When planning on hanging or fastening something to your walls, you may need to drill directly into a stud for the most secure placement. You can invest in a mechanical stud locator, but it’s a good idea to know how to locate one on your own. Studs are typically placed 16″ or 24″ apart within the wall. Some studs are made out of metal, but most homes are built with wood studs. Here are some low-tech ways for locating a stud without using a stud finder.

1. Knock

Knock along the wall near where you think a stud might be located. You will hear the knock become higher pitched and sound less hollow once you’ve found a stud.


2. Locate a wall outlet

Outlet boxes and light switch boxes are usually affixed to a stud on one side. Find these boxes and you can be sure there’s a stud nearby. You can also remove the faceplate to find out exactly which side it’s on.


3. Use a strong magnet

Run a magnet along the wall until it finds a screw. Drywall screws will be near the surface and catch the magnet as it passes by.