Electricians understand the value of having the right tool for the job. However, many are dissatisfied with traditional stud finders that require multiple steps, “error-out” frequently and provide inconsistent readings.
Although there is no shortage of stud finders in the market, traditional units with one or two sensors may not delineate the location of studs clearly enough. Even higher priced options with LCD screens typically utilize the same one or two sensors as lower-end models and thus offer similar sensing technology.
Another problem with conventional electric stud finders is the multiple steps required for calibration and then locating the stud. Electricians are usually required to slide the unit from left to right until a stud is identified by a single LED light and an audible beeping sound.
“Traditional stud finders with one LED light do not show you the full width of the stud,” says Randy Cruise, a licensed electrician, general contractor and owner of California Coast Home Remodeling. “Without knowing where the center is, we might attach something to the edge or miss the stud completely, and whatever we were attaching would not be securely fastened to the wall.”
The problem is so prevalent that some electricians resort to alternative techniques like tapping into drywall with a small drill bit or finishing nail or rapping on the walls to physically locate each of the studs.
Fortunately, more advanced units are now on the market that incorporate six times the sensors along with more sophisticated processing technology to accurately locate studs. Because these units are also available in a horizontal configuration, the sensing and display area is much wider and can identify the full width of the stud.
For some electricians, the increased accuracy and clear delineation of studs is speeding jobs, preventing costly errors, minimizing drywall damage and even contributing to more accurate project estimates.
Improving Accuracy and Ease of Use – To expedite electrical and remodeling work, Cruise and his work crew turned to a stud sensor from Franklin Sensors that utilizes up to 13 sensors. The 7-inch, horizontally oriented device includes LEDs spaced across the entire width of the product that illuminate to show the full width of the stud – usually 3 lights for standard 2x4s.
“The stud finder serves one purpose: to find the studs,” says Cruise. “I prefer the wider models with multiple LEDs, because it shows you where the stud starts and where it ends. You can pick your ‘center’ and screw right into it without guessing what is behind the wall.”
For electricians, accurately knowing where the studs are – and are not – is critical for completing a job without serious complications
“If we are remodeling a kitchen, bathroom, or office space, we often need to re-route the electrical lines as part of the job,” explains Cruise. “As an electrician, you need an accurate picture of what is behind the wall without having to break it. A more accurate stud finder can tell you how much room there is to work with, if the studs are plumb or are running horizontally, etc.”
By eliminating unnecessary wall damage, Cruise explains that his company can save quite a bit of time and labor even for minor repairs.
“It might cost us four to eight hours to fix wall damage, including plastering or texturing and then waiting for all the materials to dry before applying primer and paint,” explains Cruise. “A clean job without unnecessary repairs is less expensive for the client and more profitable for us, so everyone is happy.”
According to Cruise, the advanced stud finder even helps him product more accurate estimate that, in some cases, also reduces the cost for the customer.
“The Franklin Sensors stud finder helps me to more accurately estimate the time it will take to complete a job,” explains Cruise. “There is less guesswork as to what is going on behind the drywall, and I don’t have to charge for worst-case scenarios to cover potential extra work. This allows us to give the client a better price, which often helps us to win the bid.”
For more information, visit: www.franklinsensors.com