Microscope kits for beginners – Buying Guide & Comparison
If you are short on time and you just want to find the best microscope kits for beginners, this short paragraph should help you get exactly the model you need. According to our research, the AmScope M150C is the best because it’s one of the most efficient units in the line. Despite the fact that it is one of the most budget-friendly options out there, the model is perfectly capable of serving you as it has been constructed with high-quality optics. This monocular microscope comes with five magnification settings that allow you to increase the size of your subjects or specimens by up to 1000 times. Besides, the fact that it has been outfitted with a resilient metal framework makes it the perfect choice for parents who are looking to explain to their kids a bit about microscopy, in general. Since children can be a bit clumsy now and then, this model can withstand the test of time. If the AmScope M150C is unavailable, your second option should be the My First Lab MFL-06.
Our Top Choice
This monocular microscope can be used with great results for educational purposes. It boasts a frame made out of metal, it’s durable and rugged, and it even comes with a proprietary LED illumination system. The 40x to 1000x magnification range is another notable advantage.
There have been several complaints over time from people who say that they didn’t receive any assembly instructions.
If what you are in the market for is a rather basic microscope that can be used by students and children, then this AmScope alternative should fit the bill.
If you have been searching for an affordable microscope that does its job precisely how it is supposed to, do consider the MFL-06. It’s convenient, comfortable to use, and more or less versatile. The kit comes with a wide range of accessories like prepared slides, a Petri dish, and plastic droppers.
The 40x to 400x magnification might not be suitable for some users. This microscope can’t be used to observe some types of bacteria.
This basic device does prove its worth in situations where you have to teach children how to use a microscope for the first time. It is easy to use and convenient.
Probably the best thing about the M162C is the fact that it can be used in class or at home, but also when you’re on the road. It’s a monocular device, so it can be utilized by children, unlike compound alternatives whose interpupillary distance cannot be adjusted. Its optical elements are glass-coated.
Several buyers have found it hard to assemble this particular device. Others say that the quality of the images can’t compare to that offered by other units.
This rugged microscope can be used for a variety of purposes. It’s highly user-friendly, yet many of its functions are more or less basic.
If you’re thinking of buying your first microscope kit, you have to be on the lookout for several features. Just in case you have no experience with selecting such a product, we’re here to give you some help. This simple buying guide can assist you in separating the wheat from the chaff while also focusing on the important characteristics you need to keep in mind.
Number of extras
It goes without saying that the entire reason you’re prospecting the market for a microscope kit and not a standalone model is that you’re interested in getting the most out of it. Some manufacturing brands are more generous than others, which is why the sets they make available usually include blank and prepared slides, special colors, tweezers, and a variety of other extras.
The more, the merrier, they say, and we aren’t here to disagree. If you’re set on getting one of the best microscopes for beginners, it’s pretty clear that you have to make sure that the kit has all the pieces that the person might require in order to learn how to use the device both comfortably and efficiently.
Ease of use
Another detail that you have to bear in mind is the age of the individual you’re getting the kit for. If you’re buying the product for a child, you need to consider the fact that kids may have close-set eyes compared to adults, which is why a monocular microscope might be a better choice when compared to a binocular alternative.
An additional pointer on how to determine whether or not the device is user-friendly is if it comes with eyepieces of a display of its own. Some Celestron or National Geographic models have handy displays that are exceptionally easy to work with when compared to the standard eyepieces that are outfitted into a typical microscope.
Whether you plan to spend a pretty penny or as little money as possible, sometimes it all comes down to your own preferences. While some people like to be connected at all times, others might appreciate a classic option. Take handheld USB microscopes, for example. Most can strictly be used with the help of a personal computer or laptop as they don’t even have a proprietary display or eyepiece.
Higher end models are a bit more complicated in that despite the fact that they are made to meet and even exceed the requirements of even the pickiest science buffs, they can be harder to manage if they come with loads and loads of features that a beginner might not know how to work with. Some of the top choices we have seen, in this sense, are trinocular microscopes that sometimes come with magnification settings that go well beyond the 1000x mark.
Plus, these units are equipped with a built-in camera that usually has a more than adequate resolution. It goes without saying that the camera that a pocket USB microscope has been outfitted with can’t even come close to that of professional alternatives especially when tackling the matter of image quality.
To make the most out of the best beginner’s microscopes, it has to feature some sort of driver or software with the help of which you can transfer the pictures to your computer or laptop. Some of these programs are good enough for you to focus on certain areas and measure them appropriately.
Last but not least, the number of times by which you can increase the size of your samples matters a great deal. Even a microscope for amateurs ought to have a magnification range that goes from 20x to 200x, for instance. The majority of the models that you might find in school labs, for example, come with magnification settings that go up to 1000x.
This feature matters especially if you have no expertise in the matter. A wider range is to be preferred if you’ll be looking at plants, skin cells, and other tissues other than the regular coins, bills, and other items that might be of interest to you.
5 Best Microscope Kits for Beginners (Reviews) in 2019
To make it easier for you to make up your mind, we have selected a limited number of models which we think are worth the time and money. From what we have gathered by going through the consumer reports, it appears that these units are highly esteemed for their capabilities and the convenience they offer.
- 1. AmScope M150C-I 40X-1000X All-Metal Optical Glass Lenses Cordless LED Student
- 2. C & A Scientific MFL-06 My First Lab Duo-Scope
- 3. AmScope 40X-1000X Dual LED Light Student Microscope Package
- 4. AmScope M100C-LED 40X-1000X Student Biological Field Microscope with LED light
- 5. HOMEE Science Kits for Kids Microscope Beginner
1. AmScope M150C-I 40X-1000X All-Metal Optical Glass Lenses Cordless LED Student
While it might not be a kit in the conventional sense, this AmScope M150C has shown up on our radar due to the rave reviews it has managed to gather over time. This product is a monocular compound microscope with a maximum magnification setting of 1000x. What this means is that you will be able to utilize it for multiple scientific purposes.
Equipped with a rugged metal framework and a LED illumination system, the M150C is one of the top choices out there as it has been constructed using glass optics that take the cake when it comes to durability and that can significantly impact the quality of the image you will be seeing.
Moreover, the 360-degree rotatable monocular head boasted by this unit can make sure that you can show your discoveries to your colleague or friend who might be sitting next to you and waiting for his turn.
The product is ideal for students in elementary school or high school who want to learn the basics of science and how to properly handle a microscope.
The 360 degree rotatable monocular head comes with five different magnification settings, ranging from 40x to 1000x.
The framework is made out of sturdy metal, meaning the item is durable and long lasting.
The LED illumination system is powered both by an outlet or three AA batteries.
It comes with a 5-year factory warranty.
The product doesn’t come with warnings or instruction manuals, making it quite complicated to assemble for the uninitiated.
Other customers also complained about the product, as it did not include any cover slides; the overall cheap aspect of the materials used to manufacture it is another drawback for people focused on design.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($89.99)
In spite of the fact that it is among the most budget-friendly alternatives available for sale these days, the MFL-06 is also one of the top rated options out there. Given that it has garnered the appreciation of over one thousand buyers, it stands to reason that it is worth its weight in gold.
Aside from the actual microscope that features magnification settings ranging from 40x to 400x, you’ll also be getting a 50-piece accessory kit. The set also comes with an introductory book that can take you through all the steps that you need to complete to get the device up and running.
As is the case with the formerly mentioned unit, this one boasts real glass optics that have a good temperature resistance, and that can withstand the test of time. Another detail that’s worth noting is that the MFL-06 can be used with batteries, thus allowing you to benefit from enhanced portability.
The product comes with three different magnification rates, from 40x to 400x to suit all school requirements.
It features real glass optics and is battery operated for full-time autonomy.
The product is sold with an extensive accessory kit containing no less than 50 different pieces, including samples, prepared slides, blank slides, a petri dish, a teasing needle, cover slips, plastic droppers, and more.
The item is suitable for children between elementary school and high school as it can be easily used for science projects and more.
This microscope is not powerful enough to see bacteria on slides or anything too fancy, but it does provide a good insight regarding onion skin cells and more.
It is mainly intended for small children, while high school students might require a more sophisticated microscope.
The magnification rates might be an inconvenience if what you are focused on is analyzing smears or anything that might require you to look at tissues and cells.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($69.99)
3. AmScope 40X-1000X Dual LED Light Student Microscope Package
If you have nothing against spending around ninety dollars on a beginner’s microscope, the M162C might be a safe bet. It comes with a magnification range of 40x to 1000x, thus allowing you to look at many kinds of samples. Plus, the accessory kit that accompanies the main unit is more than generous as it features heaps of extras.
Aside from the fact that it is a monocular alternative, there really isn’t that much of a difference between the M162C and a unit that you’d normally find in a school lab. Plus, the solid metal frame, the glass lens, and the coated optical elements all add to the overall value offered by this model.
In addition to all of this, you might want to be aware of the fact that the unit can be powered both via AC and using batteries, which means that you can utilize it both at home and when you’re on the field.
This model comes with both top and bottom lights for perfect illumination; it can be used for a variety of specimens.
It features five different magnification rates, from 40x to 1000x, helping you zoom in the closest details and get a clear vision of what surrounding things look in reality.
The optical elements are glass coated, meaning they provide a crisp and clear image of your samples.
The mechanical components are made entirely out of metal to prevent breaking and ensuring a long-lasting use.
The product was awarded the prize of Best Student Microscope in 2016, which says pretty much everything about the quality of this item.
Although the vast majority of the clients were utterly pleased with the performances reached by this kids’ microscope, some customers claimed the clarity of the images and quality of this item are doubtful.
Also, the product is quite hard to assemble and it will take you a lot of patience until properly focusing and putting all pieces together.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($89.99)
4. AmScope M100C-LED 40X-1000X Student Biological Field Microscope with LED light
Another reasonably priced alternative is this M100C-LED model that comes with most of the advantages provided by high-end options. Even though this is a compound microscope, it relies on the use of low voltage electrical current coming from a power outlet or batteries, depending on the source that you’ll find most feasible for you.
Why is this detail important? Children using electrical devices such as this one can often be exposed to dangers. Fortunately, this unit can enable you to rest assured that nothing will go wrong on this account. Some of the most attractive features boasted by this unit consist of a five-level magnification capability, a 360-degree swiveling head, and fully coated optics.
A dust cover and a pair of clips are part of the deal with this product. However, you might come to the conclusion that the extras in this package are only so many, which is why it is less likely to be a highly recommended choice for people who have no knowledge whatsoever on using a microscope.
The product comes with an affordable price considering its technical specifications and number of accessories provided.
It comes with five different magnification powers, going up to 1000x. This means you will get a clear image of all the samples you are interested in, which will help you easily complete your school projects.
This microscope features 45-degree inclined and 360-degree rotatable monocular head; therefore, it can be used for educational purposes as teachers will be able to show to students what they have discovered.
It is built from a sturdy and trustworthy metal framework and has built-in LED illumination to properly see your samples in all lighting conditions.
Some of the customers have complained about the poor focus and the overall poor quality of the product.
Since some issues regarding transportation and the way it can affect the microscope in a negative way, we suggest looking at the microscope and its components right after having it delivered at your home.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($75.99)
5. HOMEE Science Kits for Kids Microscope Beginner
Last, but not least, you should check out this HOMEE unit, as well, as it is incredibly reasonably priced and can even be found to cost less than twenty dollars. Despite being budget-friendly, it’s particularly limited in terms of the features it comes with and the advantages it provides.
Nonetheless, you ought to consider the fact that this kit is destined for the use of children with ages above 6, which is why it might be a bit difficult to adjust its settings so that it works for adults. For example, the magnification capabilities of this option are somewhat limited as you can increase the size of your samples by only 100x, 400x, and 1200x.
While some argue that this model is a toy and not a real microscope, it is most certainly a useful addition to a family with children. What’s more, although it costs so little money, its monocular head features a LED bulb that can make sure that the specimen you’re examining receives enough light.
Just as the name suggests, this microscope kit is the perfect gift for beginners who want to explore the biological and microbiological surrounding life.
Without a doubt, this product is one of the most affordable ones out there, so if you’re on a tight budget you should consider it.
It comes with a playful design, attractive to small children and youngsters, while still providing a sturdy body for long-term use.
It provides high magnification for educational applications. You can magnify your selected slide up to 1200 times, depending on your needs.
It comes with a great array of useful accessories.
Just like with many other affordable microscopes, numerous customers have complained about the overall poor quality and poor design of the product.
Some have mentioned that the slides are very cloudy and hard to see through, while others have complained about the microscope not being able to magnify at all.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($16.99)