Which One is the Best?

Autel vs. LAUNCH vs. TOPDON vs. Snap-On

As you may notice, there are full of diagnostic scan tools on the market nowadays, from the cheap OBD2 units to mid-level clone / copy devices to the big boys (Autel, LAUNCH, TOPDON, Facr, Bosch, Snap-on, Gscan, Autocom, Autologic etc).

Today we will make an easy comparison between Autel vs. Launch vs. TOPDON vs. Snap-On.

Below is a short write up on each.

There are many pros and cons for many of the brands and models within those brands, but we always say important factors are:

  • How established is the brand? Are they growing as a company?
  • What are the main functions of the scanner & coverage (such as Read/Clear Faults, Service Functions, Coding, Flashing, Actuations etc.)
  • How do the updates work? For how long is it free? What are costs thereafter?

These are important factors to consider when making a large investment in a tool that you want to rely on in future. And make sure you not obligated to continue paying fees and aware of any penalties.


Autel was 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, Tire-changing equipment etc. They even hadn’t started developing Truck diagnostics until in recent years. 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 attention.

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 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 don’t 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).


This is a new and innovative company.

The brand name is a combination of two words, “TOP” and “DON”, conveying their passion and ingenuity to take “Dare to Be the TOP” to fruition.

Since 2015, they have served their R&D army to build an array of OBD2 scanners for diagnosing the computerized vehicles of today and tomorrow, while integrating unique and patented features.

With the technician’s desire for speed and ease of use in mind, TOPDON’s scanners are also strictly due to the OE-level abilities.

That is to say, the tools from TOPDON are not only fantastic for user friendliness, but meanwhile have the ability to program in the same concepts of the factory. As in, users are able to complete long coding of “most” modules in BMW and VAG vehicles, but not stuck with quick coding and bare minimal basic adaptations like using other brand’s scanners.

And they are all designed to diagnose each and every manufacture to the highest capabilities of, well, let’s use the term “generic” diagnostics.

They represent the very best of TOPDON quality, global expertise and years of dedication.


This is an American company and one of the most trusted and established brands in diagnostics, so the quality of the product is good, but unfortunately have taken the trust gained for granted.

The prices are generally over-priced for what you get.

The snap-on tools always come with a large price tag and forces users to continue with updates (otherwise unit shuts down).

You need to double check on update costs/penalties for not always keeping up-to-date before you put your hands on their tools.