DEWALT DCT418 Hand Held Radar Scanner Review

Tool Box Buzz rating:

DEWALT DCT418S1 Hand Held Radar Scanner Kit

DEWALT 12V Hand Held Radar Scanner

Manufacturer: DEWALT
Model number: DCT418S1
Price: $450
Power source: 12V Li-Ion
Weight: 2 lbs

Remodelers and contractors seldom have the pleasure of working with as-built drawings when remodeling or renovating a building. Because of that they often cut open walls as if they were blind folded. Well those days are over now thanks to new tools like the DEWALT DCT418 Hand Held Radar Scanner. The DCT418 can identify several materials using radar such as: wood studs, metal studs, electrical wires, PVC pipes, and even non-ferrous pipes.

DCT418 FeaturesDCT418

  • Patent pending radar sensing technology detects wood, ferrous metal, non-ferrous metal, PVC and live electric behind walls
  • Scans through multiple surfaces including drywall, plywood, concrete, marble and ceramic tile
  • Automatic mapping feature processes all embeded materials simultaneously eliminating need for repeat calibration
  • Color, 3.5″ LCD display for improved visibility and communication of object type and location
  • Tracking bar displays object locations of entire mapped area (up to 9.8 feet)
  • Kits includes:
    • DCT418 Hand Held Radar Scanner
    • (1) 12V MAX* Li-Ion Battery Pack
    • Fast Charger
    • Kitbox

Simple and Accurate Performance

We’re all familiar with stud finders and their on and off performance. So forgive me if I was a bit skeptical at first about how well this tool would work. However, it only took a few minutes testing it on a demonstration mock-up last summer in Baltimore for me to realize how special this tool will become.

DEWALT DCT418 Hand Held Radar Scanner Scanning Wall

First off this tool is one of the easiest diagnostic tools I’ve ever used. First you simply turn the unit on and wait for the screen to indicate that it’s ready to pre-scan the wall. To pre-scan the wall you simply place the unit on the wall (so the 4 wheels are touching the wall surface) and slowly role the unit from left to right (or right to left) along the wall for a distance up to 9.8 ft. At this point you stop and the pre-scan is finished.

The next step is reversing the direction back over the previously pre-scanned surface. As you move the scanner back over the surface the LED display will start showing objects that are behind the wall surface. The objects are located in the exact location of the scanner so it’s very precise when laying out studs, wires, and pipes.

DCT418 Locating Electrical Wire

The DCT418 not only works on drywall, but it also works on: plywood, OSB, ceramic tile, marble and concrete. This opens up so many different applications making this tool extremely valuable and use.

DEWALT DCT418S1 Video Preview

Final Thoughts

The DEWALT DCT418S1 Kit is an amazing tool for remodelers and contractors. This effective new tools gives all of us Superman vision and a much needed look behind the wall so to speak. We found pricing ranging from $300 to $450 (but the tool just hit the street), I would expect it to come down once it gets out on the market for some time. Even at $450 I think it’s a great value. The tool will likely pay for itself just after a couple uses on decent size projects.

Occasionally the unit will give a false reading so I recommend scanning really important walls more than once.

EDITOR’s NOTE: DEWALT has stopped stocking this item while they make some small tweaks to the user interface. They are in the process of changing how embedded items vs embedded materials are identified on the screen. This is to reduce confusion in what the user might interpret as being in the wall. This is a result of user feedback. New models should be shipping in early 2014, we’ll keep you posted on updates to this products status.

DEWALT 12V Hand Held Radar Scanner


About the author

Todd Fratzel

Todd Fratzel is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz, and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.

@tfratzelTodd Fratzel

All posts by Todd »


  1. […] wires, ferrous components and even non-ferrous items. We’ve got a detailed review posted at: DEWALT DCT418 Hand Held Radar Scanner. My impression of this new […]

  2. This is one of the most use full tools in my box. Being an electrical contractor in the service side of the industry, I can tell you that it is essential for ser4vice and custom work. It is very nice to have a great idea what is behind the sheetrock before we cut.
    My wife bought this for me as a Christmas present last year; bets present under the tree!!!!!!

  3. Cindy KAMSTRA

    Great quite helpful. I am wanting to know if you know where I can get it. Second hand also either modle DCT419S1 DCT418S1. Cheers

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Product reviews on this site contain our opinion of a product or service. We will always strive for objectivity and transparency in our reviews. Our goal is to provide readers with honest, objective information based on our own experiences. We never have and never will accept payment in exchange for a positive review. Many of the products that we review are provided to us for free by a manufacturer or retailer. In some cases, we also have advertising or affiliate relationships with manufacturers and retailers of products and services we review. For additional information please visit our additional disclosure policies.