Stanley Intellisensor Plus Stud Sensor 77-150

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Where's a Good Stud When You Need One?

May 17, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Easy to use; Inexpensive; Reliable

Cons:Not very durable or sophisticated

The Bottom Line: This a good stud finder for people like me who don't do much handy work but it will likely be inadequate for those who need something more sophisticated.


Hanging new pictures, mirrors, and other heavy objects requires positioning the bolt, nail, or other fastener into a secure spot on the wall. Some people use the ‘knock on the wall’ method but this isn’t always completely accurate and it could result in creating several unwanted holes in the wall. The best bet is to use an electronic device to find the right spot to drill and one example of this is the Stanley Intellisensor Model 77-150, a device for finding wood or metal studs in walls.

Basic Facts About This Product:

This hand- held device measures about six inches in length and two and one- half inches in width at its widest point. Stanley claims this stud finder can locate studs through up to 19 mm (three- quarters of an inch) of wood. There is also a “Deep Read” function that, when activated, can locate studs through as much as 38 mm (one and one- half inches) of wood.

In the middle of this stud finder there is one green light that lights up when the deep read mode is in use. In the top middle section of the sensor there are five small lights. The bottom light is green and its purpose is to indicate that the power is turned on. The other four lights above it are red and they will slowly light up- starting from the bottom red light and proceeding up to the top- when a stud is found in the wall. At the top of the device there is a center hole which can be used to mark the wall with a pencil, indicating where the edge of a stud is located.

To use this device, the user turns on the power and then, with the device held flat against a wall, slowly slides it horizontally. When a stud has been located, the lower red light will start to glow, followed by the upper red lights as the device is moved closer and close to the stud. A tone will also sound, indicating that a stud has been found.

Stanley claims this device is accurate to within 3 mm, or about one- eighth of an inch. It is powered by a single 9- volt battery which lasts a good long time with limited usage. It sells for a retail price of about $23.

Customer Service:

More information can be obtained by logging into the company web site, stanleytools.com. You can purchase products through the company web site by clicking on links into other sites. Frequently asked questions can be accessed through the site and you can send an e-mail to the headquarters with a question.

Final Thoughts:

Stanley Intellisensor Model 77-150 is an easy to use device for finding studs in walls for successful hanging of pictures, cabinets, and other things. I don’t perform much handy work but I have learned the hard way the importance of making sure that the area of the wall I’m about to hammer or drill has a stud behind it. With lighter pictures, finding a stud isn’t that critical but with heavier wall hangings, it is critical to find a stud in order to secure the mirror, picture, cabinet, etc. to the wall in a proper manner.

Without a stud finder, it is common to hit a spot in the wall that has hollow space behind it, making it less safe to hang heavier objects. I made this mistake in the past and ended up with a wall full of holes. I decided a stud finder was necessary and I purchased the Stanley Intellisensor because it looked like something that would suit my limited needs at a fair price.

One thing I learned right away with the Stanley Intellisensor is the importance of gliding it horizontally one way until it beeps and the top red light comes on and then gliding it again from the other direction until the top red light comes on. The beep and the edge light will display when the edge of a stud is found, so it is important to glide the device from the other side of the wall until it gets close to the edge found the first time. By marking both edges, you will get a good idea where the sides of the stud are and its width. By drilling or hammering approximately midway between these two edges, you are more likely to ensure hitting a solid spot and not accidentally drilling a hole or pounding a nail into a spot that is so near the edge of the stud that it hits empty space. If you come at it from both sides, mark the edges with a pencil, and drill or hammer in the middle, you are almost guaranteed that the spot you hit will be solid. You will most certainly be more than 3 mm from the edges (remember- the manufacturer claims this stud finder is accurate within 3 mm) and that means you are almost certain to hit a stud.

There is a deep read feature on Stanley Intellisensor 77- 150 that, fortunately, I have not needed to use. The walls in my house are thin enough that the regular feature is sufficient for locating studs. This extra feature could come in very handy for those who live in older houses where the thickness of the walls is greater than usual. Some of the cheaper stud finders do not offer anything like this and they are often useless for finding studs on thick walls. This particular model offers this helpful feature to make it easier for people to find the studs in various thicknesses.

Stanley Intellisensor is powered by one 9- volt battery. I don’t use my stud finder very much so I purchased cheaper batteries when I got this device, knowing that I didn’t have any great need for long- lasting, reliable power. If you plan to do a large amount of handiwork, then it would be better to invest in alkaline batteries. It is nice that only one battery is needed, but a cheaper battery will not last long at all with repeated use.

I like the way this stud finder helps locate studs and guides you to the right place on the wall to drill or hammer. The top of the device- with the round hole for marking the stud edge- is useful for pinpointing a stud but like I said before, you have to keep in mind that when the signal sounds off and the red lights display, it means you have found the edge of a stud, not the center. This is why it is so important that you glide the stud finder across the same wall coming from the opposite direction. With two edges marked you will know exactly how wide the stud is and you can make better decisions about where to drill. It is very easy to make the mistake of hearing the beep, marking the spot, and starting to drill at that point thinking it’s in the center of a stud.

Overall, this is a good device from Stanley and it works well provided you use it right and remember to glide it across a wall in two directions in order to find the edges of the studs in your walls. It doesn’t cost very much and it takes much of the guesswork out of hanging pictures, mirrors, cabinets, and the like. I always thought a stud finder was something with measurements of 36-24-36, long legs, and a reputation for hanging out at popular night spots until the wee hours of the morning. Now, I know there is another type of stud finder. And this particular stud finder from Stanley works quite well, finding studs in walls of varying thickness, thereby helping to make wall hangings as secure as possible.


Recommend this product? Yes

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