Tip & How-To about Measuring Tools & Sensors

How to operate a stud finder

Hi There,

Sometimes the LED type readouts on stud finders aren't as intuitive as one would hope. This will help clear up what you are seeing.

There are usually four LED's and a button on the device. The LED's indicate an increased density in wall, but increased from what? Each time the unit is used it needs to go through a short calibration to get a frame of reference.

This is the procedure:

  • Place the unit flat against the wall.
  • Press and hold the button.
  • The LED will come on for a second or two then go out.
  • Slowly move the unit laterally until the LEDs come on again. You're getting near a stud.
  • When they top out (all four lit), that is the beginning of the stud. Mark it.
  • When they start to go back down, that is the end of the stud. Mark there too. The stud should be between the marks.
That's about it.

It beats knocking on the wall or drilling test holes.

Best regards

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how to use a stud finder

The stud finder works by picking up density of the product it is pressed and slid on..Turn your stud finder on make sure the ok light is on...then slightly press it against the wall or surface you are working with,,then slowly moved it right or left still against the surface. As the finder starts to detect more density "thickness" it will. Glow or beep depending what type you have..It will get brighter,louder or what ever it signals are while crossing the stud beneath the surface..keep moving until it stops then move back
again until it stops.....mark or note the position where the signal starts then find the middle...2x4's are 1 1/2 inches across...so center should be 3/4 of an inch...good luck..

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I need help finding a stub behind drywall

The stud finders are not expensive but you can sometimes use a magnet to find the nails. Also you might try shining a flashlight across the wall. The putty put over the nails will sometimes show up. Last resort is to tap on the wall and try and hear the areas that have support under them.

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Your stud finder keeps beeping because old plaster walls have lath boards behind the plaster that are attached to the studs and running horizontally. Try adjusting the sensitivity of the stud finder by placing it on the wall and turning the sensitivity down until it just stops beeping. Then move it back and forth in a wide enough arc to be sure that you have crossed a stud, turning up the sensitivity ever so slightly until you get a tone when you cross a stud. Hope this works out for you.

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