The Zircon A150 tested consistently well and this is the main reason we like it. Its bright red laser-like arrow activates when you find the center of a stud, and this, along with a display that shows you how close you are to a stud, with indications for which direction to move, and an audible alert, make the Zircon very easy to use.
Physically, the A150 is easier to hold in your hand than some of the other models we tested, with a fairly narrow grip. Its single button is placed right under your thumb if you’re right-handed, and under your index finger if you’re a lefty. To aid in smooth sliding across walls, the back is equipped with two soft, felt pads.
When used on drywall, the A150 consistently found the stud. This is a pretty basic requirement for a stud finder, but some of the other models we tested struggled to clear even this simplest of bars.
On more challenging surfaces, the A150 did as good or better than the other finders, though it wasn’t able to consistently handle some of thicker materials. This was the case with all the testers and is admittedly asking more than what they were designed for.
If you have an older house with thick, dense walls, a stud finder may not work for your needs. This said, on our wood-paneled wall test, the A150 was one of the few that was able to sense a stud fairly consistently. On the stucco test, it couldn’t find a stud, but neither could almost any of the other models we tested.
The only notable issue with the A150 is that the LCD display is hard to see when it’s above your eye-line. If you’re trying to find a stud high up on a wall, the display won’t be visible. However, you can still hear its alert, and the red light shines to indicate that you’ve found a stud.
Read our complete guide to the best stud finders.