When it comes to handleability and viewing flexibility, handheld microscopes are at the apex. They offer exceptional image quality almost on par with regular models, at much cheaper, are much smaller, and almost infinite degree of freedom to view objects in all detail. The ideal handheld microscope should be compact, lightweight, easy to operate, and should be small enough to fit into one hand.
Best Handheld Microscopes
Below, we take a look at our top five handheld microscopes on the market to help you find the right gadget for your needs.
1. Carson MicroBrite Plus Pocket Microscope
The Carson MicroBrite is top on our list and is a very compact, handheld, lightweight microscope small enough to fit into a pocket. It comes with a manual 60x to 120x magnification, great image quality, and features battery-powered LED illumination. Its rubberized armor enables for a comfortable, non-slip grip while outdoors.
- Handheld, very compact and lightweight design.
- Decent magnification and great image quality.
- Battery-powered LED illumination and ergonomic design.
2. Skybasic Digital WiFi Microscope
This compact handheld microscope from Skybasic boasts of excellent connectivity and impressive 50x to 1000x magnification. It comes with LED illumination, a 2.0 MP HD CMOS sensor for image and video capture, and is easy to operate. Its WiFi makes it compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, and it comes with a stand for added stability.
- Compact, lightweight design with high magnification.
- LED illumination and 2.0 MP camera.
- Excellent connectivity and carrying stand.
3. Mustcam Handheld LCD Digital Microscope
The Mustcam Handheld LCD Digital Microscope boasts of a very powerful digitally controlled 300x to 1200x magnification packed into a smartphone-sized handy unit. It comes with an HD 5 MP camera, backed with micro SD storage, to enable image and video capture. It stands out with its unique design and exceptional ease of use.
- Impressive magnification and high image quality.
- Compact, lightweight, and handheld use.
- Powerful 5 MP camera with micro SD storage.
4. Jiusion 40 to 1000x Magnification Endoscope
The Jiusion Magnification Endoscope boasts of an impressive 40x to 1000x magnification range and is a great buy for both kids and adults. It comes with a sleek design, can be used handheld and with its stand, is highly compatible with different operating systems, and features LED illumination with brightness and focus control. With it, you can take the most outstanding photos and videos of micro profiles.
- Impressive magnification range, with 2-in-1 handheld and stand use.
- Sleek design and superb compatibility with different operating systems.
- LED illumination and media recording support.
5. Plugable USB 2.0 Digital Microscope
This handheld lightweight microscope comes with a 2.0MP camera and impressive 250x magnification. It is highly compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android, and can be mounted for superb stability. It supports photo and video recording, supports a USB 2.0 output, and comes with LED illumination for the brightest images.
- 0 MP photo/video camera with 250x maximum magnification.
- Great compatibility with a host of operating systems.
- LED illumination and USB 2.0 support.
Handheld Microscope Buying Guide
Handheld microscopes are the ideal optical companions for microscopic enthusiasts and nature explorers who value handleability, convenience, and versatility. They are also a great buy for kids who are interested in the sciences. When scouting for a handheld microscope, there are a number of qualities you want to be on the lookout for to ensure you get the best value for your money.
Our buying guide reviews the best handheld microscopes on the market based on their specified features to give you a basis to compare them and make an informed choice quickly.
Size and Handleability
Handheld microscopes are valued first, for their compactness and handleability. The ideal handheld microscope should be very lightweight and small enough to fit into one hand. To ensure this, ensure to check the product dimensions to have an estimate on the size. Handleability is necessary for the microscope’s adaptability to different viewing purposes.
The microscope must also be light enough to use in one hand for extended periods without getting fatigued. Anything around a few tens of grams to a few hundreds of grams is great. These two factors contribute to the overall microscope’s portability.
The magnification of your microscope is one of the most important considerations to make. It measures how large the specimen appears through the eyepiece and thus, how detailed the final image is. Whatever gadget you go for, should come with enough magnifying power and some more to yield the results you want.
It is always a good idea to go for handheld microscopes with adjustable magnification. For macro-viewing like studying the profiles of leaves, small insects, etc. the low magnification settings will do, while detailed images of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms will require the high power setting.
Analog vs. Digital
Handheld microscopes come as either analog or digital models and your choice will depend on your needs. Analog or traditional handheld microscopes offer the advantage of very high portability and will require you to look through the eyepiece to see the magnified image. They are relatively easy to construct and thus also very affordable.
Digital models, on the other hand, come with built-in cameras and a USB or WiFi connection to transfer the images to a PC or mobile device. They trump analog in viewing comfort and you don’t have to strain your eyes to see the image. They, however, require electric power to function and are generally more expensive than analog models.