Last Update: February 2020
Greeting fellow DIY Ninjas and professionals. Do you know what’s better than a self-leveling line laser and a stud sensor? A two-in-one device that projects laser lines but also doubles up as a stud sensor. Yep, that’s what we’re going to talk about today in this Black & Decker BDL190S stud finder review.
The Black and Decker BDL190S would what some refer to as the “Swiss Army knife” of electronic construction equipment. The device itself is an impressive feat of engineering that promises to deliver next-level precision in both light professional tasks and DIY home improvement projects. In this article, we’ll be discussing how the Black and Decker BDL190S works, what makes it a worthwhile pick and the pros and cons.
First things first, what is the Black and Decker BDL190S? Simply put, the BDL190S is a fancy little tool you most definitely need to have in your toolbox. It is a multi-functional tool designed to help you find studs, joists, pipes and AC live wiring.
Black & Decker are a trusted name in the construction equipment industry and the BDL190S carries on the tradition of uncompromising quality, innovative design and reliable equipment that lasts a long time. That’s why I’ve included this model in my Top 10 Best Stud Finders list. The design is simple yet functional with a few proprietary features that turn this simple gadget into a versatile tool.
Laser Leveling Features of the BDL190S
The BDL190S is just the tool you need if you plan to carry out simple repairs around the house. For tasks that require precise alignments such as mounting a new shelf or portrait, you need a laser level. The device comes equipped with a BullsEye auto-leveling laser level that projects a bright horizontal laser line.
The laser level self-aligns in under 5 seconds and projects a bright beam up to a length of 20 feet. The self-leveling pendulum rapidly sets the lines straight within five seconds of firing up the device up. The downside is that it can’t lock the pendulum in place.
The BDL190S cannot also project angles or vertical lines but instead projects two horizontal red laser beams on either side of the tool. On average, the leveling feature on this device can be described as being basic at the very least compared to other specialist products like the Zircon MS740 Multi Scanners stud finder for example.
The device has a leveling accuracy of ±1/8 of an inch and a self-leveling range of ±4.5° at 10 feet. The unit makes use of red laser diode technology making it perfectly visible in indoor lighting conditions.
Stud Finding and AC Wire Detection Features
The BDL190S is first and foremost a stud sensor that allows you to easily scan through walls or ceilings and detect wood or metal studs. It can also detect live AC wires taking out the guesswork when drilling. The unit is capable of detecting studs buried up to ¾ of an inch deep in thick drywall.
You simply push in a dedicated button and hold it in. Afterward, an LCD light comes on and the detector begins the initialization process. After a short while, the unit should complete calibration and is ready for scanning.
The BDL190S is built to detect existing live AC wiring, a feature common in higher priced models. The device can scan for and detect live AC wiring at a depth of up to one and a half inches. The sensor accurately pins down the exact position AC voltage-carrying wires and allows you to identify only wires carrying current.
The AC voltage scanner works simultaneously with the stud finder giving you a degree of clarity that is only akin to premium models. It is however advisable not to calibrate the device near-live AC wires as this greatly diminishes the device’s sensitivity.
B&D BullsEye’s Ease of Use
The first impression you get when you pull out the BDL190S out of the box is how simple the design is. The device layout is intentionally designed to enable rookie users a smooth hassle-free experience. The laser level function is as simple as it gets on this model compared to dedicated laser levels.
- The unit has an inbuilt mechanism that alerts the user when it detects a stud.
- The Black and Decker BDL190S negates the need to separately buy a laser level and a stud finder. Incorporating both tools in one is a feature many DIY enthusiasts appreciate. For its price, the features included in this model make it a worthwhile pick for light tasks.
- Considering its dual-purpose nature, the BDL190S is quite easy to operate. Armed only with the accompanying user manual and no training beforehand, a beginner can easily configure the device and get to work in record time.
- There are concerns about limited mount options on this device. To use it you have to find a way to hold it up against the wall either by hand or using extra attachments you buy separately. The mounting choices are very limited with some consumers complaining about having to use Velcro strips or tape to mount it. This can be quite inconvenient especially in leveling tasks that require some level of precision at the very least.
- This device isn’t built to handle professional-grade projects. It can struggle to keep up with the quality of results competing models produce handling similar tasks.
Final thoughts on this BDL190S stud finder review
In conclusion, the Black and Decker BDL190S is a little gem among DIY home improvement enthusiasts. It is reasonably priced and comes with a neat couple of features. It is relatively accurate and best of all, it should get the job done.
The device also comes with a solid two-year ‘s worth of warranty. Black & Decker offers dedicated customer support throughout this period. The kicker, however, is that this model doesn’t offer any of the advanced leveling or angle projection features professional laser levels offer.
If all you need is a basic laser line level that doubles up as a stud finder suitable for the occasional repair tasks around the house, then the BDL190S is exactly what you need. Overall, the Black & Decker BullsEye offers good value with its multi-tool options.