The best wall-mounted detectors in the UK 2023

A wall detector is an essential device for safe DIY work. You'll be able to mount a picture, flat screen or shelf on the wall without risking damage to the electrical wires and pipes behind it. If you don't know how to choose one, read our comparison of the best wall detectors to help you.

Bosch Professional GMS 120 1

Best value for money

Bosch Professional GMS 120

The best wall detector

Treat yourself to this wall scanner from Bosch, the reference in the field. This device has three detection modes: metal, drywall, and live wire.

71,92 £ on Amazon

This wall detector from Bosch is a professional device capable of detecting magnetic metals located at 12 cm depth. It also scans wood at 3.8 cm, non-magnetic metals at 8 cm and live cables at 5 cm. Bosch offers you 3 detection parameters that will allow you to refine your search results: metal mode, drywall mode and live wire.

The GMS 120 comes with a wrist strap, a protective cover and a 9V battery. For accurate results, apply tension to the object you are searching for, hold the unit flat against the wall, and grip it firmly with the handle. To avoid distorting results, remove gloves and jewelry before starting.

Wall scanner TOOLCRAFT TO-5137836 2

Best value for money

Wall scanner TOOLCRAFT TO-5137836

The best entry-level wall detector

Meterk is an international reference in the field of wall detectors. This multifunctional model is a great tool available at a very affordable price.

35,99 £ on Manomano

This multifunctional device detects wooden studs, ferrous and non-ferrous metal objects and wires. This wall detector has a detection depth of 10 cm. This multi-detector locates quickly and easily the edges of beams, metal reinforcements, water and power lines.

The device emits an audio signal for maximum safety when detecting objects. It has a battery life of 6 hours and switches off automatically after 5 minutes of non-use. You will also benefit from its backlighting device designed to help you work in good light conditions, even in a dark environment.

PeakTech 3435 3

Best value for money

PeakTech 3435

The best high-end wall detector

The PeakTech 3435 is a cable detector that is also designed to locate pipe elements. It has a detection depth of up to 2 m.

150 £ on Amazon

The PeakTech 3435 is an indispensable tool for the installation of a new flush-mounted electrical system, or for checking old circuits. It also detects metal piping. The device is capable of detecting in walls, ceilings and floors up to 10 cm deep.

This tool has 7 transmitters that can be used simultaneously via adjustable transmission channels. The high-sensitivity receiver allows you to follow the tracks of the conductor. You will easily visualize the measured values on a bright LCD screen with bar graph. The package includes a sensor box, a test cable, connection terminals, test tips, 9V batteries as well as a transmitter and a receiver.

Bosch Truvo Material Detector 4

A great choice

Bosch Truvo Material Detector

The easiest to use

This highly sensitive Bosch upright detector exudes quality. It signals the presence of wires, wood or pipes by sound and light.

71,92 £ on Amazon

This tool is used to detect ferrous and non-ferrous metals as well as electrical cables in order to drill a wall without damaging the studs and cables. The detection depth ranges from 50 mm to 70 mm depending on the material. The detector can detect metals under a concrete floor without any problem, but the accuracy leaves something to be desired.

Easy to use, it features a three-color LED display and an audible signal that informs the user whether or not drilling is possible. One button is all it takes to operate the device. This detector is perfect for everyday DIY jobs. The laser level is sold as an option, the detector box alone costs 49,18 €.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best wall detector

Any specific needs?

The best wall detector

The best entry-level wall detector

The best high-end wall detector

The easiest to use

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best wall-mounted detectors

Bosch Professional GMS 120 5
Wall scanner TOOLCRAFT TO-5137836 6
PeakTech 3435 7
Bosch Truvo Material Detector 8
Bosch Professional GMS 120
Wall scanner TOOLCRAFT TO-5137836
PeakTech 3435
Bosch Truvo Material Detector
Treat yourself to this wall scanner from Bosch, the reference in the field. This device has three detection modes: metal, drywall, and live wire.
Meterk is an international reference in the field of wall detectors. This multifunctional model is a great tool available at a very affordable price.
The PeakTech 3435 is a cable detector that is also designed to locate pipe elements. It has a detection depth of up to 2 m.
This highly sensitive Bosch upright detector exudes quality. It signals the presence of wires, wood or pipes by sound and light.
3 detection settings: metal, drywall, and live wire
Multifunction device
7 transmitters usable at the same time
Indication of the results by light diodes and a sound signal
3 color indicators: red (object detected, yellow (nearby object), green (no object detected)
Mute mode
Detection depth : 10 cm
Detection depth : 7 cm
Delivered with wrist strap, protective cover, and 9V battery.
Backlighting for working in dark environments
LCD display with bar graph
Laser level in option

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Buying guide - wall detector

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How to choose your wall detector

The wall detector is a practical device, essential for masonry and building work in general. If you are looking for one, before making your decision, take the time to study the following parameters:

#1 - The materials detected

A stud finder should be able to detect several types of materials, especially wood or metal studs (ferrous or not), electrical conduits and cables (live or not). When purchasing a stud finder, make sure that the list of detectable materials is appropriate for you. For example, it is important to have a detector that is very sensitive to electrical wires if you are working in an area with installations.

#2 - The depth

Walls, ceilings, screeds and other surfaces can be more or less deep. The detection capacity varies according to the material to be detected. The choice depends on the type of existing post or cable, and the thickness of the surface. If you want to know the location of copper cables, for example, the detector must be sensitive to non-ferrous metals.

#3 - The accuracy

To know the accuracy of a detector, you can refer to tests conducted and published on the Internet. For very targeted work such as the installation of a painting, it is essential to have very precise data on the location of the detected material in order to avoid it. In addition, it will be necessary to find a detector capable of indicating the presence of a stud in the wall material (brick, concrete, plaster ...)

#4 - The ergonomics

The grip must be easy. An ergonomic handle is therefore welcome. The display mode on the screen as well as its lighting are also important to allow working efficiently even in a dark place. Finally, an audible indicator is always useful for alerts, even if the screen provides accurate information.

#5 - The robustness

Destined to be used in various construction sites, the stud detector must have a housing capable of resisting minor shocks, dust and water projections. It is also more valuable to have a durable instrument. To ensure this, it is best to turn to models with a warranty, or stay with brands you already know.

A good wall scanner makes less work

A wall scanner is essential for the smooth running of a job site, especially in masonry and finishing work. If you are an electrician or plumber, whether you are doing a new installation or renovations, this device will be of great help. Not only will it save you from having to pay compensation if you accidentally damage an existing installation, but it will also allow you to better organize your work.

If you don't work in construction, this device will also be very useful when you have to install a shelf, a mirror, a cupboard and many others. Again, it can save you trouble, because if you do not know the exact plans of a house, it will be difficult to locate the path of electrical circuits, plumbing installations. Prevention is better than cure.

The different types of wall-mounted detectors

Wall scanners are electronic measurement tools that have become very popular in recent years. The wall scanners available today belong to two main families: the classic detectors and the thermal detectors.

The classic detectors

Classic detectors are devices used to locate electrical cables and other copper pipes embedded in walls and ceilings. They help avoid unpleasant surprises, especially when drilling. This type of device is characterized by its sensitivity to detect different types of materials and by the depth of detection.

Indeed, it can scan the walls to find copper, steel, lead or wood materials. The devices in our comparison all belong to this first category.

Thermal detectors

The thermal detectors are particularly used in thermal renovation works. They are designed to locate heat loss and thermal bridge areas. To use them, you just have to place them in front of a wall or a window corner and the device gives back the necessary information.

Some high-end models have thermal cameras. These are able to provide an image of heat zones in the form of an infrared view of the dwelling. If the screen shows red, insulation work is required.

Wall detector or inspection camera?

Wall detector

The wall detector is a device that scans walls, partitions and ceilings to locate electrical circuits, piping and other built-in installations. Easy to use, it allows you to identify sensitive areas where you need to be careful, especially when drilling. This type of device is ideal for marking the path of electrical circuits and sanitary installations. However, they are unable to see what is going on inside them.

Inspection camera

The inspection camera allows you to inspect inaccessible places and identify possible problems. It can be single or multi-function and the resolutions and sizes vary depending on the model. This device has a detection depth of up to 2.7 m and can access the smallest ducts. It is generally less affordable than the wall detector.


It all depends on your use. If you want to have a device that can find embedded circuits, a wall-mounted detector will be more than enough. But if you want to see what's going on inside those circuits, to detect a clog or the origins of a leak, you need a good thermal camera.

Why buy a good wall detector

Making work easier

It is much easier to work without fear of falling on a beam or a cable. The stud detector is very practical in this case, especially if the work in question concerns a construction that dates back to the beginning of time. For homeowners who have bought an old building or tenants of an apartment, this tool is necessary for a preliminary detection.

Protecting the cables

Imagine drilling through a wall to put up a shelf and suddenly you come across electrical cables. Then imagine the amount of work needed to rehabilitate this electrical installation, not to mention the accidents that can occur if the cables are live. To avoid all this, the stud detector is a simple and inexpensive solution.

Avoid damage to the studs

As the name suggests, this tool is used to detect and therefore preserve studs. The beams are an important part of the frame and should not be damaged. To renovate with peace of mind, it is useful to invest in this tool. Besides, it does not cost much and can be used many times. It can last for years and accompany you in all your DIY work.

Minimize the cost of the work

Damaged studs, cut wires and torn sheaths are expensive to repair. In order to prevent these additional expenses, which can add considerably to the cost of your work, it is preferable to buy a wall detector that will accompany you for all your work. You will then be able to drill holes with complete peace of mind.

Detecting metals

A wall detector can also be used to detect the presence of metals in your walls. It will help you, for example, to find nails or other metal objects forgotten under a surface following work.

The best brands of wall-mounted detectors

In our opinion, the best brands of wall-mounted detectors in 2022 are :


Bosch is a leading name in the tool equipment market, and wall-mounted detectors are among the best of their flagship products.

Meterk is a brand that specializes in designing multimeters, multi-purpose rotary tools, laser rangefinders and more. Its wall detectors are also among the references in the field.

This American company is a staple in the tool world. In addition to electric saws, hammer drills and drills, it has also made a name for itself in the wall detector market.

The Tacklife brand offers various DIY and gardening tools for both professionals and individuals. This American company is known for the reliability and practicality of its products, and its various models of wall detectors live up to its reputation.

The Belgian brand Preciva has designed various particularly practical tools such as digital thermometers, welding stations and pyrography kits. Its wall scanner models are also very popular.

What is the price for a wall detector

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

80 £ to 150 £
150 £ to 150 £
more than 150 £
Price range diagram


Start by looking at the plans

By looking at the plans first, you will find your way around more easily and avoid scanning everything, thus saving a lot of time.

Remove rings and other jewelry

If you proceed to a detection of ferrous materials, you might have several reactions if you are wearing a ring, a bracelet or other jewelry. This will prevent the effects of static electricity, which can distort the scan results.

Also remove mobiles and other connected devices

Take the time to understand the display and the detection limits of the device before you start using it. This will save you time when you start applying it.

Put your other hand on the wall to be scanned

Study the instructions


What is the best wall detector?

The best wall detector depends on your needs and your budget. Read our buying guide to find the best products of the moment.

What are the best brands of wall detectors?

Bosch is the undisputed leader of this market, followed by Tacklife and Preciva

How much does a good quality wall detector cost?

Plan for a budget of 100 euros to find a high-performance model

What is the detection depth of this type of device?

This varies from 5 to 16 cm depending on the model

Where can I find a good wall detector?

Find out from DIY and tool stores. You can also buy online to benefit from certain privileges such as free delivery and particularly advantageous prices.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
  1. The 7 Best Stud Finders of 2021,
  3. Bosch GMS 120 Wall Finder,
  4. The Best Stud Finders for Any Job.,
  5. The Best Stud Finder for Home Use,
  6. The Best Stud Finders for DIYers and Pros,
  7. 7 Best Stud Finders and Wall Scanners (for Drywall Plaster and Tile),
  8. The best stud finder,
  9. The Best Stud Finder,
  10. The best stud finders,
  11. The 10 Best Stud FindersBest Stud Finder,
  12. The 8 Best Stud Finders Review (2021 Edition).,
  13. Free home improvement apps,
  14. wall detectors,
  15. wall detectors,
  16. Best Wall Mounted Metal Detector 2021 (comparison review ...,
  17. Wall Mounted STEINEL Black Plastic Detector | Leroy Merlin,
  18. Wall Mounted IP55 Standard Motion Detector Hager | Téréva ...,
  19. Material detector - ManoMano,
  20. 52110 - Hager,
  21. Motion detector for lighting | Leroy Merlin,
  22. Wall scanner D-tect 120 Detector | Bosch Professional,
  23. Wall detector white STEINEL | Leroy Merlin,
  24. Wall detector 180º 10m indoor 180R/2F without neutral,
  25. LUXOMAT® - Presence and motion detectors DALI ...,
  26. Bosch Professional Wall detector GMS 120 (depth of ...,
  27. Metal detector wall - Cdiscount,
  28. Motion detectors | legrand DIY,
  29. Wall scanner D-tect 200 C Detector | Bosch Professional,
  30. Metal detector at the best price | Leroy Merlin,
  31. STEINEL | Motion detectors,
  32. Motion detector Wall Infrared IP44,
  33. Motion detector surface and recessed Legrand Hager ...,
  34. Wall mounted infrared motion detector 200DEG white,
  35. Outdoor wall lighting at the best price | Leroy Merlin,
  36. Outdoor wall lights with motion detector ...,
  37. Meterk Wall Detector : Very useful,
  38. : indoor motion detector lamp,
See more


March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Bosch Professional GMS 120 9
Bosch Professional GMS 120
Wall scanner TOOLCRAFT TO-5137836 10
Wall scanner TOOLCRAFT TO-5137836
PeakTech 3435 11
PeakTech 3435
Bosch Truvo Material Detector 12
Bosch Truvo Material Detector


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