Microscopes for beginners – Buying guide & Comparison


If you’re short on time and you just want to find the best microscope for beginners, this short paragraph should help you get exactly the model you need. According to our findings, the National Geographic Dual NGMICROSCOPE is the best because it fits any eager learner’s budget and does precisely what it has been designed to do. On the one hand, this unit can magnify the image of the specimen by 20 to 50 times depending on the circumstance and your momentary needs. In addition to all of this, it’s worth noting that the device comes with two illumination systems, one of which can be found below the sample and the other above. What’s more, this National Geographic option comes with a series of accessories ranging from ten prepared slides to a 23-slide storage container. If the National Geographic Dual NGMICROSCOPE is unavailable, your second option should be the AmScope M150C.


Purchasing the best beginner microscope these days might look like a daunting task as we have seen that the market appears to be overflowing with alternatives. This is the reason we have decided to give you a hand with selecting the right product for your specific needs. If you’re having trouble deciding on features, advantages, or various specifications that you ought to give some thought to, check out our comprehensive buyer’s guide.



The first thing you must do is determine the purpose you are trying to achieve with the help of your new microscope. Are you looking to examine the structure and intricate appearance of bugs, coins, pieces of jewelry, and electronics components, or would you rather be interested in studying the way cells are grouped in certain tissues? This is a core question you have to ask yourself.

In addition to all of this, you will have to assess the degree of expertise of the person you are purchasing the device for. If you’re an adult, it goes without saying that you will have no trouble understanding the basics of using such a unit. On the other hand, if what you’re trying to do is buy the product for a child who’s interested in studying science, in general, you might have to reconsider the factors you have to bear in mind.


Stereo vs. compound models

Despite the vast array of designs that are available out there, your decision will have to boil down to choosing a compound or a stereo microscope. What makes the difference between these two kinds of devices?

First of all, if you require a particular amount of space in order to take a peek at the specimen you’ll be examining, a compound model might not be the right solution to your problems. Typically, compound alternatives are used in laboratories where scientific activities happen on a regular basis, and so there’s a high chance that the person using the unit will try to look at slides instead of full-size objects.

Stereo microscopes are designed to be user-friendly. They don’t raise too many technical difficulties to first-time users, but the really neat thing about them is that you can use a broad range of subjects. Nevertheless, we feel compelled to point out that there are many differences between compound options and stereo alternatives, and the crucial one consists of the magnification capability.



Even the best starter microscope should allow you to magnify the image by ten to twenty times. However, in certain cases, this type of magnification might not be enough. While it might pay off to invest in a portable microscope that enables you to transport and store it with ease, sometimes you might need a bit more power in this sense.

Once again, you have to look at your requirements and preferences. Studying strands of hairs is easy with the help of any stereo microscope, but going in-depth can only be done by using a compound one.


Most models that you are likely to stumble upon while prospecting the market will have some sort of illumination system or the other. While some units are capable of lighting your specimen from below, others also feature a bulb that can give you light from above.

Ancient microscopes used to come with a mirror that the user had to rely on in order to focus the fascicle on the specimen. Thanks to technological advances made in the last decades, this characteristic is now considered obsolete. Even so, it’s better to check for an illumination system and see whether or not the unit you’re thinking of buying is equipped with it.


Top beginners’ microscopes reviews in 2017


Some of the best microscopes for beginners are showcased below. We have taken the time to look at the user feedback garnered by these models and have reached the conclusion that they’re critically acclaimed for several good reasons. They’re efficient and versatile and will allow you to benefit from an excellent performance.



National Geographic Dual NGMICROSCOPE


Although a rather basic choice compared to others we have seen while doing our research, this National Geographic unit should be at the top of your list. If you’re going to buy a microscope intended for the use of children over the age of 4, perhaps you might have to consider this unit. It’s convenient, versatile, and above all, easy to use.

The magnification capabilities of this alternative range from 20x to 50x and this detail seems to be enough under most circumstances. Despite the fact that it does not have the traditional design of some stereo or compound models, this device is made with the needs of the user in mind.

That’s why the manufacturing brand has included a series of extras such as ten blank slides, tweezers, a cover, as well as a learning guide.

Furthermore, this is one of the few units that have been outfitted with two types of illumination, one of which can light your subject from below and the other from above.


Buy from Amazon.com for ($69.99)





AmScope M150C


It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this unit is among the most popular ones on the market today. Even though it costs a bit more when compared to several other devices in the same line, this AmScope model is undoubtedly worth every penny. First of all, it’s a compound microscope.

In other words, it is designed for scientific purposes. You’ll encounter no difficulties when examining your slides with the help of the M150C.

The monocular design might make the AmScope unit stand aside from the crowd, but even on this account, this unit is a winner. The 360-degree rotatable head allows you to show what you’ve found to a colleague or friend.

What’s more, the magnification capabilities make this unit stand out from the crowd as you’ll be able to rely on its 40x to 1000x settings. The LED illumination system can be powered either by using a typical outlet or three standard AA batteries.


Buy from Amazon.com for ($84.98)





My First Lab MFL-06 


In some respects, the MFL-06 is similar to the AmScope model we were mentioning earlier on. However, there are several factors that make the difference between one and the other. One of them seems to be that the MFL-06 has lower settings as you won’t be able to use a magnification greater than 400x.

Aside from this minor inconvenience, this product is surely worth the bang for the buck. It’s a great addition to the kit of any eager beginner, especially as it has been constructed using high-quality materials and features real glass optics.

Moreover, this microscope can be powered using batteries, which means that you won’t be restricted to using it in just one room in your lab or home.

You can even take it outside in the garden with you and look at bugs and plants in their natural environment. As is the case with other choices out there, this one comes with a LED illumination system.


Buy from Amazon.com for ($63.99)





Balance Living CUL-10310


If you’re unwilling to spend a lot of money on a microscope kit intended for beginners, perhaps this Balance Living model might suit you well.

Some parents aren’t particularly keen on the idea of investing a high sum on such a device, and that’s only understandable as nobody knows whether their children will, in actuality, peak an interest for this field.

Surprisingly enough, the CUL-10310 has more than decent magnification abilities which range from 120x to 1200X. Besides, the model is compact and versatile and can be taken everywhere you go.

Also, it should be noted that a generous accessory kit is part of the deal.

Seeing how this unit usually costs less than forty dollars, it might be worth considering for people who are on a budget. The Balance Living CUL-10310 comes with a built-in LED light at the bottom of its structure.


Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.99)





AmScope Student M162C


Another option that’s remarkably easy to utilize is this AmScope Student model, which seems to have buyers raving about it. It’s incredibly convenient and has been awarded multiple prizes over the years specifically because it takes the idea of user-friendly scientific devices to a whole new level.

The five magnification settings available on this unit are easy to recognize as we’ve tackled them while describing the formerly mentioned AmScope model.

As such, with the help of this unit, you will benefit from the freedom of relying on the 40x, 100x, 250x, 400x, or 1000x magnifications, depending on your preferences and samples.

A transmitted LED illumination system can be found to be part of the construction of this alternative, which is always a reassuring factor to mull over given that older models lack this particular feature.

While some owners have complained about the inability to connect the microscope to a computer or laptop, we’ll say that what you get is what you pay for. Given that it costs less than ninety dollars, it offers plenty of advantages.


Buy from Amazon.com for ($84.5)




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