A comparative performance test by an independent testing laboratory confirmed the accuracy and dependability of Zircon’s stud finders and other wall scanning tools, while revealing safety concerns about similar products manufactured by The Stanley Works, Zircon reported in a press release.

SGS U.S. Testing Company Inc. Consumer Testing Services tested each tool 28 times. In every case, Zircon reported in the release its tools performed as well as, or better than, specifications claimed by the manufacturer. While some of the Stanley tools performed comparably, SGS noted some consistent and total failures with the Stanley Stud Sensor 200 and the Stanley Fat Max Stud Sensor 400 when it came to detecting “hot” electrical wires. Furthermore, total failure always occurred directly above or immediately adjacent to the hidden wire, the most dangerous spot on the wall. Such defects could result in users inadvertently nailing or drilling into hot electrical wire, with the potential to cause significant bodily harm. Additionally, other AC detection failures were identified with the Stanley Stud Sensor 100 and Stanley Stud Sensor 150. 

“Zircon commissioned these tests in order to verify our own external product specifications, and to benchmark our competition,” said Zircon President and CEO John Stauss. “We were gratified with Zircon’s performance, and dismayed by our findings with regard to our competition. Accurate AC detection and avoidance is a critical safety concern whenever a user considers penetrating a wall surface.”

SGS tested each tool to determine its ability to detect a stud and a hot electrical wire and to measure its degree of accuracy in pinpointing the target. For stud detection, the actual stud center provided the target. For electrical wires, tools were judged on their detection distance from the wire. The test compared both simple stud finders and more sophisticated tools with functions specifically designed to detect, and in some cases trace, hot electrical wire.

All tools were operated in accordance with instructions included in each product’s packaging and equipped with a new battery purchased by SGS. To ensure that testing conditions simulated actual use, the tests were conducted in a Southern California residence that utilized standard construction.

Complete test results can be found on Zircon’s web site at www.zircon.com.