10 Best Microscope 2019 – Top Pick’s and Reviews By an Lab Expert!

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If you are looking to buy a microscope, you must have found out by now that there are lots of different microscopes available on the market. However, not all these microscopes will meet your expectations.

Which of these microscopes is the best microscope to buy? This confuses a lot of buyers as there are numerous microscopes and different brands on the market. Buying a microscope can be difficult, and you wouldn’t want to waste your money on a microscope that would end up not working efficiently. You may resort to searching the internet for microscope reviews and asking questions on forums.

Top 5 Best Microscope: Editor’s Recommended

Microscope Model
Our Rating
Price
1. AmScope M150C-I 40X- For Student
2. Plugable USB Digital Microscope
3. OMAX 40X-2000X Lab LED Compound Microscope
4. Andonstar 5 inch Screen 1080P
5. AmScope SE306R-AZ-E2

While there are many microscopes and many brands, not all of them work perfectly as the manufacturers claim, and not all of them can meet your requirements. Even though all manufacturers claim their product is the best, we have tested a number of microscopes, and we will give you an unbiased microscope review and buying guide so that you will know the best microscope to buy for yourself.

Our 10 Best Microscope Reviews:

1. AmScope M150C-I 40X-1000X Student Biological Compound Microscope

The AmScope M150C-1 is our first best microscope for students. It is an optical microscope that features a magnification range from 40x to 1000x. It has a LED illumination system that you can power with battery or an outlet with the adapter included in the box.

The optical elements used to build the AmScope MI150C-1 are constructed with glass, and a single-lens condenser with disc diaphragm is included. Since this best microscope for student is outfitted with a 360-degree rotatable molecular head, it is a great choice for educational purposes.

It is durable because the framework is made out of metal. This microscope has the quality students need to examine pathological, biological, and zoological specimen on slides.

This Amscope product has a 5-year warranty backed by the factory. Plus, it features a 30-day inspection period.

Features

  • 3 standard objective lenses: 4x, 10x, 40x
  • Features rotating head
  • Fine focusing knobs on the two sides of the microscope
  • High-quality construction
  • Packaged with two eyepieces: WF10X and 25X
  • Features LED lighting to illuminate specimens
  • Dimmer to control the amount of light that escapes from base lens.

Pros:

  • Its molecular head can rotate
  • The microscope has great optics
  • Well-built, strong, and lasts long due to its metal construction
  • Very easy to use
  • It comes with focus control knobs that are on the two sides

Cons:

  • No adjustable stage, and the slides need to be moved by hand
  • You can only download the manual when you enter the registration code found on the box

2. Plugable USB Digital Microscope

This microscope by Plugable is one of the best digital microphone for those who want to work efficiently and quickly at the microscopic level.  This camera has LED placed at the right positions so that objects can be properly illuminated.

This digital microscope can be used to magnify up to 250x. You can control the magnification with the silver focus wheel, although the object’s position matters. To get a very clear and sharp view of the specimen you are viewing, place the object at a good distance from the lens of the camera.

This product can be adjusted on arms stand. This feature makes it flexible enough to view objects from different angles. The LED of this microscope is fitted in a way that users can easily adjust its brightness. Users are also able to change the settings of the color. Users can record short videos with the Plugable USB digital microscope.

This digital microscope is among the best microscope for student and people who want to explore this world.

Features

  • Built-in stand to steady the image
  • 0 megapixel resolution of 1600×1200 (640×480 video)
  • Adjustable magnification of 50x and 250x
  • LED illumination that can be dimmed
  • USB 2.0 connection
  • Compatible with Windows (XP and Above), Mac OSX (higher than 10.4.2), Linux, Chrome and Android
  • Light diffuser reduces glare

Pros:

  • USB Plug and Play across several platforms such as Windows and MAC
  • It is great quality for the price
  • Touch-sensitive button on camera to take pictures
  • Package includes a stand
  • One Year Limited Warranty

Cons:

  • The microscope needs more documentation
  • The stand is not sturdy

3. OMAX 40X-2000X Lab LED Binocular Microscope

One feature that impresses users of the OMAX digital microscope is its double-layer mechanical stage. Unlike some other microscopes whose slides require to be moved by hand, this microscope has a well built, fluid 3d mechanical stage that allows high precision when the slide is moved.

The Omax digital microscope is one of the best microscope for students as it provides them as well as researchers with a unit that can match more expensive models. This best digital microscope offers sturdy metal construction, high-quality objectives, and a great design. It is among our best microscope for pathologists due to its efficiency.

Omax is known as one of the best microscope brands because it manufactures good quality microscopes, and this one is not an exception.  The microscope’s digital binocular head swivels at 360 degree. Another great feature is its revolving quadruple nose-piece. It also has a built-in 1.3 MP USB camera that can capture images and video. Its advanced software applications are compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10, and Mac software.

This microscope features 8levels of varying magnifications. The magnifications vary from 40X to 2000X. It achieves this magnification with the help of two pairs of eyepieces and four objective lenses.

Features

  • Binocular viewing head that swivels at 360 degree
  • Coarse and Fine focusing
  • Quality, sturdy construction
  • Variable LED intensity transmitted illumination
  • A dimmer to control the amount of light that escapes from the base lens.

Pros:           

  • The body is made with mainly meta and a few parts are made with plastic
  • It has good optics for viewing protozoa, fungi, bacteria etc.
  • You can attach an ocular camera
  • You can adjust the condenser vertically that and you can remove and replace it with a darkfield condenser

Cons:

  • Manual only available online as a PDF.

4. Andonstar 5 inch Screen 1080P Digital Microscope

The Andonstar ADSM302 microscope is one of, if not the best digital microscope on the market. This microscope comes with a 12MP image sensor, adjustable lighting, 1080p HD video, heavy metal stand, remote control, and up to a 22cm work area height.

This digital microscope also features a removable piece of glass that works to keep solder fumes off the lens. You will have no problem doing hand soldering and hot air rework with this microscope.

Apart from using the viewing screen that comes with the microscope, you can also connect it to a pc with the USB cable that’s included in the packaging, and you can connect it to an HDMI monitor or TV with the HDMI cable in the package. If you this microscope to a pc via USB, you will need to download the Andonstar software.

The 5-inch screen of the microscope has all the necessary commands for image adjusting, which makes it one of the best microscope for trichomes. It also has remote control you can use when you don’t want to disturb the position of the screen.  This digital microscope moves up and down on a solid stand, and the two flexible lights provide a better view for the user.

Features

  • It has a 5 inch screen
  • It comes with IR remote control
  • It features an adjustable angle built-in screen
  • 1080P Full HD (via HDMI)
  • It offers high resolution video & photo capture
  • It has a wide table with comfortable headroom
  • Heavy-weight stable metal stand

Pros:

  • The image viewed is very clear
  • It can be controlled with remote
  • Very well-built and durable

Cons:

  • Software installation is difficult

5. AmScope SE306R-AZ-E2 Digital Forward-Mounted Binocular Stereo Microscope

This AmScope stereo microscope offers users a broad field of view with high resolution and good depth. This product has a special feature, which is a 2 Megapixel digital camera (USB). This microscope can take still images and the camera can stream video onto a computer. It works with Mac and Windows.

The magnification power setting of this microscope is adjustable between three settings, 20X, 40X and 80X and you can illuminate the object from the top for three-dimensional objects or bottom for viewing slides.

This microscope is highly versatile and it is great for examining any 3D object. It is perfect for use in the geology, forestry, archaeology, and biology and also great for students.

Features

  • Great for home use, classroom use and hospital use.
  • Comes with a 2MP camera with USB 2.0 output for capturing or displaying images on a computer or projector.
  • Forward-mounted binocular viewing head with interchangeable pairs of 10x and 20x widefield eyepieces, adjustable interpupillary distance, and 45-degree inclination to simplify viewing for students.
  • It can take still images and stream videos on computer
  • Interchangeable 2x and 4x objectives allows for inspecting large-scale specimens; Upper and lower illumination has 10W halogen light source that allows users to illuminate specimens.

Pros

  • It is a versatile microscope, great for use in schools, labs, and hospitals
  • You can illuminate object from the top for three-dimensional objects or bottom for viewing slides.

Cons

  • There are no known issues using this microscope

6. AmScope SM-4TZ-144A Professional Trinocular Stereo Zoom Microscope

The AmScope SM-4TZ-144A Stereo trinocular microscope falls into our category of the best microscope for pathologists who are seeking a combination of value and quality. This AmScope microscope unit comes with a wide range of magnification options and features that can be found on costlier units.

This AmScope digital microscope has a stage-less design and it comes with double-boom arms which allows adjustments to be made in the X-, Y-, and Z- axes. The double boom arms are up to 20 inches in length and the pillar measures up to 17 inches, allowing up to 360 degree swivel capability.

The AmScope digital microscope is a great choice for people looking who are looking for a multipurpose stereo microscope. This makes it one of our best microscope for trichomes.

Another detail that shouldn’t be ignored about this model is that it features an illumination system that has a four-zone LED ring light of which you can adjust the brightness depending on your momentary needs. Based on the reviews on this product that we have seen, controlling the intensity is very easy.

Features

  • It features boom stand and has long working distance
  • It features 360-degree rotation
  • Double-arm boom stand has 20″ arms and 17″ pillar to enable users to position the microscope head on three axes (X, Y, and Z)
  • It has removable rheostat-controlled 144-bulb LED that has four separate zones to independently control light intensity and direction
  • Its magnification range is 3.5x to 90x.

Pros

  • It features a class-leading 144 LED Light
  • 4-zone adjustable

Cons

  • It allows you to mount camera, but without third optic

7. Koolertron 3.5″ LCD Digital Microscope 

This USB digital microscope is a great one for students who need it for a school project or are looking for a high performance, yet small, and affordable microscope. It comes with a wide and colored LCD display of 3.5 inches. This can display pictures clearly before they are sent to another device. The product features a magnification rate between 20x and 300x. You actually need more than this for all your school projects and scientific researches.

This product is has a 5MP digital camera made for high-precision photos and videos. This photos and videos can later be downloaded and edited on your computer.

This product is highly recommended because you don’t have to download all pictures and videos to your computer before you can view them, but you can observe what you are looking for directly on the 3.5-inch LCD color display. The microscope is truly portable, independent, and very easy to use.

The microscope has a Li-ion battery that can be recharged many times, and a recharge lasts for almost 2 hours of use. All the cables needed for connecting it to a PC are provided. You can recharge your microscope with the USB port while you connect it to your computer system.

Features

  • USB digital microscope with 3.5″ LCD display
  • Produces magnification within 20 – 300x range.
  • Has a built-in 3.5″ LCD display,
  • Comes with SD card
  • 8 built-in LEDs with brightness adjustment,

Pros

  • The 5 Mpx camera can deliver pictures and videos of your experiments easily
  • The model works with a rechargeable battery

Cons

  • Contrast quality can be poor

8. OMAX 40X-2500X Full Size Lab Digital Trinocular Compound LED Microscope

This OMAX digital compound microscope is professional full size microscope that offers a magnification range of between 40x and 2500x, providing six levels of magnification.

The viewing binocular part is inclined at a 45 degree angle so that you can view easily. The microscope’s viewing head trinocular can also rotate at 360 degrees. You do not have to keep turning the entire microscope to view the specimen.

This product has the advantages of first-class optics and a good software for the camera. This makes the product ideal for live video recording and focusing. If you want to view quick moving subjects in the specimen, go for the lowest resolution. For still snapshots, opt for the highest resolution.

The microscope also comes with a USB port to connect it to a computer or laptop. Its camera has a 14.0 megapixel resolution. This product is a great high power piece. It can be used to view different specimens.

What’s more? This product has a transmitted illumination that is powered by a 3W LED light that can be replaced. It also comes with a software that is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux operating system.

Features

  • Abbe NA1.25 rack and pinion adjustment condenser with iris aperture diaphragm
  • Rack and pinion adjustments
  • A USB cable
  • Power supply (100v-240v)
  • Double-layer mechanical stage and fine focus knobs on the two sides

Pros

  • The LED lamp is replaceable
  • Lenses are made of high-quality optical glass.

Cons

  • video capabilities of the camera may be poor

9. AmScope T600A-PCT-DK Professional Phase-Contrast Compound Trinocular Microscope

This microscope is one of the best dark-field microscopes on the market, as it allows you to observe specimens that transmit excess light in a bright field setting. This product is equipped with four condenser elements, offering various magnifications.

This compound trinocular microscope comes with phase contrast features. It is perfect for advanced applications in clinical offices and research laboratories. This product has a trinocular head that you can swivel at 360 degree. It also features a 3-D mechanical stage. This product is also equipped with an intensity-variable halogen illumination system. This microscope offers six phase contrast settings and eight bright field magnification powers.

With the digital camera, you will be able to capture still images and video. You can also view a live stream on your computer. It has a compatible software for Windows, Linux, and Mac it’s a multi-platform imaging solution. Its Windows software offers measurement tools, image-development, and advanced compositing features such as extended-depth-of-focus and image-stitching.

You can view high-speed video while you are capturing high-definition images because of its independent preview and capturing resolutions.

Features

  • Professional microscope with phase contrast
  • Backward nosepiece allocating spacious operating room
  • It features six phase contrast powers and eight brightfield settings
  • 8MP digital camera with advanced editing & measuring software for Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10
  • 3D coarse & fine focusing mechanical stage with Abbe condenser

Pros

  • Its Brightfield (BF) illumination lets specimen absorb light, giving you a dark image on a light background, and its Darkfield (DF) illumination reflects light off the specimen, giving you a light image on a dark background.

10. Aven 26700-209-PLR Mighty Scope Digital Handheld Microscope

This digital handheld microscope offers 10x to 200x magnification, features a 5MP camera and a USB 2.0 compatible output for viewing images and video on a computer. The microscope has a polarizing filter to lessen glare and boost contrast. The built-in light source of this microscope has six white LEDs with a brightness control wheel to help illuminate the specimens you are viewing.

This product has a 1/4″ color CMOS image sensor. It also operates on USB power. The tabletop pole stand that comes with it allows you adjust microscope height and magnification. These digital microscope also comes with a focus wheel enables optimal resolution. It features with automatic gain control, automatic white balance, and it also has the ability to capture images with the microscope or a computer.

The stand of this microscope is constructed with metal for durability. This microscope is a must have if you want something that is efficient and lasts long.

Features

  • Digital handheld lightweight microscope can be used in a variety of settings such as classrooms and field applications
  • Integrated 5MP camera and USB 2.0 output to capture or display images or videos on a computer
  • Can capture still images and record and stream real-time live video on a computer
  • Polarizing filter to lessen glare and boost contrast,
  • Built-in six-white LED light source with brightness control wheel on the body to illuminate specimens

Pros

  • You can reduce glare and boost contrast with its polarizing glare
  • The stand is made of mental

Cons

  • No cons with using this microscope

Buying Guide: What to Consider When Select Microscope:

Price

One thing that you’ll definitely have to consider when buying a microscope is the price. Generally, if you are looking to buy the best microscope for kids, you will often see microscopes that cost between $80 and $200. You should plan to spend this amount if you want to get a microscope of decent quality. Some microscopes even cost up to thousands of dollars, but unless you are buying a microscope to view organisms you won’t need to spend up to that.

Construction Quality

There are lots of microscopes made of plastic and so many are made of quality metal. Most of these plastic microscopes are inferior when it comes to structure, which means they are prone to damage and they give inferior optical quality.

The best way to avoid this is to buy your microscope from a reputable vendor and make sure you are buying one made by one of the best microscope brands. Sturdiness must be considered when buying a microscope. It must be solidly constructed and made of a sturdy metallic allow. A microscope with a strong construction would possess a certain degree of durability and will last longer than a microscope made of plastic.

Lighting Options

Most microscopes come with a T light source that either uses a tungsten, fluorescent, or halogen bulb. The microscopes with the fluorescent bulb system are usually more expensive than the others, and their light quality surpasses that of the halogen or tungsten as it give out lesser heat and brighter light.

LED illuminators and the fluorescent systems cost almost the same price and LED illuminators are stealing the spotlight in microscopy. Even though the two have similar color rendition problems, LED illuminators have more benefits, as LED illuminators can draw in lesser power and they do not emit heat. Also, talking about a battery powered microscope, microscopes with LED illuminators are the best choice, and this is because they consume less power.

Optical Quality

The quality of the eyepiece and that of the objective lens will determine the optical quality of the microscope, but this is secondary.  The standard for an objective lens of good quality is an achromatic lens.

The main use of achromatic lens is to ensure that the objectives are compatible Deutsch Industry Norm (DIN). DIN objectives are very important because you can change from a DIN compatible microscope to another. So, this means that instead of buying a new microscope, you can simply replace the damaged one.

A wider eyepiece lets you view objects easily. Wide field (WF) or super wide field eyepieces (SWF) are some of the best eyepieces. Also, you should keep in mind that the lens width reduces relative to the magnification power size.

Mechanical Stage

This is a very important part of the microscope. It becomes very important when you are viewing at high magnifications.

You will find it very easy to move the slide in a fine differential if your microscope has a good mechanical stage. This means watching a moving organism across the slide will not be difficult.

The Focusing System

This is the part that is responsible for the movement of the stage. If you want high power use, you need a fine adjustment system that works effectively in addition to the course adjustment knob.

Make sure the knobs of the microscope have no backlashes. There may be the need to turn the fine adjustment knob in the two directions when you are making use of the microscope, so it has to work efficiently without issues.

Abbe Condenser and Iris Diaphragm

If you are going to buy a compound microscope, it is mandatory to check if it has a condenser and iris diaphragm that is good. The best condenser will make sure there is optimum level of adjustments.

How To Use a Microscope

After reading microscope reviews on the internet and determining the best microscope for you, you need to learn how to use your microscope the right way.

Here is a simple guide on how to use a microscope.

Use a Flat Surface

When you’re using your microscope, make sure you use it on a flat surface so that you get an accurate view of your slides. Using it on a flat surface also ensures that you don’t damage your microscope. If the surface you are using your microscope on is uneven, you may get uneven view of your slides.

Make sure that your microscope is clean

Another thing that can cause problems to even the best microscope for kids is if the lens isn’t very clean. Cleaning your microscope lens is not different from cleaning your glasses. All you have to do is to breathe condensation onto the microscope lens and wipe it clean with lens tissue. Cleaning the lens rightly can help you to get a very clear image of your subject.

Reduce Eye Fatigue

Eye fatigue is something you will need to consider before you start to use your microscope. A common health issue that can arise when you use a microscope too much is eye fatigue, which results as a result of using your eyes too much.  Eye fatigue can be prevalent in many different ways such as eye strain, red eyes, etc. You can prevent or reduce eye fatigue by reducing the amount of time you spend using your microscope.

How To Clean Microscope Lens

Most microscope specialists say that it is better when you clean your microscope less. However, the time will eventually come when you have to give your microscope lens a good cleaning

Here are some tips on how to clean your microscope lens properly.

The first thing to do is to locate the dirt. Find out if the dirt is on the objective lens or the eyepiece lens. If you look into your microscope and see notice a spot in it and you also see the spot at all powers, this is an indication that the spot is not inside, but on the outside of your eyepiece lens. Turn your microscope eyepiece if you can, if the spot on the eyepiece moves, then you are certain that the dirt is on the eyepiece lens. If the spot doesn’t move, then it is inside and might need to be cleaned by a professional.

Sometimes, you just need to blow off the dusts. Use a camera lens cleaner bulbs or use a squeeze bulb. You can also use the compressed air cans that are used to clean computer keyboards. Avoid using sprays with cleaners. Once you have blown your microscope lens clean gently wipe the lens with an approved lens cloth.

Do not remove your microscope lens unless it is necessary. Also, remember to keep the microscope lens covered as dust is the number one destroyer.

Frequently Asked Questions About Microscope (FAQ’s)

What is the best microscope brand?

After determining the best type of microscope that will meet your requirements, you will have to put the best brand into consideration. Since there are so many brands out there, you may be as confused as you were when you were determining the best microscope for you needs.

There are many great brands such as OMAX, AmScope, Aven, and Kolertoon. These brands are reputable for manufacturing efficient and strong microscopes. When you are buying your microscope, make sure it is from a reputable brand and make sure the microscope you are buying is in good shape.

What is considered the ideal microscope magnification?

Microscope magnification is the amount or degree of visual enlargement of the observed specimen. Magnification of a microscope is measured by multiples, e.g. 2x, 4x, 10x, indicating that the specimen being viewed is enlarged to as 2 times as big, four times as big, and ten times as big.

About the best microscope magnification, it really depends on what you need. A 400x magnification is the minimum you need for studying cells and cells structure. You will also be able to view a greater specimen with a microscope of 1000x magnification. You won’t need this, however, unless you are using the microscope in a laboratory or taking a course in microbiology.

How much does a quality microscope cost?

The cost of a microscope largely depends on the type, brand, specifications, and the location at which you are buying it. For example, microscope for kids costs between $80 and $200. You should also consider shipping cost if you are buying your microscope online.

Also, a microscope with metallic build will cost more than a microscope built with plastics, because the metallic microscope will last longer. So the cost of these microscopes varies. You can find a microscope as lows as $60 and as high as thousands of dollars. Some microscopes for beginners cost as low as $25 on amazon and other online stores.

Which Microscope is best for students?

There are many microscopes out there that are labeled as perfect for students. The AmScope M150C-1is one of the microscopes you should consider when you are buying microscope for a student. Also, when buying microscope for a student, there are so many things to consider, such as the design, the portability, the illumination system, and the magnification power.

The magnification power should be at least 400x. As for the portability, determine whether you want to buy a microscope that sits on the desk at all times or one the student can carry in his or her bag. Also determine whether you want to buy a stereo microscope, trinocular microscope, or a compound microscope. They all have their different benefits.

What is the most advanced microscope?

A couple of microscopes have been named the most advanced microscopes in the world. In 2008, science daily reported the Titan 80-300 Cubed, which was installed at the University early in the summer in the McMaster University as the most advanced microscope. This advanced microscope is an electron microscope.

The electron microscope remains the most powerful type of microscopeIts magnification is very powerful. It is used in scientific fields including biology, medical, and forensic science. It is a large microscope and also very expensive One has to be trained to use this type of microscope because the electron microscope is a powerful imaging tool.

Final Verdict:

Buying a microscope doesn’t have to be stressful if you have carried out your research before making your purchase. All you need is the right information on the best type for your needs, the best brand to buy from, and the price range. By doing this, all you have to do is go online or to physical stores and make your purchase.

After reading this guide on the best microscope, you should know what type of microscope will meet your needs, the right specs for the purpose which you are buying it, which brand to buy from, how to use a microscope, and how to clean your microscope.

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