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Magnetic stud finder

Most houses will have interior studded walls and ceilings. The term stud is a strange one, it simply refers to the hidden timber beams that plasterboard is nailed or screwed to, to form a wall or ceiling. Between each of the studs in the wall there is a cavity that is often filled with insulation which doesn’t offer any structural support. That’s why, when drilling into a wall to hang a heavy item it is vital to locate the timber studs. Otherwise the weight of the item will simply strip the fixings from the wall.

On the other hand, sometimes it may be necessary to avoid the studs in a ceiling or wall altogether, for example when installing spotlights when finding the cavity is essential, otherwise the timber beams will stop the light fittings sitting flush with the ceiling.

A stud finder is an essential addition to any toolbox. Whether you are an occasional DIY’er or a professional tradesperson it is easy to miss hidden studs or joists in plasterboard walls when hanging a picture, shelf, cabinet or something heavier such as a brand new TV.

A magnet stud finder saves so much time and effort and the last thing you want to come home to is this…

TV bracket hanging out of plasterboard exposing screw and wall plug

The solution is simpler than you ever imagined. There is no need for expensive electronic gadgetry, in fact the only tool you need is a strong magnet. To be precise, a 25mm diameter x 20mm thick neodymium magnet is absolutely prefect.

Simply hold the magnet in your hand between your thumb and forefinger and slowly move it horizontally across the wall, if you don’t feel the magnet tug towards a nail or screw, move the magnet up or down approximately 10cm and trace the same horizontal line across the wall and repeat until the magnet locates the nail or screw and pulls towards it. See how this works in the below video.

The magnet will be strong enough to hold its own weight allowing you to drill or screw into the wall either directly above or below the magnet in the sound knowledge that you will hit the wooden joist every time. Or alternatively, avoid the joist altogether.

25mm diameter neodymium magnet attracting to studs in plasterboard wall.


Let us know if this works for you. Leave a comment and share your DIY magnet tips with the first4magnets community.

Do you have a project or application in mind? Would you like to tell others about it? Simply order magnets from www.first4magnets.com and then when you have completed your project, simply fill in our short application submission form, upload a few pictures and, if approved, we will refund your order!

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