Top borescopes reviewed & buying guide
Most of the customers that are in search of technologically advanced products are having problems finding the device tailored to their needs. We did our homework, and the results suggest that your best option would be the Teslong NTS151RS-3M. We think it’s great because it enables both live video and image capturing and uses multiple resolutions, so that you can analyze the situation both on the spot and afterward, by seeing the images. The high capacity battery is also a great feature because it is vital to have the necessary power to do finish the task in just one session, with no interruptions for recharge or unpleasant surprises while you’re on in the middle of the job. The memory capacity is another feature that brings this borescope into attention. Many of the inspections that usually occur must be researched for risk assessment, repair calculations or as a work log, so having the files on you will be great. You might get stuck if the product is currently unavailable, so we have a second recommendation you could go for: the Depstech 10m WiFi. But we don’t mind if you want to know more about the results we’ve come up with.
Some of the products that have been introduced to the public are the results of scientific achievements and military or industrial demand, and that is also the case for borescopes (also called boroscopes).
The borescope was first used to inspect interior bores of large guns. Then, it went into industrial use for remote visual inspections (RVI). The device became more complex and different types were developed, but the generic term borescope still covers all of them.
The tool now serves a variety of industries and applications, from weaponry and law enforcement to casting, aerospace, aviation, sanitation or electronics and automotive.
To serve such different purposes, the borescopes have been adapted by holding various lengths, diameters, and functionalities. These are the types of units you will find on the market, and you’ll be able to choose the best borescope for the money if you use the guidance and address your current needs.
This is the most popular type of borescope and consists of an optical device attached to a straight tube.
This type of borescope is cheaper because it has a simple design and uses more economical materials. The small lenses are not all that expensive, and the design is less sophisticated. This means if you’re looking for the best cheap borescope, you should probably be looking for this type.
They are also easy to use and offer high-quality images since the view is unobstructed, in a straight line. However, the range of its uses is limited, because of the inherent lack of motion.
They’re good for checking car parts, gun barrels, or straight pipes, or small parts that require very clear high-resolution image. You might find the best automotive borescope in this category.
These are considered an improvement of the rigid borescopes because they are bendable and have the best performance is spaces that don’t offer much room for articulation. Semi-rigid borescopes are more durable thanks to technological progress, and even though they have a lower image quality, they still have the advantage in situations that require more that just a rod.
Some of the borescopes that fall into this category are also classified as fiberscopes because they come with semi-rigid articulating properties.
As designated, they have a twisting tube that gives you the possibility to twist the probe and go through curved pipes, ducts or vents. They tend to be in advantage wherever space limitations ask for instruments that can overcome steep angles and curves. High mobility allows them to enter small cavities and turn 360 degrees.
The flexible borescopes give the investigator the possibility to cover large areas and distant parts of the targeted objective. The depth and accuracy are increased and the viewer reaps all the benefits.
Since the flexible borescopes can cover straight lines as well, operators that need access to both types of spaces can save money purchasing just this type of borescope for both inspections.
Most of the flexible borescope have great image quality because they could blend in the latest technologies, like small video cameras and LED lights.
The downside consists in the fact that it’s quite difficult to maneuver them, a challenge inexperienced users will find truly hard to overcome. They are also much pricier than the traditional ones, because of the costs their technology involves.
Semi-rigid and flexible borescopes contain two other varieties of these instruments, the fiberscopes, and the videoscopes.
These borescopes relay the image that forms in the lens through a bundle of fiber optics to the eyepiece or display. The image quality varies in correlation with the number of fibers and their transparency, but the image is not always accurate.
Fiberscopes are less durable since you can’t repair them. Once a strand is broken, the image will suffer pixelation and eventually become unusable.
The best borescope reviews recommend them as the best thing on the market. If a complete list of top borescopes were to be compiled, then most of them would fit in this category, including the best USB borescope.
That’s because these are the ones that incorporate the latest technological advancements.They have Wi-Fi technology, use iPhone applications and much more.
Essentially they use small cameras and light to capture images and then carry the video signal through the insertion tube to the video processor and display. These probes have high-resolution images and provide valuable help in a number of applications.
Security and law enforcement, visual inspection of industrial equipment, turbines or boiler systems are among the major beneficiaries of these instruments.
Our 2018 list: Find the right borescope for your needs
The Teslong is a portable, handheld, multifunctional inspection system carrying a 3.5’’ LCD color screen with 320×240 pixels (QVGA). You can use it to view videos live and record videos (DVR) at different resolutions. It also has image capture function (640×480 resolution) and 4x zoom function as well as 360-degree rotation.
Due to the ergonomic and robust design, it enables you to control the keys with only one hand. For extra comfort, the silicon buttons are backlit.
For stocking/downloading information it holds micro USB port and TF card slot (8GB card included).
The camera probe is IP67 waterproof, and the monitor is rain proof. The camera has a diameter of 5.5 mm, a shaft diameter of 5 mm and is 3 m long. The tube is semi-rigid and can bend and hold the shape, which is consistent with your needs in multiple environments.
The viewing angle is 60 and the depth of field is 3 to 6 meters. It has 6 adjustable LED as light source and a maximum battery life of 5 to 6 hours thanks to a 2600mAh lithium battery. You’ll also receive a 1W Cree LED flashlight.
With its 4X Zoom function coupled with the 360-degree image rotation feature, this awesome instrument gives you the chance for the visual inspection of difficult-to-access, remote objects
Ideal for non-destructive testing techniques, this tool also captures clear, snapshot images or video with its IP67 waterproof camera probe.
The monitor itself is rainproof so you can view images on the large 3.5-inch color LCD screen connected to the semi-rigid cable of the borescope
The 0.21-inch diameter camera probe is the first of its kind with its progressive scan technology characteristic of any endoscope camera to deliver a sharper picture compared to interlace scanning endoscope cameras in the market today, which results in clear and interesting photos.
The compact, portable, and lightweight design is supplemented by the 6 adjustable LED lights to enable an easy and convenient deployment and functionality regardless of the lighting and observation conditions.
This device is quite easy to control and comes with a stunning, semi-rigid cable that is flexible while retaining its shape well enough to get into tight spots.
The wrapping or coating on the semi-rigid cable scuffs easily so it tends to peel off quickly with rough use.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($169.99)
Depstech 10m Wifi
It is a new generation endoscope that features wireless function for the camera. The wireless is easy to set up, since the signal is inbuilt, by simply downloading and installing a compatible app called ‘WIFI VIEW’ on your device.
The device has a Hi-Vision 2MP Camera HD and offers a great experience for close range recording. It takes HD videos in AVI format and snapshots in JPG format with three different resolutions. The photos and videos that you take during the inspection can be stored directly on your device so you can share it with your friends or coworkers.
The Depstech 10m Wifi Endoscope has 10 meters of cable, is water resistant and uses an 8.5mm diameter camera with 6 adjustable LED light on it. Armed with bendable semi-rigid cable which can bend and hold its shape you can gain access to a wide variety of confined places, curved holes or pipes.
This borescope surpasses the traditional ones by becoming available for Android and iPhone. It’s compatible with Android smartphones (4.4+) and iPhone IOS systems (IOS 8.0+). The iPhone users that are about to do inspection work have reasons for enthusiasm.
Compatible with your Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, this borescope is equipped with a 2.0MP High-Definition snake camera for doing inspections in tight spots
This borescope is designed as a wireless, WiFi endoscope to enable a variety of inspection operations and works with a downloaded compatible app for WiFi view on your device.
The camera is able to record a clear, close-range HD video in AVI format and a snapshot image in JPG format with three available resolutions for a customized use: 320×240, 640×480, and 1280×720.
The adjustable LED light makes the device suitable for use in a variety of environments, such as damp or wet areas, dark or low-light areas, and more.
The flexible semi-rigid cable can bend and retain its shape in order for the effortless access to different types of confined spaces.
This is not geared as a professional device as the focus range is a bit limited for use in close-up work but it is still functional for basic applications.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($38.99)
BlueFire Semi-rigid Wireless IP67
Boasting the latest wireless endoscope design available at the moment, BlueFire’s IP67 model comes with a very useful integrated feature that can support both Android and iOS smartphone functions. And this means exactly what you think it does, namely that you can connect the two and get live images on your phone.
All you need to do in order to get this done is to scan de QR code provided in the manual, download the app, connect your smart device via WIFI, and as soon as you open the app, live images will appear on the screen.
With this feature, you don’t have to worry about needing a dedicated device to see what is going on in the area you want to inspect.
The semi-rigid cable was designed to allow you more control over the direction of the inspection camera, which means you are able to reach smaller spaces that would otherwise be impossible to get to.
The 2-megapixel camera built in this endoscope features 3 adjustable resolutions and 6 adjustable LED lights that help you clearly see what the problem is. Given the customizable functionalities, you can adjust everything to make sure that you have exactly what you need.
Moreover, the camera can provide both HD videos and snapshot images, which means that you can get the job done using live images or use the photo option in case you need to send this information to someone else.
The WIFI borescope has its own WIFI signal capability and a built-in Li-Ion rechargeable battery. Since you don’t need an external cable, adapter or power source, it’s highly portable and you can easily use it wherever you might need it.
You need special assistance in order to reset the WIFI password. If you do this by yourself, the settings will not be right and the endoscope will become useless.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.99)
Actron’s CP7669 Video Inspection Scope is a great device that can help you find and retrieve lost items from very small spaces that would otherwise be difficult to reach or completely inaccessible.
With its capability of seeing in tight spaces and around the corners, this device is ideal to use around the house, the garage, in your car or truck. This way, you won’t need to wonder what is going on if there’s a problem with one of the pipes in your home.
The included LCD display provides color live images and features 8 different levels of contrast that you can control and adjust according to your needs. Moreover, the 2.4” LCD screen is small enough to be portable but large enough to provide clear images in order to get the job done
The scope’s waterproof camera comes with a standard 3 ft. long and flexible camera tube that measures 9mm in diameter, which means you can easily use it to inspect narrow spaces.
It also includes 6 levels of LED brightness that you can adjust, allowing you to get the images you need in order to clearly see what the problem is.
The best part about this device is that it also allows you to retrieve lost items, as it includes a mirror for better visibility, a magnet that can be attached at the end of the camera to find items that might have fallen in places such as your car’s engine compartment, as well as a hook clip that helps you retrieve non-magnetic objects.
It doesn’t come with batteries, so you need to buy them yourself. However, given that the device needs standard AA ones, this should not be a problem.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($85.9)
Depstech 3.5m WiFi
Just as the Depstech 10m WiFi Endoscope, this one holds features that make it a top of the list choice for borescope users.
The wifi connectivity is easy to set up with an app, using the WIFI VIEW app and the camera will send you the images on the iPhone or Android. The range of the WiFi has 15 meters, however, meaning this pulls 5 meters more signal.
The High-Resolution Camera is 8.4 mm diameter, 2MP, water resistant, and it records or snapshots three resolutions in AVI and JPEG (320x 240, 640x 480, and 1280×720).
The power supply is enhanced from 450 mAh to 500 mAh, but the specifications suggest that one hour is still the limit for the device.
The essential difference is that this unit uses a 3.5 meters long cable, and not a 10 meter. And that isn’t necessarily a downside when you want a portable equipment suited for the purpose. The tool is well adapted for inspecting HVAC, machine equipment, automotive or engine and part assembly and others.
This wireless endoscope WiFi camera not only works with iPhone iOS systems above IOS 8.0 but also supports use with any Android smartphone above Android 4.4, so there is no shortage of available devices that can be used with it.
Perfect for tight inspection work, this implement comes with a wireless and effortless setup without the need for extra adapters or cables as it easily connects to a smartphone via WiFi.
The onboard high-resolution camera boasts a high 2MP resolution to offer a great recording functionality of a clear, close-range HD video in AVI format as well as snapshot images in JPG format and with three customizable resolutions, 320×240, 640×480, and 1280×720.
Suitable for a variety of environments, this tool is equipped with everything needed for a close inspection and this includes a waterproof, 8.4mm diameter camera, a 3.5-meter cable, plus 6 adjustable LED lights.
Great for a variety of tight-spot inspections, this tool can be used for household cleaning, car repair and maintenance, outdoor explorations, science learning, piping restoration, construction and other similar applications, and the investigation of water pipes.
This device has a tendency to grow hot when used for extended periods but it should provide good functionality for a quick 5-minute inspection, after which it should be allowed to cool down.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($35.99)
What is a borescope inspection camera?
A borescope inspection camera is a name under which a video borescope or videoscope is most commonly known. The borescope inspection cameras are systems that combine a small video camera placed at the tip of a probe with the LCD device on which you can watch the video or photo taken by the camera. Be careful though not to confuse them with the endoscopes used exclusively for medical purposes.
Instead of placing a lens at the tip of a rod, we know have the possibility to put a small camera at the end of a flexible tube. This way, one can have visual access to places that he couldn’t normally reach, like pipes, tanks or vents.
The LCD on which the images are playing usually has a joystick or buttons with which you can maneuver the camera through the tight space that is being inspected. It can also feature WiFi signal to send the images to a computer or phone or pad.
How does a borescope work?
Borescopes are optical instruments that have an objective lens at the far end of a rod or probe and an eyepiece at the near end and are used to inspect places that we can’t reach, not without causing unnecessary damage.
The lens or camera that captures the image of the object or surface in front of them is connected by an optical system to the eyepiece. The image is relayed to the eyepiece by using lenses, in the case of rigid borescopes, or fiber optic bundles when using flexible borescopes.
The eyepiece that magnifies the image so that it can become visible to the eye. To capture a good image in dark corners and tight spaces or cavities the borescopes use illumination with flashlights, lamps or LED bulbs.
Recent developments enable borescopes to send the images of video recordings directly to you iPhone, or PC by using the built-in WiFi technology.
Looking to know more about other scopes? Check out our list of the best otoscopes