Picture of the Zircon Stud Sensor E50 stud finder detector, shown sideways.

Zircon Stud Sensor e50 Stud Finder Detector Review




Some years back, we  purchased the   Zircon Stud Sensor e50 Stud Finder,   to ease locating the beams (studs) in the walls at home as part of an electric baseboard heater upgrade project.  For the modest cost of $25, this electronic device saved lots of time of guessing where the studs were before drilling into the wall.   Plus, it never misled us about the beams.  Anywhere it showed that an empty cavity existed behind the wall, turned out to be indeed the case.  We’ve never drilled or cut into a stud while using the Zircon e50 to check for the presence of studs first.  This is quite the handy stud detector for the do-it-yourselfer around the house. Our experiences with this ergonomically friendly instrument follow, in this e50 review.

Picture of the Zircon StudSensor e50 Electronic Stud Finder.
Zircon StudSensor e50 Electronic Stud Finder

 

Zircon Stud Sensor e50 Stud Finder Detector Benefits, Features, Pros, and Advantages

  • High tech stud sensing.  This is NOT your grandfather’s magnetic stud finder.  The e50 employs state-of-the-art electronic field generation technology, coupled with computer aided data interpretation techniques, to precisely locate beams within most walls, well over ninety percent of the time.
  • Finds studs in thick walls.  Even in those older homes, with the notably thick plaster walls, the Zircon e50 Stud Sensor tool easily and accurately located the studs behind those walls every time.
  • No moving parts. Stud detection is accomplished entirely via electronic means.  This increases reliability and accuracy.  Works on most types and composition of in-wall beams and structural supports, so long as they have some material density.  They need be neither magnetic nor metallic.  So most wood and metal studs register on this handy tool.  The e50 utilizes a more advanced sensory system than those prior generation magnetic stud finders.
  • Displays image of what’s in the wall.  Using the built-in screen, identifying various obstructions within the wall, like pipes, beams, and electrical wiring was a synch.  Locates stud edges and centers quickly and reliably.
  • Ergonomic design.  The StudSensor e50 fits into the hand very well.  It’s comfortable to use for longer periods without fatigue resulting.
  • High depth stud sensing.  The deep scan feature proved most helpful for those extra deep walls, as it doubles the depth that this stud finder can “see” into walls, and thus find studs, from three quarters of an inch to one and a half inches behind the wall surface..
  • Locates beam edges.  We used the Stud Edge Finder feature quite often, to mark on the wall each edge of the stud.  Again, No inaccuracies encountered.  When the e50 finds the stud edges, it projects a red arrow onto the wall that you can then mark with a pencil; the exact location of each stud edge. Then, you can position your screw, nail, or other wall-hanger device over the exact center of the stud, for maximum holding strength.
  • Detects presence of high voltage house wiring.  This stud sensor also alerts the user to AC power wiring within the wall to be avoided.  It can “see” unshielded power cables in the wall as deep as two inches.  This feature really improves the safety of any handy man, by reducing the chances that he’ll mistakenly cut into a live wire inside the wall.
  • Finds most any composition of stud.  The e50 finds both wood and metal studs effectively.
  • Battery powered.  It requires an easy-to-find 9-volt battery, and in casual use, the battery can last several years.  In fact, the battery will probably leak before actually gong dead in this tool.  So be sure write the date that you last installed a fresh battery, and replace if the battery’s expiration date has passed.
  • Economical.  It is reasonably priced and is sold by the major home improvement centers like Lowe’s, where we bought ours.
  • High quality craftsmanship.  This stud detector is part of a complete line of wood, metal, and water locating tools, and seems to embody a rich level of design and experience of the Zircon company.  They’re definitely experts at providing useful aids for locating things inside walls, ceilings, and floors, both drywall and concrete.
Picture of the Zircon e-50 Stud Finder Operating Instructions, printed on bottom of unit.
Zircon e-50 Stud Finder Operating Instructions, printed on bottom of unit.

Zircon Stud Sensor e50 Stud Finder Detector Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, and Limitations

  • Sometimes misses AC power lines.  The e50 does not always find AC power wires, especially when not energized, and sometimes when it does, the readings are confusing, and this complicates determining the exact location of the power cable.
  • Constant pressing required.  You must hold the power button in while moving the e50 across the wall, looking for studs inside.  This can fatigue the pressing finger.  A locking mechanism that would allow press-free scanning would be a welcome improvement.
  • Internal memory too volatile.  Releasing the power button causes the unit to forget the current calibration.  But fortunately, it only takes roughly two seconds to recalibrate, and you do so simply by pressing and holding the power button again.

 

Our Product Rating

We very much like the e50 Stud Finder, and so, would highly recommend this tool to anyone who works with walls (picture or drapery hangers, electricians, plumbers, and so on).  While the initial investment to procure one seems a bit on the high side, the subsequent time savings returns that investment many times over in our experience.  So we rate this stud finder at 95 out of 100 in terms of overall product satisfaction.

 

Where To Buy The Zircon Stud Sensor e50 Stud Finder Detector 

Look for it in the plastic hanging package with the blue label.  The e50 itself is a deep yellow or amber color.  The space and weight taken up by this tool in your tool boxes is well-worth the savings in time and money, as well as the increased certainty that you will not cut into an undesirable object inside the wall.  So go and get yourself a Zircon e50, and you’ll never make THAT mistake again.

 

References

Revision History

  • 2017-02-24: Updated the tags list, and changed post title to: Zircon Stud Sensor e50 Stud Finder Detector Review.
  • 2015-12-12: Added appropriate tags.
  • : Revised and extended content, added whitespace, and adjusted ad placement. .
  • 2014-10-29: Added References and Revision History sections, a picture, and more content about this product, now that we’ve garnished a couple years experience with using this tool.  Also fixed typos in the original copy.
  • 2012-03-06: Originally published.