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Pocket Microscopes List

8 Best Pocket Microscopes: Review and Buying Guide (2020)

The science of microscopy should not be limited to the four corners of the laboratory, but should be enjoyed by everyone- young or old, hobbyist or professional. And with that in mind, what better way to take microscopy to the outdoors than with a pocket microscope?

These are handy little imaging tools that are really versatile and can be used for a wide variety of purposes. They also feature decent magnification ranges, and the best part is that they don’t break the bank.

Here I have selected the 8 best pocket microscopes out of the hundreds of available options online. Most of these pocket microscopes are made by Carson, a well loved brand when it comes to microscopy for everyone. 

But, I also have a couple of other great finds from other brands that are sure to meet your expectations and more from a trusty pocket microscope.

1. Carson MicroBrite Plus pocket microscope

Ranking first on this list is the MicroBrite Plus by Carson. It’s an Amazon’s Choice pocket microscope that offers superior optics with a pretty powerful magnification range of 60x to 120x delivered by its precision molded aspheric lenses. 

This is one truly lightweight, portable, and compact microscope- everything a pocket microscope needs to be. And, it’s equipped with bright LED lights to illuminate specimens, which can easily be powered by a single AA battery.

It even comes with a limited lifetime warranty! This pocket microscope comes in a standard black and gray rubber grip coating, and is used by placing directly on top of the specimen being observed.

What’s great about it

The MicroBrite Plus guarantees clear, sharp, and distortion free images, even when used as a handheld microscope for viewing larger and irregularly shaped objects. It might require a little practice to get things down to a pat, but it’s definitely worth it.

2. Carson MicroFlip pocket microscope

My second best pick is the MicroFlip microscope, also by Carson, which is a sleek little thing that is surprisingly powerful with its 100x to 250x magnification range, pretty impressive considering it’s a pocket microscope.

It’s also equipped with bright LED lights and even a UV flashlight, giving you a wide range of possible uses. Plus, this microscope is designed with a specimen slide base that can be used to observe smaller specimens, and neatly flips up when it’s not in use.

This product is powered by a single AA battery, comes with basic accessories such as a slide, cover slip, and wrist wrap, and also comes with a limited lifetime warranty, so it’s guaranteed to last for a long time with you, no matter what.

What’s great about it

The best part, perhaps, is that the MicroFlip is designed to be used with a special adapter clip for a universal smartphone digiscope, allowing for an easy and hassle free of capturing and sharing images and videos of the specimens.

3. Carson Pocket Micro Zoom Field Microscope

Taking the third place out of all the Carson LED Lighted Zoom Field Microscope with Aspheric Lens System on this list is the aptly named Pocket Micro, which, with its slim design, is easily one of the smallest pocket size microscopes I have come across so far.

It only has a low magnification and zoom power of 20x to 60x, but that should be plenty enough to view lots of large and small specimens. Besides, it makes use of an aspheric lens system, so even with the low magnification, the images are still crystal clear and free from distortion.

As with all Carson pocket microscopes, this one is also equipped with bright LED lights, is powered by a single AA battery, features a sleek, compact, and lightweight design, and comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

What’s great about it

This is a handy little microscope that can be used for a variety of purposes, such as in observing not just whatever you may find in nature, but also coins, stamps, rugs, fabrics, and more. Hence, it’s a great imaging tool for kids and adults alike.

4. Carson MicroMini pocket microscope

Another surprisingly mini version of a pocket microscope which is even smaller than the Pocket Micro is the MicroMini, which looks almost like a toy. In fact, it doesn’t even come up to two inches on any side.

Now, it only has a set magnification power of 20x, but that doesn’t stop it from being a pretty versatile optical tool. It even features both a standard LED light and a stand alone UV flashlight to better illuminate a variety of objects and specimens.

Moreover, this microscope by Carson also features a smooth focusing knob, can be purchased in a variety of bright and fun colors, comes with a keychain, and is covered by a limited lifetime warranty.

What’s great about it

Despite its small size and low magnifying powers, this microscope is still a pretty amazing tool for students, hobbyists, and professionals alike who wish to explore the microscopic world.

5. Carson MicroBrite pocket microscope

A more basic model of my top pick, the MicroBrite Plus, is the MicroBrite, which is also an Amazon’s Choice product when it comes to pocket size microscopes. The main difference is that this one has a much smaller magnification range of 20x to 40x.

This zoom microscope is compact, lightweight, and portable, and is equipped with bright LED lights for ample specimen illumination. And, this lighting setup is powered by three LR-44 button cell batteries.

Moreover, the MicroBrite is designed to work with microscope slides, which is accommodated by a special mini microscope stage that doubles as a base. In fact, it even comes with two specimen slides to get you started.

What’s great about it

Just like the MicroBrite Plus, this item is a pretty decent imaging tool for learning, education, and exploring the microscopic world. And, as with all Carson pocket microscopes, it also comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

6. Carson MicroMax pocket microscope

Further down this list is another Amazon’s Choice pocket size microscope made by Carson, which is the MicroMax. It’s slim and sleek, and perfectly tiny, making it easily portable, so you can always use it on the go.

Interestingly enough, it has a pretty high magnification range of 60x to 75x, at least, higher than that of the previous ones I reviewed, and which is pretty impressive for its size, at just a little over one by one by three inches.

It’s also powered by three SG3 button cell batteries, which are what enable the bright LED lights to work when using the microscope. Moreover, the controls for power, zoom, and focus are easy to operate.

What’s great about it

The MicroMax microscope is a pretty versatile optical tool that can be used to image and observe various materials, such as fabrics, hair strands, papers, and paper bills. It’s a sleek black mini microscope that comes with its own limited lifetime warranty.

7. Roxant Viper pocket Scope/microscope

Moving on to other brands, an excellent choice for a pocket scope/microscope that is also an Amazon’s Choice product is the Roxant Viper pocket scope with rubber armor, which looks like your typical mini flashlight, but is actually a microscope.

It features a minimal 10x to 25x magnification power that’s just enough to make it highly useful for various activities such as sports, hunting, hiking, camping, and so on. It’s a monocular scope that is equipped with high end optics to deliver the best possible images.

This all comes in a small package of a tube like microscope with rubber armor and a snake molded finger grip, and comes with various accessories, as well as a guaranteed lifetime customer support.

What’s great about it

This is a nice option for the outdoorsy types who are looking for a simple microscope that can be brought anywhere, since it’s small, compact, and lightweight, while still being durable and waterproof, not to mention shockproof and dustproof.

8. Celestron Kids Let Your Child Explore The World Microscope

Last but definitely not the least, here is a pocket size microscope that is made especially for children who want to learn and have fun while exploring the joys of microscopy. It’s small and compact, making it easy to hold even for little hands.

It’s a pocket zoom microscope that actually has a pretty high magnification capability at 60x to 120x, much more than many other pocket size microscopes out there. So, it’s not only for fun, but it guarantees a great learning experience as well.

This is also easy to use, since it just needs to be placed right on top of the object that you want to observe, so there’s no need for any slide preparation whatsoever. And, the zoom, power, and focus controls are easy to manipulate as well.

What’s great about it

The Celestron Kids Let Your Child Explore The World Microscope is an optical tool that is made for kids, and in that aspect, it’s surely a fun and enjoyable piece of equipment. But, its amazing specifications are right up the alley of pocket microscopes for adults!

Final thoughts

When looking for the best pocket microscope, pretty much the only thing you need to consider is how high its magnification powers are, and also whether it can be used with raw objects, or it requires a bit of slide preparation.

Out of all the pocket size microscopes I was able to find, the best one for me is the Carson MicroBrite Plus, since it has a relatively high magnification range, offers high quality images, and is easy to use.

Read also: Different types of microscopes

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