Microscopes for homeschooling – Buying guide & Comparison
Have no time to go through ratings and consumer reports to find out what the best homeschool microscope really is? If that’s so, this paragraph can tell you everything that you should know. Based on our research which has involved going through reliability surveys, sales figures, and reviews coming from actual users, it seems that the OMAX CS-M82ES-SC100-LP50 is the model that you ought to give some thought to. Even though it does not cost a fortune, much like many of the other units in the same line, this OMAX choice comes with an impressive magnification range that can allow you to increase the areas of interest on the specimens by 40 to 2000 times. The product boasts a LED illumination system of which the light intensity can be adjusted by the user. If this OMAX model is out of stock, we suggest considering the next best choice, the AmScope M150C-E5.
Our Top Choice
When it comes to choosing the right microscope for homeschooling, it’s not easy to find a better alternative than this model, since it’s affordable and it also offers very good performance. The magnification ranges from 40x to 2000x, while the proprietary illumination system consists of a transmitted LED light with customizable intensity to get the images you need.
This model’s binocular design doesn’t make it suitable for children under 10. Also, some users have reported that when the higher magnification is used, the image can get blurry.
All in all, this microscope is an excellent choice for children over 10, as it’s both effective and affordable, so do keep it in mind for the next purchase.
The M150C-E5 features a metal frame, which makes it sturdy enough to be handled by a kid. With a magnification power that ranges between 40x and 1000x and an integrated LED illumination system, the microscope can be used with both a power outlet and batteries. Plus, the eyepiece can be replaced with a camera to take shots of samples.
The software this microscope comes with is compatible only with the Windows operating system, so Linux or Mac users cannot visualize, edit, or save the taken images.
The performance offered by this microscope and all the features it includes will surely impress you, even if the magnification power is lower.
With a magnification power that goes from 40x to 1000x, this microscope is a reliable tool for homeschooling. The lightweight construction and compact design mean that it’s easy to transport. In terms of durability, there’s nothing to worry about, as the frame is made of sturdy materials. The unit comes with five blank slides and five prepared ones.
Given that this model doesn’t include a USB outlet, you won’t be able to transfer any of the images directly into your computer. Also, no carrying case is delivered with the microscope.
Available for an affordable price, this model has features similar to those of other more expensive alternatives, so you can definitely take it into consideration.
In your search for the best microscope for homeschooling, you might come to realize that there’s a seemingly unending number of choices you ought to take into account. What’s more, a plethora of factors has to be mulled over, whether they pertain to the device per se or the person using it. Not all kids have the same age, and you already know that all too well.
Since you’re probably looking to invest your cents in something worth the while, you need to make an informed decision. In that case, we suggest taking a look at our buyer’s guide. With its assistance, you could separate the wheat from the chaff just a tad better.
What types of microscopes are there?
Most of the real microscopes available for sale these days can be split up into two major categories. Some are stereo microscopes whereas other are compound alternatives.
There’s another option you could take into account, and it consists of magnifiers which are mistakenly marketed as microscopes. These last choices don’t even have the same components as their real counterparts, which is to say that they often come with optics made out of plastic and as such, deliver an inferior image quality.
Stereo microscopes are characterized by a unique design that allows the user to rotate and move the specimen depending on his or her preferences. By contrast, compound models don’t offer owners the same degree of freedom but they have a superior magnification power and can be used for many purposes.
How old and mature is the child?
First off, there are monocular, binocular, and trinocular microscopes you could consider when you’re in the market for such a device. For kids of all ages, a monocular choice is highly sought after as they have close-set eyes compared to adults. What this means is that they would find it harder to work with a binocular alternative, especially if the interpupillary distance couldn’t be adjusted.
The age of the child also needs to be borne in mind. For kids under the age of 10, a budget-friendly stereoscope might be a perfect choice, especially if they aren’t particularly attentive with such devices and risk damaging them by accident. Besides, handling a compound microscope would be far too complex for little children.
On the other hand, children in middle school should already be of the appropriate age to collect some samples and even prepare their own slides. Therefore, a compound microscope better speaks to the needs of kids who are a bit more mature. This doesn’t mean that you can’t get a stereo microscope in the beginning and upgrade to a compound one later on.
It goes without saying that the magnifying capabilities of a microscope for homeschool use are crucial. While the magnification power of stereo models can go up to 300x tops, that of compound microscopes is far greater and can even reach 2000x. There aren’t any significant cost differences between one and the other, especially if the stereo unit has been made from high-quality optical components.
What should be on your mind, however, is the type of sample you are going to use with the child. Stereo microscopes prove their worth under many circumstances, but their magnifying abilities are somewhat limiting as you’ll need to look at larger specimens such as leaves, parts of plants, and a good deal of other objects like coins and jewelry pieces.
Compound models can’t be used for such specimens as they are way too large to fit the space where a slide should go. They can provide precious information regarding the structure of organic and inorganic cells, though.
5 Best Homeschooling Microscopes (Reviews) in 2020
Now that you know some of the basic factors you need to concentrate on when you’re trying to get a good-quality microscope for your purpose, perhaps you should consider these next models. The benefits they offer seem to be highly spoken of.
1. Omax Lab LED Awarded 2018 Best Compound Microscope
If the child you want to get the microscope for is a bit older and has learned the basics of operating such a device already, you can safely choose this alternative. It’s one of the popular choices we have come across, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise given that it doesn’t cost too much, but it comes with all the features you might want from such a product.
On the one hand, the unit boasts a magnification range of 40x to 2000x and features a proprietary illumination system consisting of a transmitted LED light. The intensity of the light can be customized depending on the preferences of the person using the model.
Also, the kit includes some lens cleaning paper and some blank slides which can only increase the value provided by the set. Since this alternative is a binocular microscope, it isn’t recommended for little children as they have close-set eyes.
The magnification range of this option is an advantage in itself as it allows owners to increase the areas of interest on the specimens by 40 to 2000 times.
The transmitted LED illumination system comes in handy for moments when you need to make sure that what you’re looking at is really accurate.
As the product boasts a solid metal frame, it can withstand quite a bit of abuse and can last for a good deal of time.
Most of those who have chosen this alternative praise its sturdiness and the quality of the optics it has been equipped with.
Due to the binocular design of this OMAX unit, it might be a good idea to avoid ordering it if you intend to homeschool a child under the age of 10.
Several consumers have reported that using the higher magnification setting might result in a blurry image.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($189.99)
2. LED Coarse & Fine Focus Science Student Microscope
If you have been searching for something a bit more budget-friendly, perhaps this AmScope alternative might suit your needs. It is true that it comes with a lower magnification power compared to other choices, which is to say that you can increase the areas of interest on your samples by 40 to 1000 times.
Even so, the performance and all the other features made available by this option will surely impress you. Since this product is a monocular microscope, it speaks to the needs of both younger and older children. Also, the eyepiece can be replaced with a 5-megapixel camera that is a part of this deal.
What this means for you is that this USB microscope can be used for capturing images of your specimens, so you can even store them for later use or showcase them in projects. A user-friendly driver can be found in the box, but it is worth noting that it works with Windows operating systems only.
With a framework made from metal, this sturdy alternative can last for a more than reasonable amount of time and survive all sorts of unfortunate kid-related accidents.
The magnification power of this choice is 40x to 1000x.
A LED illumination system is integrated into the system, and the neat thing about it is that it can be utilized both with a power outlet and batteries.
You can replace the eyepiece with a 5-megapixel USB camera provided in the box and take shots of the samples.
Both coarse and fine focusing is available with this model.
The software that you will require in order to visualize, edit, and save the images to your computer or laptop is compatible strictly with Windows operating systems. This makes it impossible for Linux or Mac users to get the most of this microscope.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($176.99)
3. AmScope M162C-2L-PB10 Dual Light Glass Lens
One of the first reasons you ought to consider this model is that it comes with everything you need to get started with homeschooling. First off, it’s a binocular model, so there won’t be any issues in terms of whether adjusting the interpupillary distance will be difficult or not.
Secondly, although it has the same magnification power as much more expensive alternatives, this AmScope unit has been found to cost less than eighty dollars. Otherwise said, it is a reasonably priced product that offers plenty of value as it allows owners to increase the image of subjects by forty to one thousand times.
Since it can be used both with batteries and a power outlet, the M162C-2L-PB10 is a portable microscope that can be utilized on the go. So, in case you ever decide to sell it, this is an advantage that needs to be noted to the next owner.
This AmScope alternative is a lightweight and compact monocular microscope that can be a trusted friend in need.
The magnification range of this product is 40x to 1000x, which seems to be more than enough for most viewing circumstances.
The frame of this choice is made with sturdy material, which means that the unit is quite rugged and sturdy and can put up with the occasional abuse of a somewhat clumsy young child or teenager.
The kit includes five blank slides and five prepared ones.
Supplying the necessary power to this microscope can be done both with batteries and a traditional outlet.
This is not a USB microscope, so you will not be able to transfer any images to your computer.
There is no carrying case included in the deal, which seems to be something that several buyers have complained about.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($88.97)
Pretty much everything about this unit is remarkable. Whether you look at the magnification range and realize that you can increase the size of the specimens by 40 to 2500 times, or you consider the fact that the model has been equipped with a LED illumination system, you name it; the B120C-E1 likely has it.
The framework is made to be rugged, and it comes with both coaxial coarse and fine focusing, an iris diaphragm, a color filter, as well as an Abbe condenser. The LED light doesn’t need to be bright all of the time, especially if the child using the microscope has sensitive eyes. The dimmer will allow him or her to set just the right brightness.
Besides, this product comes with a 1.3-megapixel camera, so you can conveniently transfer the pictures to your laptop or use its monitor to visualize various areas on your sample.
This model boasts a magnification range of 40x to 2500x, which makes it stand out from the crowd as this is quite a unique feature.
A LED illumination system is built in the framework of this choice.
The AmScope B120C-E1 is accompanied by a 1.3-megapixel camera that comes with a user-friendly driver you will require for your computer or laptop.
It appears that the software made for the analysis and editing of images is indeed easy to use.
Both a dust cover and a USB cable are provided in the box.
One of the downsides of ordering this option is that its driver is not compatible with any operating systems other than Windows. So, in a sense, this is a limitation that you’ll have to address.
The price might seem off-putting for people who are on a budget.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($237.49)
5. AmScope 40X-1000X Dual LED Light Student Microscope
Learning how to use such a device is a big deal, especially for a kid who hasn’t tried any similar product before. That’s why an introductory set might be needed if you want to make your chore of explaining the basics of microscope usage to a young child.
Fortunately, this product comes with a variety of accessories and a handy book titled The World of the Microscope, which acts both as a manual and as a nice little helper. With the assistance of the book, the little one will find out more about microscopy and the difference it makes in our regular lives every day.
The extras that you’ll be getting should you decide to purchase this product range from batteries, clips, a dust cover and tweezers to a set of ID stickers and a Petri dish. It’s rather easy to see that this beginner’s microscope set really does offer good value for the money.
The microscope is a compact alternative that can be used both indoors and outdoors as it works with AA batteries and can also be powered via a wall outlet.
The model has five magnification settings, with the lowest one being 40x and the highest one being 1000x.
The metal frame boasts an enamel finish that’s resistant to stains, and we all know how accidents might happen from time to time.
Unlike many other choices out there, this student kit comes with top and bottom lights, so it can be used to look at a broad variety of specimens.
Some of the knobs are made out of plastic, and therefore might give you the feeling that they are a tad flimsy.
This device does not come with a camera, so visualizing the samples on the monitor of a computer is virtually impossible.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($89.99)