Superheroes sometimes rely on technology for their special powers. As humans, that’s pretty much our only option. We mere mortals have heavy equipment to give us super strength, cars to give us super speed, and borescopes to give us “X-ray vision” (no aversion to kryptonite required). Klein Tools sent their ET20 wireless waterproof borescope inspection camera for us to check out. Just pair it to your smartphone with the free app and you’ll be peering into, under, behind, and around things just like a real metahuman!
Seeing The Unseen
With a borescope, you can finally see the un-seeable. Want to know how the kids managed to clog the bathroom sink? Snake your Klein ET20 waterproof camera down the drain and have a look-see. But remember the old saying that what is seen cannot be unseen! (And to make sure of that, the app lets you capture and save pictures and video then share them via text or email.)
Let’s Inspect Some Numbers And Stuff
* Connects via Wi-Fi to a smartphone up to 30 ft. away.
* Rechargeable lithium ion battery has a 5+ hour runtime with LED lights at full brightness.
* 9mm camera on a 6-foot waterproof armored gooseneck.
* Comes with a zippered storage bag, hook attachment, USB charging cable (you supply your own charger, any “regular” USB power source should work). A built-in rubber boot covers the USB port when not in use.
* 640×480 camera resolution. Can be switched to 320×240. (Images captured for this review are 640×480.)
* Frame rate defaults to 20fps but can be increased to 25fps.
* Maximum video recording time can be set between 15 seconds and 2 minutes (in 1-second increments).
* Free app (optimized for Apple iOS version 6 and higher and Android version 4.2 and higher).
The included hook attachment clips on tightly and stays put. But, when you put it on or take it off, it scratches the black finish on the aluminum camera head. I suppose if you need to fish a ring out of a drain, a wire through the ceiling or your keys from who-knows-where, you’ll just have to consider cosmetic wear to be the price of admission.
Klein Borescope App – See What The ET20 Sees
Some more expensive borescopes have a built-in LCD screen. The Klein ET20, however, displays on your smartphone. The Apple/Android app also lets you save, view and share pictures and video, rotate the image in 90° increments, adjust the LED brightness and more.
The borescope generates a Wi-Fi signal that quickly connects to your phone. Though you’ll often have to wait a little longer for the in-app battery level indicator and LED brightness controls to become active.
Klein ET20 – The Tool You Need When You Need It
Nothing makes you appreciate a borescope more than needing a borescope and not having one. The insides of pipes, HVAC ductwork, walls and other confined spaces can be very difficult – if not impossible – to inspect without one.
Klein ET20 Borescope – Not Boring At All!
All in all, the Klein ET20 is a good mid-range borescope at a fair price. The ability to rotate the image in-app sure beats fighting to spin the camera itself. The image quality isn’t exactly high def, but it’s fairly sharp on a cell phone screen and is perfectly fine for most applications. The unit is well built and rated to withstand a 3m (9.8 ft) fall.
The gooseneck can be extended horizontally nearly 3 feet before it starts to sag (not that you’d ever need that much unsupported reach), yet it’s plenty flexible and easy to shape as needed. As with most wireless borescopes, you’ll notice a little lag; but it’s not enough to matter in most situations.
Finally, the first charge takes around 7 hours, which feels like a long time. But you get over 5 hours of run time out of it, and that should get you through most work days. I’m really happy (and a little surprised) with the battery life. And with the Klein ET20 wireless borescope as a whole. I believe you will be as well. After all, you don’t have to be super-human to wield super powers.
Get your own Klein ET20 Wi-Fi borescope inspection camera for just under $90.