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🥇 7 Best Oscilloscopes for Beginners Review To Buy | 2021

Whether you are an electronic engineer, hobbyist, beginner, or professional, having an oscilloscope is an excellent choice to have in your workplace. It is a beautiful and fundamental instrument that lets you keep a track of all electronics wherever you go. 

An oscilloscope is a device that analyzes or measures changes in an electrical signal to study the system’s behavior within the bandwidth limits. This device displays an electrical signal in consideration to time, to see every signal detail that is frequency, distortion, amplitude, and shape.

Now, selecting the best oscilloscope for hobbyist or any level scope can be slightly tricky as there are multiple manufacturers and technical parameters to consider. 

But you may relax as, by the end of this post, you will have with you a list of best oscilloscopes for Beginners along with a detailed buying guide.

Comparison Table for Best Oscilloscopes for Beginners

Oscilloscope ModelDisplay/ScreenChannelsBandwidthSampling RateCapture RateRecord lengthWeightDimensionsKey Features
Siglent SDS1104X-ETFT-LCD screen4100 MHz1 GSa/s100,000 wfm/s14 Mpts8.3 pounds10 x 17 x 15 inchesWi-Fi control, on-screen bode plot, math co-processor, history waveforms, gate and zoom measurement
Siglent Technologies SDS1202X-E 200mhz7 inches TFT-LCD 800 x 4802 channels200 MHz1 GSa/s400,000 frames/sec14 Mpts16.53 pounds10 x 15 x 17 inchesInnovative digital trigger system. waveform capture, grading display function, high frequency resolution
Rigol DS1054Z7 inches display screen4 Channels50 MHz1 GSa/s30,000 wfms/s14 Mpts6.60 pounds13 x 7 x 5 inchesAdvanced triggering, good construction, ultra-fast sampling, serial bus analysis
Hantek DSO5O72PLarge 7 inches display2 Channels70 MHz1 GSa/sUp to 40K8.82 poundsFour math functions including FFT, multiple automatic measurements, USB host, 
SainSmart DSO212 Pocket Size Portable Handheld Mini Oscilloscope – Best Mini Scope2.8 inches 320 x 240 TFT display1 analog and 1 internal1 MHz10 MSa/s10 MSa/s3.17 ounces3.9 x 2.2 x 0.4 inchesPortable and handheld, small buttons, thumbwheel, waveforms, 
Owon HDS1021M Series HDS Handheld Digital Storage3.5” color TFT-LCDSingle20 MHz100 MS/s100 MS/s6,000 points455 g180 x 115 x 40mmUSB interface cable, probe adjustment tools, set of test leads, probe adjustment cable, output terminal
Siglent Technologies SDS1052DL7” 8 x 18 color TFT-LCD displayTwo Channels50 MHz500MSa/s32Kpts for 1 channel7.36 pounds10 x 17 x 15 inchesEmbedded 12 languages, one key storing, one key printing, online help

Best 8 Oscilloscopes for Beginners Reviews


1.  Siglent SDS1104X-E 100Mhz Digital USB Oscilloscope 4 Channels – Best Features

Siglent SDS1104X-E 100Mhz Digital Oscilloscope

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Now, starting from the very first, we have this efficient oscilloscope by Siglent. It is a feature-rich device that makes real-time sampling fast and a hassle-free process. With its Gate and Zoom measurement functionality, the user can set an arbitrary interval of waveform statistics and data analysis. Hence, there is no chance of witnessing measurement errors.

It uses a hardware-based Pass/Fail functionality, performing 40,000 decisions in a second. You are able to define test templates and make suitable long-term signal monitoring or automatic product line testing. The robust math co-processor and FFT function supports multiple window functions to perform as per distinct spectrum measurement requirements.

The exclusive history function lets you playback the current triggered events into numerous memory segments with each segment storing timestamp and waveforms. Bus protocol information can be intuitively and quickly displayed in a table decoding through the events.

The Vari-level Mode precisely measures Power Supply Control Loop Response and it shows result lists and exports data to the USB disk. The new webserver functionality allows easy control from the simple webpage and wonderful remote troubleshooting and monitoring capabilities.

PROS

  • Responsive user interface
  • 14 divisions of the signal grid
  • Useful remote access features
  • Built-in web server updates fast and allow to view signals
  • 4 full feature vertical channels
  • External storage capability
  • Easy to use and reliable

CONS

  • It does not include an RTS
  • The cooling fan makes a tad noise

Verdict 

It does a good job overall with a little noise. It is loaded with a host of features, which makes it easy to carry out useful measurements. The screen is clear and big with color-coding. The 4 supplied probes are of premium quality and can be easily clipped into small spaces. It is a great choice for hobby users or others who require a cost-effective 4-channels oscilloscope.

Siglent SDS1104X-E 100Mhz digital oscilloscope 4 channels standard decoder
374 User Reviews
Siglent SDS1104X-E 100Mhz digital oscilloscope 4 channels standard decoder
  • 100Mhz, 4 channels, 1Gsa/use, 1Mpts fft
  • Standard decoder: iic, spi, uart/Rs232, can, lin
  • 16 digital channels (mso) (four channel series only, option)

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

2. Siglent Technologies SDS1202X-E 200mhz Digital Oscilloscope 2 Channels – Best Software and Specifications

Siglent Technologies SDS1202X-E 200mhz Digital Oscilloscope

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The next oscilloscope in our list is by Siglent Technologies again, which comes with 2 channels configuration. This oscilloscope comes in 200 MHz bandwidth offering a real-time sampling rate of up to 1 GSA/use. Based on the new generation Spo technology, it offers excellent performance and signal fidelity.

It allows an accurate measurement to 14 M points ensuring optimal accuracy of measurements in less time. It can control the USB AWG module and scan devices amplitude and phase-frequency response as well as display the data as a Bode Plot. Also, there is an exclusive vari-level mode to precisely monitor Power Supply Control Loop Response.

The new embedded web server lets users control the SDS1004X-E from a simple web page. This is great for remote monitoring and troubleshooting. With the PC and mobile style of a web page, it is possible to virtually manage the control panel.

Using this device, you can conveniently monitor user-defined test templates and make comparisons. The Large 7-inch TFT-LCD screen with 800 x 480 resolutions allows a clear view of the data.

PROS

  • low background noise
  • free serial decoding including SPI, IIC, CAN, UART, and LIN
  • Precise measurement and uses all 14 Mpts memory
  • Big 7-inch TFT LCD display with 800 x 400 resolution
  • Web browser control and on-screen Bode plot
  • Fast co-processor

CONS

  • Slightly tricky to set trigger position on the screen
  • Need to upgrade the software to get most of it

Verdict 

It is a capable and impressive unit with features like display persistence, color gradient, FTT, and others. Its superb build quality, robust software, and good specifications come with rich measurement facilities, USB Oscilloscope, Ethernet ports, and a lot more. The easy to use interface along with other premium capabilities makes it a five-star rating product.

Siglent Technologies SDS1202X-E 200 mhz Digital Oscilloscope 2 Channels, Grey
757 User Reviews
Siglent Technologies SDS1202X-E 200 mhz Digital Oscilloscope 2 Channels, Grey
  • 200 mhz bandwidth
  • Real-time sampling rate up to 1 gsa/use
  • IRecord length up to 14 Mpts

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Rigol DS1054Z Digital Oscilloscope – Best for Daily Use

Rigol DS1054Z Digital Oscilloscope

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With a 50 MHz analog bandwidth of 4 analog channels, this unit offers a maximum waveform capture rate of 30,000 wfms/s. The advanced triggering option of memory depth upgrade ensures you are able to perform all tasks efficiently.

The real-time waveform record and relay option of Serial Bus Analysis OptionFind out makes it one of the top-selling units around the world. The best thing about this unit is the number of features you get at a reliable price.

The solid construction of this equipment is well-complemented with innovative UltraVision technology that offers a deep memory depth. This is upgradable to 24 Mpts. Also, it lets you focus on a specific piece of a stored waveform.

The big 7 inches display with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels lets you have a clear view of every detail. Using it lets you gain better usability and more reliable analysis along with a fast sampling rate.

PROS

  • Excellent value for the price
  • Highly intuitive
  • Easy to use interface
  • Large and bright screen
  • Signal intensity setting feature
  • High memory and sample rate
  • Can be upgraded to multiple trigger modes
  • Incorporates tons of features

CONS

  • Make a high noise floor
  • FFT is not up to the mark
  • Triggers are finicky at times

Verdict 

Though this oscilloscope has some negatives, it still deserves a five-star rating because of its massive improvement than the previous versions. It comes at an affordable price and yet offers numerous features. It is a low-end solid design great for simple uses. It is perfect for home use, educational use, and other areas. This scope is highly powerful and great in most of the ways except it is slightly bigger, less portable, and yet priced less.

Rigol DS1054Z Digital Oscilloscopes - Bandwidth: 50 MHz, Channels: 4 Serial Decode Included
420 User Reviews
Rigol DS1054Z Digital Oscilloscopes - Bandwidth: 50 MHz, Channels: 4 Serial Decode Included
  • 50 MHz Digital Oscilloscope with 4 channels plus 24 Mpt memory and 1...
  • The Number 1 Selling Oscilloscope 4 Years Running!
  • 4 Channels, 50 MHz Bandwidth

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Hantek DSO5O72P Digital Oscilloscope – Best Budget

Hantek DSO5O72P Digital Oscilloscope

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If you are still unable to figure out a perfect oscilloscope, sure you must give it a try. This is a professional device within a hobbyist budget. For those who are already using a scope, they would find it very easy to switch to this one.

It meets all the specifications and is engineered well. The device has more features than other units available within this price range. The highly intuitive graphical user interface is easy to use and to ensure you don’t experience any problem, it comes with an easy to understand manual.

It is a multi-tester that allows getting real-time readouts of various measurements quickly such as Vp-p, max volts, mean volts, min volts, etc. The screen is absolutely bright, clear, and easy to comprehend. The various modes like acquire modes trigger modes, and others ensure you gain maximum usability.

By setting a width time you can trigger for larger pulses and smaller pulses. Makes it so much fast to measure with frequency, voltage, and other readouts. There is a special Auto mode for multiple signals. You can adjust the screen colors and channels as well as set the device to a 2nS time base.

PROS

  • 70 – 200 MHz bandwidths
  • Fast real-time sample rate
  • Large 7 inches display screen
  • Record length up to 40K
  • USB host and standard device connectivity
  • Numerous automatic measurements
  • Comes with a software for PC that allow real-time analysis

CONS

  • It is quite tricky to update the firmware.
  • You cannot save the file in PNG format.

Verdict 

It is an excellent digital scope, ideal for a hobbyist. Its functionality is quite similar to some expensive and reputed brands. It allows easy capturing of waveforms and comes with a probe that is good enough to perform all usual tasks. The screen is adjustable and the scope has lots of vents and a very quiet fan.

Hantek DSO5072P Digital Oscilloscope, 70 MHz Bandwidth, 1 GSa/s, 7.0' Display
256 User Reviews
Hantek DSO5072P Digital Oscilloscope, 70 MHz Bandwidth, 1 GSa/s, 7.0" Display
  • 70MHz bandwidths, dual channel, Real-Time Sample up to 1GSa/s;
  • US Plug
  • Four math functions, including FFTs standard;

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

5. SainSmart DSO212 Pocket Size Portable Handheld Mini Oscilloscope – Best Mini Scope

SainSmart DSO212 Pocket Size Portable Handheld Mini Oscilloscope

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When performance and portability are the two key features you want in your oscilloscope, then this device by SainSmart must be at the top in your list. Offering cutting-edge performance, it comes with a sharp and bright display screen that makes it easy to take readings from complicated, small electronics. The superb capabilities of this unit make it perfect for a range of applications.

It is a portable and lightweight unit weighing just 3.17 ounces. The compact size makes it a convenient fit to your pocket and allows you to take readings whenever you want and go. If you don’t want your oscilloscope to take too much space, this one will surely be a nice fit.

Delivering the maximum sample rate of 10 MSa/s and two digital channels, it is a great choice for those who want high usability. The features let you secure reliable results of waveforms, including sawtooth, square, sine, and triangle waveforms.

PROS

  • Powerful and simple to use
  • In-built signal generator
  • Horizontal and vertical precise measurements
  • 8MB storage space
  • Convenient to manage
  • 2.8 inches 320 x 240 bright color display
  • Compact and portable fits inside any pocket
  • Widely applicable for numerous applications like electronics maintenance, engineering, academic

CONS

  • The probe is functional but not solid.
  • It is slightly difficult to push the switch.
  • Difficult to read signals below -50db

Verdict

Using this device is absolutely simple as it comes in a straightforward design. All controls and buttons are placed on the front panel, making it comfortable to use it. The small buttons with thumbwheel design simplify the exterior making it a great solution for everyday use.

SainSmart DSO212 Pocket Size Portable Handheld Mini Digital Storage Oscilloscope
190 User Reviews
SainSmart DSO212 Pocket Size Portable Handheld Mini Digital Storage Oscilloscope
  • Powerful But Simple to Use: Built-in signal generator, it has modes of...
  • Easy Saving & Manage: Built-in 8 MB storage space, it makes saving and...
  • Color Display: The 2.8" 320*240 bright color TFT display presents any...

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

6. Owon HDS1021M Series HDS Handheld Digital Storage Oscilloscope – Best Handheld Oscilloscope

Owon HDS1021M Series HDS Handheld Digital Storage Oscilloscope

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The Owon scope is a great solution for those looking for a handheld electrical unit. Equipped with one channel, it offers a speed of 20 MHz. This handheld solution is ideal to view electrical signals with an auto-ranging and manual digital Multimeter for measuring DC and AC voltage to 400V.

It offers a maximum sample rate of 100MS/s and 6,000 points record length to acquire detailed waveforms. The 18 automatic measurements like frequency, period, and peak-to-peak allows in-depth analysis of waveforms. You can easily store up to 4 waveforms in the in-built memory.

Using its manual mode, you can select the operating range. The other mode is automatic that allows automatic selection of appropriate operating range. You also get access to the delta relative function that lets you measure a reference value and display subsequent measurements as negative or positive deviations from that value.

With its continuity buzzer, you are assured of the circuit conducting electricity. The diode check determines the functioning of the circuit. The other functionalities included are 17.5ns and multiple triggering features with a TFT color LCD screen that allow a clear view of measurements and waveforms.

PROS

  • The bright screen of high contrast
  • Accurate frequency displays
  • Battery-powered and compact
  • Excellent Multimeter function
  • Protected case cover
  • Nice lead set
  • lightweight

CONS

  • Weak customer support
  • The setup is tricky and takes time.
  • Slow screen response

Verdict

It is a lightweight scope that works very well. The test leads and probes offered are of high quality. It can be easily placed on the bench to carry on various functions. Being battery powered, you never have to worry about finding a power socket. The accurate display results, easy to read display, and host of rich functionalities make it one of the best handheld oscilloscopes for beginners.

Owon HDS1021M Series HDS Handheld Digital Storage Oscilloscope and Digital Multimeter, 20MHz, Single Channel, 100MS/s Sample Rate
55 User Reviews
Owon HDS1021M Series HDS Handheld Digital Storage Oscilloscope and Digital Multimeter, 20MHz, Single Channel, 100MS/s Sample Rate
  • Handheld unit combines a 20 MHz, single-channel digital oscilloscope for...
  • Oscilloscope's maximum real-time sample rate is 100 MS/s and record length...
  • Manual- and auto-ranging multimeter provides options for user control

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

7. Siglent Technologies SDS1052DL + 50MHZ Digital Storge – Best General Purpose Scope

Siglent Technologies SDS1052DL + 50MHZ Digital Storge

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The last oscilloscope in our list is by Silgent, which comes with standard features and is ideal for basic use. Designed with two channels, it offers a sampling speed of 50MHz.

This two-channel unit is ideal for electronic applications like repair, servicing, assembly lines, product design, and others. It offers a maximum real-time sample rate of 500MS/S and a record length of 32 Kpts for one channel.

The new high resolution screen makes it extremely convenient to read all data. The advanced triggers for isolation of particular signals coupled with other rich features make it an excellent solution to most of your requirements.

Built-in frequency counter, LAN and USB interfaces, automatic measurements, and zoom functionality, make it a great solution for applications like training and education, product quality control, electrical circuit function test, industrial measuring and control, and product quality control.

PROS

  • Normal memory of 2 Mpts
  • Pass/Fail Function
  • 5 parameters display
  • 32 kinds of auto measurements
  • Zoom function
  • High-resolution LCD display
  • Advanced triggers
  • Automatic and manual measurements

CONS

  • The cursor has to be adjusted again and again.
  • Basic PC software, but it works.

Verdict

It is an incredible device with many features for a low price. It serves all kinds of basic and specific applications and has all features like database, DC, AC, digital, and others. Decent build and handy weight makes it easy to carry. You can save both the measurement data and signal data onto a thumb drive. Go for it, if you want a great quality product within an affordable price bracket.

Siglent Technologies SDS1052DL+ 50 MHz Digital Storage Oscilloscope
101 User Reviews
Siglent Technologies SDS1052DL+ 50 MHz Digital Storage Oscilloscope
  • 50mhz, two-channel Digital oscilloscope for electronics applications such...

Last update on 2021-05-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pre Purchase Consideration | Best Oscilloscopes for Beginners Buying Guide

When selecting an oscilloscope there are multiple specifications and parameters to consider. You need to check some important factors beforehand through which you can buy the best oscilloscope.

1. Bandwidth

It is one of the most vital specifications for an oscilloscope. The bandwidth defines the frequency range that the oscilloscope can precisely measure. It is estimated in Hertz and for beginner’s scopes that are mainly in the MegaHertz region. The oscilloscope’s bandwidth must ideally be five times bigger than the signal’s maximum frequency to secure an accurate representation of the waveform.

2. Channel Numbers

The channel numbers of inputs are vital for an oscilloscope as it let you know the numbers of signals you can view and assess simultaneously. Usually, entry-level oscilloscopes have 2-4 channels.

3. Sample Rate

The other vital thing to consider is the sample rate, which is the number of samples the oscilloscope takes in a second. A higher sample rate means a greater resolution of the waveform. This delivers a more correct representation of faster signals or identification of sudden events.

4. Memory Depth

It is the volume of the oscilloscope’s memory to store signals. A higher memory depth means you can gather signals at the highest sample rate. It is an excellent feature and you must prefer picking a good size of memory depth. The memory of the oscilloscope is directly linked to its sample rate. The more you have, the higher you are able to maintain its sample rate as you can gather a longer time period.

5. Waveform Update

It is the time that the oscilloscope takes for updating the screen. It is a vital feature to consider for those who want quick estimation and do not want to spend much time on the screen.

6. Size

The oscilloscopes used in the lab are bench oscilloscopes. They are people who use this device for other diagnoses. For people who carry their devices here and there, the size is a great concern.

7. Cost

The other vital thing to consider is the cost. A cheap oscilloscope comes with limited features. Hence, make sure you spend enough money for the features you get such as extra channels, FFT, inbuilt wave generator, good bandwidth, and high memory depth.

These are some of the important features to consider. In addition to them, there are other aspects you must take into account to ensure you make a fruitful purchase.

  • Math functions like FFT.
  • User-friendly graphical interface
  • USB storing option
  • External triggering
  • Remote control functionality
  • Solid-body structure
  • Low noise level
  • EMI/EMC free reading
  • High-quality probes for reducing signal distortion

FAQs

Q1. Do I really require an oscilloscope?

A. Yes, you require one, if you care about electronics. It helps to know clearly about the circuit, which makes it easy to fix the problem. It is an important tool to understand electronics and understand it better

Q2. How much bandwidth is required?

A. To check the bandwidth, you need to multiply the highest frequency with 5. For instance, if the maximum frequency is 10MHz, the beginner oscilloscope must have a bandwidth of 50MHz. You can also use a scope with a higher bandwidth but this will cost you more money. It is important to note that a device with higher bandwidth may deliver high noise.

Q3. What is the minimum sample rate required?

A. The sampling rate must be twice the maximum frequency that you wish to measure. For instance, if the maximum frequency is 10MHz the scope must have a sample rate of 20MS/s. If you purchase a scope with a higher rate, it will cost more.

Q4. What accuracy and resolution are required?

A. An eight-bit resolution allows detecting the 0.4% signal change. It is useful for applications like noise, audio, vibration, and monitoring sensors and an eight-bit oscilloscope is often not suitable. In this case, you can consider 16 or 12-bit alternatives. An oscilloscope with higher resolution offers more accurate measurements.

Q5. What can an oscilloscope measure?

A. Oscilloscopes are useful for setting up to measure the voltage of an electrical signal, which is graphically represented by waveforms. You can simply press buttons to see the signal frequency of the signal you are trying to identify and other statistics like mean frequency and standard deviation.

Summing Up

All the above mentioned best oscilloscopes for beginners in our list are great and you will not be disappointed if you pick any of them. Make sure you consider not only the above-mentioned features but also the specific needs to select a device with the correct specifications.

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