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.
Our Top Choice
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The core advantage of using this choice is that it comes with its own 3.5-inch LCD screen. This way, you won’t have to connect the inspection cable to any mobile device, which will allow you to prevent putting it through risky situations. The monitor is rainproof, so it can be used under a variety of circumstances. Also, the Teslong unit is quite portable and lightweight, thus allowing you to carry it with ease.
The semi-rigid cable comes with a coating that might peel off over time. However, this does not affect the reliability of the system.
As a truly multifunctional inspection system, this Teslong unit is definitely worth considering.
If you are in the market for a device that’s a bit easier to use, this Depstech borescope might do the trick for you. It is compatible with both Android and iOS, which means that it speaks to the needs of a broad array of consumers. Plus, the cable has been outfitted with a 2-megapixel camera that can allow you to see high-res images and actually understand what’s going on in narrow places.
The unit does not come with its own display, so unless you connect it to a mobile device, you really have no means of using it.
Because it’s affordable and versatile, the Depstech borescope should be given some thought to.
Featuring the latest wireless endoscope design at the moment, BlueFire’s IP 67 can support both Android and iOS smartphone systems. The semi-rigid cable allows you to better control the direction for the inspection, while the 2 megapixels HD camera and 6 adjustable LED lights provide accurate videos and images that will help you examine small and otherwise inaccessible spaces.
According to some reviews, the cable is not rigid enough to be maneuvered in certain situations, depending on the area you inspect.
The 2MP camera and 6 adjustable LED lights, as well as the versatile compatibility make this a model to keep in mind.
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.
5 Best Borescopes (Reviews) in 2019
- 1. Industrial Endoscope with Screen Teslong
- 2. Wireless Endoscope Depstech WiFi Borescope Inspection Camera 2.0
- 3. BlueFire Semi-Rigid Flexible Wireless Endoscope
- 4. Flir VS70 Video Scope
- 5. Wireless Inspection Camera Depstech Premium IP67 Waterproof
- Frequently Asked Questions
- But aren’t borescopes expensive?
- What should you focus on when shopping for a borescope?
1. Industrial Endoscope with Screen Teslong
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 ($89.99)
2. Wireless Endoscope Depstech WiFi Borescope Inspection Camera 2.0
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 ($36.99)
3. BlueFire Semi-Rigid Flexible Wireless Endoscope
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)
4. Flir VS70 Video Scope
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 ($87.79)
5. Wireless Inspection Camera Depstech Premium IP67 Waterproof
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)
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
What Is A Borescope Used For?
If you have ever had work to do that involved the use of devices that could help you see where your naked eye couldn’t reach, you may know what a borescope is. There are many reviews of borescopes for iOS, as well as for Android, that point out what model to choose depending on your chosen purpose.
Borescopes are more widely spread than you think, and you can tell that there are many uses for this type of tool, by how many are available. They are used both on an industrial scale, as well as by home-based DIY-ers, so there’s a solid reason for their popularity.
What is a borescope, anyway?
Before delving into the many uses of this type of tool, let’s see what it is, first. The name borescope describes an optical instrument that comes with a tube – that can be either rigid or flexible –, an eyepiece on one end, and a camera on the other.
Between the two, there is an optical system in place that helps you see what’s on the side with the camera. Whenever there are places you need to inspect when you can’t do it with the naked eye, a borescope can come in handy.
The optical system may come with an illumination system in place, too, helping you see in dark spots. This can serve well in plumbing and other work that involves exploring areas that cannot receive direct illumination otherwise.
One great thing about borescopes is that they can also magnify the object you’re inspecting so that you can notice details such as fine cracks and the like. Another great advantage is that you can take pictures and even record videos that you can later use for problem diagnosis.
What were the first purposes of borescopes?
Although you might not have heard of these tools until recently, you should know that they have been around for quite some time. The first borescopes to have ever been used in the US were registered in the 1920s, and their most important role is to serve in medical applications.
During those times, the device also got its name, the first part, ‘bore’, coming from the visual appearance that made it look like the boresight found in a gun scope. People took quickly to the name, and that’s how this tool is known as today. Nonetheless, don’t expect just anyone to understand what a borescope is, or about its uses.
What’s the primary purpose of a borescope?
For a general reply, here’s the information you must know. Borescopes are designed in such a manner that they let inspectors observe areas that cannot be easily seen by the naked eye or other tools. As there’s a camera at one end of the tube, that optical device will capture images and transmit them to the eyepiece.
An important point in favor of borescopes is that they allow inspecting various objects and areas without being too intrusive. For instance, there is no need to take an entire engine apart to see what’s wrong with it, if you have a tool that you can insert through some opening and check it for damage.
Nondestructive testing is just one part of what a borescope can do, and you will see soon that there are many things you can do with such a device even if you are not very knowledgeable about how it works and you’re never had one.
Visual inspection work
This is the primary purpose borescopes are used for. Whenever you need to access an otherwise inaccessible area, a borescope will come in handy. Also, whenever the possibility to dismantle a device is undesirable, this kind of tool is all you need.
In case that sounds to you like something that resembles quite closely the purpose of an endoscope, you’d not be far off. Borescopes are, in a way, like endoscopes, only that they are not used in medicine, for exploring the human body.
Detection for quality control
One principal purpose for borescopes is detection for quality control. Pipes, vessels, and many other inner parts that belong to equipment that cannot easily be detached, dismounted, or dismantled, are difficult to inspect with the naked eye. Even with optical devices, they cannot be observed well, so there can be a lot of defects and imperfections that may be overlooked too easily.
Engines, machines, pipes, are all game for being inspected with the help of a borescope. Some companies specialize in creating borescopes for industrial applications. Whenever there’s a new product that must be inspected before being released on the market, a borescope is an ideal way to check it for quality control.
Uses in the electric power industry
There are industrial borescopes that have a particular role in this type of industry. For instance, such borescopes can be used for observing cracks caused by stress on the core of a turbine or a generator. Also, the borescope can detect any scars resulted from natural decay. Such humongous parts cannot easily be examined otherwise.
Once the defect or damage is identified, workers can decide on the best course of action for repairing the part, or they might just replace it. Seeing what consequences a damaged turbine or generator could have, it is easy to understand the importance of using borescopes in this industry.
Special survey applications for borescopes
This one is another application for borescopes on an industrial scale. It refers to examining the welds made by workers inside process pipes, reactors, and other parts that are used for large-scale industrials buildings.
It is essential to examine all the inside joints that were welded for signs of stress corrosion or chemical corrosion. Many things could cause cracks and other damage, so borescopes are indispensable for people working in this industry.
For inspecting ships and boats
Another industrial application of borescopes is this one. Ships and boats often need a close examination of some parts, such as their boilers, turbines, or engine pipes. Any sign of corrosion, cracks, rust, and the like will be easy to notice with the help of such devices. Therefore, they will be caught in time and dealt with swiftly to avoid unwanted consequences.
Other industrial uses of borescopes
Aircraft engines, gas turbines, diesel engines, truck engines, and many others can be inspected with the help of a borescope. Due to the high versatility of this type of tool, it can be utilized for various kinds of environments. For instance, it can be used in areas that are damp or wet, provided that both the camera and the tube are waterproof.
Other uses involve inspecting interior surfaces in industries that machine or cast parts. Aspects such as surface finish, or proper holes being drilled thoroughly, can be observed in such a manner. Gunsmithing is one application for which borescopes can prove handy. When you need to examine the interior of a firearm, such a tool is indispensable.
Borescopes are now available for home use, too. You don’t have to purchase an industrial model, as there are plenty you can connect with your phone and record videos of various areas you need to inspect.
For instance, borescopes are ideal for plumbing work. When there is a damaged pipe, and you have no interest to destroy an entire wall to get to the problem, you can use a borescope to identify and diagnose the problem. Even if you are not the same person who will perform the repair, it is a good idea to inspect the pipes on your own before calling a professional.
You will find a borescope a good idea for inspecting the engine of your car. If there are leaks that are not easy to identify by the naked eye, it is recommended to use a tool that doesn’t require too much prior knowledge.
Some people even use borescopes for electrical work. However, always bear in mind that you should hire a professional for repairs since you shouldn’t attempt to work with electrical installations and the like if you’re not certified.
Borescopes can be used for fun stuff, too. For instance, if you like exploring caves and there are parts you can’t access, but if there are cracks in a wall that allow you to squeeze through the tube of a borescope, you will be able to explore more. Also, any cramped area that is too dark to see is easy to observe with such a tool.
Why You Need a Borescope in Your Home
You might have heard of borescopes and how various industries use them. But have you ever thought about whether you need such an item in your home? There are many applications for borescopes, and that is why it is often recommended to get one for home use, as well.
If you have read our most recent article, you already know a few things about borescopes in general. Now, we are going to tell you a few things about what uses you can find for one around the house.
What does a borescope do?
To start with what’s the most crucial aspect, let’s talk about what a borescope can do. Typically, such a device is used for inspection work. Whenever there are areas challenging to examine with the naked eye, a borescope comes in handy. As an optical instrument, a borescope comes in a few configurations.
Some have an eyepiece on the distal end and an objective lens on the other. Consider this system something very close to a monocular, with the difference that the image captured through the eyepiece is transmitted using the fiber optics the cable is made of, and not a lens system like it is the case for a monocular.
More sophisticated systems have a camera on the distal end, and they can take pictures and record videos, which are transmitted via a USB connection to a mobile device. They are quite popular, as they can be used extensively for inspection work and maintenance by a variety of industries.
They are a good idea for home use, as well. Some systems are rigid, others are semi-rigid, and others are flexible. Depending on where you need to reach with the help of the borescope, you can quickly discover which one is the best option for you.
For home use
While it is now clear to you why various industries can make great use of borescope, you may wonder how it is possible for you to take full advantage of such a device.
For starters, imagine all the DIY work you can perform with one. Let’s say that you have a problem with the water pipes, but reaching inside the walls will mean that you should either call a professional or start demolishing the wall to see where the leak is happening.
Of course, the latter recommendation is extreme and hardly practical. But the point is that, if you are handy with your hands and tools, you might discover that many problems can be solved without paying a plumber a hefty fee.
A borescope will help you reach inside the walls, and see where the damage took place. The same thing goes for electrical issues. Many times, the wires get damaged inside the wall, and it can be a real pain to discover where the malfunction occurred.
That said, you can make great use of a borescope if you have small repairs to make around the house. Also, you can run your own diagnostic for malfunctions in the water pipe system or the electrical system, and that alone can save you some money in the long run.
The main advantage of a borescope is that it offers anyone the possibility to run non-destructive inspection. For industries, as well as homeowners, such aspects are essential for the simple reason that they cut expenses.
You can establish whether the pipes or the electrical wires in your home are in good working order, thus ensuring maintenance work that can prevent some more significant issues later on.
Not to mention, you can use a borescope to inspect the engine of your car, in case it needs cleaning, or there are small issues that must be taken into consideration. You can examine any surface for signs of damage. The optical piece or the camera installed on the borescope can show you what you cannot see with the naked eye.
For car repairs, it can display an image of residue build-ups, or any small cracks, burns, scratches and so on that may appear on components. Any machinery you have at your disposal, and it would be a pain to take apart for maintenance work or repairs, can benefit from this type of non-destructive inspection.
But aren’t borescopes expensive?
That might be one of the first things to occur to you, now that you are convinced that you should get a borescope for home use. While in the past some models were quite costly, now there are some that sell for very low prices.
Since you don’t need a particularly sophisticated design, you can invest a little in a model that is, most probably, less costly than most of the tools you have in your garage.
Also, think about how much money you are going to save up in the long run as you use the borescope for home and auto repairs. That, in itself, should be an argument enough in favor of getting such a device, especially if you are a passionate DIY-er.
What should you focus on when shopping for a borescope?
There are inexpensive options on the market, so let’s talk a little about what features you should focus on. We would recommend getting a borescope that is easy to connect with a mobile device. This will offer you the possibility to see, directly on the screen of your phone or tablet, what the camera of the borescope sees.
In case you need to show the respective images to someone else, a repairman, or a friend for a second opinion, you can store the pics and the videos and share them with whoever you want.
You will notice that there is quite a debate on whether a rigid model, a semi-rigid, or a flexible model is better. We prefer the more flexible versions, as we think they can get to areas that are not easy to reach, and also we opt in favor of those with long cables, to expand the usability of the borescope. You never know what you might need it for, seeing how versatile its applications can be.
How to Use a Borescope to Repair Your Car
Repairing your car can be a difficult task, especially since there are so many hard-to-reach places inside the engine and not only. You can always have a mechanic take a look at your car, but that can end up costing more money than it should if the repair your car needs is minor and doesn’t require a professional hand.
You’re paying for more than just the repair work, as you also pay for having the situation diagnosed and for a professional to look at it. But now you can eliminate extra expenses by finding what’s wrong with your car on your own.
For minor repairs or only cleaning tasks, you can save up a pretty dollar. But how can you do that? The solution is simpler than you think: a borescope can reach when your hands and eyes can’t.
What’s a borescope?
From the first glance, you will realize that a borescope is quite a simple tool. The technology that’s not visible is complex, though, but by no means should that scare you off. A borescope is made from a long cable made with fiber-optic wires, and at one end it has a small camera, while at the other, a USB connection allows you to hook it up with a mobile device.
That last aspect, in itself, makes a borescope such a handy tool for auto repairs. The camera at the end will take pictures and even record videos, and will deliver everything to the screen of your phone or tablet. Even professionals use such devices for diagnosing car troubles, and now you can do the same.
What can a borescope be used for?
There are many parts of a car that cannot be inspected with the naked eye. For instance, fuel nozzles, tubing, cylinders, hydraulic parts, and valve seats can be checked using such a specific tool. While some things, such as some build up on the inside of the engine, may not seem like much, if they are overlooked, they can turn into more significant problems.
For proper car maintenance and small repairs or cleaning tasks you can perform in your garage, a borescope is a handy, if not indispensable tool. The defects that may lay dormant inside the car engine can cause a severe failure when you least expect it, which is why it is so important that you run occasional diagnostics on your car.
Even auto repair technicians use such tools
Typically, a mechanic would need to take the engine apart to figure out what’s wrong. Such techniques are invasive, time-consuming, and can also add up to the final costs of your repair. That is why investing in a borescope is an excellent idea.
There are very cheap models available that come equipped with everything you need in such a tool, but, if you choose to invest in a costlier model, know that you will cover that expense in no time by saving up money on professional repairs.
How correctly do you use a borescope for car repairs?
It is, actually, quite simple. Seeing that the borescope comes equipped with a long cable, all you have to do, after hooking up the tool with your phone or tablet, via the USB connection, is to stick the end with the camera inside the engine and start scouting around for problems. You can, this way, operate in the same way a doctor would use an android endoscope to diagnose a patient.
Make sure to take pictures, and record videos that you can later show to a mechanic so that you can speed up the repair process, in case the repairs needed are beyond your area of expertise. You will be more than pleased with how much you will be able to save in terms of auto repairs in the long run.
What are some aspects that your borescope should have?
First of all, make sure that the model you get has a pretty decent cable. While you don’t need a lot of length to reach inside the engine, it is a good idea to ensure that manipulating the cable will not be difficult. A model that has some kind of articulation in the cable also helps.
Seeing how you will have to steer the tip around and guide the camera toward the areas with problems, that’s the most critical aspect.
The probe needs to be resistant to water, oil, and diesel fuel, or to any other type of fuel you use for your car. You surely don’t want your borescope to become unusable from the first try. Don’t forget that the camera must have pretty strong illumination.
A LED system is usually placed around the camera to ensure that there is plenty of light to examine the area thoroughly. Seeing how the inside of an engine cannot receive light from outside sources, you should always consider a model with pretty good illumination.
The quality of the camera used is something to consider, too. Manufacturers offer the possibility to examine all the technical aspects when reading the descriptions they put at the clients’ disposal. The more accurate the pictures and videos you can record with the help of the borescope, the better. As automotive engines can have many hard-to-reach areas and small components, such traits will surely help you.
What applications can borescopes have?
If you decide to purchase a borescope to help you with diagnosing car problems, you will be pleased to learn that the same tool can be used for other practical stuff, as well. For instance, you can examine the plumbing in your home. Or you can use it in any cramped places where there’s an issue, like water infiltrations, without a problem.
All in all, a borescope is a pretty sound investment. Seeing how you can find many that are sold for low prices, there is nothing that should stand in the way between you and being able to save up some money on auto repairs and many other things.
How to Use a Borescope in Plumbing?
If you search the market, you can surely find a good borescope for iOS that will fit your needs. There are a lot of places a person can check without being able to access otherwise or objects that can be inspected without dismantling, so a borescope is definitely the next best thing.
What is a borescope?
A borescope is an optical device which allows the user to visually inspect areas that are hard or even impossible for the human eye to see directly. The unit includes an eyepiece at one end, a tube that can be rigid or flexible, and an objective lens or a camera at the other end.
The length of the tube, the diameter, and the functionality of borescopes depend on the industry and the applications they are intended for. To name some of the applications such a device can be used for we should mention aviation, sanitation, automotive, aerospace, weaponry, electronics, refining, law enforcement, and even power generation.
Of course, these are only a few, as the uses of such a device are many.
Types of borescopes
Since the applications are so many, so are the needs. Therefore, this tool needs to comply with certain conditions and environments. Rigid borescopes have been used since World War II in order to examine the interior bores of large guns.
This type is still used for gun barrels or borehole inspections. Rigid borescopes are ideal for straight-line access in order to inspect a specific target. To get a better idea, these borescopes are uncomplicated tubes looking like long and thin telescopes. They use a lens system to send images to a relay lens from the object that is viewed in real-time.
This is possible thanks to the eyepiece near the other end as well as an angled mirror that is pointed in the direction of the opening in the tube on the far end. Rigid scopes usually offer outstanding image quality, but they are limited to accessing only internal parts which can be examined in a direct, straight line.
Apart from gun barrels, these devices can also be used for small bores, small parts inspection, or straight pipes. However, they cannot be used for inspecting objects with irregular internal cavities.
Semi-rigid borescopes represent a step up from the rigid models because they are bendable and can be used in confined spaces which do not offer any room for articulation.
For this reason, they are also more forgiving as well as more durable than the rigid ones. Still, they are known to have poorer image quality which might discourage users who require high-resolution image viewing. A few of these semi-rigid scopes are also classified as fiberscopes that come in semi-rigid and articulating forms.
Fiberscopes arrived on the market with the development of fiber optics which are very thin strands of glass. Fiberscopes bundle together between 3.000 and 30.000 fiber strands; sometimes even more. Fiberscopes use these fibers to transmit the image from the lens closest to the targeted object through the bundle to a relay lens.
The captured image can be observed through the eyepiece or through a camera which displays the image on a monitor. These models are preferred over the rigid version because they are flexible and can reach places where straight-line access is not possible. Some fiberscopes are classified as semi-rigid, but there are also models with articulation.
The articulation in a borescope signifies that the distal two inches of the scope’s insertion tube can be pointed in any chosen direction using control knobs that are located at the proximal end. Articulation fiberscopes come closest to video borescopes when it comes to aptitude and quality. There are also some downsides to fiberscopes.
Many low-cost models use plastic fibers instead of glass. Also, the image quality varies a lot depending on the number of fibers. Another weakness of the fiberscopes is the fact that the image can suffer from pixelation in case any of the fiber strands breaks from overuse or rough articulation.
The worst thing is that once a strand starts to break, there is no repairing possible, so the entire unit needs to be replaced.
Videoscopes represent one of the most recent developments in inspection camera technology. They are very similar to fiberscopes in the sense that they are both non-articulating and articulating videoscopes.
There is a huge mechanical difference between fiberscopes and videoscopes due to the fact that the latter is equipped with a micro video camera and lights which are located at the far end of the insertion tube. The camera captures images and electronically transfers the video signal through the insertion tube to a video processor and a display.
Therefore, the resolution image quality is much higher, and there is no threat of pixelation, as it can happen in the case of fiberscopes. Due to the high-quality images and videos they deliver, videoscopes have become valuable tools in many commercial and industrial applications. They have become a must for repair and maintenance inspections.
Videoscopes are used in the visual examination of power plant equipment, boiler systems, structures, turbines, engines, industrial equipment, and even in law enforcement situations. Since the uses and domains are so diverse, so are the videoscopes.
They may vary in terms of articulation, portability, weight, image quality, visual display clarity, required power source, tube length, image and video capture capabilities, and even illumination. Common remote visual inspection applications require a portable and lightweight borescope which does not need a plug-in power source.
Other features users look for in a borescope are crystal clear images and videos, one-hand operation, as well as an ability to steer the camera. The costs for high-end video borescopes can vary from $8,000 to $50,000 depending on the manufacturer, specifications, and configuration options.
While these numbers may seem outrageous to some, the costs are not even close to the ones connected with equipment downtime due to the lack of preventive maintenance inspections.
Borescopes and plumbing
As we have mentioned earlier, there are a lot of applications borescopes are used for. If we are to talk about plumbing, you can imagine that there is no way to see within a pipe if you do not take it out creating a lot of mess and even destruction and cutting it into small pieces.
Naturally, that is not how plumbers fix clogged pipes or other issues. Instead, they use borescopes in order to remotely see what the problem is and how to fix it. Since pipes are not always in a straight line, and they are also joined at various points, a flexible borescope is the best choice.
In recent years, more and more plumbers started using videoscopes because it is more convenient. Also, we are talking about very dark spaces, so screen and light quality is paramount. Leaks in pipeworks can be a real nuisance, and they can create a lot of problems so it is very important to be able to determine and fix the issue as soon as possible.
The procedure is quite simple. The plumber inserts the tube with the camera in the drainage or pipe that goes all the way inside until the problem is discovered. Based on the nature of the issue, they can either use various tools to clean from the inside, or replace the pipe or the pipe segment, depending on the situation.
The importance of using a borescope
Regardless of the application it is used for, it is also very important to select the right type of borescope. These tools allow preventive visual inspections of objects and places that are otherwise impossible to access.
These examinations are extremely important because the money, labor, time, and resources needed to treat an issue are much higher than prevention. In many situations, routine maintenance examinations prevent horrible accidents from happening. An engine, for example, can be disassembled and investigated for possible issues.
However, it is much cheaper and far less time-consuming to leave it whole and use a borescope to check the inside and fix only the part that has problems. When it comes to humans, on the other hand, a doctor cannot cut inside a person to find out what his or her health problems are.
Instead, they use another type of borescope, known as an endoscope, to check the internal organs. Since we discussed about plumbing, you may very well imagine that a plumber cannot cut through the walls of a house to remove the whole plumbing system and investigate where the issue comes from.
Instead, a professional uses a borescope and remotely checks the system. When the issue is found, it can also be fixed with the minimum amount of destruction, not to mention mess.