handheld oscilloscopes

Top 4 Best Handheld Oscilloscopes under $144 (in 2024)

We all love small and low-cost handheld oscilloscopes. They are great for handy work and on-the-go geeks like myself. We reviewed all the offerings from Amazon and compiled a top 4 list given our over 50 years of accumulated experience here at Oscilloscope Pros.

Preview
Best Buy
FNIRSI DSO152 Oscilloscope - 2.8" TFT Handheld Digital...
Editors Choice
HANMATEK Handheld Digital Oscilloscope 50Mhz Bandwidth with...
Top Pick
HDS242 OWON Oscilloscope 2 in 1 2CH Digital Handheld...
Classic
Hantek 2C42 Handheld Oscilloscope Multimeter 2 in 1...
Title
FNIRSI DSO152 Oscilloscope - 2.8" TFT Handheld Digital...
HANMATEK Handheld Digital Oscilloscope 50Mhz Bandwidth with...
HDS242 OWON Oscilloscope 2 in 1 2CH Digital Handheld...
Hantek 2C42 Handheld Oscilloscope Multimeter 2 in 1...
Bandwidth
200KHZ
50MHZ
40MHZ
40MHz
Channels
1 channel
2 channels
2 channels
2 channels
Sampling Rate
2.5MS/S
250MS/S
250MS/S
250MS/S
Prime
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Best Buy
Preview
FNIRSI DSO152 Oscilloscope - 2.8" TFT Handheld Digital...
Title
FNIRSI DSO152 Oscilloscope - 2.8" TFT Handheld Digital...
Bandwidth
200KHZ
Channels
1 channel
Sampling Rate
2.5MS/S
Prime
Amazon Prime
Editors Choice
Preview
HANMATEK Handheld Digital Oscilloscope 50Mhz Bandwidth with...
Title
HANMATEK Handheld Digital Oscilloscope 50Mhz Bandwidth with...
Bandwidth
50MHZ
Channels
2 channels
Sampling Rate
250MS/S
Prime
Amazon Prime
Top Pick
Preview
HDS242 OWON Oscilloscope 2 in 1 2CH Digital Handheld...
Title
HDS242 OWON Oscilloscope 2 in 1 2CH Digital Handheld...
Bandwidth
40MHZ
Channels
2 channels
Sampling Rate
250MS/S
Prime
Amazon Prime
Classic
Preview
Hantek 2C42 Handheld Oscilloscope Multimeter 2 in 1...
Title
Hantek 2C42 Handheld Oscilloscope Multimeter 2 in 1...
Bandwidth
40MHz
Channels
2 channels
Sampling Rate
250MS/S
Prime
Amazon Prime

FNIRSI DSO152
Handheld Oscilloscope (200KHz)

FNIRSI DSO152 Oscilloscope

This little unit is power-packed with features at a price less than the cost of dinner. Works as intended. Super easy to use and has great value. Very accurate and a must-have for any homeowner, mechanic, or electronics hobbyist. The FNIRSI DSO152 is a solid choice and gets our Best Buy Award. Features include:

  • Bandwidth of a 200KHZ
  • 2.8-inch display
  • 2.5M samples per second
  • Trigger Functions
  • Comes with 10x probes

Pros

  • Cool one-key AUTO setting feature.
  • The internal signal generator is handy.
  • 1000mAh battery lasts 4 hours.
  • Operates while charging which is nice.

Cons

  • Single trigger function can be limiting and frustrating.
  • The screen resolution of 320×240 is not that high.
  • A little unintuitive with poor instructions.
  • Waveforms at high frequencies get funky.

The FNIRSI DSO152 is a great option for those in the maintenance industry or R&D education industry who need a portable and easy-to-use oscilloscope. Its fast sampling speed, efficient AUTO setting feature, and long battery life make it a reliable tool for daily testing needs. However, its single trigger function and limited screen resolution may not be ideal for more complex applications. Overall, I would recommend this product to anyone looking for an affordable and portable oscilloscope.

Hantek 2D42
Handheld Oscilloscope (40 MHz)

Hantek 2D42 Handheld Oscilloscope

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly handheld oscilloscope, the Hantek 2D42 is a great option. It’s a 3-in-1 multifunction tester that can be used as an oscilloscope, multimeter, and waveform generator. Features include:

  • Bandwidth of 40MHz with 2 channels
  • 10MV-10V Vertical resolution
  • 250M samples per second
  • 6K memory recording
  • Multifunction Digital Multimeter Functionality

Pros

  • Easy auto-measuring functions.
  • The digital multimeter function is a nice addition.
  • The Waveform generator is also very handy.
  • Battery lasts for many hours.

Cons

  • The LCD screen is a little on the dim side.
  • No AC millivolt range on DMM.
  • The user interface isn’t that great.
  • User manual only digital format.

Overall, the Hantek 2D42 is a great budget-friendly option for those who need a basic handheld oscilloscope. It’s nice as you get a FREE DMM with it. It’s perfect for hobbyists, students, and DIY electronics enthusiasts who don’t need advanced features. Note that this model also comes in other versions that have more bells and whistles.

HANMATEK HO52
Handheld Digital Oscilloscope (50MHz)

HANMATEK Handheld Digital Oscilloscope

If you’re looking for a compact and portable oscilloscope, the HANMATEK Handheld Digital Oscilloscope is a great choice. It has one of the best LCDs and all the features one would want including multimeter functionality. Features include:

  • Bandwidth of a 50MHz
  • 3.5-inch display
  • 250M samples per second
  • USB Charging and PC connectivity
  • 8K memory bank for sampling

Pros

  • Exceptional display.
  • Solid build and accurate electronics.
  • Built-in multimeter and signal generator.
  • Highest and most ranking on Amazon.

Cons

  • DC offset from the generator does not cancel when you turn off.
  • The self-calibration function could be improved.
  • A little unintuitive with poor instructions.
  • Slightly larger than a multimeter and noticeably heavier.

The HANMATEK Handheld Digital Oscilloscope is our Editor’s Choice selection for this category of handheld oscilloscopes. Price is right, many exceptional reviews and our internal use showed it’s hard not to fall in love with this beauty. Perfect for students, engineers, and scientists, machine repair, factories, and more.

OWON HDS242
Handheld Oscilloscope (40MHz)

HDS242 OWON Oscilloscope

The HDS242 OWON Oscilloscope is a great choice for anyone who needs a portable and versatile oscilloscope. The 2-in-1 function of the HDS242 OWON Oscilloscope, with a built-in multimeter, is very handy and practical for field use. The crisp and bright 3.5-inch color LCD screen shows a higher resolution larger character display, even in dim ambient light situations or outdoor environments.

  • Bandwidth of a 40MHz
  • 3.5-inch display
  • 250M samples per second
  • DMM functionality
  • 8K memory record length

Pros

  • Multi features, scope, and DMM.
  • Large bright LCD with high resolution.
  • Accurate against a Fluke 789 (voltage accuracy test).
  • Comes with a nice case that holds the accessories.

Cons

  • Button layout takes time to learn.
  • Firmware/operating systems can be buggy.
  • The BNC connector needs double-checking.
  • Multimeter functionality is not the fastest.

This little monster called the HDS242 OWON Oscilloscope is all-around our Top Pick since it is multipurpose and can be used for troubleshooting in various fields, such as automotive diagnostics, industrial equipment and sensors, school education, and more. will make the novice and pro very happy.

We hope you found this list helpful and we tried to showcase the Top 4 handheld oscilloscopes currently making waves in the marketplace. If you are looking for something even cheaper, the next category down is the oscilloscope kit market, where in fact, there are scopes less than $30.

In conclusion, if you need a portable and versatile oscilloscope for less than $144, then the HDS242 OWON Oscilloscope is our top choice. Also try checking for a PC USB Oscilloscope, which also has low-profile dimensions. If you are on a tighter budget, then we recommend the FNIRSI DSO152 Handheld Oscilloscope (200KHz). Also, don’t use these for automotive as we have compiled a specific list for those here.

What is a digital oscilloscope, and how does it work?

A digital oscilloscope is an electronic test instrument used to visualize and analyze electrical signals over time. It displays voltage waveforms on a screen, allowing engineers and technicians to measure and troubleshoot electronic circuits. Unlike analog oscilloscopes, digital oscilloscopes convert analog signals into digital data for processing and display. This enables features such as storage, signal analysis, and advanced triggering.

What are the key advantages of using a digital oscilloscope over an analog one?

Digital oscilloscopes offer several advantages, including better signal fidelity, higher measurement accuracy, and advanced features like waveform storage, signal analysis, and automatic measurements.

How do I choose the right digital oscilloscope for my needs?

Consider factors such as bandwidth (frequency range), sample rate, number of channels, memory depth, and display size. Determine whether you need basic waveform viewing or more advanced features like serial bus analysis, FFT analysis, or protocol decoding. Your budget and intended application will also influence your choice. Another factor is portability and one must choose between a benchtop or handheld oscilloscope.

What is the importance of bandwidth and sample rate in a digital oscilloscope?

Bandwidth and sample rate are critical specifications in digital oscilloscopes. Bandwidth defines the range of frequencies the oscilloscope can accurately measure, while sample rate determines how frequently it can capture data points. To accurately capture and analyze high-frequency signals, you need an oscilloscope with sufficient bandwidth and sample rate.

How can I effectively use triggering on a digital oscilloscope?

Triggering is a valuable feature in digital oscilloscopes that helps stabilize and capture specific events or portions of a signal. To use it effectively, set the trigger level, trigger type (edge, pulse, video, etc.), and trigger source (channel, external, etc.) according to your signal’s characteristics. Triggering ensures that the oscilloscope captures and displays the waveform exactly as needed for analysis, making it a crucial tool for troubleshooting and measurement.

After thorough research, the top 4 handheld oscilloscopes stand out for their reliability and versatility. The Siglent SHS806TC comes first, offering impressive performance and features for its price. Next is the Hantek 2D72, known for its compact design and multifunctionality, making it suitable for various applications. The Rigol DS1054Z follows closely, praised for its robust build quality and intuitive interface. Lastly, the Owon HDS1021M-N completes the list with its user-friendly design and affordability. Each of these handheld oscilloscopes provides excellent value and functionality, catering to the needs of both hobbyists and professionals alike.

Scroll to Top