Bosch Digital Wall Scanner GMS120

MPN: GMS120
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Description
Digital Wall Scanner - GMS120. Hand Strap. 9V Battery. Carrying Bag. Multi-mode detection for wood studs, metal objects (rebar, studs and steel/copper pipes) and live wiring. Illuminated graphical LCD display indicates mode, detection strength and more. Deep metal detection capability detects steel up to 4-3/4 in. (120mm) deep in cured concrete. Automatic center finder for locating center of detected wood or metal object. Automatic calibration for easy and precise detection with 3 selection modes (wood, metal, AC wiring). Audible detection signal with On/Off button. Ergonomic soft-grip for secure grip and comfort. Illuminated ring indicates detection status
Summary
Product Title Bosch Digital Wall Scanner GMS120
Manufacturer Bosch
Lowest Price $76.89 from Amazon.com
Power Score 4.3 | 16 Reviews
Expert Reviews
Best Stud Finder
4.5 Star Review  bestcovery.com - Aug 26, 2014

Bestcovery experts have rated the Bosch GMS120 Digital Multi-Scanner as a best pick for the Best Stud Finder. Bestcovery's experts recommend the best products and services for a particular need based on extensive research and evaluations. Click below to see Bestcovery's full review of this product.

Read the full review »

User Reviews
Disappointing
2 Star Review   By Doresoom on Home Depot - May 19, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

This stud finder really sounds like it does it all: find studs, live wires, and metal in the wall. However, I was very disappointed that it didn't perform better for the price. My $15 stud finder outperformed it on several of the walls that I tested it out on, which is inexcusable in my book. Initial impressions: - The stud finder is a little bit larger than most I've used in the past. - Bosch packed a lot of features into this, including a 3-color led indicator, a signal strength display, a backlit display, the option to turn sound indications on/off, and the option to turn the backlight on/off. - The through-hole for marking stud locations is a pretty cool feature too. Wood stud detection: - The main application I planned on using this for was locating studs. I started over an electrical outlet, since I knew there should be a stud on one side of it. I used both stud finders (my old one and this one) simultaneously, and my old one lit up reliably every 16", turning on and off for each side of the stud. The Bosch gave me intermittent indications, some of which were right in the middle of the 16" spans. The centering feature is OK, but requires that you backtrack once you reach the far side of the stud. Even then, it usually gives about a 3/4" range that it calls the "center." Metal detection: - The best-performing feature is the metal detecting capability. This is the only reason I'm giving it more than one star. I do a bit of woodworking, and missing a nail before I send a board through my planer can cost me $50-60 on a set of knives. So if I find two nails, the scanner has paid for itself. I tried it out by holding a screw on the far side of an 8/4 walnut board, and the scanner gave a strong indication when I passed over the screw's location. It couldn't find a staple through the board though, but it can detect a sewing needle from about 1/4" to 1/2" from the scanner, without anything in between. - If you want a more reliable stud finding method, I'd use the wood detection capability in conjunction with the metal detection feature. Find the general location of the stud with the wood detection, then use the metal detector to scan up and down to find the screws. Live wire detection: - This thing is garbage when it comes to finding live wires in your walls. I can scan all around electrical outlets and light switches without so much as a peep from it. My old $15 stud finder lights up like crazy when I scan the same areas. I even scanned the extension cord powering an overhead light in my garage, and the Bosch scanner couldn't pick it up even when I touched them together! I had to rub the wire all over the scanner until it lit up. I would definitely NOT trust this thing to find a live wire before I drilled into the wall. Conclusions: - Unless you are buying this in part for the metal detection capabilities, go with a different scanner. Even then, you may still be able to find a separate stud finder and metal detector for about the same total price.

100% of readers found this review helpful.

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Nice Multi-Tool
2 Star Review   By ApartmentOwner on Home Depot - May 16, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

This multi-mode scanner is very intuitive and easy to understand but when I initially tested it over the same wall I got different results every time on the same mode. Not sure that I can trust the readings which is the most important feature.

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Not for the casual user
3 Star Review   By tnahpele on Home Depot - May 7, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

I'm a home handyman and have occasional use for a stud-finder. This wall scanner looked promising, but I found it more difficult to use than my inexpensive LED stud finder. The biggest problem is that it takes as many as 5 passes, to zero in on a stud. Even then, it can claim the center is far enough off that a nail would miss the stud. When I did a fast sweep across the wall looking for a stud, it would occasionally give no indication that a stud was passed. I tested how long it took to zero in on the center of a stud with this scanner and my old stud finder and the scanner took twice as long - 6 seconds and 5 passes compared to 3 seconds and 1 pass (which actually found the two edges of the stud, from which I could mark the center). There are several usability problems. The LCD display is hard to read in most conditions unless the backlight is turned on. With the backlight on, I cannot read the display if my eyes are above it - I either have to hold the scanner at eye level or turn it upside down. The audible tone is fairly loud and of an annoying pitch. I turned it off right away. It does sound to indicate when within 6" or so of a stud (yellow light territory), but then keeps sounding for the (up to) 5 passes I have to make to zero in on the stud. Speaking of the lighted ring - it's a useful idea but I found "green" meaning "no stud" and "red" meaning "stud found" to be counter-intuitive - I wanted it the other way around. I can understand using red to mean "stop moving" but I associate red with bad things, not good. Another problem I had were with the instructions that (1) all 3 pads on the back had to contact the wall surface (2) that the hand holding the scanner couldn't touch the wall surface and (3) that your other hand couldn't touch the wall, and (4) when scanning a wall with an uneven surface place thin cardboard on the surface and scan over the cardboard. Most of my walls are textured. With my old LED stud finder I used my fingertips to hold the finder slightly off the wall so it didn't snag on the texture. When I did this with the Bosch scanner, it found a stud every few inches. So I got some cardboard and had better results, but then my other hand was touching the wall since I was holding the cardboard and trying to move it with the scanner. The contact pads on the back of the scanner are pretty soft and I managed to create some grooves in them trying to scan the textured wall. I ended up putting transparent tape over the pads to protect them. This didn't seem to affect the operation of the scanner. I also tested locating live electrical wires and had no luck, even with over stud bays I know contain live wires. It's possible that with practice and regular use this would be a good tool, but for my occasional needs I'll reach for my old stud finder first.

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A professional grade tool.
5 Star Review   By Mikkel2412 on Home Depot - May 3, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

If you are after something to locate studs for hanging a picture or mounting a TV, then this detector is overkill. But if you are a serious modeler, or need a full featured detector, this is the tool for you. I should warn you that there is leaning curve if you want to make full use of this detector. It presents a lot more information then a standard stud detector. There is the audio output like a basic stud detector. I find it annoying, but you may find it useful. It would be nice if it had a volume control, but at least you can turn it off. And the detector remembers for the next time you use it. It has a detector. It has a centering hole, with a ring around it that changes color to give a quick visual indication. Then there are two bar graphs that show "signal" strength, and centering. The centering graph is easy to use, but it needs to calibrate itself, so it is not going to show you the center of the stud until you hit the far edge. This is because it does not know how wide the stud is before then. But once it knows, you can back up the scanner and get a good center reading. Once you get used to it, you will love it because it gives you the true center. It works the same for other detection modes. The strength meter will give you an indication of how deep something is in the wall. Once you get a feel for it, it will let you estimate how deep or how big a metal object is. It is handy for telling the difference between a nail and a buried cable or pipe. The icons will tell you when it is detecting something for a different mode then you are using. If you pay attention, it can save you from cutting a wire. The mode button you select lights up to remind you what mode you are in, and there is a light you can turn on to illuminate the LCD display. Someone was thinking when they designed the scanner. I was able to try it on both plastered and drywalled walls. I was luck to have 2 walls where I know the location of the studs, so I could test how accurate the detector is. For the drywalled walls, it was very accurate. For plaster walls, the results were not as good. From past experience, I was surprised that it could detect the studs at all. It did much better when set to detect the nails fastening the lath to the studs. How well the live wire detector works depends on the wiring. If it detects the wire, it will give you a nice map of how it runs. But if you have BX, or knob and tube wiring, it may not detect the wiring. The metal sheathing on the BX effectively blocks the signal from the live wires. With knob and tube wiring, it will usually detect the wires to a switch if the switch is off, and their is a light in the circuit. If the switch is on, it may miss the wires. All non-contact detectors run into the same problem. Luckily it is rare to run into knob and tube wiring. I just happen to have a house that is over 100 years old, and has several different types of wiring. So it presents interesting challenges that you don't normally run into!

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Its a multi-tasker, but not as accurate
4 Star Review   By ih82spd on Home Depot - May 2, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

I've had many, many, many stud finders that do many things. This one is just another fancy looking stud finder that can do multiple things. As for finding wood studs, it works, but its precision is not repeatable. I would follow the instructions and it would consistently find a different center on the stud. As for finding metal its good, but could be more accurate as well. I personally have been using magnets to find the screws/nails that are holding up the drywall and that is the most accurate thing i have ever used. For a bosch product, I would have expected more.

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Trouble finding studs
2 Star Review   By Fuzzy on Home Depot - Apr 30, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

Shows studs were they are not and still very difficult to locate what we want-disappointed for what we paid

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Does it all.
5 Star Review   By JohnS on Home Depot - Apr 29, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

This handy little device finds all kinds of stuff in your walls. A necessary tool when hanging any objects. It comes with a wrist strap, so in case you drop it while on a ladder, it will stay with you. And a handy pouch to carry it in your toolbox; keeps it from getting banged up. Many features allow you to find studs, pipes, electrical, etc. I read the instructions and got confused. Then I tried the unit out on several walls and floors. It did not take long to figure out how to use it. Then I re-read the instructions and they made much more sense. So I recommend to play with it a bit first to get used to it. Then the instructions will help you to fine-tune your scanning. It has power-save feature, backlighting, sound mute, and easy-change battery (all the features you would expect).

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Works good for wood, not so much for electrical.
3 Star Review   By jweisbart on Home Depot - Apr 25, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

I had just remodeled my bathroom so I knew where all the studs and electrical was located. It worked great to find the studs. The display showed where the center was clearly. It even has a hole to mark on the wall. But I tried the electrical setting and it found the live wires sometimes and sometimes not. I even tried it over exposed wires and it didn't sound off. Overall, it worked great for wood, not so great for electrical. I didn't have an occasion to try it on steel setting.

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Quality Wall Scanner
4 Star Review   By Trogo on Home Depot - Apr 25, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

I was frustrated buying cheap, throw-away stud finders that never seem to work when you need one, so I stepped up to the Bosch GMS120 Professional Wall Scanner. It comes with a nice flexible storage case with hand lanyard and belt loop. Using this wall scanner is not intuitive and requires reading the instructions thoroughly. There are multi-colored flashing lights, changing bar graphs, symbols and sounds that requires prior working knowledge to use properly. The instruction pamphlet would benefit from better graphics and illustrations. The scanner has three modes; wood, metal or live electrical. In the wood mode it actually scans for all three, and will display the various signals and graphs on the display. It also identifies the center point of wood studs or metal objects. Selecting metal mode excludes wood and scans for only ferrous/non ferrous metals and “live” electrical wires. It is important to note that the scanner detects wires where current is flowing. The warning light may not flash for wires that have no current draw. The Bosch GMS120 performed very well in all three modes during my testing and use. As recommended in the instructions, I used a thin piece of cardboard over the uneven ceiling texture, and it detected the joists perfectly. Now I don’t have to drill and patch holes in the ceiling when looking for the joists. The scanner could be more user friendly with better graphics in the display, but it’s still a giant leap above the cheap stud finders.

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Depends on what you are using it for.
3 Star Review   By Billtheengineer on Home Depot - Apr 24, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

First off I was kind of surprise at the size of this wall scanner. It's quite large, not something I would carry around or throw into a tool belt. It does come with a battery and a nice bag that you can put on your belt. As for how it works, there are some good and some not as good as I would like. Plaster walls seem to confuse any scanner, and this one is no different. About 75% of the time it finds the studs and is repeatable. But with varying plaster thicknesses it can be thrown off. The Good: Seems pretty good as a metal detector, it finds nails, screws, rebar, most pipes, metal studs pretty well. Stubs behind drywall and picked up pretty well too. it looks impressive with the change color ring and the display. And the display is backlit too. The not so good: Picking up electrical wire is pretty poor, unless the line is live and touching the backside of the drywall. The display and changing color ring make for a bit of a mystery as to where the edge of anything is. My simple $10 stud finder is a simple on/off light and makes marking stud edges pretty clear.

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Product Details
Description
Digital Wall Scanner - GMS120. Hand Strap. 9V Battery. Carrying Bag. Multi-mode detection for wood studs, metal objects (rebar, studs and steel/copper pipes) and live wiring. Illuminated graphical LCD display indicates mode, detection strength and more. Deep metal detection capability detects steel up to 4-3/4 in. (120mm) deep in cured concrete. Automatic center finder for locating center of detected wood or metal object. Automatic calibration for easy and precise detection with 3 selection modes (wood, metal, AC wiring). Audible detection signal with On/Off button. Ergonomic soft-grip for secure grip and comfort. Illuminated ring indicates detection status
Summary
Product Title Bosch Digital Wall Scanner GMS120
Manufacturer Bosch
Lowest Price $76.89 from Amazon.com
Power Score 4.3 | 16 Reviews
Additional Specifications
Color: Multi
Today's Average: $82.77
Today's Lowest: $76.89
Expert Reviews
Best Stud Finder
4.5 Star Review  bestcovery.com - Aug 26, 2014

Bestcovery experts have rated the Bosch GMS120 Digital Multi-Scanner as a best pick for the Best Stud Finder. Bestcovery's experts recommend the best products and services for a particular need based on extensive research and evaluations. Click below to see Bestcovery's full review of this product.

Read the full review »

User Reviews
Disappointing
2 Star Review   By Doresoom on Home Depot - May 19, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

This stud finder really sounds like it does it all: find studs, live wires, and metal in the wall. However, I was very disappointed that it didn't perform better for the price. My $15 stud finder outperformed it on several of the walls that I tested it out on, which is inexcusable in my book. Initial impressions: - The stud finder is a little bit larger than most I've used in the past. - Bosch packed a lot of features into this, including a 3-color led indicator, a signal strength display, a backlit display, the option to turn sound indications on/off, and the option to turn the backlight on/off. - The through-hole for marking stud locations is a pretty cool feature too. Wood stud detection: - The main application I planned on using this for was locating studs. I started over an electrical outlet, since I knew there should be a stud on one side of it. I used both stud finders (my old one and this one) simultaneously, and my old one lit up reliably every 16", turning on and off for each side of the stud. The Bosch gave me intermittent indications, some of which were right in the middle of the 16" spans. The centering feature is OK, but requires that you backtrack once you reach the far side of the stud. Even then, it usually gives about a 3/4" range that it calls the "center." Metal detection: - The best-performing feature is the metal detecting capability. This is the only reason I'm giving it more than one star. I do a bit of woodworking, and missing a nail before I send a board through my planer can cost me $50-60 on a set of knives. So if I find two nails, the scanner has paid for itself. I tried it out by holding a screw on the far side of an 8/4 walnut board, and the scanner gave a strong indication when I passed over the screw's location. It couldn't find a staple through the board though, but it can detect a sewing needle from about 1/4" to 1/2" from the scanner, without anything in between. - If you want a more reliable stud finding method, I'd use the wood detection capability in conjunction with the metal detection feature. Find the general location of the stud with the wood detection, then use the metal detector to scan up and down to find the screws. Live wire detection: - This thing is garbage when it comes to finding live wires in your walls. I can scan all around electrical outlets and light switches without so much as a peep from it. My old $15 stud finder lights up like crazy when I scan the same areas. I even scanned the extension cord powering an overhead light in my garage, and the Bosch scanner couldn't pick it up even when I touched them together! I had to rub the wire all over the scanner until it lit up. I would definitely NOT trust this thing to find a live wire before I drilled into the wall. Conclusions: - Unless you are buying this in part for the metal detection capabilities, go with a different scanner. Even then, you may still be able to find a separate stud finder and metal detector for about the same total price.

100% of readers found this review helpful.

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

Nice Multi-Tool
2 Star Review   By ApartmentOwner on Home Depot - May 16, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

This multi-mode scanner is very intuitive and easy to understand but when I initially tested it over the same wall I got different results every time on the same mode. Not sure that I can trust the readings which is the most important feature.

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

Not for the casual user
3 Star Review   By tnahpele on Home Depot - May 7, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

I'm a home handyman and have occasional use for a stud-finder. This wall scanner looked promising, but I found it more difficult to use than my inexpensive LED stud finder. The biggest problem is that it takes as many as 5 passes, to zero in on a stud. Even then, it can claim the center is far enough off that a nail would miss the stud. When I did a fast sweep across the wall looking for a stud, it would occasionally give no indication that a stud was passed. I tested how long it took to zero in on the center of a stud with this scanner and my old stud finder and the scanner took twice as long - 6 seconds and 5 passes compared to 3 seconds and 1 pass (which actually found the two edges of the stud, from which I could mark the center). There are several usability problems. The LCD display is hard to read in most conditions unless the backlight is turned on. With the backlight on, I cannot read the display if my eyes are above it - I either have to hold the scanner at eye level or turn it upside down. The audible tone is fairly loud and of an annoying pitch. I turned it off right away. It does sound to indicate when within 6" or so of a stud (yellow light territory), but then keeps sounding for the (up to) 5 passes I have to make to zero in on the stud. Speaking of the lighted ring - it's a useful idea but I found "green" meaning "no stud" and "red" meaning "stud found" to be counter-intuitive - I wanted it the other way around. I can understand using red to mean "stop moving" but I associate red with bad things, not good. Another problem I had were with the instructions that (1) all 3 pads on the back had to contact the wall surface (2) that the hand holding the scanner couldn't touch the wall surface and (3) that your other hand couldn't touch the wall, and (4) when scanning a wall with an uneven surface place thin cardboard on the surface and scan over the cardboard. Most of my walls are textured. With my old LED stud finder I used my fingertips to hold the finder slightly off the wall so it didn't snag on the texture. When I did this with the Bosch scanner, it found a stud every few inches. So I got some cardboard and had better results, but then my other hand was touching the wall since I was holding the cardboard and trying to move it with the scanner. The contact pads on the back of the scanner are pretty soft and I managed to create some grooves in them trying to scan the textured wall. I ended up putting transparent tape over the pads to protect them. This didn't seem to affect the operation of the scanner. I also tested locating live electrical wires and had no luck, even with over stud bays I know contain live wires. It's possible that with practice and regular use this would be a good tool, but for my occasional needs I'll reach for my old stud finder first.

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

A professional grade tool.
5 Star Review   By Mikkel2412 on Home Depot - May 3, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

If you are after something to locate studs for hanging a picture or mounting a TV, then this detector is overkill. But if you are a serious modeler, or need a full featured detector, this is the tool for you. I should warn you that there is leaning curve if you want to make full use of this detector. It presents a lot more information then a standard stud detector. There is the audio output like a basic stud detector. I find it annoying, but you may find it useful. It would be nice if it had a volume control, but at least you can turn it off. And the detector remembers for the next time you use it. It has a detector. It has a centering hole, with a ring around it that changes color to give a quick visual indication. Then there are two bar graphs that show "signal" strength, and centering. The centering graph is easy to use, but it needs to calibrate itself, so it is not going to show you the center of the stud until you hit the far edge. This is because it does not know how wide the stud is before then. But once it knows, you can back up the scanner and get a good center reading. Once you get used to it, you will love it because it gives you the true center. It works the same for other detection modes. The strength meter will give you an indication of how deep something is in the wall. Once you get a feel for it, it will let you estimate how deep or how big a metal object is. It is handy for telling the difference between a nail and a buried cable or pipe. The icons will tell you when it is detecting something for a different mode then you are using. If you pay attention, it can save you from cutting a wire. The mode button you select lights up to remind you what mode you are in, and there is a light you can turn on to illuminate the LCD display. Someone was thinking when they designed the scanner. I was able to try it on both plastered and drywalled walls. I was luck to have 2 walls where I know the location of the studs, so I could test how accurate the detector is. For the drywalled walls, it was very accurate. For plaster walls, the results were not as good. From past experience, I was surprised that it could detect the studs at all. It did much better when set to detect the nails fastening the lath to the studs. How well the live wire detector works depends on the wiring. If it detects the wire, it will give you a nice map of how it runs. But if you have BX, or knob and tube wiring, it may not detect the wiring. The metal sheathing on the BX effectively blocks the signal from the live wires. With knob and tube wiring, it will usually detect the wires to a switch if the switch is off, and their is a light in the circuit. If the switch is on, it may miss the wires. All non-contact detectors run into the same problem. Luckily it is rare to run into knob and tube wiring. I just happen to have a house that is over 100 years old, and has several different types of wiring. So it presents interesting challenges that you don't normally run into!

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

Its a multi-tasker, but not as accurate
4 Star Review   By ih82spd on Home Depot - May 2, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

I've had many, many, many stud finders that do many things. This one is just another fancy looking stud finder that can do multiple things. As for finding wood studs, it works, but its precision is not repeatable. I would follow the instructions and it would consistently find a different center on the stud. As for finding metal its good, but could be more accurate as well. I personally have been using magnets to find the screws/nails that are holding up the drywall and that is the most accurate thing i have ever used. For a bosch product, I would have expected more.

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

Trouble finding studs
2 Star Review   By Fuzzy on Home Depot - Apr 30, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

Shows studs were they are not and still very difficult to locate what we want-disappointed for what we paid

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

Does it all.
5 Star Review   By JohnS on Home Depot - Apr 29, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

This handy little device finds all kinds of stuff in your walls. A necessary tool when hanging any objects. It comes with a wrist strap, so in case you drop it while on a ladder, it will stay with you. And a handy pouch to carry it in your toolbox; keeps it from getting banged up. Many features allow you to find studs, pipes, electrical, etc. I read the instructions and got confused. Then I tried the unit out on several walls and floors. It did not take long to figure out how to use it. Then I re-read the instructions and they made much more sense. So I recommend to play with it a bit first to get used to it. Then the instructions will help you to fine-tune your scanning. It has power-save feature, backlighting, sound mute, and easy-change battery (all the features you would expect).

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

Works good for wood, not so much for electrical.
3 Star Review   By jweisbart on Home Depot - Apr 25, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

I had just remodeled my bathroom so I knew where all the studs and electrical was located. It worked great to find the studs. The display showed where the center was clearly. It even has a hole to mark on the wall. But I tried the electrical setting and it found the live wires sometimes and sometimes not. I even tried it over exposed wires and it didn't sound off. Overall, it worked great for wood, not so great for electrical. I didn't have an occasion to try it on steel setting.

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

Quality Wall Scanner
4 Star Review   By Trogo on Home Depot - Apr 25, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

I was frustrated buying cheap, throw-away stud finders that never seem to work when you need one, so I stepped up to the Bosch GMS120 Professional Wall Scanner. It comes with a nice flexible storage case with hand lanyard and belt loop. Using this wall scanner is not intuitive and requires reading the instructions thoroughly. There are multi-colored flashing lights, changing bar graphs, symbols and sounds that requires prior working knowledge to use properly. The instruction pamphlet would benefit from better graphics and illustrations. The scanner has three modes; wood, metal or live electrical. In the wood mode it actually scans for all three, and will display the various signals and graphs on the display. It also identifies the center point of wood studs or metal objects. Selecting metal mode excludes wood and scans for only ferrous/non ferrous metals and “live” electrical wires. It is important to note that the scanner detects wires where current is flowing. The warning light may not flash for wires that have no current draw. The Bosch GMS120 performed very well in all three modes during my testing and use. As recommended in the instructions, I used a thin piece of cardboard over the uneven ceiling texture, and it detected the joists perfectly. Now I don’t have to drill and patch holes in the ceiling when looking for the joists. The scanner could be more user friendly with better graphics in the display, but it’s still a giant leap above the cheap stud finders.

Was this review helpful to you?  Yes or No ( Report this as inappropriate )

Depends on what you are using it for.
3 Star Review   By Billtheengineer on Home Depot - Apr 24, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

First off I was kind of surprise at the size of this wall scanner. It's quite large, not something I would carry around or throw into a tool belt. It does come with a battery and a nice bag that you can put on your belt. As for how it works, there are some good and some not as good as I would like. Plaster walls seem to confuse any scanner, and this one is no different. About 75% of the time it finds the studs and is repeatable. But with varying plaster thicknesses it can be thrown off. The Good: Seems pretty good as a metal detector, it finds nails, screws, rebar, most pipes, metal studs pretty well. Stubs behind drywall and picked up pretty well too. it looks impressive with the change color ring and the display. And the display is backlit too. The not so good: Picking up electrical wire is pretty poor, unless the line is live and touching the backside of the drywall. The display and changing color ring make for a bit of a mystery as to where the edge of anything is. My simple $10 stud finder is a simple on/off light and makes marking stud edges pretty clear.

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Does what it says except on carpet
4 Star Review   Home Depot    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

This is a very good and solid wall scanner, it does what it says and is very accurate in finding studs behind drywall. It has a bunch of nice features and I prefer to use it over my cheaper Zircon stud finder. It has a nice opening so that you can easily mark the drilling location. A simple but very convenient feature. The display, lights, and tones are all very useful especially when working in tight locations or on ladders. I wanted to use this to locate floor joists under berber carpet in order to drive some screws to fix flloor squeeks. The manual says it can do such job. I was disappointed with its inability to detect those joists. It kept beeping like crazy and gave irregular results no matter which direction I ran. My Zircon stud finder also struggled and couldn't get this job done so I'm sure this has a lot to do with the type of carpet and thick undercarpet layer. I also tested the feature to detect wiring in the wall, and this works well as described. I did not test the feature of detecting rebar in concrete walls. I cannot give it 5 stars since I was expecting a better result for undercarpet floor joist detection.

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Good features, and easy to use
5 Star Review   By WickHunter on Home Depot - Mar 5, 2013    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

Very nice product, does what is says it will/can do. Be sure to read the instructions, and use it properly, and it should not let you down.

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quality
5 Star Review   By bpsnyc on Home Depot - Dec 13, 2012    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

This is much more accurate than my top of the line Zircon unit. It also warns you of live electric even if you have it in wood stud mode. As with all stud finders this works best with drywall rather than plaster/lath walls but it will locate studs and electric even in those tough situations.

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Did not find wood joists in plaster ceiling.
2 Star Review   By Barney on Home Depot - Oct 2, 2012    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

I was hoping to detect joists behind a plaster ceiling. The plaster thickness variation resulted in false detections. I ended up drilling small holes in the ceiling to find the joist. The other features for metal detection and live wire detection worked OK.

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great tool
5 Star Review   By Mike on Home Depot - May 15, 2012    ( See more reviews from Home Depot )

Very handy and accurate tool. With this scanner I am able to find studs and cupper pipe pretty fast and precision.

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