Hobby microscopes – Buying Guide & Comparison
If you don’t have the time to inspect the market and you just want to find what the best hobby microscope is, this short paragraph should help you find the model you need. According to our research, the National Geographic Science Lab NGMICROSCOPE is the best because it offers all the instruments you need to create your own laboratory at home. This stereo microscope will allow for great viewing of 3D elements due to its quality optics. You get over 50 accessories, from prepared slides, slide storage containers, a learning guide, and so much more. As a plus, you also get two illumination systems: one that illuminates from above and another from below and you can choose the one that better suits the specimen you are observing. If by any unfortunate event the National Geographic Science Lab NGMICROSCOPE is unavailable, we recommend the My First Lab Duo-Scope MFL-06 as a second option.
Settling for the best beginner microscope that the market has available for sale is a task that requires a lot of time and patience. We are aware of just how important time is, this is why we have compiled an easy-to-read buying guide below for you. We will try to help you in making a well-informed decision so that you can purchase the product that you need.
Durability and Optics
When buying a hobby microscope that you can use with your kids or alone, you should go for an option that can deliver the best quality frame and device. The reason we recommend this is because you are not going to use this gadget in a laboratory or classroom. You are going to use it at home and as such, it needs to be durable.
Kids are known for easily making a mess and breaking things accidentally. You should look for a product that can be firmly gripped to the surface of your table or desk. This way, even if you accidentally touch it, it is more unlikely to slide away unto the floor.
The optics in your device are also important because they can dedicate the kind of objects you can view. So if for example, you want to be able to see bacteria, you will need to go for alternatives that can give a magnification of at least 300x.
When buying a product that is designed to be used by amateurs, we recommend you consider going for an option that also comes with accessories. The reason for this is simple and it involves the convenience of the user.
Going for a device that is already equipped with all the accessories you need to make the most out of it is ideal because it will not only save you time but also money. It is easier to purchase a kit that contains everything you need than to have to search for individual accessories that are compatible with your product.
Another thing to consider is that some alternative can also come with prepared slides and other specimens for examination. The kit may include items that range from mineral rocks to live specimens. This is perfect for kids as they can start using the device immediately and with the many items that can be provided, they can have many hours of fun ahead of them.
Ease of Use
You don’t want to settle for a product that is needlessly complicated to use or assemble unless you already have the required experience in working with microscopes. We recommend products that are easy to use and don’t require a lot of time for setting them up.
Since the device can be used by the entire family, including kids, the more complicated the product is, the less likely it is for them to consider using it a fun activity.
Some manufacturers include not only instructions on how to use the device, but also how to observe certain specimens. This is useful as it can make it easier for you or any user of the device to learn how to properly observe items without having to search the web or ask an expert.
Top hobby microscopes reviews in 2017
To help you decide on the ideal product, we have showcased some of the best models below that should help you find the best amateur microscope. In order to compile this list, we have taken into account some of the most popular hobby microscope reviews, consumer ratings, the reliability, and efficiency of the product as well as the opinion of the critics. Give it a look if you find the time.
National Geographic Science Lab NGMICROSCOPE
If you want to buy a device that is an ideal gift for adults and children alike, then the National Geographic Science Lab NGMICROSCOPE is the perfect choice for you.
With a brand that is renowned worldwide, you know that you will get a quality product that will be not only fun to use but also educational.
This stereo microscope is purposely built to do the job of two products. Due to its design, you will be able to examine both slides and three-dimensional items such as the geode specimen that is included. It is powered by optics that can deliver a magnification of 50x and ultra-bright illumination system so that no detail alludes you.
As a plus, you also get 50 accessories that will transform your gadget into a laboratory. You get 10 prepared slides and 10 blank slides, 23-slide storage containers, a mini geode, tweezers, and an eye dropper, as well as instructions and a learning guide.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($69.99)
My First Lab Duo-Scope MFL-06
If you want the guarantee of a good purchase, going for the My First Lab Duo-Scope MFL-06 is a no-brainer. Winner of multiple awards, this product gives you great quality for the price.
It features a minimum magnification of 40x and an outstanding maximum of 400x. This is enough to allow you to observe even bacteria.
The optics of this device are made with real glass which provides more details to the eye as well as a better magnification. The dual cool LED illumination is bright but does not emit heat, which makes it ideal to use with temperature sensitive objects.
To make it easier for you to operate the device without having to purchase additional accessories, the product is equipped with a kit that contains everything you might need. It contains 5 blank slides, 4 prepared slides, a test tube and petri dish, cover slips and so much more.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($64.99)
Plugable Digital Microscope USB2-MICRO-250X
The Plugable Digital Microscope USB2-MICRO-250X is a fun and easy to use gadget that also comes in a portable frame that is easy to carry and use on the go. The optics in this device allow for a magnification of 250x that you can play with.
The 2MP sensor on this alternative is powerful enough to capture detailed images and videos. The LED light allows for adjustments of its intensity, and the flexible arm stand is fixed to an observation pad that has graduated marks for easier measurements.
To use this gadget, you will just have to connect it to a computer with the help of the USB cable that is included with your purchase.
With this alternative, you get great compatibility with all of the major operating systems on the market: Windows, Mac Os, Linux and Chrome OS. It is also compatible with Android phones that support OTG technology.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($59.99)
Potensic USB Microscope
If you are looking for a purchase that will allow you to use it in diverse environments without having to fear damaging it, the Potensic USB Microscope is made for you. The selling point of this option is its IP67 waterproof camera head that will allow you to inspect elements in multiple environments.
The 1MP CMOS sensor of the camera allows it to capture images and videos at a resolution of 1280×720 pixels.
This is enough to provide clear images and videos straight to your smartphone. As far as magnification goes, you get a maximum of 200x, which again is quite impressive for such a small product.
To use it with your smartphone, you will have to download an app from Google Play. Before purchasing, you will have to check if your Android phone is compatible with the OTG technology. To do this, you will have to download the free “USB OTG Checker” app.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($59.99)
Celestron Power Laboratory 44102
The Celestron Power Laboratory 44102 is a capable and feature-packed alternative that seeks to provide a quality product at an affordable price. It can provide magnification levels of 40x, 100x and 400x. This is more than enough for any amateur, and with Celestron, you are guaranteed to get quality glass optics.
This alternative comes in an all-metal body that makes it durable and adds greater stability when placed on a desk or table. It uses a 50mm mirror to provide illumination together with a basic condenser that concentrates light onto the specimen. You can easily adjust the brightness, depth of field and contrast.
The arm is adjustable, and you can change the viewing angle until you find the position that gives you the most comfort. It also comes with a thick dust cover that will keep your product clean when not in use. As a plus, you also get five prepared slides so that you can start using the device right away.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($88.83)