While there are virtually endless phenomenon in the world to be observed, reported on and studied, all amateur scientists know that the really fascinating bits are the parts that you can’t see with your naked eye. This makes owning a good microscope an absolute must for any budding Bairds or Binnigs. And to ensure that you spend more time researching the universe and less researching your microscope, here are our Top 10 microscopes for the Amateur Scientist.
10. Omano OM185 Dissecting Microscope
This is a perfect microscope for kids and tweens who just want get a closer look at the world around them. An affordable precursor to a full-fledged science lab, this unit is durable, affordable and simple to use. Magnifies at 20x standard.
9. Omano OM136C Monocular Compound Microscope
At under $200, this little beauty is a great choice for teens or first-timers who aren’t quite sure about their new hobby yet. Magnification ranges from 40x to 400x, and the unit features rechargeable LED or Halogen illumination.
8. MW1-HB1 Kids Microscope
This one is still geared toward the young amateur, but it packs a little bit more of a bang for your buck. This unit will magnify up to 400x, but is smaller in size and less expensive than most full-size models that do the same.
7. MW1-HD1 Digital Kids Microscope and Software
High-powered magnification of up to 400x, a built-in digital camera and the ability to go cordless make this unit an excellent pick for amateur eggheads of all ages.
6. Motic D-EL2 Digital Microscope
At under $300, this is one of the most affordable Digital Microscopes on the market. The scope packs a 5.0 mega-pixel camera, a 3×5” digital display and allows for magnification of up to 400x.
5. Meiji Techno EMZ-8TR-P Plain Stand Stereo Microscope System
An affordable stereo microscope is hard to come by, but this one rings in at under $2,000 and is as suited to laboratory use as it is to garage experimentation. The EMZ-8TR-P is also heavily customizable, and easily adapts to a variety of experiements.
4. MW5-L7 Stereo Zoom Large Base Microscope
A solid stereo microscope that’s priced well within a hobbyist’s range, this unit has an extra-large base to provide for the imaging of three dimensional objects. Magnification ranges vary, but it should be more than enough to provide hours of fascinating study.
3. Meiji Techno MT4000 Biological Microscope
A slightly more pricy option for more seasoned science nuts, this high-quality bio-microscope is available in either binocular or trinocular format and will magnify clearly at 1000x.
2. Swift M10 Series Biological Lab Microscopes
Another great advanced-study scope for hobbyists, students and professionals alike, this unit will magnify up to 1000x and is finished in acid-resistant and reagent-resistant epoxy.
1. Omano OM159 Infinity Corrected Compound Microscope
While a bit on the pricy side, this is a professional-quality choice for any hobbyist or budding scientist. Magnification fields from 40x to 1000x as well as built in digital imaging capability make this microscope an absolute treasure.
Hayley is an amateur scientist, author and blogger. Visit Microscope.com to select a high performance microscope for your next science project. To find a fun and fascinating science project, visit chemistry.about.com