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I have a lot of kitchens to install on walls with double drywall over metal studs. My Franklin Sensors stud finder is great for single drywall but is failing on double, I have been having to search for them with a screw and things aren’t really OC. What strategies are recommended for finding studs in such a situation?

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  • How would one of those old school cheapo stud finders work? The type that uses a magnet to sense the nails, but in this case, it's the studs themselves – Ack Sep 1 '20 at 23:00
  • Is adhesive used to bond the two layers of drywall? Are the seams staggered? – Jim Stewart Sep 2 '20 at 18:04
  • I see from the OP's comment above that these are "heavy gauge" studs. So the OP's choice of self drilling #12 screws into the studs to secure cabinets sounds much better to me than at first. In fact I can see it being absolutely first rate,, but I still think that for installing "many kitchens" there ought to be a professional evaluation, but the OP may have done that without saying so. – Jim Stewart Sep 3 '20 at 10:59
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    Does your stud finder have a "deep scan" or "metal stud" mode? Some modern ones do and may find those studs without issue. It might just be a matter of the right device. – isherwood Sep 3 '20 at 14:48
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The same way we find studs for single drywall.

Magnetic stud finder

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Your drywall has to be screwed in properly. You will have vertical columns of screws. When the magnet hits something, go up or down a little, if it hits a vertical column - there is your stud. Since it is double drywall there would definitely not be skipping of studs so you should be able to mark everything in kitchen in a few minutes.

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  • Yeah, I think the magnet might be a rather good bet here actually – ThreePhaseEel Sep 3 '20 at 0:56
  • That stud finder represents the best $7 I've ever spent! So much easier to use than the electronic ones, and it works great on my plaster walls as well. – PhilippNagel Sep 3 '20 at 13:27
  • @PhilippNagel The only issue I have had - and I have bought 5-6 of these for my teams... is the pointer at the bottom of the picture is a hard plastic. It is solid. But when it drops from 4 feet onto concrete it cracks. But this tool is a time life saver. Side note - I have also used it to find surveying stakes outside in yards. The magnet is so strong that if I am within 6 inches, using a sweeping motion I will notice a tug. – DMoore Sep 3 '20 at 16:21
  • I’ll give it a shot thanks :) – Jacko Sep 4 '20 at 17:24
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Worth investigating: NEW Walabot DIY Stud Finder In-Wall Imager.

You could consider avoiding the metal studs. Use proper drywall anchors for #12 screws. Drywall is very strong if the clamping force of a fastener can be spread out.

If you are installing many kitchens, I would think you should get a professional expert to recommend the fastening system for hanging cabinets on 1 inch thick drywall on "heavy gauge" steel studs.

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