One of the questions on the Home Depot link had this comment.
Possibly. It would not work with ceramic tile over backer board.
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by whodidntante »

funktor wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:28 am My wife asked me out for our first date, so I would say she did a pretty good job. Costs a lot more than $50 though!
This is a textbook dad joke even if you don't have kids. A standard-issue minivan or one of those shorty SUVs with a four-cylinder engine will arrive in your driveway soon, and any hopes of setting off stud finders in the future will be thusly shattered. You will grow to like it and to defend it on forums. However, you do have a choice of color. Will that be beige or gray? :P
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funktor
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by funktor »

whodidntante wrote: Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:27 pm This is a textbook dad joke even if you don't have kids.

None yet, but I'm getting ready. The arsenal of knee-slappers is ever expanding, much to the wife's chagrin.
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jabroni
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by jabroni »

My wife is a pretty good one.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: which stud finder?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

fposte wrote: Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:08 pm Most stud finders fail dismally on my plaster walls.
I entered this thread never anticipating that I’d wind up spending $50 for a stud finder, but here I am. Our new walls are resilient channel hung drywall (2x) with plaster on top, so I guess a magnet won’t work that well. Hitting the resilient channel with a nail would really suck.

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