The Best Diagnostic Scanner? Autel vs Launch vs Bosch vs Autoboss vs Snap-On vs Fcar vs Gscan vs Autocom

The market is full of diagnostic scan tools, from the cheap OBD2 units to mid-level clone/copy devices to the big boys (Autel, Launch, Facr, Bosch, Snap-on, Gscan, Autocom, Autologic etc).

Below is a short write up on each. There are many pros and cons for many of the brands an models within those brands, but we always say important factors are:

  • How established is the brand? Are they growing as a company? – These are important factors to consider when making a large investment in a tool that you are wanting to rely on in future.
  • What are the main functions of the scanner & coverage (Read/Clear Faults, Service Functions, Coding, Flashing, Actuations etc)
  • How do the updates work? (for how long is it free? what are costs thereafter? Make sure you not obligated to continue paying fees and aware of any penalties)

Autel

  • They are a new and innovative company, Started in 2004 but have been growing by more than 100% each year. Their employees have nearly doubled from 2012 to 2016 which gives you a good indication of the quality and demand of the brand.
  • They Focus. They haven’t spread their wings to wide like other brands in terms of trying to provide diagnostics, lifting benches, Tyre-changing equipment etc.. They even haven’t started developing Truck diagnostics. They have made their core focus passenger vehicles and their goal is to master this field and become industry leaders in this field before branching out to other areas. We respect this.
  • Their pricing is perfectly balanced. They don’t price too low, which can often be an instant red flag in terms of low-quality product specifications or low-level functionality of the equipment. All of Autel’s products have high-end specifications backed by great software. Their pricing is middle range in the diagnostic tool market for a very high-end product.

Launch

  • Launch x431 was one of the first independent companies to release universal diagnostic tools in the 1990’s, they have always had a large market share with plenty of experience in the industry
  • One of the main reasons to why Launch x431 is so popular is that they are very well priced. In terms of value for money, you won’t find better.
  •  They dont just offer car diagnostic tools, but truck diagnostic software as well! They also offer a large range of garage equipment
  • The only negative statement we can make is, that their company seems to be slowing in growth when compared to Autel (Autel also have a higher standard of quality product generally)

Fcar

  • Focused on main truck diagnostics and both competitors (Autel & Launch) will admit that Fcar has always had better software for heavy-duty vehicles
  • Well priced

Snap-On

  • An American company, so the quality of the product is good, but the prices are generally over-priced for what you get.
  • Double check on update costs/penalties for not always keeping up-to-date, they have been a contentious point for some customers

Bosch

  • One of the most trusted and established brands in diagnostics, but unfortunately have taken the trust gained for granted. The KTS is not a bad tool, but has no coding functions, with a large price tag and forces users to continue with updates (otherwise unit shuts down).

Gscan

  • A good diagnostic scan tool with advanced functions, but normally pricey

Autocom

  • A good diagnostic scan tool with advanced functions, but normally pricey

Autologic

  • A good diagnostic scan tool with advanced functions, but normally pricey