Which Zircon StudSensor™ or MultiScanner® stud finder is right for you?
  • Why Purchase StudSensor
  • Center vs Edge Finder
  • Choosing Tool
  • How they Work
  • Why Zircon

#1: Why you need a Zircon StudSensor™ or MultiScanner® stud finder

Zircon StudSensor™ and MultiScanner® stud finders locate the wood and metal studs behind walls. What projects will benefit from this tool? The answer may surprise you.
You should use a StudSensor™ or MultiScanner® stud finder whenever you need to securely mount an object to the wall to prevent it from falling or getting damaged. Use the StudSensor™ or MultiScanner® stud finder if the object is just too heavy, or if you need to learn about the wall's constructions and what items may be behind the wall.

A Zircon® StudSensor stud finder will make it easier, faster, and safer to:

Application photos
  • Hang pictures  or mirrors
  • Hang hooks, cabinetry, or shelves
  • Inspect or demolish walls
  • Install trim
  • Tighten floor joists
  • Install ceiling fans or recessed lighting
  • Mount wall brackets
  • Install electrical outlets
  • Run cable and wire through wall
  • Install grab bars or curtain rods
  • Anchor heavy furniture

word pressTo learn more about the importance of securing your pictures, mirrors, and shelves to studs, please read the A Wall is a Wall is a Wall blog.

#2: The Difference between Center Finding and Edge Finding Stud Finders

Zircon StudSensor™ and MultiScanner® stud finders are divided into two categories called "Edge Finders" and "Center Finders." Edge Finders find only the edges of studs whereas Center Finders find both the center and edges of studs.

The original Zircon StudSensor™ tools use Zircon's original edge finding technology so that when it detects a change in wall density, it indicates it has found a stud edge. You would then run the stud finder against the surface again from the other direction to find the other stud edge and using a ruler, determine the center of the stud. Zircon's Center Finders, the best center finding stud finder on the market, use our patented CenterVision® technology to find the edges and center of the stud for you, so you know where to nail, drill, or hammer after one pass across the wall.

Edge Finding

How to use and edge finder

Center Finding

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#3: Which StudSensor™ should I choose?

With 15 wall scanning products available, there's certainly a StudSensor tool perfect for your needs. Narrow the options by asking yourself the following three questions:

How often will I need to find studs?

If you're a casual home improvement enthusiast that won't be using the tool very often, our entry level StudSensor EDGE stud finder may be all you need. If you're a hard working professional who needs it all, the MultiScanner® i520 may be more up your alley.

How many variables will I encounter when scanning for studs?

Many of our StudSensor and MultiScanner® products include unique technologies that help tackle unexpected circumstances. Sensors with DeepScan® technology are useful for thicker walls or surfaces with extra layers of material such as bathroom tile. Make sure the product you select includes all the features you will need. Check the Zircon Glossary for an explanation of each feature we offer.

Will I need to identify other hidden objects like live wire and metal?

Our products with WireWarning® detection help prevent you from driving a nail into live electrical wire. MultiScanner® products also trace hot wiring and scan for metal to identify pipes, ducting, and more.

Think about your answers to these questions as you explore our product line below.


Edge Finders - finds stud edges

StudSensor EDGE

StudSensor EDGE
A complete redesign of the StudSensor SL, the EDGE is the first in a new line of updated Zircon tools.
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StudSensor e40

StudSensor e30
An entry-level stud edge finder with a newly redesigned body and WireWarning® detection.
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StudSensor e40

StudSensor e40
A complete redesign of the StudSensor SL-AC, the e40 packs Zircon's proven technology into a slick new body.
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StudSensor e50

StudSensor e50
A complete redesign of the StudSensor LCD, the e50 offers an improved body and internal components.
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With our entry level StudSensor on your side, you'll be hanging pictures, shelves, mirrors and cabinets more efficiently than ever before.
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StudSensor SL

StudSensor SL
We took the acclaimed StudSensor and upgraded it with our innovative SpotLite® Pointing System.
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StudSensor Pro SL

StudSensor Pro SL
StudSensor Pro SL expands on the features of StudSensor SL, adding DeepScan® mode to scan thicker wall surfaces.
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StudSensor Pro SL-AC

StudSensor Pro SL-AC
All the straight forward features of the StudSensor Pro SL with the added benefit of WireWarning® detection to help you avoid hot unshielded electrical wires.
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StudSensor Pro LCD

StudSensor Pro LCD
Get a clearer picture of it all. We upgraded our StudSensor Pro SL-AC with an easy-to-read LCD display.
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MultiScanner Pro SL

MultiScanner® Pro SL
Consolidate your needs with one device that covers all your bases. The 4-in-1 MultiScanner® Pro SL includes a large, easy-to-read LCD display for accurately finding everything from studs to metal to hot electrical wiring.
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Comparison Chart


Center Finders - Find what you need in one pass!

StudSensor i60

StudSensor i60 OneStep®
Scans deeper than the StudSensor i20 and includes a convenient built-in erasable marker and the benefits of WireWarning® detection.
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StudSensor i65

StudSensor i65 OneStep®
All the same scanning features found in the StudSensor i60 with the added benefit of an easy-to-read LCD display.
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MultiScanner i320

MultiScanner® i320 OneStep®
A new 3-in-1 tool that scans for studs, deep studs, and ferrous or non-ferrous metal. ACT Auto Correcting Technology helps eliminate errors.
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MultiScanner i520

MultiScanner® i520 OneStep®
All the features of the MultiScanner® i320 plus the ability to scan for live AC. Also comes with an ultra-bright LED screen.
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Comparison Chart

#4: How do stud finders work?

The beauty of our StudSensor products is that they'll work perfectly even if you don't understand why. Surprisingly, the science behind the technology isn't as complicated as most expect.

Our StudSensor tools measure the absorption of electric charges in a scanned surface. We call this "capacitance" and it's measured in units called "farads." The greater the density, the greater the capacitance. The circuitry in our devices is sensitive enough to measure changes in capacitance as small as one femtofarad - one quadrillionth of a farad. With this kind of sensitivity, a StudSensor stud finder has no problem distinguishing differences in capacitance between a wall hallow and a stud.

1. Calibration

What you see: a blank wall

When you hold your StudSensor tool against a wall and turn it on, it emits a weak electric field that you can't see or feel. The circuitry inside your StudSensor detects how much time it takes for the wall material to reach a certain voltage. This becomes the zero point for calibration.

A StudSensor device only detects increases in wall density - not decreases. Because of this it must always be calibrated away from a stud in the less dense part of the wall. If you attempt to calibrate directly over a stud, your StudSensor tool will determine that the capacitance is too high for a wall hallow and alert you with beeps and blinking lights. This tells you to recalibrate five or six inches to the left or right and ensures you get the most accurate results possible.

2. Detection

You've found a stud edge!

Slide the tool across the wall and it continues to process the time it takes for the surface to reach voltage. As it moves closer to denser material such as a wood or metal stud, the capacitance increases. Once it increases to a preset point over zero, your StudSensor stud finder will beep, the LEDs or LCD will light up, and the SpotLite® Pointing System (if your model has one) will illuminate the wall. You've found the edge!


#5: Why should I choose a Zircon® product?

If you've been in a hardware store you've probably noticed that Zircon isn't the only company making stud finders. So why should you pick ours off the shelf?

We were the first.

Zircon brought the first stud finder to the market and dominated it for decades with our unique technology. All other stud finders, from all other brands, use the same technology we patented in the early 1980s.

We're still leading the way.

Don't think we were sitting on our laurels that whole time. Zircon has moved forward with the first stud finders to have AC detection, deep scanning capabilities, a targeted spotlight, and many other innovations that our competitors copied for their devices.

We had the first (and still have the best) center-finding stud finders.

Most of the time, when you're looking for a stud, what you really want to find is the center. If you're hanging a picture or drilling a hole you should always do so in the center, and in order to do that you either need to find the edges and then figure out the center from there, or pick up a center-finding stud finder. Zircon made the first center-finders and the technology we use is still patented, leaving our competitors to come up with workarounds that just aren't as accurate.

Stud finders aren't a sideline, they're our focus.

We don't make cordless drills or cutting tools or wrench sets. We make handheld electronic tools; that's all our engineers and product designers do, so you can be sure we take it a lot more seriously than other companies. We don't wait for other brands to come up with new innovations and copy them, we're at the front of the crowd and we intend to stay there.

The bottom line? A Zircon® StudSensor product is the result of decades of research and dedication, and no matter what product you buy, you've got the best company in the business behind it.