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Zircon MultiScanner i520 Center-Finding Stud Finder with Metal and AC Electrical Scanning

by Zircon
296 customer reviews
| 19 answered questions

List Price: $49.99
Price: $44.26 & FREE Shipping. Details
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  • Locates the edges and center of wood or metal studs up to 1 1/2-Inches (38 mm) deep
  • Scans for metal and live AC wires
  • Easy-to-read LCD display, audio tone, and the patented SpotLite Pointing System indicate stud center
  • WireWarning detection indicates the presence of live, unshielded electrical wiring up to 2" deep
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Product Description

Product Description

Zircon MultiScanner i520 OneStep 60576 Metal Detectors

i520 Scanning Modes

Stud Scan mode for finding studs in drywall.

DeepScan mode for finding studs and joists in thicker walls, floors, and ceilings.

Metal Scan mode for finding pipes or other metal. Metal Scan mode can also help find studs in lath and plaster walls.

Electrical Scan mode for locating live, unshielded AC wires.

Watch the i520 in action.
See how all the features of an i520 are used.


Zircon's Top-of-the-Line Multifunction Scanner for Finding Studs, Metal, and Electrical

Our Best Scanner
The MultiScanner i520 is the most advanced wall scanner that Zircon makes. It has 4 scanning modes:

  • STUD SCAN mode locates the edges and center of wood or metal studs in normal walls up to 3/4 inch (19 mm) deep
  • DEEPSCAN mode doubles the scanning depth for walls up to 1 1/2 inches (38 mm) deep, and enables scanning for joists in some ceilings and floors
  • METAL SCAN mode detects non-ferrous metal, such as copper pipes, up to 1 1/2 inches (38 mm) deep, and ferrous metal, such as rebar, up to 3 inches (76 mm) deep
  • AC SCAN mode finds and traces live, unshielded electrical wiring up to two inches deep

In addition to the scanning modes, the i520 is packed with other original and patented features:

  • WireWarning detection indicates the presence of live, unshielded electrical wire up to 2 inches (51 mm) deep in stud and metal scanning modes. Most wires in homes are run along wall studs, causing potential safety hazards.
  • ACT (Auto Correcting Technology) automatically corrects common user errors, such as when scanning begins over a stud. The tool constantly scans its surroundings and recalibrates itself if necessary.
  • An ultra-bright LCD screen indicates direction, edges and center of studs. Makes the screen easier to see in low-light situations.
  • The display screen, SpotLite Pointing System, and audio tone all indicate the location of the target.
  • A signal strength indicator lets you distinguish between shallow and deep targets. Weak signal strength can also imply other non-stud objects, like wires and pipes.

The i520 is a perfect choice for serious users, such as home improvement hobbyists and professional contractors. Not sure if the i520 is what you need? See the grid below to decide which center-finding tool is right for you.

Which Center-Finding Stud Sensor is Right for You?

i65 OneStep

i320 OneStep

i520 OneStep

Why Zircon?

Zircon introduced the first stud finders over 25 years ago. We're a smaller, more focused company than our competitors, but thanks to our reputation for engineering and customer service, our brand dominates the stud finder market domestically and abroad. The Handyman Club of America, and their official publication, Handy Magazine, have awarded Zircon's MultiScanner i520 their seal of approval after a round of extensive member testing. The i520 earned a 9.0 (out of 10) overall rating and a whopping 99% approval rating from Handyman Club Members.

Product Information

Technical Details
Part Number JEN-1913
Item Weight9.6 ounces
Product Dimensions1.8 x 12 x 5.6 inches
Item model numberMS i520
Item Package Quantity1
Batteries Required?Yes
Warranty DescriptionZircon Corporation warrants this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for one year from the date of purchase.
Additional Information
Best Sellers Rank #3,443 in Home Improvement (See top 100)
Shipping Weight9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Domestic Shipping Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
Date First AvailableJune 29, 2006
Warranty & Support

Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.

From the Manufacturer

MultiScanner i520 OneStep StudSensor i65 OneStep StudSensor e50 StudSensor e40
Find Stud Center
Find Stud Edge
SpotLite Pointing System
Scan Thicker Walls
Wire Warning Detection
LCD Display
Scan for Metal
Trace Electrical

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Rocket Scientist on July 24, 2010
Verified Purchase
You may be wondering, why I should pay more for similar featured BOSCH or other major brandname product, when I can have one from Zircon for $40? Believe me, the "big ones", really have advantages over cheaper models.

Some practical results from using Zircon i520:

Metal rods behind the MDF board: Excellent accuracy in finding, good depth.

Metal rebar in concrete wall: Good performance, AC detector feature definetly helps to distinguish rebar from wires.

Wires in plaster wall: Not so good, often misses them, regardless are they hot or cold. If plaster coating is a bit thicker (in range of declared sensitivity), no detection at all. (It should be noted, that manual says, that performance in plaster or gypsum walls may be unsatisfactory)

Wires in concrete wall: Excellent accuracy.

Unfortunately, I don't have any studs behind the gypsum boards, so I can't test detection in that aspect.

Overall, this unit performs ok, just having two VERY BIG disadvantages, besides the ones mentioned above:

1. LCD vertical angles are very limited, so when looking from bottom or top, it appears that it's always on, so for example, if you want to check wires above your head, you have to climb on ladder, otherwise, screen is unreadable.

2. Unit is very sensitive to rotation. If you tilt it slightly over it's axis during the movement, false detection will occur. Altrough this "feature" is mentioned in manual, it makes usage of detector not so pleasant.

Will I continue to use this unit? - Yes.
Will I reccomend it to a friend? - No.
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102 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Frank Yee on December 31, 2009
I'm not as enthusiastic about this product as some of the other reviewers. I previously used a Zircon PRO SL before it broke and I was hoping for better performance. First, I was annoyed by the large size of the device. This made it difficult to get into smaller spaces and was hard to hold with the spring loaded on/off switch. I then found that the LCD screen was very difficult to read at awkward angles. Yes, it looks great and bright straight on but when working on baseboards, the display faded to near invisibility. Finally, the calibration process now takes an extra second, which turns out to be annoying and slows you down.

For stud finding, it was no better than the very old PRO SL. There was still plenty of ambiguity with some walls (no, it's not a shear wall) but not others. The suggestion to use a piece of smooth cardboard on "rough" walls did not help to resolve the ambiguity. Sometimes just knocking on the wall and listening to the sound proved more definitive.

Detecting AC was reasonably useful as it did always indicate when a hot wire was near. However, trying to trace electrical wiring without opening the drywall has proved elusive. Wires seem to vanish mid-wall with no detectable resume point on the wall. On well, the product never claimed this as a feature.

I have not tried the metal detection feature. The deep scan worked no better at finding studs through 5/8" drywall or on my shear wall which has an additional 3/8" ply. I think I'll just go back to the cheap $10 version since I'm now convinced that technology is the same and only the display is different (but not better).
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61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By D. Grundmann on August 24, 2009
Verified Purchase
Background: I'm coming from using one of the those clip-on stud scanner from a cordless drill. That thing was crap as it thought it found a stud but it was an empty space. I've use old 'dumb' stud scanners before as well.

I bought this stud finder for multiple reason. Primary: I just got a LCD TV mount and wanted a real scanner. This particular scanner is a bonus in that it can also find AC signals (with load on sockets) AND metal. The last thing I needed was to drill down and find a power cable or air duct!

This scanner is great, with the graph on the display it's easy to find the center and the automatic beep with light pinpoints the center. Steps are 1. slap on wall, 2. swipe across, 3. stop when beep. On a test setup it found the stud perfectly. I was curious about the dvd it came with but it's a bit tedious to go through so after the first 10 minutes and only watching 'how to use the AC scanner' I gave up on the videos and applied the same method to the other functions.

The idea to search for the AC signal is a bit weird, it dynamically changes the sensitivity to find the middle. Basically one would swipe across and find the first boundary, at the max of one boundary reset the scanner and you will find new boundaries within parent... keep going until the side-to-side swipes meet in the middle or where the signal is. Same applies to metal scanner. Make sure to not have you hand above the scanner (or where the light is)... the hand adsorbs the signal and messes up the measurements.

Only (very minor) gripe is that there is no toggle on-off switch. Using the side button is a bit of a pain in a tight or long reach area and easily turns off when not pressing hard. It doesn't help the unit is on the large size.
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86 of 96 people found the following review helpful By S. Sullivan on December 20, 2008
Verified Purchase
I replaced an older scanner with this new Zircon. I researched on the Zircon site and found the videos to help me understand how the scanner works. This scanner works exactly as advertised. It is like looking into the wall. Scanning across the wall you see the edges of the stud and the unit clearly indicates the center. The electric wire sensor works well. Overall I am very impressed.
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Zircon MultiScanner i520 Center-Finding Stud Finder with Metal and AC Electrical Scanning
This item: Zircon MultiScanner i520 Center-Finding Stud Finder with Metal and AC Electrical Scanning
Price: $44.26
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