Cheap Microscopes 

Can you pay less money for a quality microscope?

Whether bought for personal use or as a gift for someone, microscopes are great devices that allow users to get a closer look at fine details of a wide variety of samples/objects. Virtually everyone will enjoy observing a range of samples from stamps to single celled organisms to get an idea of how they look when magnified. For this reason, adults and kids alike will enjoy having a microscope around.

While there are actual toy microscopes for younger kids, there are also a number of microscopes on the market that may not be advertised as toys, but have very poor quality to the extent that they can be compared to toys. It is therefore crucial to do some research before making any purchase so as to avoid disappointments.

With a wide range of cheap microscopes on the market, many people have found themselves purchasing poor quality microscopes resulting in bad first microscopy experiences and this is what MicroscopeMaster is aiming to help consumers avoid. It is in such cases that consumers are likely to leave such negative reviews as "This was a complete waste of money!"

Quality for a Cheap Price

With the majority of very low cost microscopes, some of the first time consumers often fall for such features as large magnification (above 900X) and too many accessories. Here, in most cases, these features are meant to impress the consumer and influence them to make a purchase. For the cheaper microscopes in the market therefore, these should be the warning signs to look out for.

While there are good cheap microscopes, it'ss important to be realistic when looking at the features of any given microscope kit. For instance, for a majority of low cost microscopes, magnification can go up to 400X without any problems. However, going above this level of magnification causes unclear images and consequently a bad viewing experience. Some of these kits also appear attractive with nice looking accessories and features. It's only after they have been purchased that most of the first time buyers will realize that they are made out of inferior quality materials with minimal optical quality and therefore look more like toys. These issues can easily be avoided by some simple research and buying from reputable brands.

With such brands as Amscope and Omax, users will be surprised by the good level of quality they can get for microscopes that cost less than $300. The following are a few examples of low cost good quality microscopes from Amscope and Omax.

Amscope and Omax Microscopes 

AmScope B120B Siedentopf Binocular Compound Microscope, 40X-2000X Magnification, Brightfield, LED Illumination, Abbe Condenser, Double-Layer Mechanical Stage


With a low price tag, this is an excellent device that comes with a widefield magnification setting ranging from 40x to 2000x, a professional 30 degree inclined 360 degree swiveling Siendentopf binocular head, Double layer mechanical stage as well as high quality Abbe condenser with iris diaphragm and filter. While it does not come with a wide range of additional accessories as is the case with most unknown brands, the Amscope B120B is indeed a professional level microscope that can be used for both biological and educational purposes.

The Amscope B120B is an excellent device particularly for younger and new users. It is well built to last and provide a good viewing experience, which is why it has such excellent ratings and reviews.

Omax CS-M82ES


Also priced low, the Omax CS-M82ES comes with a wide magnification range of between 40x and 2000x, a double layer XY mechanical stage and a 45 degree incline and 360 degree swiveling binocular head among a few other features. While it lacks a professional Siedentopf binocular head present in the Amscope B120B, the Omax CS-M82ES is solid and built to last. With its high quality features, the Omax CS-M82ES has been shown to be a perfect device for home use, teaching, clinical examinations as well as for laboratory use.


Despite the relatively low price for both microscopes, they come with excellent features that allow them to be used for professional use despite the fact that they are perfect for younger users and those who are starting to learn about microscopes for personal use.

While there are other much cheaper microscopes in the market that claim to have the same level of magnification and many accessories included in the kit, they end up providing very poor resolution and break down easily after being used for a short period of time and so can be classified as toys.

What To Look For

When planning to make a purchase, there are number of things to consider if one is to make a good purchase. 


Before anything else, it's important to have a clear understanding of your purpose for a microscope. This will guide you to find the most appropriate microscope to meet your needs. This is followed by carrying out a little research in order to compare different types and brands.

This process should involve considering the following:

Quality of Construction

Most of the cheaply imported toy-like microscopes are made of inferior quality material such as plastic, and are not built to last. A good quality microscope should have a solid metal frame that ensures stability and longevity. A poorly constructed microscope body should therefore be a red flag in that it shows that the device is not durable.

Quality of the Optics

The quality of both the objectives as well as the eyepieces is important when checking optical quality. Essentially, the standard for a good objective lenses is the achromatic lens, which is used to enhance and ensure a flat image of the specimen. A good microscope should therefore at least have achromatic lenses. As for the eyepieces, it is always advisable to go for either Widefield or Super Widefield eyepieces given that they allow for easier viewing.



While some microscopes may claim to allow for high magnification, it's important to ensure that they work efficiently. This is because even with higher levels of magnification, some low cost microscopes may have poor resolution that is no different from toy microscopes. 



Different types of microscopes use different light sources. It's therefore important to have a general understanding of these sources given that they all have their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, while an incandescent bulb may be cheaper, it is mostly used for older microscopes and casts a yellow light that may affect the coloring of the specimen. On the other hand, LEDs are inexpensive and energy efficient bulbs that do not overheat or change color. As such, they have an advantage over incandescent bulbs. 

Brand and Reviews

Considering the microscope's brand is very important before purchasing. Some brands are superior sold by trusted companies with proper customer service.

Also, looking at the reviews of a microscope of interest is good research given that some reviews provide more details to help guide you in making the right decision. Of course that's also the purpose of MicroscopeMaster's research and reviews.


In conclusion, it's worth noting that not all cheap microscopes are like toys. That said, consumers have to be careful when making a purchase in order to avoid wasting money on inferior products. With a little research, buyers will be surprised to learn that there are a number of low priced microscopes on the market that will meet their needs and surpass expectations.

Here are Omax Buyer's Guide and Amscope Buyer's Guide for your reading.

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