Foxwell NT520 vs Foxwell NT510, which one will serve you better? To some people that’s a raging debate; a justifiable one. These two OBD scanners have a lot in common and yet they have significant differences.
Both are entry-level to intermediate tools that cost under $300 in almost all shops. However, the NT510 typically costs slightly less than the NT520.
You may need a few more extra bucks (between 40 and 100, depending on the seller) for the latter.d
The price variation is unsurprising seeing as the NT520 is an upgraded version of the NT510. According to Foxwell, the NT520 comes with improved hardware.
But is that all or are there major functional differences to consider? What about their similarities?
All that and more is covered in this Foxwell NT520 vs Foxwell NT510 comparison review. But first here’s a comparison table to get the ball rolling.
Table of Contents
Foxwell NT520 vs Foxwell NT510 Comparison Chart
FOXWELL NT520 Pro Professional Automotive Multi-System Scanner
FOXWELL NT510 Multi System Automotive Scanner
|Customer Rating||(3 / 5)||(4.1 / 5)|
|Pros||Compatible with OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles;|
Can diagnose all electronic systems of a vehicle;
No major compatibility issues.
|Compatible with OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles;
Can diagnose all electronic systems of a vehicle.
|Cons||Support a maximum of 5 vehicle brands only.|
|Not compatible with Mac Systems|
|Bottom Line||While the NT520 offers all those functions for any vehicle brand whose software you have added, the NT510 might not do the same.||While the NT520 offers all those functions for any vehicle brand whose software you have added, the NT510 might not do the same.|
Foxwell NT520 vs Foxwell NT510: the Detailed Comparison
First things first, both of these diagnostic scanners are made by Foxwell.
The company has a solid reputation for making some of the best OBD scan tools. Meaning both are safe bets, provided the one you pick works on your vehicle.
When buying a scanner you need one that comes as a complete package.
Unless it’s a wireless adapter, make sure the box contains everything you need, ranging from connector cables to connectivity cables, user manual and even a carrying case.
Otherwise, you will be forced to purchase some things separately. Besides being an added expense, you may end up with incompatible or lower quality parts.
NT520: in addition to the scanner itself, the Foxwell NT520 box contains a 16-pin OBD adapter, USB cable, memory card, user manual and a carrying pouch. The only thing lacking is an OBD1 connector.
Yes, you may be able to do OBD1 diagnostics with this scanner on select vehicles!
Unfortunately, you don’t get an OBD1 cable, you have to purchase it separately. But if your vehicle is an OBD2 model then the package comes complete.
NT510: the contents of the Foxwell NT510 box are almost similar to those of the NT520. The only addition here is a CD software. While you can use this scanner for some OBD1 vehicles, it also doesn’t come with the OBD1 connector.
The Verdict: not much of a difference here. If you only want to do OBD2 diagnostics then both packages offer a complete kit. In case you want to add OBD1 diagnostics then you will have to buy the connector.
Design and Interface: FOXWELL NT510 VS NT520
The best entry-level and intermediate diagnostic scanners feature an ergonomic and pocket-size design.
It’s all for portability, and that’s a big consideration because you need a device that you can use anywhere, anytime.
If it can’t fit in your toolbox or driver’s compartment then it probably won’t help you when you’re stranded by the roadside in the middle of nowhere.
- Additionally, it should have an easy-to-use interface and clear-enough display screen.
Believe it or not, the fewer the buttons/keys the easier it will be to use the scanner. If it has hotkeys your work will be a whole lot easier.
Now back to the Foxwell NT520 vs Foxwell NT510 debate. Which one has the better design and/or interface?
NT520: first off, this scanner is impressively small. Its dimensions are about 6.5 x 3.5 x 8.5 inches and the weight is just under 1.8 pounds.
It is a compact device that can fit in a man or woman’s palm comfortably.
The NT520 has 10 buttons, four of which are for navigation (up/down/left/right). At the center of the navigation buttons is the “Enter” key for selecting an item.
Just above them, you have a “Help” button and “Back” button. They do exactly as they are labeled.
Above those two buttons are three more labeled “F1”, “F2” and “F3”. These are hotkeys – shortcuts to your most-used functions.
You can customize them as you please. In short, you can personalize this scanner as much as possible.
The full-color, 2.4˝ TFT screen fitted on the NT520 makes navigation a breeze. It’s definitely not the biggest display unit out there but it shows data with more than decent clarity.
NT510: in terms of design, the NT510 looks a whole lot like the NT520. They have the same number of buttons that perform the same functions.
In fact, the two scanners have almost equal dimensions and weight.
The NT510 measures about 8.0 x 1.5 x 4.0 inches and weighs just under 1.5 pounds.
That’s not a significant difference from the NT520’s dimensions and weight. But it boasts a slightly bigger TFT screen of 2.8˝.
There is also a noticeable difference in how the keys are organized. In the NT510 you have the three function keys (F1, F2 and F3) just below the screen, then they are followed by navigation buttons and at the very bottom are the “Back”, “Help” and “Enter” keys.
The Verdict: again, there’s no big difference here. Both scanners are palm-sized, well-constructed and have self-explanatory buttons for navigating their intuitive interfaces.
They both feature three hotkeys for creating shortcuts to critical functions.
So if your biggest concern is getting a scanner that is compact enough and easy to use then both of these earn a spot on your shopping list.
Vehicle Compatibility: FOXWELL NT510 VS NT520
Ideally, you want a scanner that can cover as many vehicles as possible. That way you will be able to run diagnostics on your own cars, your family’s and even your friends’.
Plus you never know when you will add a new make or model to your collection.
On to today’s topic: Foxwell NT520 vs Foxwell NT510, which one has better compatibility?
NT520: you can buy a universal or a brand-specific Foxwell NT520 diagnostic scanner. Either way, you will get a scanner that supports both OBD1 and OBD2 diagnostics.
As mentioned already, the kit doesn’t include an OBD1 connector, you may want to budget for that in case you want to do OBD1 scans.
While the universal scanner is meant to cover all vehicles, brand-specific NT520s only work on selected vehicle makes.
For instance, there is a Foxwell NT520 for BMW, Rolls Royce and Mini vehicles only.
There’s also one that covers Audis only. And if you drive a GM there’s an NT520 for that, and another one for Mazda and yet another one for Jeep.
Long story short, Foxwell has NT520 scanners that are dedicated to specific vehicle brands.
When doing your shopping make sure you choose the one that is compatible with your vehicle.
What if you choose one that doesn’t cover a vehicle you want to scan? Don’t worry, you can expand the coverage of an NT520 up to 5 different car brands.
NT510: there is no universal Foxwell NT510 scanner, only brand-specific ones.
When you order the scanner it will come loaded with software for a particular vehicle. The good news is that you can expand its coverage almost limitlessly by downloading diagnostic software from Foxwell’s website.
Whether your NT510 will cover both OBD1 and OBD2 vehicles depends on the original brand of vehicles it supports.
For example, the NT510 designed for BMW, Rolls Royce and Mini is compatible with OBD1 as well as OBD2 vehicles.
So is the NT510 made for Benzes. On the other hand the one made for GM cars only covers vehicles made from 1996 to 2016.
So it’s very important that you specify the vehicle you want your Foxwell NT510 to cover. And know that you can expand the coverage by adding more vehicle brands.
The Verdict: the NT520 has better coverage than the NT510.
Why? Simple, the latter is more limited than the former. For instance, if you buy the GM version you can only use it on 1996 to 2016 vehicles. It won’t work on OBD1 as well as 2017 and newer vehicles.
Perhaps the only downside of the NT520 is that it can only support a maximum of 5 vehicle brands. That calls for more care when selecting the vehicles you need to be covered.
Functionality: FOXWELL NT510 VS NT520
This is what matters most. The functionality of a scanner determines all the tasks you can perform. It basically dictates what you can and can’t do with the device.
If you pick one with limited functions it will obviously fall short at one point. Your ideal scan tool should offer all the basic functions you need. That way you will only visit the shop for advanced and complex diagnostics.
Before we get back to the Foxwell NT520 vs Foxwell NT510 comparison please note that Foxwell scanners usually require a software upgrade before use.
NT520: it’s an all-system scanner. With this, you will be able to access all available electronic systems and protocols. They include the body system, chassis and powertrain.
As far as basic diagnostics, the scanner reads and clears trouble codes and resets MIL or the Check Engine Light. Codes come with their definitions to help you understand exactly what is faulty in your vehicle.
The NT520 provides a ton of handful data. For starters it can retrieve the ECU information of a vehicle.
Additionally, it can display and record/save live sensor data as well as freeze frame data. In addition to text, you can view graphical data and merge or compare up to two graphs at a go.
When it comes to advanced diagnostics this scanner works just as impressively. You can use it for virtually any system, including the engine, SRS, ABS, transmission, EPB, TPMS, battery registration, oil service and DPF regeneration.
It supports resets, adaptations and coding of control modules. If you are a professional or DIY enthusiast you will love that it can perform key coding for all the common brands of vehicles.
NT510: the Foxwell NT510 offers practically the same functions as the NT520. Whether its basic diagnostics, advanced diagnostics or service functions, you will get virtually the same functionality.
So why choose the NT520 when the NT510 does all the same things but with a lower price tag? It boils down to compatibility.
With the NT520, simply adding the software of a vehicle brand unlocks all the advanced and service functions.
On the contrary, you can add the software of a vehicle to the NT510 and it may fail to perform some advanced and service functions on that vehicle.
For example, if you buy an NT510 made for BMWs, adding the GM software doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be able to perform bi-directional tests on GM vehicles. Sure, the software will be there but it will have limited functionality.
The Verdict: both scanners offer the same functionality. The difference comes down to compatibility. While the NT520 offers all those functions for any vehicle brand whose software you have added, the NT510 might not do the same.
To be on the safe side, only take an NT510 scanner that is made for your particular vehicle. Don’t buy one for other vehicle brands and rely on adding software to support your vehicle. It might not support all advanced and service functions.
While both are solid and reliable scanners, the Foxwell NT520 just has the edge over the NT510. Once you download a vehicle’s software you’re almost guaranteed it will work on that vehicle.
The same cannot be said about the NT510. To ensure that the latter is fully compatible you have to purchase a brand-specific version. Otherwise, there’s no guarantee that it will perform advanced functions.
In terms of functionality, there’s no difference between these two OBD scanners. You can do virtually the same things with each of them.