Adding to its already rather expansive lineup of handhelds, DeWalt recently released the latest addition to its 12V Max cordless platform: a handheld scanner that uses
Kryptonian radar technology to detect exactly what’s behind your wall. Compared to your run-of-the-mill stud finder, this is a gigantic leap forward in wall scanning tech.
Most stud finders work by measuring capacitance – basically a gauge of how well a given material stores electricity. When held up to a wall, your average stud finder will detect a certain dielectric constant, and when it moves over a stud, that constant will change. This is much more effective than earlier methods that relied on magnets, but still rather limited since it can’t effectively gauge what type of material is behind the wall.
DeWalt’s DCT418 changes all that. Since it’s equipped with radar technology, the scanner can not only detect when something’s behind the wall, it can also guess what material it’s made out of with astonishing accuracy. Different materials will bounce back radio waves in different ways, and by using sophisticated algorithms to read the minute differences in those waves, this badboy can make an educated guess about what materials are on the other side of your wall. It can detect and identify wood, ferrous metal, non-ferrous metal, live electric wires, and PVC.
Unfortunately, this power isn’t unlimited. The device has a finite range, but can sense and identify all of the aforementioned materials through drywall, plywood, concrete, ceramic tile, and marble up to three inches thick. Furthermore, despite the fact that it’s designed for use on walls, the DCT418 could likely be used on ceilings and floors, so long as they don’t exceed the three inch maximum sensing depth. Hell, you could probably use it to detect bones in your leg if you wanted to, though we’re sure DeWalt advises against it.
To streamline this entire process, the device is outfitted with a 3.5-inch LCD display that shows a graphical representation of the materials it’s sensing. It also features a tracking bar that counts the number of objects detected in a 9.8-foot section, and a confidence meter that corresponds to signal strength, so keeping track of everything you scan is effortless. Check out the video below to see it in action.
The DCT418 currently retails for $300 on Amazon. Check out DeWalt’s website for more details.