Handheld oscilloscopes are essential measuring instruments that any electronic system designer or electrician cannot afford to lack. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional or a technician. You need this instrument to help you know if you have the appropriate signal in your design.
Electrical signals such as voltage and currents in any system are invisible. You need a handheld oscilloscope to display and analyze them to understand how the system works or to troubleshoot problems. The device makes it possible by plotting a graph of an instantaneous electrical signal as a function of time.
The bench oscilloscopes you find in electronic labs are heavy and practically not portable. Or, you don’t have the budget to buy such advanced equipment for simple DIY projects. That is where handheld oscilloscopes come in. These are highly portable and very affordable. Some of them even fit into the pocket. So, carrying them around is never a problem.
Looking for a handheld oscilloscope can be challenging because of the different brands and models on the market. Fortunately, you don’t have to struggle anymore because we have done the hard work for you. This article is a detailed review of the best handheld oscilloscopes in 2023. Read on for details!
Top 7 Best Handheld Oscilloscopes in 2023
Oscilloscopes are getting smaller and more portable than ever before. Some handheld oscilloscopes are as powerful as those in electronic labs and production lines. Here are our best picks you can consider if you are looking for a new oscilloscope:
1. Fluke 190-102/AM/S Handheld Oscilloscope [Best Overall]
Fluke 190-102 is a high-performance handheld oscilloscope mostly for professional use. It is the best choice for troubleshooting industrial electrical and electronic systems. You can also consider it for use in new designs.
This brand also comes in different models to choose from. But for this particular unit, you get 100 MHz bandwidth and a sampling rate of 1.25Gs/s. These are superior parameters compared with competitors. Besides, you can take your electrical signal measurements a notch higher with 5GS/s for 500MHz models.
Fluke 190-102 is a dual-channel oscilloscope that lets you display two signals simultaneously. It also features in-built memory that allows you to capture waveforms sample data for up to 48 hours. The unit also has a USB port for interfacing memory devices and personal computers.
- Extended operating hours of up to 4 hours
- Dual-channel handheld oscilloscope
- High bandwidth and sampling rate for more accurate signal display
- In-built memory for storing captured waveforms and live recording.
2. YEAPOOK ADS1013D Handheld Digital Tablet Oscilloscope
YEAPOOK ADS1013D oscilloscope is a 2-channel electrical signal measuring instrument that offers a detailed waveform on the screen. It boasts of high analog bandwidth of 100 MHz and a sampling rate of up to 1 GS/s. YEAPOOK ADS1013D relies on its 7-inch, high-resolution screen to clearly display waveform for easy viewing.
This YEAPOOK ADS1013D offers you many more features. These include three trigger modes. You can choose auto, normal, or single to help you capture instantaneous waveforms. You can operate even on high voltage power lines of up to 400V because of an in-built voltage protection module. This instrument also has a high internal storage capacity of 1 GB. That allows you to store up to 1,000 captured waveforms.
YEAPOOK ADS1013D is designed for seamless operation. Apart from its intuitive menu, it also features a Lissajous figures display and Fast Fourier Transform (FFT analysis function). You can use it to quickly determine the amplitude, frequency, and phase difference between two signals. Also, you can rely on it to analyze the harmonic components of the signal.
Lastly, YEAPOOK ADS1013D features a high-capacity lithium-ion battery rated 6000mAh. That gives you up to 4 hours of operation without recharging.
- High sampling rate
- Lightweight and ultra-thin
- In-built voltage protection module
- Full HD display screen
- Easy interfacing to memory devices and PCs
- Relatively expensive
- Warranty information is unavailable
3. Siglent SHS806 Handheld Oscilloscope
Siglent SHS806 Handheld is an ultra-portable oscilloscope for field engineers and highly mobile electricians. It is recommended if you have to work away from the lab.
Siglent SHS806 is a 2-channel oscilloscope with a bandwidth of 60 MHz and a sampling rate of 1 Gs/s. Additionally, it has a record length of 2Mpts to ensure you get an accurate waveform.
This oscilloscope is more than an electrical signal display device. It has four math functions, including FFT and automatic and cursor measurements. These allow for detailed analysis of waveforms to derive. You can operate edge, pulse, video, slope, and alternative triggers to isolate a specific waveform of interest.
Siglent SHS806 is an easy-to-use oscilloscope that does not require experience. If you are new to oscilloscopes, you can use its automatic triggering feature to identify signal patterns and optimize time base and magnitude settings. Additionally, you can use Siglent SHS806 to capture up to 18 hours of waveforms.
- Relatively high bandwidth and sampling rate
- High record length of 2Mpts
- Highly portable
- Dual-channel for simultaneous display of two signals
- In-built 6,000 count multimeter
- Short battery life
4. Hantek® DSO 8060 Handheld Portable Oscilloscope
Hantek® DSO 8060 is a highly versatile handheld oscilloscope that can perform four other functions. You can use it as a digital multimeter, spectrum analyzer, frequency converter, and arbitrary waveform generator. It offers the best value for money if you want these additional functions.
Hantek® DSO 8060 handheld portable oscilloscope is one of the best choices for production lines where you need to check the quality of products. It offers 60 MHz bandwidth and a real-time sampling rate of 250 Ms/s. This unit also features a TFT color LCD display screen, presenting detailed waves from sampled signals.
Additionally, Hantek® DSO 8060 is a dual-channel oscilloscope with two different Time Base in ALT trigger mode. That allows it to display two separate signals on the screen. You can also save or record the waveforms for future analysis.
- Multifunctional measuring instrument
- Dual-channel oscilloscope
- Highly compatible with PCs and memory devices
- One-year manufacturer warranty
- Records and saves up to 1,000 waveforms
- Relatively heavier than competitors
5. Hantek 2D42 Handheld Oscilloscope
Hantek 2D42 Handheld is the most cost-effective option for a portable oscilloscope you can consider. It is a 3-in-1 measuring instrument that you can use primarily as an oscilloscope. It also offers you signal generation and digital multimeter functions.
This handheld oscilloscope is easy to use and features relatively high parameters. You get 40 MHz bandwidth and a sample rate range of 250MSa/s. Despite its simplicity, the Hantek 2D42 Handheld Oscilloscope has high sensitivity and accuracy and displays detailed waveforms from sampled electrical signals.
Additional features on this unit include automatic measuring functions, key tone settings, adjustable backlight brightness, and auto power-off time. It also has cursor measurement, reference waveform, and waveform storage capability.
- Relatively affordable
- High sampling rate
- High battery capacity for extended use in the field
- Easy interfacing through USB type C port
- Impact-resistant unibody casing
- Self-calibration function
- Relatively small screen for displaying two signals at a time
- User manual not provided
6. OWON HDS242 Handheld Oscilloscope
OWON HDS242 oscilloscope is a 2-in-1 measuring instrument designed for mobile engineers in the field. It features a 2-channel oscilloscope with a bandwidth of 40 MHz and a sampling rate of 250Msa/s. You also get an in-built 20,000-count digital multimeter.
This oscilloscope delivers the best performance in its class. It has a maximum of 10,000 waveforms per second refresh rate. That ensures you capture all phenomena during signal observation and analysis. Despite its small screen, its high resolution and contrast make the displayed waveforms visible.
All in all, we can say that this OWON HDS242 oscilloscope is best for outdoor maintenance projects, quick on-site measurements, power detection, automobile diagnosis and maintenance, etc.
- Multipurpose measuring instrument
- Dual-channel oscilloscope with a high sampling rate
- Highly portable
- Relatively small display
7. Owon HDS1022M-N Series HDS-N Handheld Oscilloscope
Owon HDS1022M-N Series HDS-N oscilloscope comes last on our list, but that doesn’t mean it’s inferior. You still get 20 MHz bandwidth and a sampling rate of 100MSa/s from this measuring device. Its record length of 6,000 points per channel allows it to acquire detailed waveforms.
Owon HDS1022M-N Series HDS-N oscilloscope is easy to use, just like all other instruments on this list. This handheld oscilloscope meets the EN 61010-1:2001 safety standard and is approved for CAT II installations up to 400V.
This measuring instrument is ideal for electronic circuit debugging, design and manufacture, education and training, and automobile maintenance and testing.
- Has four waveform math operations, including FFT.
- Lissajous figure functionality
- Relatively affordable
- Automatic measurements
- Small display screen
- Sampling rate may be low for some applications
Buying Guide for The Best Handheld Oscilloscopes
There are different parameters you have to consider when looking for a handheld oscilloscope. Portability is the primary factor in this case but also check the following:
Any engineer or a technician looking for the best oscilloscope considers bandwidth a primary factor. It is a range of frequencies within which the instrument can still give accurate measurements. The unit is usually in MegaHertz. To find what will work for your application, multiply the frequency of the signals you intend to measure by five and use the result as the minimum bandwidth requirement.
2. Sample Rate
As the name suggests, it is the number of signal samples that an oscilloscope can capture per second. The higher the sample rate, the more detailed the waveform will be displayed on the screen. With a high sample rate, instantaneous signal changes and spikes can be detected and captured by an oscilloscope.
3. Memory Depth
Memory depth is an equally important feature of an oscilloscope if you have to store some waveforms for future analysis or reference. This parameter refers to the number of waveform samples an oscilloscope can store. It depends on the internal memory size or external memory device that can be interfaced with the oscilloscope.
4. Number of Channels
Most handheld oscilloscopes are dual-channel measuring instruments, but you can find 4-channel ones. These can display two separate signals for comparison. What you go for depends on the number of electrical signals you want to view and analyze at a go.
The last and equally vital parameter to consider is the cost. The handheld device you will buy depends on your budget. If you can afford the high-end products, go for them because they are more accurate and reliable. Otherwise, budget-friendly oscilloscopes are a better option.
That marks the end of our review of the best handheld oscilloscopes. So, which is the best product to buy and why? Your choice depends on the budget, but the following are our recommendations:
All in all, Fluke 190-102 handheld oscilloscope remains the best option. It is a high-performing measuring instrument from a reputable manufacturer. Additionally, it has high bandwidth, sampling rate, and memory depth. You can use it in many applications while still getting the best.
YEAPOOK ADS1013D oscilloscope is another good option if your budget allows it. It equally has high bandwidth, signal sampling rate, and memory depth. However, it stands out with its crystal clear 7-inch display screen and most useful waveform math functions. You get detailed waveforms for better analysis.
Like the previously recommended products, Siglent SHS806 Handheld Oscilloscope has relatively high bandwidth, sampling rate, and record length. It also boasts of portability and offers a digital multimeter mode for measuring voltage, current, frequency, power, and duty cycle of electrical signals.
Did you get the ideal handheld oscilloscope for the intended purpose? Refer to the buying guide above to make a more informed buying decision.