StudPoP® magnetic stud finders

More than a feeling

Myth FAQs (Cutting through the misinformation)

Relax.  Just follow the directions.

Go back and forth about 24" and down an inch each pass.

And go fast!

The StudPoP's indication is quick enough to keep up.  Just keep your eye on the "popper" because it'll just be a quick blip, but you can't miss it.  Using this method you can easily scan a 2' x 4' area in 20 seconds and there's likely a screw in there somewhere.

You should be able to find a fastener in any wall in less than 30 seconds.

Everyone makes such a big deal out of this one.

News flash: It doesn't matter if the screw is centered or not.  As long as the screw is countersunk (below the surface), then you can be confident that it is screwed into a strong, solid part of the stud---maybe it isn't the EXACT center but it will be in a section of the stud that is strong. 

And while we're on the subject, there's no such thing as a screw that missed the stud altogether.  Anyone that has actually installed sheetrock knows that in order to hide the screw heads, they need to be able to pull their heads under the surface of the sheetrock and this can only be done if  they are screwed into something solid.  Because if they are screwed into the far edge of the stud or missed the stud completely -- then they'll just spin around and their head will stick out like a sore thumb -- forcing the installer to remove it and try another location that enables him/her to HIDE the screw head.

The final test to prove that you've found a secure place to install your TV, mirror, etc., when you screw in the fasteners to hold up your TV, shelf etc., you should be able to make the screw or bolt REALLY tight rather than it spinning around and around.  As long as you can do this then you can be confident that you're not going to have any problems with it falling out of the wall.

It doesn't matter if it's centered or not.

Just because it indicates that it's found the center, that doesn't mean that it is the center.
While the overall accuracy of electronic stud finders is usually good on hollow walled sheetrock, as soon as the wall becomes denser and thicker, the accuracy goes down.

What I mean is that on a wall with more thickness than plain sheetrock, electronic stud finders can't distinguish the studs clearly and will indicate that the edges are offset from their true location.  And you'll never know that you're off-center because you'll still hit the stud---and just "think" that you're in the center.  <But> as I've stated elsewhere, who cares?  As long as your fastener is in tight, that's all that matters.

On the other hand, the StudPoP's popper will ALWAYS lift up directly over the heads of the metal fasteners. It is not affected by wall thickness or density. This is the StudPoP® difference. It is unlike anything else that's out there.

So don't be fooled by their supposed "edge finding technology". It has no meaningful value beyond simple sheetrock.  But it sure sounds good doesn't it?

The StudPoP® knows exactly where the screw or nail is.

I know.  They're "metal" finders."  I hear this one all the time.  Now pay attention to what I'm going to say next.

There’s no such thing as a stud finder that is actually able to find wood.

Despite what everybody thinks, the electronic ones are NOT looking for wood---they're looking for density changes in the wall -- which they use to figure out what “looks like” a stud---but it could just as easily be a drain pipe, or a stud made out of cheese.

So repeat after me:

Electronic stud finders are NOT looking for wood anymore than a magnet is.

The advantage of a magnet is that it is looking for something meaningful; i.e. a screw or a nail that is actually going into a real stud. A magnet will (almost) never “tell” you there’s a stud where there isn’t one.

Electronic stud finders constantly indicate studs where there aren't any.

Conclusion: when the StudPoP finds a metal fastener, it's probably screwed into a stud. 

An electronic stud finder will often indicate that it's found a stud---until you drill a hole and find out that it's just  something that "looks" like a stud.

Why do you think I invented the StudPoP?

I know.  How can a little magnet gizmo work as good (or better) than their super-sophisticated radar detection device?

Well that's what they'd like you to believe.

Read the StudPoP® reviews and you'll find most StudPoP users say that our magnetic stud finders are far more accurate than their $50-$100 electronic models.

But don't take my word for it.  Read the reviews.

Take a StudPoP® and a competitor's product and stick them to your refrigerator. Now pull each of them off of the fridge. You may conclude that since it's easier to pull the StudPoP® off the refrigerator then the StudPoP's magnet is weaker and thus less effective. Now use each of these products to find studs on walls of various types of construction. Which one is better at telling you when it's found a metal fastener? Hint: it has NOTHING to do with the "strength" of the magnet. What really matters is how they each use that strength. The competition can only hope that you feel the pull of its magnet's attraction to the screw. Whereas due to the design of the StudPoP's "popper", it is able to both magnify the strength of the magnet and notify the user by its movement when it is directly over a screw.

Don't be fooled.

Electronic units aren't looking for wood either.  They are looking for changes in the thickness of the wall which can be a very inaccurate method in anything other than an uninsulated sheet rocked wall with no pipes inside of it.  They are almost useless on plaster board and totally useless on wood lath and plaster.

But magnets are attracted to ACTUAL metal fasteners that hold the wallboard to the studs. Find one of these fasteners and you've probably also found the wood (or metal) stud that they're screwed into.

P.S. If you have metal lath, good luck.  Because NOTHING works on that.

This is just a side effect of the way the electronic units work. They all have a sensitive receiver that is used to detect the reflected ultrasonic waves. This receiver unintentionally picks up electrical noise from wires in the wall.  Someone in marketing decided to call this a "feature".

The truth is, when you drill or screw in the same area that the StudPoP found the screw, then you can know for sure that there's no electric wires.


You should NEVER trust that there's no electricity in the wall no matter what your tester says. The only wires that it will detect are LIVE wires and not all wires in the wall are going to be live. For example, if there's wiring coming out of a wall switch and the switch is "off", your tester won't detect it and you could screw right through the center of that wire without a single spark...until that switch gets turned on. Then BAM! That's why we have fire insurance.

The advantage of a magnetic stud finder is that it will always point you towards an actual stud and actual studs will never have wires on their surface. Remember, magnets are looking for metal fasteners that are NEVER going to be anywhere near wires of any kind.

General FAQs

Short answer: YES...but only if the metal fastener is very close to the surface…close enough for you to feel the tug. This limits you to sheetrock and maybe thin tile — as long as you’re able to feel the very slight pull.

But good luck finding that magnet the next time you need it ; )

I hear this one all the time. Truth is, there’s really no such thing as a stud finder that is actually able to look for wood. The electronic ones are looking for density changes in the wall which they use to figure out what “looks like” a stud. But it could just as easily be a drain pipe. So they’re not looking for actual wood anymore than a magnet is. But at least a magnet is looking for something tangible; i.e. a screw or a nail that is actually connected to or pointing to an actual stud. A magnet will (almost) never “tell” you there’s a stud where there isn’t one. If you find a screw, then it is very likely that it is screwed into something…most likely a stud. On the other hand, the electronic stud finders are notorious for giving false readings, telling you there’s a stud when there isn’t.

I do home repairs for a living. That’s why I spent years inventing a better stud finder. I take my StudPoPs everywhere I go just to make sure that they always work. They work on any kind of sheetrock—no matter how many layers. They also work on 150 year old lath* and plaster and 65 year old plaster board. They work on textured walls and ceilings**, tile over sheetrock, marble over sheetrock, wood or metal studs.

*Wood lath only. Metal mesh lath will make the magnet's popper stand out straight over the entire wall.
**Sheetrock ceilings only

PLEASE NOTE that StudPoPs will only stick to sheetrock (drywall).  When you're using it on construction types that have thick plaster and/or tile, there will be too much distance between the metal fastener and the StudPoP.

**NOTE that the "On the LEVEL" is too heavy to stick to any surface.  You'll need to use the push pin to hold it in place.

The GRIP is the latest entry into the StudPoP® family of products. It has the same "deep scan" capabilities as the other 2 products. While it is a bit smaller than the "Original", it is still able to find the screws or metal fasteners in long as you follow the directions...that is...don't just rub it all over the wall randomly.  You have to follow a clear back and forth and down pattern so that you don't miss any of the wall that you are scanning.

**Yes but it will only stick to sheetrock (drywall).  When you're using it on construction types that have thick plaster and/or tile, there will be too much distance between the metal fastener and the StudPoP.

**NOTE that the "On the LEVEL" is too heavy to stick to any surface.  You'll need to use the push pin to hold it in place.

Both the "Original" and the "OTL" use magnets that are 1" diameter and 1/8" thick. The GRIP's magnet is .75" diameter and is also 1/8" thick.

**Yes…but only if the lath is made out of wood. If your lath is wire mesh (metal), then you’re out of luck because the popper will stand out straight over the entire wall due to the attraction of the metal meshing.

**NOTE that performance on a wood lath ceiling may not be reliable because the weight of the popper is working against you. A simple trick is to push the popper up slightly with your finger to reduce the distance between the magnet and the metal fastener.  This doesn't work all of the time but it's worth trying.

While I seldom get complaints about this, it can happen especially if you have flat paint on your walls and their color is much lighter or darker than the color of your StudPoP®. So in the event that it does happen, simply put some clear tape on the face of the StudPoP®. Or just use your fingers to create a very slight gap between the face of the StudPoP and the wall.

If the surface is very rough you might need to increase the size of the face of the StudPoP® so that it doesn’t get snagged by all the surface roughness. A good way to do this would be to get a paper plate and cut out a 3″ to 6″ circle.  Stick the circle to the face of the StudPoP® using thin double sided tape. Now proceed as per instructions