So you’re thinking about going out and buying a stud finder just like any other tool, there is an effective way to use it. I’ll show you how, let’s get to work. There are a lot of different stud finders available on the market today. Here’s a seventy dollar stud finder model it comes with a dvd. It senses studs and hot electric and metal studs and metal pipes and stuff. I don’t really have much use for that one for what I do. Here’s a thirty dollar stud finder model, it has a deep scanner on it and a stud finder setting also. Again maybe the deep scanner works better on plaster. Most jobs I’m on are drywall so I really don’t have much use for that one. And this is a ten dollar stud finder model. It’s pretty basic. It works well through drywall. It’ll find the stud that I want for what I want.

That’s probably the model I would pick. I actually have two stud finders that I use pretty much on a daily basis. Here’s my less expensive model and the second one I have is a little bit more expensive. But it has a second feature in that it has a laser on it. So not only does it find studs, but it will also will shoot me a level line across for finding studs with my less expensive stud finder. The reason this is one of the stud finders that I selected was

a) it has a padded case anything with a case that is going to protect my tools I’d much rather appreciate;

b) it wasn’t horribly expensive but the thing I like the best about this was it sells. Not only is this a stud finder where it’ll actually find a stud, but you can also take this handy dandy little dude here, stick in the middle and with the flick of a button it gives you a level line which is great when you want to find studs along the line to either put trim mold on or maybe mark the bottom of cabinets along with a stud finder.

You really need to have a finish nail and a hammer. I don’t just trust a stud finder specifically to tell me the studs. Stud finders will sense a lot of other things in the wall they’ll sense pipes and heat ducts and things that I really don’t want to put nails or screws into for trims or cabinets. I always take my finish nail and I find a hard surface to put it on and I’ll tap the end of my finish nail with my hammer to get rid of that sharp point because I don’t want to accidentally puncture a wire or a pipe. Now suspecting that there’s a stud on either side of this box and noticing that there is a defect in one of the the filled nail holes down here. I’m suspecting that there’s a stud on the left side of this box you always hold your stud finder off of where you think the stud is press the button until the light and the sensor and the sound goes off.  You keep it pressed firmly against the wall until it goes over and you start to watch the red light go up. And sure enough, there’s a stud right where I suspected. You want to find both edges of the stud so that you can aim your screw for just the middle because believe it or not electrician’s staple their wires right along side of those studs. So you don’t want to graze a screw hanging a cabinet off and hit some electrical wires. So once you get your two rough marks on the wall as to where you think the beginning and the end of the stud are, always start somewhere in the center and you can feel it. You don’t want to drive it in real deep. You just want to get it in enough that you are sure. Just keep walking it over until you find the edge of the stud . Right there it is, right there is the edge of the stud. Now you know that a stud is typically an inch and a half wide and that’s pretty much the way it’s marked. So what I would do is, I would mark three-quarters of an inch back from this side of the stud and that would be the center mark for where I’m either going to nail trim up or screw a cabinet screw. Typically studs are sixteen inches apart in the wall your tape is usually marked with a red mark that signifies these stud marks.

Once you find your first stud, pull your tape out long and double check and make sure that you have these studs at sixteen inch centers. Now no self-respecting plumber with ever put a plumbing pipe this close to the surface of the drywall and this tight against the stud. They will keep it tight against the stud but generally they are supposed to be halfway back in the wall so that when you’re coming and trying to find it, that you don’t get that stud. But it’s not always like that so you got to be real careful. Again if you have a mark that’s a little bit wider than a normal stud, you always start from the center and work your way left or right. Now there are some places in your house where you can get some clues that there going to be plumbing pipes. If the wall just on the other side of where you’re looking for studs happens to be a bathroom, that should show up red flags be very cautious for plumbing pipes and drain pipes. If you have any strange markings that are particularly wide, really send your nail in gently and listen for the sound of any metal. If you’re looking for studs and you come up with two marks that are very close together, be very cautious of that because that could mean a pipe. A sharp point of a pvc pipe. Bottom line is when you run your nail in to test, you’ll hear a bouncing sound. There’s nothing in this wall that you want to nail that can move, wires move. heat ducts move. It’ll make different sounds. A pvc pipe. That’s why I blunted the end of this, I didn’t want to put a hole in a wire or a heat duct or anything like that. So you find something like that, clearly mark it as “do not nail.”

Now if you come up with a particularly large section that’s saying is all stud in all likelihood you have a heat duct. Either you want to start on the left side and see what you have, or you want to start on the right side and see what you have. If you hear a tinny sound, then pretty much you figure to go to the other side. Usually they’re right adjacent to a stud. Then go to the other side and start from this side and go back here. We have a copper waterline. Now as you can see as I come up to the copper waterline it senses it before I even get to it. And it will continue to sense it until after I’m passed it which gives you the impression that there’s a stud there, an inch and a half thick. And this is a piece of heat duct the stud finder also finds the heat duct. Although if you run a nail in the heat duct, it’s not going to flood your house or start an electrical fire. But it’s definitely not going to hold up whatever you want the nail in there for.

So there you go, the stud finder, a very effective tool. Put a little common sense and make a little effort, and it’s very handy to have around. If you’re a wife looking to buy one of these for her husband, I can pretty much guarantee he’s going to go see, there it works!

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