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How to Buy the Right Microscope

Intro» Construction» Optics» Light» Focus» Components» Used» Conclusion

Chapter 1. Basic Microscope Construction

You'll want to buy a scope that is well built - one that will stand up to years of use. You'll want quality components and construction to last a lifetime.

Along those lines, you'll want a sturdy, well-built frame on your scope. The best are made of metallic alloys that minimize vibration, and experience minimal fluctuation with temperature variations. If a scope you are considering purchasing is made of plastic, run, and run fast!

I've seen some toy scopes that are painted or chromed to look metal - so be careful! When in doubt, ask.

Also, keep in mind that you'll want:

  • Optical glass lenses
  • Metal focus gears attached with metal screws to metal frames
  • Reagent resistant finish (the "paint job")
  • Ball bearings (not just grease) in vital moving parts.

While some aspects of construction are difficult to discern online or in a catalog, comparing actual weights (not shipping weight) and measurements can also give some indication of size and sturdiness.

Tthe next chapter, Microscope Optics, will teach you about three grades of lenses and the importance of standards.


All of GreatScopes' microscopes have rugged alloy frames, optical glass lenses, metal gear trains, reagent resistant finishes (painted, sanded, painted again, then baked for durability), and ball bearing moving parts.

Go to the next chapter: MICROSCOPE OPTICS

Intro» Construction» Optics» Light» Focus» Components» Used» Conclusion

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