I've got a wall that I'm trying to mount a relatively heavy painting on (~25lbs), and am trying to use magnets to locate the stud. Here's where they stick:

enter image description here

I've tried to drill into where I expect the stud to be, but I'm not hitting anything past the drywall when using a standard 5/64 drill bit:

enter image description here

What can be the reason for this, and how can I find the actual stud?

p.s. My suspicion is that these are metal studs, because the magnets are are attracted to the whole of the stud column, but especially stick to those two spots, but I don't know if this has any bearing on things.

  • 1
    Thin metal studs can be difficult to feel with a sharpe small drill bit. Using a larger bit preferably a dull one may let you feel the stud. The receptacle below is a good indicator tat a stud is nearby
    – Kris
    Aug 26, 2019 at 13:46
  • 1
    Is that a pocket door, by chance?
    – isherwood
    Aug 26, 2019 at 15:00
  • 1
    Rap your knuckles in a horizontal path across the area just above that outlet. It should be quite apparent on which side of the stud it's mounted. Measure 1/2" from the edge of the cover plate for the approximate center of the stud, and transfer that distance up to your mounting area.
    – isherwood
    Aug 26, 2019 at 15:02
  • 1
    With wood studs, a magnet would only be weakly attracted to sheetrock nails/screws. A stronger, larger attraction would be felt where nail protector plates are, and those you certainly don't want to drill into.
    – JPhi1618
    Aug 26, 2019 at 19:06
  • @isherwood I wish haha, just a regular sliding door!
    – scrollex
    Aug 27, 2019 at 20:06

3 Answers 3


Pass a bent piece of stiff wire into one of the holes and use it to feel around inside the wall nearby.


A small pocket sized neodymium magnet would definitely tell you of there were any metal studs. A metal stud's dimension is approximately the same dimension as a wood one, so drilling into one ( were the 3 holes I see on your pic ) should have netted a "stud" metal or otherwise, if one were there, I'm saying.


After drilling a test hole inspect the drill bit for metal shavings. It would be helpful to magnetize the bit first -- simply sticking the magnet to the bit may be enough. Clean the bit before starting; if it emerges with any metal shavings then you'll know you drilled through more than just drywall.

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