Best Stud Finder for Plaster Walls

Plaster walls are cheap. With a little creativity, you can make them look great and inviting. Unfortunately, they’re not as strong as concrete walls.

So if you’re going to hang anything on it, you’ll need to use the best stud finder for plaster walls to find vertical wooden beams onto which you can drill something sturdier. 

A stud finder has sensors that let you know what’s on the other side of the wall and those that don’t have sensors use magnets to achieve the same effect.

With the help of a stud finder, you can find studs fast and use them as anchor point for whatever it is you wish to hang on the wall.  

All stud finders are similar in the sense that they can detect wood. Some have sensor that can detect metals. And a few have the potential to detect electric wiring.

In this guide, we look at four of the best stud finders that you should use if you want to find studs in plaster walls.

In a hurry? Here’s our list of the most recommended stud finders to buy if you want to find studs in plaster walls:

  • BLACK And DECKER BDL190S Stud Finder
  • CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder
  • Franklin Sensors FS710PRO Stud Finder
  • Zircon MetalliScanner Handheld Stud Finder

Best Stud Finder for Plaster Walls Reviewed

1. Zircon MetalliScanner Handheld Stud Finder

Zircon MetalliScanner is inexpensive and lightweight, yet one of the most effective stud finder that does the job fast. It may not have impressive visualization, but it’s more precise in finding studs on plastered walls.

In fact with Zircon MetalliScanner, it’s easy to locate contours and the center of studs, which is what you’re looking for in the first place.

Zircon MetalliScanner is a compact item, small enough to fit in your pocket. It’s also lightweight, so much so that you won’t even feel its weight.

You will love this stud finder because it’s an automated system. Instead of requiring that you first calculate the orientation and spacing of the wooden beams manually, Zircon MetalliScanner does that automatically, allowing you to locate studs faster.

This stud finder’s sensor also tracks nonferrous and ferrous metals provided they are 2 and 4 inches farther away from the plaster wall respectively.

Also, it features a pinpoint technology that helps with immediate metal tracking, so it can locate even the smallest nail head.

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Pros

  • Uses a wide scan technology to trace metal studs
  • Features blue LED light that detects how far the stud is
  • It can pinpoint inclusion in tough materials like concrete

Cons

  • Only covers a small area
  • May be subject to false positive signals

2. Franklin Sensors FS710PRO Stud Finder

We recommend Franklin Sensors FS710PRO because it helps you find studs in plaster walls with high precision and in the shortest time possible. It’s quite accurate and reliable and come at a price point that’s an absolute bargain.

To begin with, Franklin Sensors FS710PR has 13 sensors that easily detect the position of the studs.

That’s a higher number, which explains why it does the locating job with a higher level of precision. Once it finds a stud on the wall, it sends an alert to the easy-to-read LED display.

This stud finder is sure one of the largest options you’ll find in the market. Measuring 7.5 by 3 inches, you do get a decent surface area that helps find studs faster than you would with smaller finders.

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Pros

  • A lightweight stud finder that allows you to work for longer without experiencing hand fatigue
  • Doesn’t need calibration before use
  • Easy to use simply turn it, place it on the wall, drag it along, and let it do the tracking for you

Cons

  • Can have a hard time distinguishing between studs and other materials
  • While it can detect objects such as nails and wires, it can’t classify them as other objects

3. CH Hanson 03040 Magnetic Stud Finder

CH Hanson 03040 has perhaps the lowest price point for a stud finder. But don’t mistake the low price tag for a low quality product. In testing, CH Hanson 0304 turned out to be one of the most accurate stud finders, making it a great arsenal to include in your power tools.

This tool is easy to use. So even if you’ve never been a DIYer before and you’re currently taking your first project, this one will make a big difference. Simply place it on the wall, drag it along, and let it do its job.

This unit doesn’t need batteries to work. Unlike the models that include sensors that can only work with batteries CH Hanson 03040 uses magnets to find studs.

Its magnetic technology is powerful enough to detect the position of screws or nails, making it easy for you to know exactly where the stud is.

CH Hanson 03040 stud finder doesn’t feature LED lights, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good performer. Its magnets are powerful enough to stick on the wall right where the stud is. And that’s enough to get the job done.

Pros

  • Cheap and lightweight
  • Good for beginners because it’s easy to use
  • Easy to locate studs

Cons

  • It can’t tell you where a stud starts or stops

4. BLACK & DECKER BDL190S Stud Finder

Black & Decker has always been about quality and precision with its tools. So when we learned that they have stud finders in their collection, we really couldn’t hesitate to include one of theirs in our list of recommendations.

The BDL1090S stud finder is a well-rated solution, one that does its work fast and does so with a great level of precision.

Black & Decker BDL1090S uses multiple sensors to penetrate different types of walls including those made of plaster. Not only can it find small nails, beans, screws, and studs.

It also identifies them on the spot and with ease so you find exactly what you’re looking for and fast.

Because it uses an edge tracking technology, you have to drag it starting from a stud-free area so that it can do its job right. The contour data received by the sensor will produce an image as soon as it finds a stud.

And while it’s at it, it will also define the center of the stud to make it easy for you to know where to drill next.

The LED light of Black & Decker BDL1090S stud finder not only displays the current state of stud but also shows the leveling. The screen also lets you know if the studs are within the reach of the sensors.

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Pros

  • It’s versatile and allows for hands free use
  • The coating on the handle allows for an easy grip
  • Lightweight so it won’t cause hand fatigue

Cons

  • Reading at hand pressure isn’t always accurate
  • Struggles to track large and wide studs

If you are ever going to drill or hammer anything on a plaster wall, make sure you use a stud finder first to find the most appropriate spot. At the end of the day, the last mistake you want to make is to mess up with the structure of your plaster wall. 

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