Choosing a Borescope

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Our common recommendation for making the best choice when buying a borescope is to think carefully about the specifications of a tool that you want to use, how much it costs, and in what spheres or areas you are going to use it. The specifications to look upon are:


Among the two types of borescopes (rigid and flexible) of the same quality, the advantages of the first ones are a higher quality of images and a lower price. If you encounter spaces, a rigid borescope can't penetrate, a flexible fiberscope is going to become your friend in need. Such borescopes possess the ability of remote control of the scope tip, which bends in up to four directions for your perfect imaging of a picture.

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No matter how small a hole is, a borescope you choose must not only fit it but also better be a little smaller, allowing you to see more by bending the tip. For the holes of different sizes and depths, the optimal thing for you is to use the borescopes of corresponding size and length.


If you take a longitudinal axis along the center of the body of a rigid borescope, or the tip of a flexible one, the angle of view from that center is your field of view. As for the direction of view, depending on the location of a subject to examine, you can use a different-angled borescope: if a subject is ahead of an entry hole – a 0° direction-of-view, a gun or a rifle barrel - a 90° Mirror Tube will be perfect. You can use a backward-looking 120° borescope to examine engines and such hard-to-reach areas like valves near spark plug hole. As for the field of view, the range of it can be very wide, wide, medium, or narrow. The field-of-view of the borescope is approximately 37°. The wider the field of view the lower the magnification, and vice versa. If you want to see all the sides of the cavity moving the tip and you need both the big and the close pictures – a 67° moderate wide-angle is your choice, you can try a 90° extreme wide-angle if you need to see the whole picture at a time. But if you can't reach close enough to the detail, a 30° telephoto might be required.


Using borescopes, you don't have to refocus often because of an almost unlimited reach. If you need to calculate the magnification, you will use the simple principle valid for both rigid and flexible borescopes: the closer the object to the lens, the greater the magnification.


To see in the dark of a cavity you need to examine, you must have some light in it. Back in the days, before 1960, hot and dangerous incandescent lamps were used placed at the working end of borescopes. Nowadays, some inexpensive borescopes still use bulbs for illumination, which can cause heating and contamination problems. And there are quality borescopes where fiber-optic illumination is used, in which glass fibers deliver light from an outer light source through a flexible light guide, then through the borescope to the working end. These technologies provide you with convenience and total safety while your work is being done.

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