How to Use a Stud Finder? 7 Basic Steps

Today we are going to show you how to use a stud finder so that whatever you hang or mount on the wall stays there.

When you have to hang a huge mirror or mount your new TV set to the wall, you’d have to use the support of the robust wall studs. Otherwise, the weight of the objects could bring the walls down. When it comes to lightweight objects, a minimal worry is there, but mounting shelves or a TV could be hazardous.

So let’s delve in and find out how to use a stud finder to locate the studs (not you!).

What is a stud finder?

A stud finder is a device that can locate the studs beneath the walls. The generated electromagnetic field can identify the location of the studs, as well as metal nails. So if you need sturdy support for mounting objects on the wall, then having a stud finder is a must.

People have been using stud finders since the beginning of the 20th century. However, all of these were magnetic compared to modern stud finders, which are electromagnetic, making them instant. Also, modern ones can read the density of the wall. Therefore, we highly recommend the modern ones.

How to use a stud finder?

First things first, you have to get the supplies. For this, you will need

  • A stud finder
  • A pencil or chalk
  • Measuring tape

All Set? Now, follow these seven simple steps.

Step 1 – Understand the stud finder

The first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the stud finder you’ve got. The stud finder I recommend is the one that can find the center and read the density of the wall for you. Nonetheless, any stud finder will help you in telling about the nails and screws hidden behind the wall.

Step 2 – Decide where you want to hang the object

Decide the area on the wall where you want to hang your object. Note the position of the top of the object, and how far down it will go. At this height, you have to search for the studs behind the wall.

Tip: Remove anything that is mounted nearby that area so that it doesn’t mingle with your readings.

Step 3 – Calibrate the stud finder

Studs ought to be 16 or 24 inches apart from each other. So the stud should be within 2 ft.

Place and hold the stud finder around 1 ft. left to the point where you want to drill.

Then, turn on the stud finder. Press the button to calibrate the stud finder, and it will stop the beeping, which means that it is ready to use.

However, the calibration varies from one stud finder to the other, so check your user manual to be sure.

Tip: Ascertain that batteries are working fine. Weak or faulty batteries can mess up the readings. Also, make sure that the stud finder is clean.


Step 4 – Slide the stud finder

After calibrating the stud finder, slide it slowly towards the right. While doing so, keep the finder flat on the wall.


Step 5 – Find the location

Depending on the type you are using, stud finders have two different ways to let you know when they have found the stud. Some stud finders beep, while others flashlight to indicate the presence of the stud.

Tip: Be sure of the position by placing the stud finder back and forth. Doing so will confirm the location of the stud from where the beep or light is coming.


Step 6 – Mark the location

Note the right spot and mark it with a pencil or chalk. That is the point where you have to drill the hole.

Tip: A center-finding stud finder will show you the edges of the studs. By marking the boundaries, you can know where the dead center is.


Step 7 – Locate the other studs

There is still some work left to do. Now, use the stud finder to locate other studs by going through step 3 to step 6. For this, you have to horizontally move one or two ft away from the stud you just located to find the other side studs.

Note: If the other studs are not within 24 inches, then they are probably wires that your stud finder has confused with studs.

Tips for using a stud finder correctly

The device may falsely locate the studs, especially if there are metal pipes or something else within the wall. So it is crucial to find other studs that will be within 24 inches. Once you are satisfied, proceed to drill or hammer. You can then put your TV set, mirror, or shelves without any concerns.

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