Stereo microscopes – Buying guide & Comparison


If you are short on time and you just want to find the best stereo microscope for the money, this short paragraph should help you get just the model you need. According to your findings, the AmScope SE400-Z is the best option in the line as it is reasonably priced but entirely capable of doing what it has been designed to do. As such, this binocular microscope can be used for a plethora of applications and is an excellent choice for people who have no prior experience when it comes to operating such a device. Some say that the AmScope SE400-Z is the best stereo microscope for beginners as it does not raise any technical difficulties to owners, regardless of whether they are tech-savvy or not. Because of its design, the AmScope proves to be an excellent choice for all sorts of fields of study and might even prove its worth in areas such as jewelry making or microengineering. Since it offers a 9-in vertical working distance and an adjustable 12-in boom arm, it might also be the best stereo microscope for entomology. If the AmScope SE400-Z is unavailable, your second option should be the AmScope SM-4TZ-144A.



Comparison table




What is the best stereo microscope? If you’re eager to find an answer to this question and plan to get a model that satisfies your every need, you have come to the right place. We have taken the time to gather a lot of info about the topic and in the end, we have created a buying guide that’s simple and comprehensive. Thanks to the following tips and tricks, you will be able to make an informed decision and correlate your requirements with the features of the product you want to purchase.



The typical stereo microscope has magnification capabilities ranging from 20X to 80X. What are you planning to look at? Bacteria and cells might be out of the question because this magnification capability doesn’t raise up to par as germs require at least 1000X in order to be analyzed properly. It doesn’t come as a surprise that many stereo units are often times called dissecting microscopes mostly because they have a movable arm and allow the person using them all the room he or she may need to look at different parts of the specimen. If you plan to get as much value for the price as possible, it might be a good idea to choose the best budget stereo microscope that allows you to benefit from broad magnification limits. This feature will give you the freedom to use the microscope under most circumstances and for different samples.


Quality of construction

All-metal frames and glass optics are far better when compared to any plastic parts. If you don’t have the money to get an overly expensive model that withstands the test of time and allows you to use it efficiently every time, at least take the time to look at the best stereo microscope reviews. Other owners and users can tell you exactly what to expect from one product or the next. If the frame is made of plastic, you’ll have to protect it somehow and even avoid leaving it on the table for the sunlight to heat it up.


Working distance

As previously mentioned, stereo microscopes offer a bit of room when it comes to maneuvering the specimen. In this case, you will have to ask yourself whether you will need to solder a printed circuit board or look at a fixed biological sample. In other words, you ought to correlate your purpose with the working distance and field of view of the product. There are many different units to choose from so you’ll have to consider getting a longer or shorter working distance or a larger or smaller field of view. All of this depends on what you intend to do with your stereo microscope.


Illumination systems

In most cases, modern options come with lighting capabilities so you won’t have to move the microscope from one area of the room to the other depending on where you have more light available. All you have to do is connect the unit to a power source. While some argue that tungsten and fluorescent illumination systems are superior when compared to their LED and halogen counterparts, we’ve noticed that these two are convenient and durable enough. Unfortunately, halogen bulbs are rather expensive compared to LED bulbs so if you’re interested in getting the most out of your microscope and spend as little money on consumables as possible, you ought to stick to a LED option.


Digital features

While getting the best student stereo microscope is a tremendous idea, it might be less recommended in the long run. Most models aren’t capable of offering owners various advantages with regard to capturing and storing the images on a laptop or computer. Traditionally, these kinds of microscopes don’t feature cameras. The ones that do can take a toll on your budget because they’re anything but affordable. Obviously, if you do choose a stereo microscope that comes with a camera, you’ll have to look at its connectivity features and whether or not it comes with a USB port or with complimentary software. While the programs offered by the vast majority of manufacturers aren’t necessarily technologically advanced, they are good at allowing you to save the images on your computer and even measure different parts of the specimens that are being examined.

In other words, you will have to look at your preferences and requirements and determine whether you are looking for the best digital stereo microscope or not.



Top stereo microscope reviews in 2017


The best stereo microscopes are showcased below. Most of these suggestions are affordable and convenient and offer all the working space you may require to look at your samples. Besides, they’re reliable and easy to use, and some speak to the needs of rookies who are just learning the basics of operating a microscope. Since they seem to offer plenty of value for the price, you’d benefit from considering them.



AmScope SE400-Z


1.AmScope SE400-Z Professional Binocular Stereo MicroscopeIn spite of the fact that the magnification capabilities of the AmScope SE400-Z are rather limited, we felt compelled to include it in this selection as it is one of the top rated stereo microscopes available in today’s market.

The product offers the capabilities of a well-designed unit that features 10X and 20X magnification as well as a 1X objective. As is the case with other products in the same line, the AmScope SE400-Z comes with a LED lighting system that allows you to look at the sample without having to bother about whether there is enough light in the area or not. The bulb is conveniently located on an adjustable gooseneck which means that you will be able to direct the light exactly where you may need it.  

While the SE400-Z might be less capable of satisfying the expectations of people working in laboratories, it is certainly a more than decent choice for individuals who are interested in looking at and manipulating large objects such as dental pieces or circuit boards.

What’s more, the product proves its worth in areas such as jewelry making and even coin collection, as it allows owners to manipulate the pieces as much as they want.


Buy from for ($189.98)





AmScope SM-4TZ-144A


Compared to the model we’ve showcased earlier on, the SM-4TZ-144A is a professional trinocular stereo microscope that proves its worth in a myriad of domains and for different applications.

The product features outstanding magnification as any user has the choice to utilize a 0.7X-4.5X zoom objective or select one of the magnifications available between 3.5X and 90X. This gives a lot of freedom to owners as they are more than capable of looking at various kinds of specimens.

It is worth noting that the working distance of the product is more than reasonable as it features a double-arm boom stand with 20-in arms and a 17-in pillar. What’s more, the microscope is equipped with a LED illumination system consisting of 144 bulbs of which the brightness can be customized depending on your personal preferences by just using the rheostat.

While the base unit costs just under six hundred dollars but does not feature a camera, such a piece can be purchased separately as this is a trinocular model, after all. It goes without saying that this detail is rather convenient as many other stereo microscopes don’t allow users to capture the images using any type of camera.


Buy from for ($529.98)





AmScope SE306R-PZ


3.AmScope SE306R-PZ Forward Binocular Stereo MicroscopeIf ruining your entire budget doesn’t look like an attractive idea, perhaps it is just the right time to consider the AmScope SE306R-PZ. While this product does have a series of limitations, it undoubtedly speaks to the needs of students and beginners who are less inclined to spend a lot of money on a stereo microscope.

The only notable disadvantage we were able to discover while assessing how this unit compares to others is that the SE306R-PZ does not offer the convenience of any working distance to speak of. This makes operation a nuisance for users who have to manipulate their pieces while they are examining them. As such, the SE306R-PZ is highly recommended for smaller pieces.

In spite of the fact that it might not offer enough working space, the SE306R-PZ is undoubtedly worth considering as it has excellent magnifying capabilities ranging from 10X to 80X, made even more valuable by the 2X and 4X objectives provided in the pack.

Furthermore, this is one of the few models that features both an upper and a lower halogen light source, which means that you will be able to look at how the light pierces through the structures of your specimen. With a frame made out of metal and lenses made of glass, the AmScope SE306R-PZ might be worth a try.


Buy from for ($137.75)





Celestron 44202


4.Celestron 44202 Advanced Stereo MicroscopeThe Celestron 44202 is a good choice if you are focused on getting a microscope with a rather limited working distance and that you can use in the lab or at home.

The product is reasonably priced and can be found for less than two hundred dollars depending on the online retailer you will end up choosing.

The magnification capabilities of the Celestron are rather limited, allowing you to look at specimens from 20X to 40X. Even so, the Celestron 44202 is a sturdy and reliable alternative that has people raving about it because it features fully coated glass optics and a halogen top and bottom illumination system.

Moreover, this model is fairly lightweight, weighing in at just 7.9 pounds. This detail makes it possible for owners to carry it from one lab room to the next, depending on where its services are required. As for the owner feedback, most of the people who have bought the Celestron 44202 have nothing but good things to say about its performance.

Many users claim that this unit has managed to exceed their expectations as it features a metal body, an adjustable focal height, as well as many lower light filters.


Buy from for ($179.95)







5.OMAX 20X-40X-80X Cordless Dual LEDConvenience is at the core of this OMAX product as it comes with all the characteristics of a unit designed for the modern user. On the one hand, it’s a binocular model but it features a handy camera on one of the eyepieces so that you’re able to capture the pictures and transfer them to a laptop or computer.

The USB digital camera means the world to anyone who might want to document his or her microscopic adventure, whether it is for scientific purposes or not.

The magnification capabilities of the model are more than decent as they allow owners to look at samples using 20X, 40X, or 80X functions. What’s more, the OMAX microscope has been equipped with upper and lower LED illuminators, therefore allowing you to have a look at all the details of the specimen.

The software that can be used in order to save and modify the images is part of the deal with this model and is entirely compatible with any type of Windows operating system as well as with the Mac OS one. Since it costs less than two hundred and fifty dollars but features an excellent camera and tremendous magnifying capabilities, it might be a good choice for coin, stamp, and gemstone collectors that don’t have huge budgets.


Buy from for ($219.99)




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