Best Cheap Oscilloscope: Top 5 of 2020

Tired of wasting money on oscilloscopes that take up space and collect dust in your room? Fortunately, we have the solution for that. There are many high-quality cheap oscilloscopes on the market, you just need to know where to look.

A good oscilloscope provides fast and accurate readings, a long battery life, and has multiple channel modules.

A bad oscilloscope on the other hand will be difficult to use and is a complete waste of time and money (this is the kind of ‘cheap’ you want to avoid).

To help you separate the good from the bad – we’ve reviewed the Top 5 Cheap Oscilloscopes of 2020.

Buy with the confidence that you’re buying one of the best oscilloscopes available. Let’s jump straight into the reviews.

best overall rating
Rigol Digital Oscilloscope
  • Easy Controls
  • 50 MhZ Digital Oscilloscope
  • 30.000 wmfs/sec
premium choice rating
Tektronix Digital Oscilloscope
  • 2 Channels Modules
  • Multi-Language User Interface
  • Zoom function
great value rating
Hantek Digital Oscilloscope
  • Affordable
  • Zoom Function
  • 2.5k record length for all channels

Top 5 Best Cheap Oscilloscope

Rigol Digital Oscilloscope

Rigol DS1054Z Digital Oscilloscopes - Bandwidth: 50 MHz, Channels: 4
  • 50 MHz Digital Oscilloscope with 4 channels plus 24 Mpt memory and 1 GSa/sec sampling
  • The Number 1 Selling Oscilloscope 4 Years Running!
  • 4 Channels, 50 MHz Bandwidth

The Rigol Digital Oscilloscope is known for its compact size. Weighing in at 6.6 pounds, its lighter than other scopes competing against it. It ranked the best overall because of its ability to perform well but provide a simple enough interface for a beginner to get used to.

One of its main features is its four channels, which is already more than average oscilloscopes in the market. When in use, the values are shown through a 7-inch display, which is powered by ultra vision tech. This gives you enough visibility to see in virtually every condition.

This device does not have any distortion. Users call this a powerful machine because it’s strong enough to resist scratching. Due to this, it’s known for its high-level durability, which helps when you’re on the job.

The waveform capture is another impressive feature. It produces at 30.0 wfms/sec, which is the highest in its class in speed and efficiency. This powerful machine also has a USB Port, that you can insert through any flash drive.

When looking for your first oscilloscope, a high MHz rating is necessary. It will help you get the most data from the signals you’re analyzing, and more channels give you more room to investigate and explore.

Hobbyists will like the Rigol Digital Oscilloscope due to its built-in calibration function. So you won’t have any issues with the controls after turning it on. So think about getting this oscilloscope if you’re looking for high-end performance mixed with that user-friendly system that’s needed in today’s industry.

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What We Like
  • Easy Controls
  • 50 MhZ Digital Oscilloscope
  • 30.000 wmfs/sec
  • Memory max at 24 mpts
What We Don’t Like
  • The fan can be noisy

Tektronix Digital Oscilloscope

Sale
Tektronix TBS1102B Digital Storage Oscilloscope, 2 Channel, 100 MHz...
  • TBS1000 series digital storage oscilloscope for electronics applications such as product design and debugging, repair and servicing, and electrical engineering education
  • Maximum real-time sample rate of 2GS/s and record length of 2.5kpts per channel for acquiring detailed waveforms
  • Vertical sensitivity to 2mV per division for capturing low-level signals

Next on our list is the Tektronix TBS1102B Digital Storage Oscilloscope. It comes packed with advanced features, making it the premium choice on this list. One of these advanced features helps you with isolating signals of interest.

Once the device captures a signal, the advanced math that will speed up analysis. 16 Automated measurements help you calculate important characteristics such as the rise-time or frequency. And its Time Limit function helps you to identify odd issues within the signal. Because of this self-debugging process, its no wonder why it ranks ahead of its competition in performance.

Since it’s 4.9in, you can take it anywhere. It has an intuitive interface that includes an auto-ranging, auto-setup, and dedicated per-channel controls; as a result, its easy for apprentice electricians who are trying to get more diagnostics for their electrical usage.

The Tektronix TBS1102B Digital Storage Oscilloscope is known for its PC connectivity. You can easily save, analyze, capture, measurements by connecting the rear-panel USB port with a PC.

This connectivity allows you to pull waveform data and screen images on your computer’s desktop or via Microsoft Excel and Word. Alternatively, you can print out images to a PictBridge compatible printer giving you more options.

For its premium value, you’re also backed by a 5-year warranty. There have been issues with trying to input to change settings. Still, this is a high-end oscilloscope that can even view measurements 10x more with the Zoom option.

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What We Like
  • 2 Channels Modules
  • Multi-Language User Interface
  • Zoom function
  • Integrated Courseware Feature
What We Don’t Like
  • Difficulty with Auto-detecting

Hantek Digital Oscilloscope

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Hantek DSO4102C 2 Channel 100MHz Digital Oscilloscope with 1 Channel...
  • 2 Channel Digital Oscilloscope + Arbitrary/Function Waveform Generator + Synchronizing Signal + External Trigger
  • The Keys for osilloscope and waveform generator is seperated for convenient to operate it simultaneously;
  • Oscilloscope: 1GSa/s Sample Rate,100MHz Bandwidth, more than 20 kinds of auto measurement functions;

Third, on our list is the Hantek Digital Oscilloscope, which functions as a multimeter and an oscilloscope. The oscilloscope’s parameters are balanced in the channel mode. For the Dual Channel mode, it reaches a max speed of 35 MHz, making it one of the faster devices in its department.

The Hantek Digital Oscilloscope is perfect if you’re on a budget. For instance, it is comfortable, but it doesn’t have a rotating knob to help select menu parameters and control the signal trigger. However, users start to get used to its device’s push-button control, which ensures better mobility once its in use.

Software is needed if you want your oscilloscope to work well, and the DSO Analyzer helps you register measurement parameters with the assistance with a computer. Thus, giving you more accurate readings that you can share, save, and utilize when using this device.

Its memory depth is one thing that makes it superior to competing brands. The single band channel holds 32k memory, and 16k memory is for the dual-band channel. So you’ll have enough memory to keep multiple data sources within reach.

The Hantek Digital Oscilloscope has over 6 hours of battery power, making it great for daily use. Think that’s enough? It comes equipped with two channels with a 2GS sample rate through each of them. Thus, improving the accuracy of your readings, with the help of this oscilloscope.

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What We Like
  • Affordable
  • Zoom Function
  • 2.5k record length for all channels
  • 6 hour battery power
What We Don’t Like
  • No support response

Siglent Digital Oscilloscope

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

The Siglent Digital Oscilloscope comes with two channels and 200 MHz of bandwidth. It features multiple trigger mode options for signals such as SPI, CAN, and UART. So you have a lot of utility from this product.

It uses Phosphor Technology, which facilitates signal accuracy that’s displayed through its 7′ widescreen LCD Screen and low system noise. And it features an assortment of good trigger modes: edge, pulse, video, and there is more to choose from.

A power efficiency oscilloscope is a long-lasting one. And the Siglent Digital Oscilloscope uses 25W, which is lower than the average 50W scopes. This ensures that you’ll have it operating effectively while keeping your energy bills low.

For the advanced users who want something that’s mathematics-based, the Siglent Digital Oscilloscope is the right choice for you. It comes with mathematical operations such as signal multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. This also has an FFT function due to its hardware compressor.

One of its only issues is the complex interface. You will have to go through multiple button presses and clicks to receive specific measurements. For beginners, it’s going to take some time getting used to this oscilloscope, but most people can get the hang of it quickly.

However, there is one thing you might want to look out for. This device tends to have issues capturing frequencies under 199 kHz. Fortunately, it will continue to have a capture rate of 40,000 waveforms a second with its Zoom Measurement/Gate features.

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What We Like
  • Reduced Power Consumption
  • Serial decoding
  • Silent Oscilloscope Menus
What We Don’t Like
  • Limited to 2 Channels

Agilent Digital Oscilloscope

Last on our list is the Agilent Digital Oscilloscope. It has digital and analog use on display and helps isolate the cause and effect in longer, more complex circuits. It has 16 logic channels with 200 M/s on the 16 channels and the 400 M/s on the eight channels.

When in use, we would notice its accuracy. And it has 1 MB of memory scope per channel. This gives you enough data to create an image for the electric waves in the area.

It’s 5 auto-ranging functions can give flexibility in automated testing. Another interesting feature lies in its measurement capabilities. It can measure true RMS, AC/DC Current, 4-wire ohms, and DCV, making it a versatile oscilloscope for its price.

Due to the help of Mega Zoom Technology, users can capture long spans while keeping the high sample rate. This gives you enough power to see the measurements in fine detail, which helps with solving problems However, there are some issues with its accuracy at times. So think about getting this simple oscilloscope if you’re in need of a reliable oscilloscope with moderate features.

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What We Like
  • Keysight Mega Zoom Technology
  • 16 Logic Timing Channels
  • 200 MSa/s 1 MB of memory per scope channel
What We Don’t Like
  • Moderate accuracy

About Blake Sutton

Blake has worked as an electrician for over 10 years, receiving his Journeyman Electrician license in 1998. Looking to take his professional electrical career further, in 2008 he received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) from the University of Texas in Austin. Blake now works full time as an electrical engineer, specializing in power systems.