Products, Tools

Next Generation Stud Finder Expedites HVACR Work

November 14, 2023

The latest stud finder technology virtually eliminates false positives utilizing multiple sensors and sophisticated signal processing

For HVACR contractors, maximizing efficiency involves knowing as well as possible what is behind a wall. This is necessary to install, maintain, and repair climate control systems. To work safely, contractors typically rely on stud finders to locate studs and other objects in the wall and be alerted to the presence of live, unshielded AC electricity.

HVACR contractors have long utilized stud finders based on unrefined capacitive technology. While this original technology can indicate the location of wood stud framing, it may also discover metal, plastic, wiring, and other objects in walls and indicate them as studs. The potential for “false positive” indications is further increased by brands with constantly active, hypersensitive “deep scanning” models. The result is that traditional stud finders may chirp or flash LED lights to indicate something was sensed, but it is not clear what that is.

Today, the challenge of accurately assessing what is behind walls is only increasing. There is more behind the drywall than ever, including network cabling, plastic pipes, and tubing. Complicating matters, not all construction follows standard stud spacing practices of 16 inches or 24 inches on-center, and there are often additional support beams, fire blocks, and other framing features that can further muddy the picture.

HVAC ductwork may change direction to avoid studs, wiring, and other obstructions and location also varies depending on the home’s style and layout.

Now, newer and more refined technology is being introduced to the popular stud finder category, and it promises to redefine the standards for stud finder performance.

Increasing HVACR Contractors’ Productivity

HVACR contractors need to find wood studs. Finding the voids between studs is necessary to quickly assess how much room there is behind the wall to reroute ductwork or mount a new fixture. Whether retrofitting a residential or commercial building, it can be particularly important to understand if the studs are plumb, or if fire blocking is present.

HVACR contractors now can use advanced, second-generation stud finders from Zircon Corporation which utilize multiple sensors and sophisticated signal processing to help filter out false positives, minimizing the risk of misidentifying objects as studs.

Zircon, a wholly owned subsidiary of ZRCN Inc., has been in the stud finder game for more than 40 years. In 1980, the company manufactured the original StudSensor™ stud finder and invented the category. The Silicon Valley-based company produces more than just stud finders. It designs and manufactures an extended range of sensor technologies in electronic hand tools including wall scanners, metal detectors, circuit breaker finders, drill guides, water detectors, and leveling tools.

The company’s latest innovation is the Wood Stud SuperScan® advanced stud finder with Target Control® technology and FILTERz™ cancellation. By analyzing the complex data streams from multiple sensors and controlling the result using sophisticated intelligence, the stud finder can find wood studs and filter out metallic objects such as plumbing, conduit, straps, brackets, screws, protector plates, or ductwork behind the wall. The technology also alerts users to the presence of other low density, non-metallic targets like plastic pipe and PEX tubing.

DeepScan® mode locates the center of wood studs and metal up to 1½ inches (38 mm) deep behind walls. A MetalliWarning® indicator will display when metal is detected.

To minimize the risk of cutting into dangerous electrical wires, the device also provides WireWarning® detection, which indicates the presence of live, unshielded AC electricity.

The stud finder has a new and improved user interface which provides an intuitive “go/no go” indication in response to what is being sensed. A new haptic vibration and a patented SpotLite® pointer shines an arrow-shaped beam on the wall, to clearly indicate the target’s location.

For HVACR contractors, the ability to determine quickly and more accurately what may be behind the wall before cutting into it will substantially increase productivity and safety. HVACR contractors would do well to upgrade their existing stud finder with this affordable, next-generation model that is sure to become the new standard in scanning.

For more information, call Zircon Corporation at (408) 963-4550, e-mail:, or visit