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Digital Wall Scanner - GMS120. Hand Strap. 9V Battery. Carrying Bag
Product Title: Bosch GMS120 Digital Wall Scanner
Power Score: 4.3 | 16 Reviews
Color: Green, Metallic, Orange, Red
Product Reviews (11)
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...
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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.
By Doresoom on Home Depot - May 19, 2013
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.
By ApartmentOwner on Home Depot - May 16, 2013
Not for the casual user
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,...
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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.
By tnahpele on Home Depot - May 7, 2013
A professional grade tool.
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...
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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!
By Mikkel2412 on Home Depot - May 3, 2013
Its a multi-tasker, but not as accurate
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...
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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.
By ih82spd on Home Depot - May 2, 2013