An oscilloscope is a must have tool to all engineers and electronic equipment servicers. It is used to monitor the signal voltages, to track their changes, their frequency, rising and etc. The first models were analog, but nowadays digital oscilloscopes are a priority. That’s why we prefer them. The best oscilloscope is hard to find, so we have explained to you, some of the features and requirements it should have.

Before everything, we will advise you to pay attention to when and where you are going to use your new oscilloscope. Is it going to be a professional workshop or a hood of your car? It is mandatory to know this fact, so you can easily choose compact or larger models. These devices are not exactly lightweight (unless compact models), so carrying it all day definitely isn’t an option.

Comparison

Product Rating Price
Rigol DS1054Z Digital Oscilloscope 4.7/5 $$$
Hantek DSO5072P Digital Oscilloscope 4.5/5 $$$
Siglent SDS1052DL Digital Storage Oscilloscope 4.7/5 $$$
Hantek HT6022BE20Mhz 6022be PC Based USB Digital Storage Oscilloscope 3.4/5 $
Signstek UNI-T UT81B Handheld LCD 4.4/5 $$

Bandwidth may be the main feature of an oscilloscope, so you will have to be careful when taking it into consideration. The main rule here is to get a model which supports 5 times higher bandwidth than the amount of frequency you are going to measure. This simply makes the oscilloscope more accurate and has a positive effect on the waveform. Models with this advantage are expensive, so making a compromise is probably something you will have to do. Looking for two sampling modes is important as well. Most models feature RTS (real-time sampling) and ETS (equivalent-time sampling). They are presented to you in ms per second or even better, gs per second. The more is always better in this case. Also, always look models with both modes. Those with just one are not an ideal choice. All oscilloscopes have memory, used to store the samples. Once the memory is full, a device will have to empty it and to start from the beginning, which will have a negative effect on your work. That’s why you should choose models with plenty of memory, or models which support memory extension. Note: This feature is commonly known as memory depth. The number of channels should be taken into consideration as well. Models with 4 analog and 16 digital channels are the best choice. They are also known as MSO or mixed-signal oscilloscope and they are the most popular models right now. More channels allow you to use a device for more, different and specific applications. 8-bit resolution is standard when it comes to most oscilloscopes, but it may be insufficient if you want to check audio or car signals. For applications of this kind, we recommend models with 16-bit resolution, simply because they can achieve 1% of accuracy, while 8-bit models can achieve up to 3%. In some cases, accuracy can be even 5%. We will add the fact that 12-bit oscilloscopes are a valuable choice as well. They are commonly used in the automotive industry and they are more than just sufficient. Below, you will see some of the best models available to you right now. The best oscilloscope is here, and it is ready for you.

Rigol DS1054Z Digital Oscilloscope

The Rigol DS1054Z is the best oscilloscope, you can find right now and it has been the best one on the market since 2015. It is compact, weight is only 6.6 pounds and it is highly practical. Most people use this model for remote applications and those which require transport. None of the essences of a great oscilloscope haven’t been compromised due to the compact case. That’s why this is still a high-end model, designed for people who want the ultimate results. The performances are perfectly balanced between those you must have and those you will actually need. The number of channels is 4, which we mention that is more than just enough. All values are shown on a 7-inch display that is based on the Ultra Vision technology. It offers impressive visibility in all conditions and it has no distortion. It is also a heavy-duty unit, resistant to scratches and lighter damages. Another fact that simply must be mentioned is the memory. As standard, this model comes with 12 Mpts, which is enough, but not much. Luckily for you, the manufacturer allows for the owners to expand it up to 24 Mpts with a license key. It is a simple step that requires a few seconds and actually has a huge effect on the entire oscilloscope. 50 MHz of bandwidth doesn’t look much, but it is ideal for most applications. According to a survey, conducted back in 2015, most users will be perfectly satisfied with this bandwidth. A far more interesting feature is the waveform capture rate. It is impressive 30.000 wmfs/second and it is one of the highest in the class. Rigol DS1054Z also comes with a USB port where users can insert their flash drive.

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight.
  • The waveform capture rate is 30.000 wmfs/second.
  • Value for money.
  • Extendable memory (from 12 up to 24 Mpts).
  • Display.
  • USB port.

Cons:

  • Resetting controls to default is time-consuming.
  • File saving takes up to 3 minutes.
  • In general, it may be complicated to use, unless you are proficient with oscilloscopes.

Hantek DSO5072P Digital Oscilloscope

It is perfect for carrying and usages on different, remote locations without losing any of the features nor the benefits a high-end oscilloscope should have. The Hantek DSO5072P Digital Oscilloscope is one of the most interesting models we have come across. It is different than most units you can find in the same price range and it literally has a lot to offer. Value for money is more than just impressive as well, meaning that for beginners, this may be the best oscilloscope. As you can see, it comes with a carrying handle that allows you easy-carry at any given moment. The weight is 7.7 pounds, so it is a lightweight model. Bandwidths are the peak of this device and probably the most important feature it has to offer. 70/100/200 MHz are supported, making this oscilloscope one of the best, at least when it comes to the feature in question. All bandwidths work perfectly and without an issue. There is no distortion nor anything else that may affect the accuracy. We will also add the fact that sample rate is in real time. Despite the fact some owners claim this is a suitable oscilloscope for beginners, we and several other experts believe it is perfectly suitable for professional and semi-professional applications. If you have a desire for a color display on your device, this model is once again suitable for you. It features 7 inches (standard size) color WVGA display with a decent resolution (800x480). It offers a high level of visibility and it can be used even when the sunlight is bright. We also liked the fact it has a protective layer and it is immune to the scratches or damages, another needed feature. Controls are easy to use and the user interface shares the same virtue. All of this means that anything you want to set on this oscilloscope takes less than a minute. Note: Some models are extremely complicated to use, so the last fact may be an important advantage.

Pros:

  • Color display (WVGA).
  • 70/100/200 MHz bandwidth.
  • Compact and easy to carry.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great controls.
  • 40K recording length.

Cons:

  • You may need the US or Euro power cable.
  • The rotary encoder is made from plastics.

Siglent SDS1052DL Digital Storage Oscilloscope

The Siglent SDS1052DL Digital Storage Oscilloscope is designed for numerous applications, such as servicing and repairing, usages on assembly lines and even for engineer education. It guarantees high accuracy and decent features. We liked his model, especially due to the functionality paired with the affordable price it has to offer. This is definitely a more professional model to choose from and it is highly recommended. The main features include 50MHz bandwidth and 2 channels. Thanks to it, you can use it for delicate and electronics with low voltages. The manufacturer also implemented a frequency counter, which can be used for all values between 10 and 50MHz. The LCD display will provide 8x18 grid divisions allowing you to get a better idea about each specific frequency and about additional details you are going to need. It is a heavy-duty, fast- response unit, which is highly appreciated. We liked it and we believe it is one of better units used in oscilloscopes. The sample rate (real-time) is 500MS/ channel, another reason why we advise you to pay attention to this model. This model may be made in China, but the company was founded back in 2002, and it is well- known for producing some of mid up to high-range oscilloscopes. It also meets the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standards: 14001:2004 and 9001:2000. In the package, you get 2 probes, instruction manual, USB cable, power cord, and a certificate of calibration. All of this is well-packed and based on high-quality components, meaning that not a single element of this oscilloscope has a poor quality. The bottom line is that you get an excellent device at affordable price. All owners have reported that they are very satisfied with the built quality and the performances this model has to offer. In addition, it is one of the most popular models in the United States right now and it has been measuring sale growth in the past 4 months.

Pros:

  • Impressive value for money.
  • Great built quality.
  • Modern design, paired with easy-to- use features.
  • Frequency counter.
  • Comes with a calibration certificate.

Cons:

  • Auto-setup mode has a few drawbacks.
  • Complicated manual.

Hantek HT6022BE20Mhz 6022be PC Based USB Digital Storage Oscilloscope

This is a bit different oscilloscope you can buy and it is one of the rare models that are PC based. What this means is that it requires a computer to show all the values and parameters. The installation CD is included in the package and setup is very simple. It literally takes just a few minutes. There are a few benefits models of this kind have to offer. They are very small and lightweight, which is the situation with the Hantek HT6022BE20Mhz. They are also more than just affordable and can cost significantly less than conventional oscilloscopes. Once again, a characteristic of a model here. Installation is possible on most operating systems such as Windows, 7, Vista, Windows XP and Windows NT. For Linux users, additional software is required. Because it will be connected to a PC or a laptop, the external power source isn’t required, allowing you to use this device literally anywhere. The manufacturer advises you that you should pay attention to the probe and the installation CD in the package. They are located in the protected compartment, so they are not visible when you open the package. Bandwidth is 20MHz and the accuracy is 3%. Maybe it doesn’t sound like much, but this is a standard value for models of this kind and it is more of an advantage than of a drawback. Keep in mind that this is an 8-bit oscilloscope, ideal for amateur, hobbies and semi-professional applications. As a beginners model, this is definitely the best oscilloscope you can find right now. The user interface is mostly controlled via the computer so it is much easier to use than most conventional oscilloscopes. Scope probes are included in the package as well and you even get a trimming tool. In essence, you get more than most beginners will need.

Pros:

  • The entire hardware is decent and offers a high level of quality.
  • It works on all PCs and computers with almost all operating systems.
  • You can use it with a tablet as well.
  • Accuracy is 3%, standard for conventional models as well.
  • Simple USB to use.

Cons:

  • USB cable is 1 meter long.
  • Some users may have to find the additional driver in order to install the software.
  • Trace colors cannot be modified.

Signstek UNI-T UT81B Handheld LCD Digital Scopemeter Oscilloscope Multimeter

As a millimeter, the Signstek UNI-T UT81B must be on the list. It is a sophisticated tool, designed especially for professional applications and to be used by professionals. It has a lot to offer and it is one of the most needed tools today. Why is it so important? First and foremost, you get scopemeter, oscilloscope and a multimeter in one device. It guarantees a high level of accuracy and it is packed in durable, heavy-duty case. It even comes with a bag and 3 probes, making it ideal for remote usages. With this model, you will be able to measure frequency, resistance, and capacitance anywhere and at any given moment you want. Automatic features are a real pleasure and they make this multimeter more advanced than equivalent models on the market today. It offers an automatic range, automatic off and automatic sleep mode. Additional features you will appreciate include continuous buzz and diode tests. A display is a separate feature that must be mentioned as well. It is LCD unit, with 160x160 resolution. It has a backlight and it will show full icons. Right now, it is one of the largest displays available in multimeters on the market, which is definitely an advantage. The memory supports 10 entries and all of them can be replaced at any given moment. The refresh rate is 2- 3 times per second, the overload protection is a standard and overcharging risk is completely eliminated. These are just some of the features this amazing multimeter has to offer. The package also includes test lead, USB cable, CD, manual and adapter.

Pros:

  • Rich in features.
  • The display is big and functional.
  • Automatic features.
  • Full icons.
  • 10 memory entries.
  • USB cable.
  • Carrying bag is included in the package.
  • Overload protection.

Cons:

  • Isn’t really affordable.
  • Slow update.

Conclusion

Are you still looking for the best oscilloscope? There is no need to look further, if you know that all, the best and the highest ranked models are here, on the list. They have been tested and check in several different situations, and all results we got are more than just satisfactory. No matter are you a professional or an amateur, if you are looking for a decent, high-quality oscilloscope, one of these models is the right choice. By using our tests and our advice, you will get the most suitable unit, without the risk of making a mistake and ending up with some entry- level tool! These 5 models are also highly rated by the current owners and all of them don’t have severe drawbacks. They are capable of serving you for many years to come and they will always meet your expectations. The bottom line is simple. These are the best models you can possibly find today, which suggests you are going to make a safe buy and get a tool you deserve. Unless you are a professional, we recommend you taking the entire guide and our recommendations before ordering a new oscilloscope. An interesting addition is the fact you will impress your friends with a great choice you are going to make, all by yourself, apparently.

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