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How to Choose the Right Microscope for Your Lab

by Olufisayo
How to Choose a Microscope

Science requires accuracy.

When you are looking at tiny specimens, you need as much clarity as possible.

Whether you are a student or a lab professional, how do you know if you’ll see everything you need to see?

It’s important to buy the right and top-quality equipment to get the best results. Read on to learn how to choose a microscope for your lab here.

How to Choose a Microscope for Your Lab

It’s true. Lab equipment gets expensive.

Microscopes might be one of the priciest tools you’ll ever need to purchase for your lab.

You don’t want to break the budget, but you don’t want to sacrifice quality either. So what do you look for when buying a microscope?

Here is a list of the fundamental qualities of a professional microscope:

1. Basic Construction

The rule of thumb when it comes to microscope quality:

Metal is better

If you’re going for quality, there are a few key aspects of a microscope that you want to be made of metal.

The arm, the head, the base, the eyepiece tube, the stage, the nosepiece, and the objectives, are all parts that should consist of metal.

Even seemingly minor components like the focus knobs and the tiny screws holding all together should be metal.


In general, not only is metal less breakable (and therefore, longer-lasting) than plastic, but metal parts mean sturdiness.

And sturdiness translates to less fluctuation of the microscope in general. Pieces are less likely to dislodge or crack.

And more sturdiness translates to more accuracy in your readings.

You don’t need to purchase new when shopping for a microscope. You can find quality microscopes used, and for a more affordable price.

Check out ARC Scientific for used laboratory equipment.

2. Optics

Optics are the microscope’s magnifying power. You’ll want to take serious inventory on what it is you’ll be examining.

For looking at the surfaces of larger objects, like rocks, leaves, or bugs, then you might do well with a stereomicroscope.

Generally, more cheaply made, stereo microscopes are budget-friendly scopes that you’ll often see in elementary classrooms or a hobbyist basement.

They scratch the surface, but not much else.

If you need to examine specimens at the cellular level, the compound microscope can give you more detail.

The objective lenses of compound scopes can magnify up to 1000x.

Additionally, you’ll likely want to go with a binocular head, as opposed to a monocular head. The double eyepiece is best for comfort if you are going to be using your microscope daily.

3. Lighting

Finally, what type of lighting will you need? By far, the best microscopes use energy-efficient LED lighting.

Fluorescent lighting, though less desirable, is a valid second option. Steer clear of tungsten lighting at all costs!

Find the Balance

If you’re still not sure how to choose new or used microscopes, do your research.

With so many options, you can find a high-quality scope at a reasonable price if you just look a little closer.

Read more valuable articles on our blog.

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