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I'd love to get a borescope, but I've never used one. Should I try to find a place to rent one first (does such a place even exist?) or should I bite the bullet and buy one? What features should I be looking for?

Specifically, I want one to be able to examine inside walls in preparation for running wire, (i.e., Cat 6, coax, ROMEX).

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  • Here's a list of companies that rent them. Sorry, can't help you with the feature list. – Niall C. Nov 24 '10 at 13:59
  • If you live in the US you could check to see if Lowe's or Home Depot's rental departments have them (I don't know). – Paused until further notice. Nov 24 '10 at 22:34
  • Note that any future answers that are product recommendations will be removed per the community on topic policy. – BMitch Jan 16 '14 at 2:30
  • Highly recommend one. I don't use mine a lot (from HD), but when I do it's been invaluable. – SteveSh Jan 13 at 17:20
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This one has really good reviews on Amazon, for what it's worth. It comes with 3 attachments: a hook, a mirror, and a magnet, all of which sound like nice things to have. There are also extension cables available for going longer distances inside the wall (the included cable is 3 feet). Here's a pic: borescope

The price seems really reasonable at $160 (as of Nov. 2010). My guess is that if you went to rent one, you'd be limited to more commercial-grade models and that if you wanted to keep it for a few days you'd be looking at something close to that just in rental charges.

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  • I've seen this (or similar models) for around $100 on sale. It would be hard to justify paying for a rental unit at that price point. – James Van Huis Nov 24 '10 at 19:17
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Harbor Freight has one for US$159.99 (right now it's on sale for $119.99). It's in-store only, but here is the page on their site. I don't have any experience with it so I can't make a recommendation.

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http://www.usbfever.com/index_eproduct_view.php?products_id=965

$60 - plug it into a laptop - can take pictures

I never run wires without using this first

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  • $49 on Jan 16, 2014. Claims USB 1.1. – Les Jan 16 '14 at 13:41
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If you don't need a semi-rigid cable, Teslong makes an inexpensive USB borescope with a 50' cable ($28). I've used this with my laptop to examine my HVAC system, and it is apparently compatible with most smartphones (although I haven't had any luck finding a USB adapter that fits my Google Pixel).

Teslong 1200P 50' USB borescope

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