The 8 Best Wand Scanners
This wiki has been updated 11 times since it was first published in August of 2019. Whether you're an archivist looking to catalog images or a CPA handling tax returns on clients' premises, one of these wand scanners will serve you well. They're great for quickly creating digital backups of family photos or capturing high-resolution facsimiles of important documents, like birth certificates. We've ranked them by their ease of use, resolution, and build quality. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 24, 2020:
Improvements in digital technology are seeing these handheld scanners move to 1200 DPI as an industry standard. This along with Wi-Fi connectivity, multi-format conversions, and downloadable apps for Android and iOS are making them more versatile and easier to use.
We replaced the Adesso EZScan 300 with the improved Adesso EZScan 310, which now has a full-color screen, a high resolution of 1200 DPI, and allows images to be sent directly to your phone or tablet.
We also added the Home Zone Ezscan1000 which comes with a docking station that gives it an auto-feed function, however, both the wand and the dock require batteries which may discourage some users. The Iriscan Book 5, on the other hand, has a built-in rechargeable battery and plenty of options for transferring files, thanks to its Wi-Fi connectivity and a proprietary app.
September 05, 2019:
If you've ever run a flatbed scanner or copier without its lid in place and watched as the long, thin line of the optical relay slid beneath the glass, then you know more or less how a wand scanner works. With a wand, however, the relay is in your hand. In many ways, any of the features that could distinguish a flatbed model are used to differentiate among portable options, with added scrutiny on things like weight and battery life. That's because these things are meant to be taken with you, meant to be used in the field for scanning a variety of things.
Since the flatbed scanner places its optical relay on a track, and since human hands aren't quite as steady as their mechanical counterparts, wand scanners often require that their users move very slowly and very precisely to help create viable scans. If you have limited time with a document, that can mean you get home, transfer your files to a computer, and find that they're useless. That's why we gave so much priority the VuPoint model at number one, which features a reliable preview screen to ensure you get it right before you save and move on.
The other important factor that put the VuPoint model at number one, and along which lines you can almost draw a perfect arc through our list, is resolution, measured in dots per inch. The higher the DPI, the better an image can resolve, but also the larger the files it creates. That's why most of these products let you select from one of several resolutions, but with its top resolution reaching 1200 DPI, that VuPoint model proved unbeatable.