What is the Difference between Borescope and Endoscope?

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Have you ever been in a need to examine, observe, or take a look into something hidden in the dark place or a crack, but because of the small dimensions that object was unreachable for the human eye?

When you cannot see, measure or even touch that desired place or object, you find yourself in a situation where a very small but precise light would solve all your problems.

These light sources do exist, they are greatly used in the examination, plumbing and any job which requires reaching something normally too dark and unreachable.

These sources of light are referred to as the borescope and the endoscope, and they both serve the same purpose but in a slightly different manner. So let’s see what exactly differs these two products.


What is a Borescope and an Endoscope?

As previously stated, they are unique products with the same purpose of allowing us to see dark and hard to reach places.

They resemble a regular cable with the small light source at the top, are very flexible and are able to move in all directions so that you could reach and observe in any crack or hole, no matter how small or dark it is.

Both products allow you to take look into a dark place, having a digital screen or being able to connect to your smartphone's screen.

They are mostly used in the plumbing area of expertise and in order to understand the difference, the best way to start is to first get to know what exactly determines each of the scopes.

Introducing the Borescope

The Borescope is the first kind of scopes used for observing unreachable places.

They are classical systems of optical lenses inside the hard density cable, which allows you to watch through it with your own eyes, with a very strong light for better vision.

Nowadays they are more upgraded, and many have digital screens or can be connected to a smartphone.

The cable itself is very thin, able to reach through a crack size of 6-8 mm, some specialized ones can even fit through a 2 mm hole. It can be used safely even on temperatures higher than 150 degrees Celsius.

They offer a package with a very strong LED light at the top.

Basic characteristics of an Endoscope

The Endoscope is a device used for optic examination of dark places, with a very flexible cable which can basically bend in any way you need.

It has an optic cable, with the camera on top and lighting properties which are also very good.

New modern kind, known as the video endoscope, can be used to record the desired area, watch it on the digital screen of the endoscope and even transfer the recording to the PC.

It also has the option to move the top of the cable with the camera in the desired direction, giving you a full 360-degree view.

The main features are a sharp image, big digital screen, movable camera and side view cameras which can move around 90 degrees.

The Difference Between Endoscope and Borescope

Now that we know the basic specifications of these devices, it is time to point out clearly the biggest differences between the two.

In order to do that, we will see what can each product offer us when it comes to some most important aspects:

Cable size – Where we mentioned how thick a borescope cable can be, the endoscope cable comes at the minimum size of 4 mm of thickness. Borescopes can be found in a slightly thicker choice of cables.

Length of the cable – Endoscopes really are required in short lengths, so it could get troublesome to find a shorter endoscope than the shorter borescope.

Optic abilities – Endoscopes have digital screen pads installed on which you can observe the field of view of your camera. Borescopes added this option later on, but still offers less quality image than the endoscopic camera.

The lighting properties – When it comes to the strength of the flashlight, the borescope offers more powerfull light abilities than the endoscope. Because of its purpose in the medical industry, considering that the human body requires a relatively weak light source for observation inside, we can state that endoscopic light is more dimmed, and boroscopes light can be much more powerful.

The direction of view – As for this aspect, the endoscope often has a limited built-in direction of 90-degree viewing, while borescope offer 120 degrees of sight.

Magnification and focus – Since boroscopes are designed to offer lower quality images according to the human eye, the endoscopic lens offers a much more focused and magnified view. In some cases, to the untrained eye, the boroscopes image may seem much worse than it really is.

Common usage of endoscope – While greatly used in medical purposes, endoscope can also be used for inspection of draining and pipe systems, navigating pipe ways and fixing deep cracks. Because of its flexibility, it can move through pipes in any direction.

Common usage of boroscope – Boroscopes are somewhat easier to control and use for untrained hands, they are perfect for home repairs and examination of the insides of metal without destruction and having to cut deep into it.  They are also good for inspecting tight spaces, in the car industry and inspection of large fixtures.

Conclusion: borescope vs endoscope

While they might seem like the same devices, now we have learned how to spot the difference, and more importantly, which one is the better solution for each problem.

Even though they look alike, and accomplishes some common purposes, one will always be more efficient than the other for specific situations. Now you have a clear view of how they are different.

Each has a unique set of abilities, and it always comes in handy to know all these aspects and then decide which one to use.