The Best Stud Finder Apps To Use In A Pinch

Before you hang items on your wall that need to support a lot of weight, you need to secure the screws or anchors. Placing these fasteners directly and solely into drywall could cause them to loosen or release, letting the items come crashing down at some point. The screw cannot support heavy weight with drywall alone as an anchor. Instead, you should anchor the screw or fastener into a wall stud behind the drywall, giving it the support it needs.

Of course, the problem is finding the wood 2x4s that are hiding behind the drywall. That's where learning how to use a stud finder tool enters the picture. This tool measures for metal, changes in density, or changes in electrical fields behind the drywall, helping you locate the 2x4s without having to drill random holes while hoping for the best.

You certainly can purchase affordable stud finder tools that help with this process. However, you may not want another standalone device. You may have heard that you can use your smartphone for this process, but do stud finder apps actually work? They can work in the right circumstances. Finding just the right stud finder app for your needs can be a challenge, though. We'll break down the five best stud finder apps for iOS and Android mobile devices.

Stud Finder by Hanja Devi for iOS

The Stud Finder iOS app focuses on measuring a magnetic field to seek out metal objects in the drywall. This means that it finds the screws that the contractor uses to attach the sheets of drywall to the wood studs behind it. The Stud Finder app claims to be able to find the 2x4 studs behind drywall, plasterboard, and stucco. The developer recommends that you remove the phone cover before attempting to find the studs. You can adjust the sensitivity of the app to try to reduce the number of false positives that you are receiving. This is a free app to download, but you can make in-app purchases to gain extra features.

The app has more than 3,000 customer reviews on the Apple App Store, receiving an average rating of 4.4 stars out of a possible 5. The majority of the positive reviews mentioned that Stud Finder worked as advertised, finding the screws quickly. Other reviewers appreciated the clear instructions that pop up on the screen, designed to help even novices have success using it. Some of the negative reviews mention that the free version isn't as effective unless you make in-app purchases.

Stud Finder for Walls by ToolsZone for Android

The Stud Finder for Walls Android app works to make the process of finding studs as easy as possible, using graphics to help you track down the screws holding the drywall to the studs. The graphics create a visual representation of the 2x4 framing behind the drywall on your smartphone screen, making it easier to figure out where you want to place your screws or anchors. This also makes it easier to find the exact center of the stud. In addition to finding the metal screws that go into the studs, this app claims to be able to find electrical wires behind the walls. It has a digital tape measure included, so you can take accurate measurements with the app.

More than 10,000 people have downloaded Stud Finder for Walls, and it has more than 650 reviews on the Google Play store with an average star rating of 3.9. Positive reviewers appreciate the ability to find different items beyond wall studs, such as wires. It's also an easy app to use. Some of the negative reviewers mentioned that the app struggled to find the metal screws in the 2x4s, performing better with finding wires behind the walls.

Stud Finder: Wall Detector by Francisco Antonelli for iOS

The Stud Finder: Wall Detector iOS app uses your smartphone's magnetometer to seek out magnetic fields along the wall. It then uses graphics to help you determine whether you are measuring metal inside the wall or you are receiving a false reading. You can adjust the sensitivity of the app to reduce the number of false positives that it is generating. This is a free app, although you can make in-app purchases to gain access to some additional features.

It has more than 900 customer reviews on the Apple App Store, and it has a rating of 4.1 stars. One positive reviewer mentioned no longer needing to use a stud finder tool, as this app is just as accurate as the standalone devices and far easier to use. Most of the negative reviews did not like the constant suggestions the app made to upgrade to the paid version.

Stud Detector by Metal Detector EMF for Android

The Stud Detector Android app can find screws, nails, and electrical wiring inside and behind your drywall. It uses an electromagnetic field to measure the location of the 2x4 studs and other items. It uses graphical elements on the smartphone screen along with a beeping sound to let you know when it discovers a metal object that could indicate a wood stud.

It has more than 50,000 downloads on the Google Play store. More than 800 customer reviewers gave it an average of 3.6 stars as a rating on a scale of 5 stars. The customers who left the highest-ranked reviews appreciated the app's user-friendly interface, which makes it easy to find studs by measuring the strength of the signal. Novices appreciate the look of the app, meaning they can use it as easily as a seasoned DIY expert. Those who left negative ratings said that the app struggled to find wood studs and screws, generating quite a few false readings.

Walabot DIY by Vayyar Imaging LTD for iOS and Android

One of the most interesting and powerful stud finder apps available is the free Walabot DIY app for both iOS and Android. However, the downside to this app is that you must purchase a separate piece of hardware from Walabot that you attach to your smartphone. It uses this extra scanner hardware to be able to measure what's behind the drywall, including 2x4s, pipes, and electrical wiring. The app does not work as a stud finder without the extra hardware piece.

On the Walabot website, which collects reviews from both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, the product has more than 13,000 reviews with an average star rating of 4.0 on a scale of 5. Some of the positive reviewers mentioned how easy it is to use for a novice, while also delivering a highly accurate picture of what's behind the wall, whether it's drywall or plaster. Negative reviewers said that the Walabot product doesn't perform any better than standalone stud finder tools, even though the extra hardware piece has a pricey cost of between $170 and $220 from Walabot, depending on the package you select. Most standalone stud finders fit in the $10 to $100 range.