Rigid Borescope Versus Semi-Rigid Borescope?

Small diameter fiberscopes and borescopes may sometimes be referred to as "Rigid" or "Semi Rigid." This may cause confusion as to what the difference is between the two types of instruments and which one is most appropriate for your particular borescope inspection. Below is a compariosn of the features and adavantages of the two types of borescopes to help you best choose which one is right for your inspection.

Rigid borescopes Have the Following Characteristics:

  • Rigid stainless steel outer tube construction
  • Glass imaging system
  • Traditional eye-based usage / video optional

Advantages of Rigid Borescopes:

  • Glass image system offers highest resolution
  • Easy to operate
  • Have the best temperature resistance

Disadvantages of Rigid Borescopes:

  • Most fragile style of scope
  • Smallest range of product offerings
  • Limited customization capabilities

Types of Rigid Borescope Construction: 

Types of Rigid Borescopes

Rigid Borescope Image Quality:

Rigid Borescope Image Quality


Semi-Rigid Borescopes Have the Following Characteristics:

  • Stainless steel outer tube construction
  • Fiber optic imaging system
  • Eye-based usage / video optional


Advantages of Semi-Rigid Borescopes:

  • Most durable / forgiving
  • Easy to operate
  • Offer the widest range of customization
  • Usually the least expensive


Disadvantages of Semi-Rigid Borescopes:

  • Lowest image resolution

Semi-Rigid Borescope Design:

Semi Rigid Borescope

Semi-Rigid Borescope Image Quality:

Semi Rigid Borescope Image Quality