How To Use A Craftsman Stud Finder [Step By Step Guide]

A Craftsman stud finder is a handy tool to locate the studs on walls. The tool is useful for home construction and improvement needs. If you are not an expert with this tool, this post will guide you on correctly using the stud finder.

Here are the steps to follow when using a Craftsman stud finder:

  1. Start by placing the stud finder flat against a wall.
  2. Press the power button and wait for a beep after the calibration.
  3. Slide the scanner across the surface. Continue sliding to find the center of the stud.
  4. Mark the location where the light of the device points.

The stud finder is reliable and convenient to use. Besides the usage, you should learn how to calibrate the device to determine the precise stud location. Read further to find out how you to use your Craftsman stud finder.

Man hand is scanning wall by cable detector to find a cable before drilling in. - How To Use A Craftsman Stud Finder [Step By Step Guide]

Craftsman Stud Finder Usage Guide

Craftsman is a reliable brand for various mechanical tools. The brand offers high-quality wall scanning tools to help you locate studs.

Man hand is scanning wall by cable detector to find a cable before drilling in.


If you have a Craftsman stud finder, finding studs is easy. Follow the steps below to use the device:

  1. Install the batteries of the stud finder. Make sure you use the recommended batteries.
  2. Put the stud finder flat against a wall. 
  3. Press the power button. Then, wait for one to two seconds to hear a beep after the calibration.  
  4. Slide the scanner across the surface. Continue sliding to find the center of the stud. The device will display three bars if it finds the center. 
  5. The stud finder SpotLite pointing system will also light on the stud location. It illuminates a green laser beam.
  6. Then, mark the location where the light of the device points.

The SpotLite pointer has a red or green LED light beam to help you mark the center of the stud. 

If the device finds the center but only shows two bars, you can set the stud finder to "High Sensitivity" mode. You can use the mode to locate studs on deep or thick walls. To activate this mode, you should press and release the power button within one second while the device is on. The term "STUD" flashes continuously once you activate the mode.

Usage Tips

The stud finder is easy to use, but you should know how to use it correctly to get optimum scanning results. Here are some tips to remember:

  • Hold the device steadily with your hands. Your fingers should rest above the running board and not touch the surface or the scanning head. 
  • When moving, hold the scanner straight up and down. Do not rotate or tilt the device while scanning.
  • Wait for the device to finish calibration before moving to the next location. 
  • Always mark the spacing of the studs so you can easily search them.

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Other Operating Precautions

electronic ac finder isolated on white background

The stud finder can detect both live and dead electrical wiring. You should be extra cautious when scanning walls, floors, and ceilings containing wiring. Turn off the device when working near electrical wirings. 

Remember that the studs have a minimum distance of 16-24 inches with widths of 1.5-2 inches. If the device detects something close to the last reading, it is not a stud, joist, or firebreak.  

Lastly, always review the stud finder model's product manuals for detailed instructions.

How Do You Calibrate A Craftsman Stud Finder?

Calibrating the stud finder helps you to get accurate locations of the studs. Below is the process for calibrating:

  1. Place the scanner flat against the wall. 
  2. Then, press and hold the power button until you see all icons on the LCD.
  3. The calibration will take 1-2 seconds. The device will notify that calibration is over with a buzzer or beep.
  4. The SpotLite pointing system will activate. 

The Craftsman stud finder has an Auto Correcting Technology (ACT). This feature does automatic recalibration while the device is scanning. The LCD shows an arrow indicating the location where you missed the stud. Hence, you get consistent readings every time you use the stud finder.

On What Surface To Use Craftsman Stud Finder?

The stud finder will work best if you use it on the right surfaces. The accuracy of scanning and sensing depth will also depend on moisture levels, wall texture, and paint thickness.

Most Craftsman stud finder models will work on drywalls and surfaces covered with fabric or wallpaper. Listed are other scannable surfaces:

  • Painted or textured walls
  • Acoustic ceilings
  • Wood flooring
  • Gypsum drywall
  • Plywood sheathing

Use the high sensitivity mode for wood flooring, gypsum drywall, and plywood sheathing due to the thick surface.

On the contrary, you cannot use the stud finder on irregular and dense surfaces such as:

  • Lath
  • Plaster
  • Carpet
  • Padding
  • Glass
  • Ceramic
  • Foil
  • Tile
  • Stone
  • Mortar

You will not find the studs on wet and moist surfaces. Let the surface completely dry before using the device. Freshly painted walls will dry after one week, while wallpaper will take several weeks.

If the surface is uneven, such as textured and acoustic walls, you can place cardboard over it.

The device can search for wood and metal studs and live AC wires. It has a WireWarning detection feature if the wires have live voltage. However, the device might not detect the wires behind plastic conduits, plywood shear, or metallic walls. 

Why Does My Craftsman Stud Finder Keep Beeping?

Electronic stud finder

The beeping sound of the stud finder means that it needs recalibration. To stop the beep, rescan on the surface or another location to get the correct reading. You won't be able to locate studs unless the beeping stops.

If there is continuous beeping while the LCD all icons turn on, the device is not working flat against the surface. 

While scanning, your hands should be six inches away from the stud finder, and avoid holding the unit above the handgrips. Do not tilt, rotate, or lift the scanning device because it affects the calibration. 

What Does It Mean If The Stud Finder Is Blinking?

A blinking stud finder display means that the batteries are weak. You must replace the battery if you want to locate studs. Although a small device, a stud finder needs strong batteries.

What Batteries Does A Craftsman Stud Finder Need?

If you will replace the batteries, the device needs 9-volt batteries. The Craftsman stud finer models CMHT77620/CMHT77621 need two high-quality AAA batteries. You can check the manual if your model requires another type.

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When adding the batteries, here are some precautions:

  • Follow the instructions of the battery. 
  • Insert the batteries on the correct terminals. 
  • Do not use charged disposable batteries.
  • Do not mix old and new batteries.
  • Dispose of old batteries following local codes.

Is The Craftsman Stud Finder Accurate?

Blurred man using stud finder to search apartment wall for studs and live wires

Yes, Craftsman stud finders are accurate. The device can locate studs with precision. Note that the studs' spacing from the center is at least 16 inches apart. You can check if the spacing is correct with the stud finder.

You can find wood studs at 1 1/2 inches deep, 3/4 inches for drywall, and 2 inches for metal studs. The stud finder has a laser beam that lights up and notifies you with a sound when it finds the stud location and will point to the right spot. 

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The stud finder is reliable in getting consistent calibrations. It detects the edges of the studs and will guide you to the center. Completing various tasks, such as installing partitions, cabinets, tiles, and flooring, are possible with the stud finder.

Besides its capabilities, the stud finder is durable because it is shock and water-resistant. 

It is also worth noting that Craftsman offers a limited lifetime warranty for stud finders. The warranty only applies to the original end-user of the tool.

In Summary

Man hand is scanning wall by cable detector to find a cable before drilling in

It is easy to use a Craftsman stud finder. You only need to place the device flat against the wall or other surfaces. By pressing the power button, the stud finder calibrates to help you locate the center of the stud. Once the device finds the location, it has a green beam to indicate the center. 

You should know on what surfaces you can use the stud finder to get accurate stud locations. The stud finder can automatically recalibrate for consistent scanning. If the device is blinking, it needs new batteries.

After all, a Craftsman stud finder is a reliable scanning tool that is a must-have for your home projects.

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How Far Should A Screw Go Into A Stud?

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