8 Best Bi-directional Scan Tools 2024

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Quick Recommendation:

Choosing the best bidirectional scanner can be challenging with so many options available. That’s why we’ve got you covered with this post.

Led by Eric Fugere, our testing team has rigorously evaluated 14 different bi-directional scanners, considering various budgets and purposes of use.

After two weeks of comprehensive testing, we have handpicked the top 8 bi-directional scan tools that fulfill all demands.

Testing Records

TesterOBD Solaris’s Testers
Testing dateOct 1st, 2023 – Oct 14th, 2023
Number of tested products14
Number of tested cars9

Best Bi-directional Scan Tools Comparison Chart

Active tests
Price RangeFeaturesRecommended forCheck Price
[Editor's Pick]


$300 - $500- 10+ service functions
- Throttle relearn
- Lifetime FREE updates
Home mechanicsAmazon
[Best Value]


$300 - $500- 25+ service functions
- Key Programming
Home mechanicsAncel.com
[Best cheap]


Under $300- 15+ service functions
- ECU Coding
- Key Programming
Home mechanicsAmazon


Under $300- 21+ service functions
- Throttle relearn
- Lifetime FREE updates
Home mechanicsAmazon
Editor's Pick
Autel MK808BT


$500 - $1000- 28+ service functions
- Key Programming
Launch X431 V PRO


$500 - $1000- 35+ service functions
- Topology Map
- ECU Coding
- Support heavy-duty trucks (+ HD module)
TOPDON Phoenix Lite 2


$500 - $1000- 28+ service functions
- ECU Coding


$500 - $1000- 38+ service functions
- ECU Coding
- Key Programming
- 3-year FREE updates

Best Bi-directional Scan Tools Review

#1. INNOVA 5610

The INNOVA 5610 is a pricier choice for home mechanics, and it stands out as the only scanner with a wired connection in this post. However, this is not a disadvantage because the INNOVA 5610 comes with a 6-foot cable, which is quite impressive for a scanner.

We must note that it has limitations when it comes to supported tests. It mainly focuses on active tests related to the powertrain module, the most essential part of one vehicle. We’ve tested around 10 actuation tests that are available like cooling fan, fuel pump, fan speed test, etc.

The tests work reliably, and the communication between the scanner and the vehicle is smooth. The vehicle responds immediately to each command.

Despite this limitation, we still recommend the INNOVA 5610 for a few good reasons. It’s fast, so it responds right away when you give it a task, and the connection to the vehicle is reliable. 

So, if you’re new to using scanners and want an option that can handle important tasks, the INNOVA 5610 is a good choice. It’s fast, easy to use, and has a reliable wired connection.

Today’s best INNOVA 5610 price:


#2. ANCEL X7

[5% Off coupon code: SOLARIS]

Our testers were pleasantly surprised by the ANCEL X7’s excellent build quality and modern design, especially considering its price point of under $500. The scanner surpassed our expectations in terms of durability. 

During actuation tests, the ANCEL X7 stood out with its extensive options for the PCM modules, offering more than 30 choices. Similar to the Autel MK808BT, the ANCEL X7 establishes a strong connection with the vehicle, ensuring an immediate response to the scanner’s commands. It offers full bidirectional functionality, although there may be some tests that are lacking for specific vehicles.

However, in general, it provides the most popular and commonly used tests for all vehicles.

Our testers were particularly impressed by the ANCEL X7’s impressive battery life. It lasted an entire workday with moderate use, which is a definite advantage. One aspect that disappointed us during testing was the lack of special functions offered by the ANCEL X7.

We only found a few commonly used ones like key programming and ABS bleeding. While these functions are reliable, we expected more from a professional scanner like this.

Today’s best ANCEL X7 price:


#3. Thinkdiag2

Let’s go for a more low-budget bidirectional scanner called Thinkdiag2, which is ideal for individuals who perform car repairs at home. When we downloaded the app and connected it to the scanner, we noticed that the app took up a lot of space on our phone (it used 1.75GB) compared to other diagnostic apps.

Despite this, we are impressed by the range of tests that the compact scanner can perform. While it may not offer complete testing for all car parts, it still provides us with control over essential components such as the turbocharger and EGR system, among others.

However, we occasionally encounter software issues that cause the app to malfunction. These connectivity problems occur only 3 to 4 times during our tests, typically after 1 to 2 hours of continuous use. Nevertheless, the scanning and response speed of the scanner are still good.

We are pleasantly surprised that the Thinkdiag2 can program keys, although it’s not compatible with every vehicle. This function works reliably for about 70% of the vehicles we tested and programming a key takes less than 3 minutes without any issues.

If you want a bidirectional scanner but don’t want to spend a lot of money, Thinkdiag2 is a good choice. 

Today’s best Thinkdiag2 price:


#3. XTOOL Anyscan A30M

The XTOOL A30M is a good option among home bidirectional scanners, even though it has fewer functions compared to the popular Thinkdiag2. We focused on its active test capabilities, and we were pleasantly surprised by the wide range of tests it could perform (like EVAP test, fuel pump, fuel injector, etc.).

One downside of the XTOOL A30M is its weaker Bluetooth connection, which slows down its performance. Full system scans typically took us 1-2 minutes, and there was a slight delay when loading and using bidirectional functions. However, considering its price, this performance is acceptable.

One standout feature of the XTOOL A30M is its cost-effectiveness, making it a great choice for budget-conscious home mechanics. It offers free lifetime updates, which saves a lot of money in the long run. Additionally, we found XTOOL’s customer service to be highly informative and helpful, surpassing our experiences with other brands.

In summary, while the XTOOL A30M has fewer functions compared to some competitors, its wide range of active tests, affordability, and excellent customer service make it a compelling choice for home mechanics.

Today’s best XTOOL Anyscan A30M price:


#5. Autel MK808BT Pro

If the two options above are out of your budget, then we have a slightly more affordable option called the Autel MK808BT. While it claims to be a full bidirectional scanner, it offers full active tests on most vehicles that we’ve tested. However, we did notice that a few uncommon cars may lack certain actuation tests, such as the fuel injector disable feature.

One impressive aspect we admire about the Autel MK808BT is its strong connection with every vehicle. During our tests, we haven’t encountered any issues with the connection becoming loose, even when we conducted tests outside the car. The scanner consistently responded immediately, which we found to be quite reliable.

We recommend the Autel MK808BT for DIYers who work on some cars, it supports a wide range of vehicles. So if you’re a family mechanic with a variety of vehicles to take care of, the Autel MK808BT is the best option for you. However, the battery is not ideal for heavy workloads as it drains by 30% only after 1 hour of use with moderate usage.

Today’s best Autel MK808BT price:


#6. Launch X431 V Pro

The best bidirectional scan tool that we’ve tested is the Launch X431 V Pro. First thing first, this tool offers full actuation test options on numerous systems. Unlike other scanners that claim full bi-directional control but fall short, the Launch X431 V Pro delivers on its promises. During our tests, the scanner performed flawlessly without any slowdowns, bugs, or connection problems. This makes it an ideal choice for garage professionals. We were particularly impressed by its quick and reliable connection to every vehicle we tested.

However, we expect the bi-directional function to be put on the main menu. We kind of hate going through 4-5 steps to do the actuation tests, quite inconvenient. Some more functions are hard to find as well, the seller must love to play hide and seek with users. Nevertheless, we appreciate the impressive battery life of the Launch X431 V Pro. Among our tests, this scanner lasted the longest, about half a test day handling heavy workloads.

In addition to its bidirectional capabilities, we also tested other functions of the Launch X431 V Pro. Alongside full system diagnostics and other service functions, we were particularly impressed by its ECU Coding feature. It provides a wide range of coding options, and the coding process itself takes only a few seconds.

The Launch X431 V Pro is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a professional bidirectional tool that can handle diagnostics and maintenance tasks on a wide range of vehicles.

Today’s best Launch X431 V Pro price:



The TOPDON Phoenix Lite 2, is similar to the Launch X431 V Pro in that it offers full bidirectional control and delivers on its claims. We particularly like the sleek and modern design of the TOPDON Phoenix Lite 2, which sets it apart. In terms of performance, this scanner is impressively fast, connecting to vehicles in a matter of seconds, even faster than the Launch X431 V Pro. The scan speed and actuation tests it performs are also quick and smooth. 

The Bluetooth connection is strong, allowing for a wireless bidirectional experience, even at a distance of 5 meters from the vehicle. Battery life is also excellent, lasting throughout the entire testing process with about 70% charge remaining after 3-4 hours of continuous use and multiple tasks.

However, it’s important to note that TOPDON cannot beat giant brands like Autel and Launch in terms of vehicle coverage, some functions may not be available for different vehicles, such as key programming functions that only worked on 75% of the vehicles we tested. Nevertheless, in terms of performance, we didn’t notice any major differences compared to the Launch X431 V Pro. Even the ECU Coding functions performed well, as we successfully tested numerous coding functions of the TOPDON Phoenix Lite 2 on different vehicles.

An additional standout feature of the TOPDON Phoenix Lite 2 is its Topology Map function. This impressive feature allows for a complete vehicle scan and generates a map in less than 2 minutes. Overall, we consider the TOPDON Phoenix Lite 2 to be a reliable option for professionals, although it has slightly less vehicle coverage compared to the Launch X431 V Pro.

Today’s best TOPDON PHOENIX Lite 2 price:



During our testing of the XTOOL D8BT scanner, we found that it worked better on newer vehicles (under 10 years old). We were impressed with its bidirectional function, which allows us to perform a variety of tests on different systems like PCM, TCM, Airbag, etc.

One impressive feature is its fast delivery of commands to the vehicles, even as fast as the professional scanners we’ve tested. There’s no noticeable delay or loading when selecting an actuation test. However, we did find it a bit difficult to navigate through the actuation tests. It took some time to find the specific test we were looking for.

The XTOOL D8BT also excels in battery life compared to other scanners under $600. It can handle the same range of tasks and tests without overheating issues or draining much battery. However, we did encounter a drawback with the Bluetooth connection. While the Bluetooth range is impressive, if the connection is lost, even for a second, the scanner automatically returns to the main menu, which can be frustrating.

Apart from its bidirectional capabilities, the XTOOL D8BT’s standout function is the Topology Map. It is the only scanner in our list that offers this advanced feature. Surprisingly, the scanning speed of this function exceeded our expectations, taking approximately 2 minutes to scan all systems.

Today’s best XTOOL D8BT price:


What’s Next

So this is the end of my review. Hope you can find a suitable bi-directional scanner through this post.

And I’d love to hear from you now:

  • Is there any product on my list suitable for you?
  • Is there anything I can improve in my review post?

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