Given the state of 2x lumber you get nowadays, why wouldn’t you use steel in non-structural applications? Why screw around trying to use warped, twisted, and cupped studs when you can use uniform steel studs? The metal studs even have pre-cut holes to run most plumbing and electrical, unless you need to need to run something like 2″ water, vent, or waste pipes. In that case you’ll need a tool like Greenlee’s 713 stud punch. Think of it as the big-ass version of a paper hole puncher — only for steel studs.
The 23-1/2″ long tool gives you the leverage you need to punch 2-5/8″ holes in 24 to 20ga metal studs and the 2-1/8″ throat fits over most steel 2x framing. Even though Greenlee makes the C-frame and rubber gripped handle from a high-strength alloy aluminum, the tool still weighs a hefty 10.6lbs.
Pricing for the punch varies widely from $400 to $650, so this isn’t a tool you’re going to buy for that framing job in your basement.