Ranking 53 Dobsonian Telescopes Aperture-wise

Everyone interested in visual astronomy, in our opinion, should own a Dobsonian. Dobsonians offer the best aperture for the money and, as a result, excel at visual observation, where the aperture is the determining factor of what you can see. Its mount is simple, but it is also very rigid. 8" Dobsonians, which cost around $600, are the best option for the majority of you. However, dobsonians, as a whole, aren't suitable for astrophotography.
Caution
Just about everything decent is out of stock due to COVID-related disruptions in production lines combined with high consumer demand. Unfortunately, if you want a scope, you may have to place a backorder and wait several weeks to months.
We'd also advise against purchasing larger-sized telescopes ($300+) from Amazon because you'll get better technical and post-sales support, product range, and deals from online telescope retailers, as well as better assurance that you'll get what you ordered. Most $300+ telescopes are shipped in two boxes (tube in one and base in the other), and Amazon (or some of its third-party vendors) is notorious in the astronomy community for occasionally shipping only one of the boxes. That said, we still love Amazon for everything else and would recommend it for accessories, lower-priced telescopes, and even $300+ telescopes if (and only if) the pricing or availability is appealing! In the United States, High Point Scientific, AgenaAstro, and Orion's Telescope.com are all reputable retailers with excellent shipping, refund, and financing options, and your experience will be comparable to that of your typical Amazon purchases.
3"
4"
4.5"
5"
6"
8"
10"
12"

3" (76mm) Tabletop Dobsonians

All of the 3″ tabletop Dobsonians feature spherical primary mirrors and less-than-ideal accessories. While fun gifts, they’re admittedly well short of providing decent performance or image quality.
Best Value
Celestron Cometron Firstscope Tabletop Dobsonian
Rank 1
3.9/5
While not particularly useful overall, the Cometron Firstscope offers a super-cheap introduction to the world of astronomy and telescopes in a diminutive package. In terms of overall usefulness, the Cometron FirstScope is similar to the other FirstScopes and the Orion Funscope, with largely the same optics and accessories, but unlike the Funscope, it uses an optical red dot finder rather than a battery-powered red dot finder. This may make the scope a little more inconvenient to use, but reduces the cost by a small amount.
Rank 2
3.7/5
It’s not a serious observing tool by any means, but the FunScope comes with quality accessories and handles similarly to a much larger instrument. This is more expensive than the Cometron FirstScope and other FirstScopes due to the addition of better accessories.
National Park Foundation FirstScope Tabletop Dobsonian
Rank 3
3.5/5
The National Park Foundation FirstScope is the same basic telescope kit as the Cometron and Funscope 76mm tabletop telescopes, but lacks any finder at all - instead simply being aimed by sighting down the tube.
Rank 4
3.4/5
The basic bare-bones FirstScope will work okay, but lacks a finder or acceptable quality eyepieces. The views through this instrument at even low powers are mushy and the eyepieces feel like looking through a drinking straw.
Celestron FirstScope Moon Signature Tabletop Dobsonian
Rank 5
3.4/5
Identical to the Celestron Firstscope, but with a different optical tube decoration.

4" (100mm) Tabletop Dobsonians

Most 4″ tabletop Dobsonians aren’t collimatable, but feature parabolic primary mirrors with rather sharp images. They’re also capable of being mated to photo tripods for on-the-go use.
Rank 1
4.45/5
The Zhumell Z100, unlike its smaller sub-$100 brethren, offers a truly parabolic primary mirror allowing for sharp images of the Moon, planets, and other targets at anything but the lowest powers. It’s also extremely portable, fitting in even a moderately sized backpack.
Rank 2
4.35/5
The SkyScanner has all of the same advantages and disadvantages of the Z100 and exactly the same optics, but includes a 20mm Kellner eyepiece (20x) instead of the Z100’s 17mm Kellner (24x) for low power. Furthermore, Orion's markup for the telescope is usually higher than Z100's. You might be able to find both at the same price on occasion.
Orion SkyScanner BL102mm
Rank 3
3.5/5
The SkyScanner BL102 has questionable optical quality, a mediocre build and eyepieces which are straight up junk. It's a strange, unusual, and sudden departure for a company known primarily for its high-quality Dobsonians.

4.5" (114mm) Tabletop Dobsonians

A 4.5″ tabletop Dobsonian is still capable of fitting in a very small space and sets up in seconds.
Best Value
Zhumell Z114 Tabletop Dobsonian
Rank 1
4.7/5
The Zhumell Z114 offers many of the same advantages of the Zhumell Z100, but with a collimatable and slightly larger primary mirror offering sharper images and 30% more light gathering capability. It features the same red dot finder and 17mm/10mm Kellner eyepieces that are included with the Z100.
Rank 2
4.25/5
While often recommended as a beginner telescope and indeed not a bad choice, the Orion StarBlast Astro is essentially identical to the cheaper Zhumell Z114, and offers no significant differences. At its price point, you’d be better served by the equatorially-mounted StarBlast II or one of the 130mm tabletop dobsonian reflectors.

4.5" Classic Dobsonians

4.25/5
The Orion XT4.5 may have less aperture than some of its cheaper rivals, but has an ultra-smooth true Dobsonian mount with real bearings, high-quality included Sirius Plossl eyepieces, and its long focal ratio makes it significantly easier to collimate. The scope’s long tube also means that it doesn’t necessarily need a full-height table or stool to be at a comfortable height for use - a milk crate or box will probably do.

5" (130mm) Tabletop Dobsonians

A 5″ Dobsonian is getting heavy for a table, but is still a very portable and easy-to-use beginner scope. 
Best Value
Zhumell Z130 Tabletop Dobsonian
Rank 1
4.75/5
The Z130 is the best of the Zhumell tabletop Dobs, featuring even more aperture and a slower focal ratio of f/5 which makes it less demanding of collimation and eyepiece quality. Z130 comes with tube rings and a nicer focuser when compared to Heritage 130P. The only downside is that at over 20 pounds, you’ll be hard pressed to find a suitable surface for the scope to rest on.
Choice for Kids
Sky-Watcher Heritage 130p Tabletop Dobsonian
Rank 2
4.75/5
The Heritage includes the same accessories and sports the same optics as the Z130, but features a collapsible tube that allows it to fit into a smaller space and reduces the weight by a bit when compared to Z130 which makes it a better choice for kids. This does create the disadvantage of stray light being able to easily enter the tube, which can be (mostly) remedied by creating a foam shroud. For an adult, the weight difference is insignificant.
Orion SkyScanner BL135mm
Rank 3
3.45/5
Not only does the SkyScanner BL135 have an uncomfortably low height for a free-standing instrument, but it also suffers from a variety of shortcomings. Its optics are satisfactory, but the Dobsonian mount is poorly made, the focuser is almost unusable, and the eyepieces and finder are cheap garbage. The BL135 is quite literally an Orion-branded generic instrument that can be found on Alibaba, so there isn't anything unique here. 

6" Dobs

6" Classic Dobsonians

A full-sized 6″ Dobsonian doesn’t need a table, but is still surprisingly lightweight and portable – while being vastly easier to collimate than its shorter tabletop cousins. If it’s all you can afford, a 6″ Dobsonian is a good choice. 
Best Value
Apertura DT6
Dobsonian
Rank 1
4.75/5
With an all-metal 1.25” Crayford focuser, high-quality 25mm (48x) eyepiece, and a full-sized Dobsonian mount, you’re sure to get bright, sharp views of the heavens without having to deal with a tabletop mount nor a spindly tripod.
Rank 2
4.5/5
The Sky-Watcher 6” Traditional - like all 6” Dobsonians - offers tremendous value and convenience. Unlike the SkyLine 6, the 6” Traditional sports a 2” rack-and-pinion focuser, enabling the use of 2” eyepieces down the line. But you don't really need a 2" eyepiece in a 6" f/8 telescope due to secondary mirror illumination. The eyepiece of the Apertura DT6 is a good 25mm Plossl, whereas the Skywatcher Classic comes with "Super" Modified Achromats, though they do come with both a 25mm and a 10mm instead of only the 25mm.
Orion Skyline 6"
Dobsonian
Rank 3
4.45/5
The Orion SkyLine 6 offers some of the best quality in its class, but at a high price; making the Apertura DT6 a better option. The Apertura DT6 is essentially a SkyLine 6 copy without the included 9mm eyepiece, meaning you’ll have to go shopping for an extra eyepiece or two if you want high-magnification views of the Moon, planets, double stars, and globular star clusters with the DT6. However, given the price markup of Skyline, shopping for extra eyepiece with DT6 might make more sense.
Rank 4
4.3/5
The XT6 is sometimes the cheapest 6” Dobsonian available, and performs just as well as its competitors, but has the worst value. With a plastic, 1.25”-only focuser and only a single eyepiece (25mm, 48x), by the time you get it up and running you’ll have spent significantly more money than if you’d just bought one of the other scopes in its price range, to begin with.
With Max Accessories
Rank 5
4.3/5
The XT6 Plus includes more accessories than its competitors - a solar filter and 2x Barlow lens to complement its 25mm and 10mm eyepieces, and an attractive white trim - but its 1.25” focuser is all plastic, plus the scope has a steeper price tag than other 6” Dobsonians.

6" Tabletop Dobsonians

A 6″ tabletop Dobsonian is great for those who need an ultra-portable scope of decent aperture, but really needs a custom support or a permanent solid surface, not a table.
Sky-Watcher Heritage 150p Dobsonian
4.8/5
The Heritage 150P is essentially a bigger version of the smaller 130mm Heritage, with the same user-friendly tabletop Dobsonian mount and collapsible tube but a bit more light gathering capability. While still a tabletop telescope, it packs great views in a package that can fit in almost any vehicle, storage space, or container.
4.45/5
With its f/5 focal ratio, the StarBlast 6 provides a wider field of view and lower magnifications with a given eyepiece than the 6” f/8 Dobsonians listed above, but requires a rock-solid tabletop for use and has more stringent collimation requirements. At f/5, coma is noticeable, especially in wide-angle eyepieces, but it's not horrible for the price and portability.

6" Computerized Tabletop Dobsonians

4.2/5
While lesser in aperture than similarly-priced offerings, the StarBlast 6i’s tremendously wide field of view and its IntelliScope PushTo system makes locating deep-sky objects an absolute breeze, and the included accessories are decent too.

8" Dobs

8″ Dobsonian is the best balance of aperture, portability, affordability, and simplicity for a beginner.  An 8″ Dobsonian is almost exactly the same physical size as a 6″ apart from the wider tube, but offers significantly more resolution and nearly double the light collecting capability. 8″ Dobsonians are usually the most recommended size for beginners and hobbyists and are made to last a lifetime.

8" Classic Dobsonians

Best Value
Apertura AD8 Dobsonian
Rank 1
4.9/5
GSO-made 'best bang for your buck' offering from HighPointScientific, the most popular US telescope retailer. It's optically and functionally the same as the Zhumell Z8/Orion Skyline 8", but often priced lower. Z8 and AD8 have the exact same set of eyepieces, focuser, altitude bearing, and finderscope. As of March 2022, AD8 is the least expensive of the three options, and HighPointScientific's assistance makes it superior in every way.
Rank 2
4.9/5
Produced by the same company GSO, the Zhumell Z8 is the exact replica of Apertura AD8 and is optically similar to Orion Skyline 8". If you can't get hold of Apertura AD8 for some reason, Zhumell Z8 is the clear 8" Dobsonian of choice.
Orion Skyline 8" Dobsonian
Rank 3
4.6/5
Other than the branding, altitude bearings, and accessories, the Skyline 8" is the same scope as AD8/Z8 and is made by GSO as well. Orion's extreme price markup because of their brand name makes it the best pick only if the Apertura AD8 or Zhumell Z8 are unavailable.
Apertura DT8 Dobsonian
Rank 4
4.5/5
The DT8 is a nice scope, but needs some extra accessories - or at least a high-magnification eyepiece - to unlock its full capabilities. It's one of the best budget options, but do make your calculations if you intend to upgrade any accessories. In such a scenario, AD8/Z8 might be a clear winner.
Rank 5
4.45/5
Sky-Watcher's 8” Traditional is usually one the cheapest 8" Dobsonian available in the US and comes with the bare essentials to get started, but its straight-through finderscope is uncomfortable to use and the included eyepieces are decidedly mediocre.
Rank 6
4.35/5
The XT8, like the DT8, is a solid choice for beginners but needs a high-magnification eyepiece for optimal planetary/lunar views and the price is a bit steep considering the lack of accessories.
Rank 7
4.3/5
The XT8 Plus features a bundle of extra accessories such as 2x Barlow lens and a solar filter which are not present in the Z8/AD8/Skyline 8, but lacks the cooling fan, right-angle finderscope, and laser collimator of the GSO 8”(Z8, AD8, Skyline 8).

Product Unavailable

Rank 8
4/5
The FirstLight 8’s included accessories are abysmal, but the unique variation on the Dobsonian mounting and ultra-heavy-duty focuser allows for greater versatility with heavy, expensive aftermarket wide-angle eyepieces, and the rotatable tube rings make for a slightly more comfortable observing experience.

8" Truss Tube Dobsonians

4.05/5
The 8” Flextube’s collapsible tube is nice for those needing the most compact 8" dobsonian possible but comes at the cost of a higher weight, more frequent collimation, and stray light issues. It also lacks the dual-speed focuser of some of its competitors(Z8, AD8, Skyline 8, XT8 Plus) which by itself is a $100 accessory.

8" Computerized Dobsonians

4.3/5
The XT8i’s Intelliscope system allows for easy, seamless location of deep-sky objects - though it doesn’t automatically slew the telescope to them nor track for you. If you’re feeling adventurous, the scope can just be used manually like any other Dob.
Best GoTo
Orion SkyQuest XT8g Dobsonian GoTo
4.2/5
The XT8g features full GoTo and also has the same dual-speed focuser as the higher-end 8” manual Dobsonians on our list. The XT8g is more or less a regular XT8 with the same SynScan system as the Skywatcher 8" Collapsible GoTo, but with the XT8g’s dual-speed focuser.

Product Unavailable

Sky-Watcher 8" Flextube SynScan Collapsible Dobsonian GoTo
4/5
The Skywatcher 8" Collapsible GoTo features full GoTo, but can be pushed around manually with or without aligning the GoTo system - and without disrupting the alignment of said GoTo system. It can even be controlled via your phone or tablet with the SynScan Pro app or SkySafari. The GoTo 8” Collapsible is more or less a regular 8” Collapsible with the SynScan system.

10" Dobs

10″ Dobsonians gathers 56% more light compared to 8″ Dobsonians and is totally worth it if you don’t mind the extra weight and bulk.  While a little less compact than smaller models, a 10″ Dobsonian is easily transported in most vehicles and provides even more brilliant views. A truss-tube 10″ will take more time and consideration to set up compared to a solid tube 10″ Dobsonian. 
Best Value
Apertura AD10 Dobsonian
Rank 1
4.9/5
The Apertura AD10 builds on the AD8 by adding just a bit more aperture. The accessories and focal length are the same, and the scope is only a tiny bit more bulky, but the views are over 56% brighter than an 8” scope! If you can afford the additional expense, it is well worth it compared to an 8” Dobsonian.
Best Value
Zhumell Z10 Dobsonian
Rank 2
4.9/5
The Z10 is made by GSO, the same manufacturer as the Apertura AD scopes, but sold by a different company. It is absolutely identical to the AD10 in every way.
Orion Skyline 10" Dobsonian
Rank 3
4.6/5
The Skyline 10 is identical to the Z10 and AD10, but at a significant price markup and occasionally with a cheap star chart tossed in.
Budget Pick
Apertura DT10 Dobsonian
Rank 4
4.5/5
The DT10 is essentially a stripped-down AD10 with only a basic 25mm Plossl eyepiece, a straight-through rather than right-angle finder, a single-speed focuser, and none of the other accessories included. If you’d rather start basic and upgrade later, it’s not a bad choice.
Sky-Watcher 10" Classic Dobsonian
Rank 5
4.4/5
Another more “bare-bones” entry, the Sky-Watcher 10” Classic comes with two eyepieces, a 9x50 finderscope, and a single-speed focuser.
Rank 6
4.35/5
The base XT10 is a great scope, but to get the most out of it you will definitely want more eyepieces, and perhaps a better finderscope - all the more reason to consider one of the more well-accessorized scopes listed above and save yourself the trouble.
Orion SkyQuest XT10 Plus Dobsonian
Rank 7
4.3/5
The XT10 Plus is almost as well-accessorized as the GSO 10” Dobsonian and its various rebrands, but lacks a cooling fan and sports a higher price tag. It does, however, include a solar filter and 2x Barlow lens.
Explore Scientific FirstLight 10" Dobsonian
Rank 8
4/5
The FirstLight 10”, like its smaller brethren is well-designed but lacks even a functional set of accessories - the finder and eyepiece will need to be replaced right away.

10" Truss Tube Dobsonians

Sky-Watcher 10" Flextube Collapsible Dobsonian
4/5
The 10” Flextube is not as compact as the Explore Scientific truss offering, but is much easier and quicker to assemble. It also comes with a nice 9x50 right-angle finderscope like the GSO Dobsonians.
3.95/5
Explore Scientific’s 10” Truss Dob is quite pricey, but is all-metal in construction and is absurdly compact when dismantled. It also has multiple built-in cooling fans. The scope includes no eyepieces, however, and really needs a shroud to reduce stray light.

10" Computerized Dobsonians

Best PushTo
Orion SkyQuest XT10i Dobsonian PushTo
Rank 1
4.3/5
Like the other XTi scopes, the XT10i’s Intelliscope system aids in aiming the scope to thousands of deep-sky targets. The XT10i’s large cutouts in the base also greatly aid in overall portability and reduce the weight of the scope, making it an improvement over regular 10” Dobs even if you don’t plan on utilizing the Intelliscope system particularly often.
Best GoTo
Orion SkyQuest XT10g Dobsonain GoTo
Rank 2
4.2/5
The XT10G is basically identical in operation to the 10” Collapsible GoTo, but of course lacks the collapsible tube - and features a dual-speed focuser, unlike the Collapsible.

Product Unavailable

Sky-Watcher 10" Collapsible Dobsonian GoTo
Rank 3
4.05/5
Featuring full GoTo and a collapsible tube, the 10” Collapsible is a great option for beginners and experienced users alike. Like most GoTo Dobsonians, the 10” Collapsible can be operated completely manually should you not want to use the GoTo system, and it can be adjusted manually without upsetting the GoTo alignment.

12" Dobs

A 12″ Dobsonian often takes serious consideration before purchasing. The sheer size and bulk of solid-tubed offerings necessitate either a strong user and large vehicle or an easy setup such as rolling out of a garage. A 12″ truss tube is relatively compact, but takes a fair amount of time to assemble and collimate. If you’re willing to put up with the hassle, scopes this size will deliver images that are nothing short of spectacular.

12" Classic Dobsonians

Best Value
Apertura AD12 Dobsonian
Rank 1
4.85/5
The AD12’s massive tube requires a strong owner and large vehicle (or a convenient at-home setup such as a dolly or cart to simply roll it outside) to be set up and transported easily, but if you can fulfill these requirements you’ll be rewarded with massive aperture and stunning views at a price that can’t be beat with the help of best accessories in the class.
Rank 2
4.85/5
The Z12 is basically the same as the AD12, though it is offered at slightly higher or lower prices depending on circumstances and available stock.
Apertura DT12 Dobsonian
Rank 3
4.65/5
Orion Skyline 12" Dobsonian
Rank 4
4.5/5
The Skyline 12 is essentially identical to the Z12 and AD12 but at a much higher price. You can also buy the Skyline 12 as a “kit” with a 2” UHC filter and some charts included - for even more money.

12" Truss Tube Dobsonians

Sky-Watcher 12" Flextube Collapsible Dobsonian
Rank 1
3.9/5
Explore Scientific 12" Truss Tube Dobsonian
Rank 2
3.85/5

12" Computerized Dobsonians

Orion SkyQuest XT12i Dobsonian PushTo
Rank 1
4.25/5
While possessing the same massive size as the AD12 and its rebranded variants, the XT12i features Orion’s Intelliscope system like its smaller brethren, and comes with cutouts in the base which greatly enhance portability.
$ at Orion Check Amazon Price
Rank 2
4.07/5
The XX12i functions similarly to the Sky-Watcher 12" Flextube Collapsible, but features Orion’s Intelliscope Push-To system like the smaller XTi scopes in Orion’s catalog.
Orion SkyQuest XX12g Dobsonian GoTo
Rank 3
3.95/5
The XX12g is identical to the XX12i, but with full GoTo as opposed to the Intelliscope system. It’s probably the most rewarding scope to use of all the ones we recommend on our list. Larger and more expensive GoTo Dobsonians exist, but we’d recommend sticking with a 12” or smaller scope to start with.
Sky-Watcher 12" Flextube Dobsonian GoTo
Rank 4
4.07/5
The 12” Flextube is a little more cumbersome than the XX12g, but considerably simpler to set up for each use - it’s best if you have a minivan or truck to transport it, however - or if you can store and roll it out of a garage.