Borescope cameras have a lens that is designed to look down inside of things, usually with a light source. Modern borescopes are usually digital cameras at the end of a wire probe that is designed to fit into tight spaces in a controllable manner. These inspection cameras usually either connect to a mobile device where the picture is viewed or they are stand alone devices with their own screen and battery power.
Borescopes are simple, compact, flexible, portable, and easy to use. Moreover, the devices provide a high resolution view wherever they go and record photos and video. However, the absolute best advantage of a video borescope is the ability to diagnose problems without disassembly or destruction. Borescope inspection is perfect for looking inside of mechanical devices, cars, plumbing, electronics, crawl spaces, walls, HVAC, and more. They are ideal for conducting non-invasive inspections of small areas, like looking in the combustion chamber of an engine through the spark plug hole or the inside of a wall without damaging the drywall.
An endoscope is a type of borescope. Borescopes are meant to inspect objects, whereas endoscopes are usually considered a medical device used in surgeries. You wouldn’t use a borescope in place of an endoscope, and medical endoscopes are very expensive so you wouldn’t use them for basic mechanical inspections. However, the terms endoscope and borescope are sometimes used interchangeably so you will hear industrial endoscopes used as a term to describe an inspection camera for mechanical inspection.
The best borescope to purchase is the one that solves your problem for you the easiest and usually that starts with finding one that is compatible with your work environment. First ask if you need one to work with your mobile device or as a stand-alone unit with its own screen. If you want it to be compatible with a mobile device then you need to know if it’s compatible with Android or Apple devices and so on… Teslong makes a complete range of borescopes that are compatible with many different use scenarios.
Which borescope app you use really is determined by what device you are using. Teslong makes apps to use on iPhone and Android mobile devices. If you are using a USB borescope with a PC or Apple computer there are native apps included with those devices that work - they are essentially USB web cams. If you purchase a stand alone borescope you don’t need an app because it has its own monitor and memory.
The first Teslong borescope for consumers was brought to the market over five years ago so we have more experience and customer feedback to make the best borescopes available. We make a complete range of borescope inspection camera products including free-standing models, USB-connected and WiFi-connected devices with a camera app for your mobile device.
The side-view mirrors give the user a 90-degree side-view when inspecting inside gun barrels. Since they are so small, they are also delicate and can bend if, for instance, the borescope falls onto the ground. We provide extra mirrors because damaging or losing these small mirrors is a common occurrence.
Yes, you can find the 5-Mirror Set on our accessory page. Teslong borescopes usually come with a 0.20-inch diameter mirror to fit .22 caliber or larger barrels. While these mirrors will fit in larger barrels just fine they will have some slop and move around, which can affect focus and image quality. To get the best focus and see the largest area we offer the 5-Mirror Set designed to inspect .22, .243, .30, .38, and .40 caliber barrels.
A borescope can help to inspect guns before purchase, make sure the weapon is clean, identify areas of fouling in the barrel, check for defects, and inspect the insides of cases and other components. In addition, the camera provides crisp, clear, and up-close views inside of smaller items. Overall, a borescope can save you time, money, and energy as it cuts the workload down dramatically when it comes to cleaning and repairs.
Unlike medical endoscopes, borescopes can be extremely affordable and usually cost somewhere between $50 and $500. There are some exceptions that are specialized and cost upwards of 5 figures, but they aren’t common.
When choosing a borescope, consider the following factors:
What do you plan to use the borescope for? The application dictates what features you do and don’t need.
What is the average size of the opening you’ll be using the borescope in? If you don’t need a small borescope, then consider getting one that’s a little bigger. Larger diameter borescopes are usually more durable and somewhat stiffer so they hold their shape better.
How long do you need the probe to be? You can find borescopes of any length, so consider how long you need it to be. If you’re only going to be using it in a car engine, you don’t need a 30ft borescope!
Do you need an articulated borescope? An articulated borescope can bend at one or more places to give you more visibility and control.
Do you need a screen or do you want to use it with your smartphone or laptop?
What resolution do you need? The smaller and more detailed of an area you plan to inspect the more resolution you will probably want to have.
Do you need it to take images and video? All of Teslong’s borescopes record both photos and video, either natively to an SD card or through an App to your computer or mobile device.
Does it need to be waterproof? Most borescopes are hardwearing, but if you need it to be waterproof, make sure it’s rated. All of Teslong’s borescopes are IP67 waterproof.
What’s your budget? Borescopes can be extremely affordable, but if you need more sophisticated features, you’ll need a bigger budget.
Telsong’s camera probes typically are available with either a single-lens design, plus a right-angle mirror, or they are available with a dual-lens design. The single-lens-with-mirror probes are less expensive, and they are better for looking sideways at surfaces up close. Most commonly, this benefits Teslong’s gun borescope customers. If you use a dual-lens probe for this type of application the right-angle lens will actually be too close to the gun barrel surface and sharp focus will be impossible. This is why all of our gun borescopes use a single lens with a mirror instead of a dual lens. For most other applications, like looking down a spark plug hole into the combustion chamber of a car engine, the dual lens design typically works better and gives a wider field of view.
While it may be possible to rent a gun borescope, we do not offer that service and believe it is better to simply buy one. Our entry-level USB pistol borescopes start around $50 and will work with any Windows PC, Mac OSX computer, or Android mobile device - so they are not expensive to own.
Using a borescope is incredibly simple, provided you take the right steps so you get the results you’re looking for. Here are the steps you need to take to properly use a borescope:
Step 1: Know How To Operate
Make sure you test the borescope before you use it, simply by learning how to turn it on, use any articulation, and view it on the screen or your device of choice. Also check if it needs power, as the last thing you want is to run out of power before you have properly assessed any issues.
You’ll also need to prepare the site where you plan to use the borescope, as gunk and dirt can make reaching the problem area incredibly frustrating. If you can, clear the area before you use the borescope.
Step 2: Insert the probe & get it to the problem area
Once you know how to use the borescope and have prepared the site, you can insert the probe into the area and maneuver it to the problem area. The better you test the borescope before starting, the easier this will be. Watch the video display closely and go slowly. It can be tempting to look away from the screen but think of it like trying to learn to drive a stick-shift car. You want to look down to change gear when you’re learning, but you need to look ahead quickly to see oncoming traffic. Try to learn to maneuver based on what you see on the screen.
Step 3: Examine the problem
When you get to the problem, hold the borescope still and examine the problem. If necessary, take reference photos and/or video – whatever you need to move forward with your repairs.
Is a borescope worth it for me?
If you’re in a profession where you’re often dealing with issues that are just out of sight, or if you have a hobby or regularly take on DIY projects, then a borescope is almost certainly worth it. They’re inexpensive and can offer you a detailed look at problems you otherwise can only diagnose and fix unseen. This leaves room for error or even makes a problem worse. With a borescope, you can save time and look more professional. Basic borescopes are inexpensive and a fantastic tool to have in your kit. If you need to see in an inaccessible space, a borescope will be well worth it!
Borescopes are an essential piece of any avid DIYers or professionals’ toolkit, whether you work in residential or commercial settings. Our borescopes are reasonably priced and produce incredible results, so they’re always well worth the investment. To see our range of industrial borescopes, click here, and to see our range of borescopes for rifles, click here.