best microscope for students

Best Microscope For Students-2019 (Reviews & Buying Guides)


This article is meant to guide you towards the best microscope for students or laboratory microscopes. After you read this article, you would grasp a clear understanding of which microscope to buy.

Just a few decades ago a microscope was quite a valuable apparatus in the general scientific labs. Today it is available so much so that even there are kids-version of a microscope. A wide range of use of this sophisticated instrument is common today. However, the challenge is there again – you have too many brands and accessories to choose among from. Matching the quality, requirement and price certainly involve a good deal of time. Moreover, people can easily confuse a simple microscope with a complex one. There are complex features which one needs to pay attention to.

If you are looking for the best microscope for viewing bacteria, for instance, you obviously need a quality product. A poor quality microscope would have several apparent exciting features. One would find them attractive in terms of outlook. Additional accessories may also be available. The price would be lesser. Altogether, they lure the customers and many fall into the pitfall.

Microscope for Beginners – Questions and Answers

How To Choose The Best  Microscope

Be it microscopes for home use or laboratory microscopes, check the most important features, which are critical factors for your buying decision. We’ve made it simple and straight for you. Just consider the following things:


For both professionals and high school students, the first thing to look for at the microscope is quality components and construction that lasts.  Therefore, look for a sturdy and well-built frame. Metallic alloy-built microscopes are much better. They will experience minimal volatility over time and remain stable during use. When you go for a microscope for serious use, avoid the plastic built ones. 


Often there are little parts in a device but it is one of the most important parts of the device. Optics or the lenses are just like in a microscope. You should ensure that the microscope you’re targeting to buy has the standard optics if not the best. Do not get excited with the outward frame and illuminating body of a microscope. Your objective would become completely meaningless without the optics. At present, the “DIN” or “JIS” is the most popular international standard objective lenses. If you have these lenses, it is possible to replace them with lenses from most of the microscopes available worldwide. Being free of spherical aberration they provide better on-axis performance at a larger aperture.

Field of View and Resolution

Go for a wide-field eyepiece. They are usually ones with a larger lens opening. If you want to easily position the eye, wide-field eyepieces are beneficial.


Most modern microscopes have a built-in light source. The lighting systems vary. It could be tungsten, fluorescent, LED and Halogen. Purpose to use would answer which lighting will be more beneficial. For instance, In medical and research microscopes halogen bulbs are more common. Compared to others, LED bulbs consume very little power and last for a very long time. Therefore, LED bulbs are also used commonly in many microscopes. Know your intent of use and check the lighting of a microscope.


OMAX Built-in 3MP Camera 40X-2000X Digital Biological Compound Binocular LED Light Microscope with Double Layer Mechanical Stage Oil Immersion NA1.25 Condenser 3.0MP Camera | Best Hobby Microscope


 Product Review


If you want a microscope for home use and specifically to easily capture digital images for your class and website, this is a great choice. You will be wondered by its image quality. The price for it is relatively quiet cheaper. Someone accustomed to compound microscopes can easily set up and use it. Transferring files to the computer are simple. Just plug into the computer via USB to capture images on the screen.


Product description


This digital binocular compound LED microscope has a power range from 40X to 2000X. The microscope comprises a built-in 3.0MP USB digital imaging system and a LED illumination with variable intensity. Still, microscope images are captured by the USB digital imaging system. It also captures live video on the computer without setting up the digital camera. The software runs on Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10.  Don’t worry if you have Mac OS. Images can be viewed and captured on iMac or Macbook too. The LED lamp is easily replaceable.  The Microscope lenses are made of high-quality optical glass. Crystal clear high-resolution image make it worthy and useful for professional use.


Highlighted Features


  • Superb magnification level of 40X-80X-100X-200X-400X-800X-1000X-2000X;
  • Two pairs of eyepieces (ocular lenses) – WF10X and P20X
  • Digital binocular head of 45 degrees inclined 360 degrees revolving;
  • 3W LED light that is replaceable
  • Metallic framework; Digital camera built-in with Imaging device: 3.0 megapixels




Awarded 2018 Best Compound Microscope – OMAX 40X-2000X Lab LED Binocular Microscope with Double Layer Mechanical Stage w Blank Slides Covers and Lens Cleaning Paper


Product Review


A top quality sturdy microscope with competitive price is the OMAX 40X-2000X Lab LED Binocular Microscope. Microbiology and students alike would just get what they require. Mostly constructed with metal, this is a perfect choice for serious users. The optics and functions of OMAX 40X-2000X supersede user expectations.   This microscope is a top-quality one for several reasons. Students of microbiology and of similar fields would find beyond expectation satisfaction. The price is just great in all terms. OMAX 40X-2000X is a bit smaller than brand products. However, the results are the same as the brands.


 Product description


Look at the structure of fungi and protozoa, and have a details view of cell walls, membranes, organelles, and the nucleus in cells. Effortless connectivity to a USB digital camera, which is sold separately, enables recording of what you see in the microscope and save it into your computer as a picture or a video clip. OMAX compound biological microscope comprises of eight level magnifications from 40X to 2000X.


Highlighted Features


  • A full-featured compound microscope
  • 2000X magnification with 100X oil immersion objective
  • Fine focus and coaxial coarse
  • Mechanical stage (double layer X-Y) with adjustment handle
  • LED light
  • Solid metal frame construction
  • 360 degrees swiveling binocular viewing head
  • 100 glass slides and coverslips and 100-sheet lens cleaning papers are included



AmScope M150C-E-A 40X-1000X LED Cordless All-Metal Framework Full-Glass Optical Lens Student Compound Microscope with Coarse & Fine Focusing + Digital Camera USB Imager | Microscopes In Biology


Product Review


AmScope M150C-E-A 40X-1000X is just great value for a great product. Customers are happy to have used this for a long time with greater satisfaction. This is one of those best microscopes for viewing bacteria and science students love it.


 Product description


This is a microscope with a digital imager or camera. It has been designed for students to view scientific elements that offer five magnification settings, 40X, 100X, 250X, 400X and 1000X. You’re getting it with a 640×480 pixel USB2.0 imager and full optical glass elements. Moreover, it has an all-metal framework, coarse & fine focus, 360° rotatable monocular head, and a LED illumination system. The camera could be replaced by the microscope eyepiece. This enables comfortable view on your computer screen. Students can use this at home and at school.


Highlighted Features


  • Five Magnification Settings up to 1000X
  • Snapshot view/capture images or video with the computer (compatible Windows software)
  • Disc Diaphragm & Single Lens Condenser
  • Wall-power/Battery LED Illumination
  • Solid Metal Framework



AmScope M158C-E Compound Monocular Microscope, WF10x, and WF25x Eyepieces, 40x-1000x Magnification, Brightfield, LED Illumination, Plain Stage, 110V, Includes 0.3MP Camera and Software


Product Review


If you want to go for a home use microscope that combines high magnification, clarity, and easy-use, here’s a microscope that would give you all. This is an instrument popular with hospitals and schools. The image is very fine and detailed. Customers have a bit complaint with the digital imager and the camera is 640×480. Therefore, do not expect high-quality images with the microscope. However, many users will be satisfied at this level. This is just one side, so if it fills up your requirement, it’s just great as said.


 Product description


Students of science look for affordable high power microscope. AmScope M158C-E Compound Monocular Microscope perfect in such cases. With a fully coated optical system and high-resolution sharp images, this ISO 9001 certified device is excellent for students.


Highlighted Features


  • Digital compound microscope
  • 3MP camera and USB 2.0 output with image capturing on a computer/projector (compatible with Windows)
  • Double widefield eyepieces of 10x and 25x
  • 45-degree fixed vertical inclination (reduces eye and neck strain)
  • Rotation capacity of 360-degree for a more comprehensive view



 AmScope M150C-I 40X-1000X All-Metal Optical Glass Lenses Cordless LED Student Biological Compound Microscope


Product Review


With five magnification settings, another ideal microscope perfect microscope for students to learn science is the AmScope M150C-I 40X-1000X. You’ll have it with full optical glass elements, metal framework, 360-degree rotatable monocular head, coarse & fine focusing, and LED illumination. If you are wondering to give a worthy gift to a young scientist, you can end up your search here!


 Product description


The AmScope M150C is a great affordable high power student microscope with coarse & fine focusing. It comprises 45 degrees inclined 360-degree swiveling monocular head with a locked-in eyepiece. It has built-In contemporary LED illumination. There are five levels of magnification: 40X, 100X, 250X, 400X and 1000X. It has single-lens condenser and disc diaphragm and focusing control knobs on both sides. The instrument is a fully coated optical system. Comes with plain stage with clips and stain-resistant finishing.


Highlighted Features


  • Rotatable monocular head (360 degree) offering five magnification settings 40X, 100X, 250X, 400X & 1000X
  • Widefield all optical glass elements with single-lens condenser & disc diaphragm
  • Metal framework
  • LED illumination system: outlet (adapter included) or three AA batteries (or re-chargeable batteries)



 The Proper Way To Use A Microscope

Even if you have purchased the best compound microscope, the proper use is a vital issue. As a high quality and costly instrument, you would, of course, consider using a microscope in a way that it lasts long. Here are the most vital points for efficient use:

  1. It is important to lift the microscope with two hands. Hold its arm with one hand and support the base with the other.
  2. By turning the revolving nosepiece, the lowest power objective lens is “clicked” into position, which is also the shortest objective lens.
  3. Your microscope slide should be equipped by placing a coverslip or cover glass over the specimen. It protects the objective lenses if they touch the slide. The microscope slide should be placed on the stage and fastened with the stage clips. To open it, you can push down on the back end of the stage clip.
  4. By looking at the objective lens and the stage from the side, turn the coarse focus knob. This allows the objective lens moves downward (or the stage, goes upward if it moves). You should move it as far as it will go but don’t touch the slide.
  5. Now, look through the eyepiece and adjust the illuminator (or mirror) and diaphragm for the greatest amount of light.

Know about Lens Factor

  1. To make the objective lens go up i.e. away from the slide, slowly turn the coarse adjustment. Do it until the image comes into focus. If a fine adjustment is available, use it for fine focusing. Turn the coarse knob so the stage moves downward or away from the objective lens if you have a microscope with a moving stage.
  2. Bring the image in the center of the field of view by moving the microscope slide around. You need to readjust the mirror, illuminator or diaphragm for the finest image.
  3. Now you are able to change the next objective lens with quite a minimal use of the focusing adjustment. If available, use the fine adjustment. Repeat the previous steps if you cannot focus on the specimen by the higher power objective lens. Remember, the objective lens should not touch the slide!
  4. While one eye is on the eyepiece, it is better to keep the other eye open. Because there is less strain on the eye through this method.
  5. During use, note that everything is backward and upside down. When you move the slider to the left, the image goes to the right!


Maintenance And Care School Microscope


Microscope Safety
  • Do not disassemble the microscope. This often causes damage or dysfunction to the microscope.
  • Allow the bulbs to cool before touching. The bulbs may become extremely hot and can cause burns if touched.
  • To replace the bulb, unplug the microscope first.
  • Always use only the recommended halogen or fluorescent bulb
  • Unplug and turn off the microscope before moving elsewhere


Cleaning the Microscope
  • Clean off the dust with pressurized air or just use a soft brush
  • Any smudges, fingerprints, and oil on the lens should be cleaned with lens paper or a soft clean cloth. Moisten the cleaner with a small amount of absolute alcohol-ether mixture. Isopropyl alcohol could be a substitute for alcohol-ether.
  • Use a soft cloth, make it moist with a little bit of detergent to clean the microscope body.
  • It is recommended to use water only on plastic surfaces
  • It is recommended to final wipe with a dry soft cloth after cleaning the body.
  • Use an appropriate dust cover (often supplied) to cover it.
  • Dry storage is vital.
  • Never touch the optical lens with bare fingers



Q: What is the difference in a stereo and compound microscope?

Stereo microscopes are also called low-power microscopes. They also have other names –  dissection microscopes, or inspection microscopes. These have been designed for viewing “large” objects, which are visible to the bare eye at low magnifications, i.e. under 50x. This type of microscope provides an upright and unreversed, 3-dimensional image of a specimen.

A compound microscope is a high power, which is popular as biological microscopes. They are used to view micro specimens which are not visible to the bare eye at high magnifications (40x-1,000x). This type of microscope provides an inverted 2-dimensional (flat) image of a specimen.

 Q: Should I buy a monocular or binocular microscope?

In this case, the age and budget are the key factors. Monocular microscopes are cheaper. They are better for younger children. When the child grows up binocular microscope is recommended. They afford an infinitely better viewing experience.

Q: How do we calculate the magnification of a microscope?

A: Multiply the magnification of the eyepiece by the magnification of the objective lens and you get the magnification of a microscope.

Q: What lenses should one use in terms of objectives when learning? 

A: It depends on the examinations you want to make. Most basic microscopes have 3 objective lenses. These commonly have a magnification power of 4X, 10X, and 40X. More advanced microscopes have an added fourth objective lens. It is known as the 100x oil immersion objective lens.

Q:  What is meant by a microscope’s field view?

A: As one looks on the eyepiece, the magnified circle or diameter viewed is the field view. When the magnification is higher, the view surface is smaller.


Final Word

If you are choosing the best microscope for high school students, you have almost a simple yet great shortlist above! Laboratory microscopes would demand high-end features, but for these are still at a very competitive position when it comes to fundamental learning and primary research.

If you’d like to pick the best compound microscope or go for good quality laboratory microscopes, you just had a straightforward comprehensive review. Now you are ready to pick your one. All the products reviewed here are of standard quality and offers a very competitive price. The value for the price is simply excellent.

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