Home » Code Readers & Scan Tools » Foxwell NT510 vs. NT520 Pro: Honest Review and Comparison

Foxwell NT510 vs. NT520 Pro: Honest Review and Comparison

Foxwell NT510 vs NT520 Pro, 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.

foxwell nt510 vs nt520 pro
The NT520 Pro has better coverage than the NT510.

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 Pro.

You may need a few more extra bucks (between 40 and 100, depending on the seller) for the latter.

The price variation is unsurprising seeing as the NT520 Pro is an upgraded version of the NT510. According to Foxwell, the NT520 Pro 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 and review.

Foxwell NT510 vs NT520 Pro Comparison Chart

foxwell nt520
FOXWELL NT520 Pro Professional Automotive Multi-System Scanner
foxwell nt510
FOXWELL NT510 Multi System Automotive Scanner
Customer Rating
33 / 5
4.14.1 / 5
Pricefoxwell nt520 pricefoxwell nt510 price
ProsCompatible 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.
ConsSupport a maximum of 5 vehicle brands only.
More expensive.
Not compatible with Mac Systems
Bottom LineWhile 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 NT510 vs NT520 Pro: 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.

But ultimately you need one that can meet your specific needs. And that’s why this review examines all the nitty-gritty details from what each box contains to their functionality.

Vehicle Compatibility: FOXWELL NT510 vs NT520 Pro

The NT520 Pro 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 from 1996 to 2016 vehicles. It won’t work on OBD1 as well as 2017 and newer vehicles.

Perhaps the only downside of the NT520 Pro is that each item can only support a maximum of 5 vehicle brands. That calls for more care when selecting the vehicles you need to be covered.

See the tables below for Software Included in each Version of Foxwell NT510 and NT520 Pro.

Important Notes: Each item (either NT510 or NT520 Pro) is delivered with 1 free package of the software which covers 5 car makes. You can add more software versions anytime you like (with an extra cost).

foxwell nt510 software versions
Vehicle Coverage of each Version of Foxwell NT510.
foxwell nt520 pro software versions
Software Versions of Foxwell NT520 Pro.

Foxwell NT520 Pro Compatibility:

foxwell nt520 review
FOXWELL NT520 PRO for BMW Diagnostic Reader
3.43.4 / 5
Each Foxwell NT520 PRO comes with a free software version which covers 5 car makes. Adding more software for more car makes is easy with an extra cost.

The package of NT520 doesn’t include an OBD1 connector, you may want to budget for that in case you want to do OBD1 scans.

Long story short, Foxwell has NT520 Pro scanners that are dedicated to specific vehicle brands. 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 Pro 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 Pro for that, and another one for Mazda and yet another one for Jeep.

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 Pro up to 5 different car brands.

Foxwell NT510’s Compatibility:

foxwell nt510
FOXWELL NT510 Automotive Scanner BMW OBD II Obd2 Code Reader
4.14.1 / 5
NT510 is a professional scan tool for enthusiasts, small garages, independent repairs, specialized garages and technicians by delivering OE-level diagnosis on all the electronic systems.

When you order a Foxwell NT510 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 Foxwell NT510 designed for BMW, Rolls Royce and Mini is compatible with OBD1 as well as OBD2 vehicles.

So is the NT510 made for Benz? 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.

Functionality: FOXWELL NT520 Pro vs NT510

Both scanners offer the same functionality. The difference comes down to compatibility. While the NT520 Pro 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.

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.

Foxwell NT520 Pro Functionality:

Foxwell NT520 is one of the best BMW scan tools that can diagnose Engine, Transmission, ABS, SRS, SAS .
Foxwell NT520 can diagnose Engine, Transmission, ABS, SRS, SAS
———

Foxwell NT520 Pro is 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 Pro 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.

And it also performs bi-directional tests. Those are functions that are usually found in high-end professional diagnostic tools.

Foxwell NT510’s Functionality:

Foxwell NT510 is also a multi-brands & system OBD2 scanner
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 Pro 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.

Design and Interface: FOXWELL NT520 Pro vs NT510

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.

The package: FOXWELL NT520 Pro vs NT510

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.

The NT510 comes with a CD software. Is that a plus? Absolutely not! People don’t use CD-ROMs anymore, you can always download the latest software updates directly from Foxwell’s website.

Recommendation

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.

Bonus: Best FOXWELL Scanners Review and Comparison 2019

4.2/5 (6 Reviews)
Tim MillerFounderOBD Advisor

I’m Tim Miller from Denver, Colorado. I’m the founder of obdadvisor.com, an automotive blog about "Diagnostic Tools and Auto Repair". My fan page is facebook.com/autozikcom. I've been working as an automotive mechanic and blogger for over 10 years writing articles to share my experiences and expertise.

Web: https://www.obdadvisor.comEmail: [email protected]
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