I know you stopped by looking for a great buy on a used oscilloscope, but before you contemplate buying used I want you to heavily consider buying a brand new, high quality oscilloscope. I know what you're thinking. I can't afford a brand new oscilloscope. I beg to differ. Check this out.
Right now you can buy this brand new oscilloscope for $372 and get FREE shipping! Why would you buy used? This is a 2 channel, 50Mhz bandwidth, USB storage scope that comes with 2 probes. Out of the box it has everything you need to start designing or troubleshooting your next project.
"I've never heard of Rigol. Is this a quality scope?"
Let me give you 60+ reasons to heavily consider this oscilloscope. Still wondering if it's a quality oscilloscope?
"Is this the only new oscilloscope to consider?"
Absolutely not! There are plenty of other brand new scopes to consider. Check out our page on Best Value New Oscilloscopes (coming soon).
Three Best Used O-scopes
If you must buy used, you might as well start with the big 3.
#1 - Tektronix Used Oscilloscopes
Most engineers would agree that Tektronix oscilloscopes are the best in the industry. There is no doubt that these scopes have captured a major market share over the years. Finding a good used Tektronix oscilloscope is pretty easy since they've been in business since 1946.
#2 - Used HP Oscilloscopes
Hewlett Packard and Agilent have been producing quality o-scopes for decades. With these two power houses teamed together you are guaranteed to get a quality piece of test equipment. These used oscilloscopes can be had for a couple hundred dollars.
#3 - Used Lecroy Oscilloscopes
Lecroy waverunner oscilloscopes are the cats meow. Lecroy boasted the world's fastest real-time oscilloscope in 2009 capable of 30Ghz bandwidth! Finding a used Lecroy oscilloscope can be difficult and they are quite expensive, but worth every cent.
Used Oscilloscope Buying Guide
Oscilloscopes, new or used, are extremely complex pieces of electronic equipment. Brand new oscilloscopes cost thousands of dollars and some cost as much as $50,000! These costs usually exceed the general public's and even small business budgets, which is why buying a used oscilloscope becomes so attractive.
All the oscilloscopes we recommend are available for sale on http://www.ebay.com. When buying any of these scopes be sure to do your homework and make sure the unit you are purchasing is in good working order and will meet the needs of your project. Here are several tips for buying used oscilloscopes safely on Ebay.
Rule 1: Only Buy Oscilloscopes Shown Working
The description provided should adequately describe the working order of the oscilloscope. Furthermore, it should provide pictures and or video of the scope actively measuring a signal. If the writeup doesn't include these details, move on. It's not worth asking the seller for additional info. There are just to many used scopes to choose from.
Rule 2: Set Your Expectations
Some of these oscilloscopes are 25 years old. They will be dinged up, scratched, and worn in. No matter how good of a write up and pictures are provided the unit will likely be in worse shape than you expected. You're not getting a brand new oscilloscope. It's not junk, but it's not new either. Set your expectations now for what you'll be bidding on.
Rule 3: Analog Oscilloscopes Are Obsolete
Like I said before, some of these scopes are 25 years old. You will not be able to contact these companies and expect to get parts or support for these "antiques" model o-scopes. Again, these scopes are not junk. They are just old, have been sitting around forever, not being used, so someone is offloading them. They were built to last which is why they are still shown in working order.
Rule 4: Digital Scopes are Unrepairable
Whether they are old or new, its really tough to fix these complex pieces of test equipment. The printed circuit boards are designed with surface mount parts, the monitors are costly, and generally these units can only be serviced by the manufacturer. It's actually easier to just buy another scope before trying to fix the one you have.
These guys are the big 3 in oscilloscopes. They've been doing it for years and make reliable and accurate oscilloscopes. Each of the pages of this site will make specific recommendations but buying one of these will likely save you a lot of heartburn down the road.
Whatever your reason for wanting to buy a used oscilloscope, you've come to the right place. We've done all the homework and have located the best prices. Check out the huge selection today!