The Best Oscilloscope for Hobbyists: A Comprehensive Guide

What is the best oscilloscope for hobbyists? What are the best quality oscilloscopes for people who are not professionals? After talking with an electrical engineer, we found that two brands make the best hobbyist oscilloscopes.

There are a few different types of oscilloscopes that you can choose from. Siglent and Rigol are two of the best options, and we chose Siglent as the winner and Rigol as the runner-up. However, there are other good brands available, such as TekPower. You can find a list of the top 10 best hobbyist oscilloscopes for electronics on our website.

An oscilloscope is an electrical device that can show the waveform of an electrical signal. This is useful for analyzing the quality and other characteristics of signals. Electrical and electronic engineers need oscilloscopes for various purposes, such as education, testing electrical circuits, checking signal distortion and quality in production, and many more applications.

When you are looking to buy an oscilloscope, there are some important factors to consider. The most critical parameters are the channel count, bandwidth, sampling rate, and rise time. You also need to think about the display, how you will interface with the oscilloscope, and how much memory it has. Finally, consider your budget and the brand you desire.

10 Best Oscilloscope For Hobbyist Reviews

1. Siglent Technologies SDS1052DL

The Siglent Technologies SDS1052DL is our top choice for a hobbyist oscilloscope. This device is known for its high performance, quality materials, and durability. The 7-inch TFT LCD color display is clean and clear, providing accurate results. The SDS1052DL is also a two-channel 50Mhz digital storage oscilloscope. You can store signals and use them later on USB drives.

Siglent SDS1052DL has a sampling rate of 500 MSa/s and a memory depth of 32 Kpts. This oscilloscope has a bandwidth range of 50MHz to 150MHz, perfect for any signal measurement or calculation. This oscilloscope can be used for multipurpose education training in college-university labs, electrical circuit function testing, industrial control and measuring, and factory product quality control.

If you’re seeking a long-lasting oscilloscope with excellent performance, we recommend the Siglent SDS1052DL. We tested it for 72 hours, and the results were great. Consumers who have used it are also very happy with it.

Siglent SDS1052DL is a low-budget brand that offers high-quality products. It is just as precise and lasts as long as more expensive brands. Some other high-quality brands are available, but they can be expensive and difficult to use.

Highlighted Features

  • 2 channels
  • 7 inch TFT LCD color display
  • 32 Kpts memory depth
  • 500 MSa/s sampling rate
  • 50MHz-150MHz bandwidth range
  • Playback function after recording
  • USB, LAN, USB host, pass/fail
  • Weight 7.72 pounds

The Siglent SDS1052DL is a perfect oscilloscope for education, professional, or industrial use. It is noted for its tenacity and toughness.

2. Rigol DS1054Z Digital Oscilloscopes

Here is another device maker that is popular for electrical and electronic products. Individuals frequently become perplexed about which brand to choose for their specific requirements. We have tested both brands and found that they are both of high quality and durable. However, Siglent is better suited for public demand due to its lower price point. At the same time, Rigol offers more features than Siglent.

The Rigol DS1054Z is a lightweight oscilloscope that only weighs 6.6 pounds. This is a little bit lighter than the Siglent SDS1052DL. The Rigol DS1054Z also has four channels, while the first choice has only two channels. The Rigol DS1054Z has a 7-inch ultra-vision technology display with 800×480 WVGA resolution, which provides a crystal clear image.

If we talk about high-quality, high-performance oscilloscopes, Rigol DS1054Z is a reasonable budget choice. Other brands of oscilloscopes may not be cheaper than Rigol, and they may not have the same quality. However, with Rigol, you get extra advantages such as various functionalities and high performance.

Siglent and Rigol have very similar performances. When we conducted a test, we discovered that this was true. Other oscilloscope brands do not perform as smoothly or produce results as accurately.

Highlighted Features

  • 50MHz bandwidth
  • 4 channels
  • 7 inches WVGA display
  • 12 Mpt memory
  • 1 GSa/s sampling rate
  • Weight 6.6 pounds
  • USB interface

This oscilloscope is very reliable and has four channels. It is a great value for your money.

3. Siglent Technologies SDS1202X-E

The Siglent SDS1202X-E is a smart, grey-colored oscilloscope perfect for your electronics job. Siglent is our top choice for oscilloscopes, and the SDS120X-E is our third choice because it is a little more expensive than our first option, but it has a bandwidth of 200MHz. This model has the same display as our previous Siglent oscilloscope, the SDS7102X-E, with a 7-inch TFT LCD with 800×480 resolutions and a 256 intensity grading color temperature display. This ensures accurate results.

This Siglent oscilloscope can sample up to 1GSa/s and 14Mpts recording length. It has 1M points FFT. This oscilloscope uses the latest generation SPO technology. This oscilloscope comes with a quick start instruction, two 200MHz passive probes, and one USB cable.

Like our previous Siglent SDS1202X-E, the new model is also capable of USB, LAN, and USB host interfacing. This allows you to save or store data for any project or future use. Other companies do not have this capability, but Siglent always tries to maintain quality products without breaking the bank.

Highlighted Features

  • Bandwidth 200MHz
  • 7 inches 800×480 TFT LCD display
  • Sampling rate up to 1GSa/s
  • Weight 5.51 pounds
  • Up to 14Mpts recording length
  • 1M points FFT
  • USB, LAN, USB host interface

This high-quality oscilloscope can be used to observe electrical and electronic signals for education, professional, and industrial purposes.

4. Rigol DS1102E Digital Oscilloscopes

The Rigol DS1102E can measure up to 100MHz with a maximum of 1GSa/s real-time sample rate. This digital oscilloscope is well-known and popular in the USA, and it is one of the best models available. It has 2 channels with one external trigger channel, which is excellent.

Rigol DS1102E is a white, stylish color benchtop oscilloscope that is ideal for educational institutes and industrial use. This device can be operated manually or remotely. The output data can be saved as a .bmp file, and the files can be saved as .xls or .txt files. The model provides 20 types of wave parameters that can be automatically measured. You can measure data by using the cursor on the screen of this oscilloscope.

This oscilloscope is durable and performs better than other oscilloscopes on the market. The cost is justified to those who have used it because it can be used for an extended period without generating any issues.

Highlighted Features

  • 100MHz bandwidth
  • 7 inches TFT color display
  • 2 channels
  • 20 types of wave parameters for auto measuring
  • Weight 6.6 pounds
  • 1 external trigger channel

One of the best oscilloscopes for the money is easy to navigate and highly durable.

5. Hantek DSO5072P

Hantek DSO5072P is one of the most popular oscilloscopes on the market. It outperforms Siglent and Rigol in terms of features and performance. One of its standout features is the carrying hand that comes with it, making it easier to move around. The device also has two channels and an extra triggering channel. The 7-inch TFT LCD color display provides a clear view of electric signals.

This oscilloscope is very lightweight, weighing only 4.59 pounds. It also has a 70MHz bandwidth and a 1GSa/s sampling rate, making it one of the market’s most efficient and high-performing oscilloscopes.

Highlighted Features

  • 7″ digital display 800×480 WVGA
  • 70MHz bandwidth
  • Sample rate 1GSa/s
  • Up to 40K record length
  • Weight 4.59 pounds

If you do not want to use a Rigol or Siglent oscilloscope, it is one of the best choices from our recommendations.

6. SainSmart Mini DSO203

This handheld pocket-size oscilloscope is from Sainsmart DSO203. It has a small, compact size that is perfect for hobbyists’ use at home or work. The device has a nano color display that shows signal data graphs and a touch sensor system. It provides auto measurement and various triggering options to control educational-related or experimental subjects.

The oscilloscope has two analog and two digital channels which can test signals from 10Hz to 1MHz. It is very lightweight, weighing only 100g, so you can take it wherever you need to watch the signal errors. It also has an internal memory of 8MB and USB disk storage and supports SD cards. It comes with a rechargeable lithium battery, ideal for beginner-level users. However, it is not suitable for more advanced-level experiments. Although this may be good for hobbyists, it only comes with one probe.

Highlighted Features

  • Pocket size four-channel digital storage oscilloscope
  • Two analogs and two digital channels
  • Nano screen 320*240 color display
  • Has touch sensor monitor
  • Internal memory 8MB USB disk
  • Test signal generator 10hz to 1Mhz
  • Weight 100g

Overall, this tool is handy for reaching out in any situation. It is small and easy to control by hand. It doesn’t have many functions, so it won’t irritate you.

7. Kuman DSO 138

The Kuman DSO 138 DIY kit is the best oscilloscope for hobbyists to use when generating test signals. The compact package includes a pre-soldered circuit and pre-programmed instructions, so you don’t have to program it yourself. Working with this device is fun and rewarding, and it’s also a challenging DIY kit in the world of oscilloscopes.

This is the best DIY kit you can find on the very cheap market. The function is perfect for beginner-level users. It has a colorful 2.4inch TFT as a display. The SMD is already attached to the board with a bandwidth of up to 200khz and a sampling rate of 1Msps. Configuration is very easy with step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow. It also only weighs 70g.

This DIY kit is best for beginners. Suppose you wish to perform more advanced work or are uncertain about the accuracy of the data. In that case, you should get a Siglent or Rigol product.

Highlighted Features

  • Pre-soldered circuits programmed
  • 4-inch TFT as display
  • Bandwidth 0-200khz
  • Sampling rate 1Msps max
  • Step by step instructions
  • Not highly sensitive
  • Weight 70g

This DIY kit is a great choice if you want a low-cost hobby. It doesn’t require any fancy designs or programming skills – you just need to be able to receive a signal.

8. Makerfocus DSO211

The Makerfocus DSO211 ARM nano small storage digital oscilloscope is a pocket-sized handheld instrument ideal for enthusiasts and educators. It operates at a sampling rate of 1MSas and has a bandwidth of 200Khz.

Each peripheral was developed with the user’s comfort in mind. The unit is equipped with a single analog channel and a single autonomous channel. Additionally, it has 8kpts of memory and is compatible with USB, SD, and flashcards. It’s simple to operate and quite quiet.

The oscilloscope comes with an easy-to-read handbook. It is lightweight, weighing only 65g. The output test signal is around 10Hz to 1Mhz in frequency. It is equipped with a 2.8-inch TFT color display.

Highlighted Features

  • Bandwidth power 200KHz
  • Sampling rate 1MSa/S
  • 8inch TFT color display
  • Output test signal 10Hz-1MHz
  • Clear and concise manual included
  • Weight 65g

Overall, an oscilloscope is a good tool if you’re a hobbyist. It’s easy to capture the waveform of a signal during a test.

9. Signstek DSO203

Singnstek’s DSO203 ARM digital oscilloscope is an excellent instrument. It features a corrosion-resistant aluminum enclosure to safeguard the gadget. This lightweight model weighs only 80g, making it the finest oscilloscope for hobbyists.

The oscilloscope is a safe choice that doesn’t damage any signals. It has 4,000 channels per storage, so you can use it on the job or take it with you when you travel. It also comes with a manual on an outdated mini-CD with small internal memory. Singnstek always provides updated devices compatible with any high-quality oscilloscope and experiments at home or workstation projects within minutes.

Highlighted Features

  • Durable aluminum housing to protect from corrosion
  • 4k channel per storage
  • Manual comes on outdated mini cd
  • Small two MB internal memory
  • Auto measurement
  • Weight 80g

The Signstek DSO203 ARM Pocket Portable Digital Oscilloscope is a good choice for hobbyists because it has a reasonable value compared to other devices.

10. Signstek ARM DSO211

Before we talk about the Signstek DSO203 model, we want to tell you about the Signstek portable mini nano ARM DSO211. This device also has many great features. One is the 2.8inch color TFT display which gives clear results. It also has internal memory storage of 8MB, and it is lightweight at only 2.4 ounces.

This is a great deal for a very good price. You get the latest updates and features. The oscilloscope is a handheld model that you can put in your pocket. It has a sample rate of 1MSas. This model has a large display screen that is good for simple waveform research.

The oscilloscope has two channels that can be used for different purposes. People say this model is a good choice for moderate purposes. It is not perfect for advanced-level experiments, but it can be used for educational projects. However, the battery only lasts for up to two hours.

Highlighted Features

  • 8inch color TFT display
  • Output test signal 10hz-1MHz
  • Button operations
  • Lightweight and pocket size
  • Internal memory 8MB USB flash disk

The compact package of handy tools is a great value. You can use it to check the signal quickly and easily, no matter how small the tool is.

11. Oscilloscope Multimeter, LIUMY Professional Handheld

This is a multimeter that is affordable and can save you time. It is equipped with current technology and can perform dual roles as an oscilloscope and a multimeter. However, it is not for sensitive or accurate electronics, so it is best for beginners.

This oscilloscope has a high sampling rate and high bandwidth. The waveform signal is 10KHz. It also comes with LED Backlight and a storage system to take notes even in the dark. The display screen is a 128*64 dot-matrix dimension. The oscilloscope has an automatic option to shut down or a continuous manual way. It is lightweight, only 1.5 pounds, making it portable when traveling or visiting onsite working stations.

Highlighted Features

  • Waveform signal 10KHz
  • 128*64 dot matrix
  • High sampling rate and bandwidth
  • LED backlight and storage
  • Automatic or manual shutdown option
  • Weight 1.5 pounds

In conclusion, a reasonable price is one of the best oscilloscopes for beginners.

Best Oscilloscope for Hobbyist Buying Considerations

Before purchasing an oscilloscope, you should consider its performance and durability. Additionally, you should choose the budget for it.

1. Channel:

Before buying an oscilloscope, make sure that it has enough channels. This is important because if you have many channels, you can take a lot of data simultaneously. If one channel has a problem, you can use another channel to check the data. Most oscilloscopes have two to four channels, but some have three channels- two main channels and one extra triggering channel. We included all the relevant oscilloscopes in our review that have enough channels for any kind of data measuring and monitoring.

2. Bandwidth:

Before buying an oscilloscope, it is important to think about the bandwidth. The higher the bandwidth, the more data the device can show. If you buy for home use, a low bandwidth will be enough. But if you need it for professional or industrial work, you will require high bandwidth.

3. Sampling rate:

The greater the sample rate, the more precise the data. When buying a mobile phone, always try to buy one with a high megapixel camera, as this will capture more data. It is necessary to compare oscilloscopes and choose one with a high sampling rate to get high-quality data.

4. Rise time:

A high-rise time oscilloscope will give you faster results and less error when collecting data. Buy an oscilloscope with a high rise time if you want accurate readings.

5. Display:

The most important factor for an oscilloscope is the display. You should ask yourself why you need an oscilloscope before you buy one. The answer is that you need it to collect data displayed on the monitor. Most famous brands have TFT color displays with a maximum screen size of 7 inches. Try to pick a model with high resolution and a large screen so that you can collect accurate data.

6. Interfacing:

If we talk about past oscilloscopes, they did not have an interfacing system. This meant that you could watch the data, but you couldn’t use it for future purposes. This was very frustrating. However, nowadays, most high-quality brands offer all kinds of interfacing options, such as USB, LAN, and USB host. This means that you can take the data that you need. Before buying an oscilloscope, make sure that it has a good interfacing system. Avoid that device and find one with this feature if it doesn’t.

7. Memory & Recording:

The latest oscilloscope can save data as a .jpg, .bmp file, or another format. If your oscilloscope has more memory, you can save more data before picking one. To check the memory status, go to the oscilloscope’s settings.

8. Weight:

The maximum weight an oscilloscope can have is too high. However, suppose you are looking for a quality brand. In that case, you will find that the oscilloscopes are much lighter in weight and also provide better performance. Our recommendations are Siglent and Rigol, both of which are very famous brands in the market. If you are looking for a pocket oscilloscope, don’t worry about the weight since they are designed to be lightweight and fit in your pocket.

9. Budget:

You should only buy a product if you can afford it. If you need a product for professional or industrial work, you will need a higher budget. If you are only looking for something for personal use or hobbies, a lower budget will be enough.

10. Brand:

There are many brands of oscilloscopes present on the market. After doing a lot of research, we found that Siglent and Rigol are the best brands for oscilloscopes. They are both very reliable and provide accurate results.

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Frequently Asked Question About Best Oscilloscope for Hobbyists

What Is a Hobbyist Oscilloscope?

The Owon XDS3104E is one of the best oscilloscopes for hobbyists. It has 4 channels and a 60MHz – 200MHz Bandwidth, 1GS/s sample rate. Furthermore, it offers 8-bit or 14-bit high-resolution ADX and a 40M record length max 70,000 wfms/s waveform refresh rate.

Are Cheap Oscilloscopes Worth It?

This oscilloscope is a good choice for beginners because it has a user-friendly interface and easy-to-use menus. The Hantek DSO5102P is also a great value because it offers many features for such a low price.

What Oscilloscope Do I Need?

You can use the “five times rule” to help you determine what you need. This rule determines how much power or attenuation your device needs. For example, if you want to use a 100 MHz oscilloscope, ensure that the input frequency is lower than 20 MHz to have better than 2% amplitude accuracy. When measuring digital signals, it’s important to focus on rising and fall time.

Are Tektronix Oscilloscopes Good?

The Tektronix TBS1052B Digital Oscilloscope is a great tool for measuring low power signals in hard-to-reach places. It has a limit testing feature that records any detection of signals on a pre-formed template. This oscilloscope also works well if you’re trying to catch a trend over time.

Do I Need a 200mhz Oscilloscope?

To measure a 50 MHz signal, you will want an oscilloscope with a minimum bandwidth of 200 MHz. This will ensure that you can see the signal without distortion by attenuation or filters. Still, it won’t add noise to your measurements.

Is a 50 Mhz Oscilloscope Good?

This bandwidth range is good for many different research and development applications and trouble-shooting. 50 MHz scopes are a good value for the purchase price because they are less expensive than other models.

How Do I Choose a Digital Oscilloscope?

To select an oscilloscope that will accurately capture the highest frequency of your signals, you’ll need to find one that has a wide bandwidth. Remember the ‘five times rule’—choose an oscilloscope and probe that provide at least five times the maximum signal bandwidth for more accurate measurements with fewer errors.

Why Use an Oscilloscope Instead of a Multimeter?

An oscilloscope can show you a signal that might be a problem for a system. This is important because it can help you fix the problem. Oscilloscopes can also show you complex signals.

What Can an Oscilloscope Do?

An oscilloscope is an instrument that graphically shows how electrical signals change over time. Engineers use oscilloscopes to measure voltage waves and see how the waves look. Oscilloscopes also help engineers quickly test, verify, and debug their circuit designs.