Best Pocket Microscope

10 Best Pocket Microscopes in 2020

This best pocket microscope review and buying guide’s aim is to show you why young and old can enjoy microscopy. And not just in a laboratory but out and about, anywhere there’s something to inspect.

They are extremely useful, very versatile, inexpensive, and you can literally take them anywhere you want.

For this 10 best pocket microscope review, our selections are what we consider the best for performance, build quality and price.

Our Top 10 Best Pocket Microscopes

Best Pocket Microscope
  1. Carson MicroBrite Plus LED Lighted Pocket Microscope
  2. Carson MicroFlip MP-250 100x-250x LED and UV Lighted Pocket Microscope
  3. Celestron Kids Let Your Child Explore The World Microscope
  4. Carson X-Scope Kids 7 Function Multi Purpose Optical Pocket Tool
  5. SE 30x MW10084 LED-Illuminated Pocket Microscope
  6. Carson MicroPen Microscope Pen (MP-300)
  7. KINGMAS Mini 60x Microscope. Best Cheap Pocket Microscope
  8. Carson 60x-75x MicroMax MM-200
  9. Carson Pocket Micro 20x-60x MM-450
  10. Carson MicroMini 20x LED Lighted Pocket Microscope

1. Carson MicroBrite Plus LED Lighted Pocket Microscope. Best Overall Choice Pocket Microscope

Carson MicroBrite Plus LED Lighted Pocket Microscope
Image credit: Carson

The Carson MicroBrite plus 60x-120x power LED lighted pocket microscope is a battery-operated field microscope. It’s portable yet powerful enough to produce sharp, bright and clear images.

Because of its simplicity, it’s ideal to introduce beginners and young children to microscopy. But even though the microscope is great for this, it’s not a toy. It’s blessed with exceptional optics from the aspheric (the light rays converge at a single focal point), internal lens system, and 60x to 100x magnification range.

The single AA battery is enough to power the microscope’s LED lights when you need to illuminate an object you’re viewing. Turn the lights off when unnecessary.

To view an object place the microscope over the top of it, the distinctive black and grey rubber grip allows the user to hold it in place without worrying about losing hold.

The microscope’s dimensions are Length 1.2 inches, width 2.25 inches, and height 3.5 inches. Carson also issues a lifetime guarantee.

What we like / don’t like about the Carson MicroBrite Plus LED Lighted Pocket Microscope:

  • Distortion free images
  • Solidly built
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Built-in LED lights
  • 60x to 100x magnification
  • Rubber grip
  • Very Lightweight
  • Battery not included with purchase

2. Carson MicroFlip MP-250 100x-250x LED and UV Lighted Pocket Microscope. Best Overall Magnification Pocket Microscope

Carson MicroFlip MP-250 100x-250x LED and UV Lighted Pocket Microscope
Image credit: Carson

The Carson MicroFlip MP-250 is a powerful pocket microscope and is from the range of Carson pocket microscopes. It has LED lights which can be on or off, depending on the lighting of your subject.

The microscope is ultra-portable for use indoors or out. It offers a range of magnification between 100x to 250x. With that degree of power, you can clearly see objects not normally seen by the naked eye with the Carson MicroFlip. Also includes an aspheric lens system for ultra-precise and clear imagery.

It’s also possible to capture photos or video with your smartphone by using the clip they include when you buy the microphone.

The MicroFlip™ contains a built-in UV flashlight very useful if you’re trying to detect counterfeit money or similar work.

Powering the MicroFlip is one AA battery (not included). It is a tremendous, reasonably priced educational field microscope. It has multiple uses such as hobbies, working tasks, learning and field exploration.

The MicroFlip pocket microscope dimensions are Length 2.4 inches, Width 1.25 inches, Height 4.25 inches.

What we like / don’t like about the Carson MicroFlip MP-250 100x-250x LED and UV Lighted Pocket Microscope:

  • Tremendous magnification
  • Aspheric lens system
  • Unique flip-down slide base
  • UV flashlight
  • Bright LED lights
  • Portable
  • Carson’s limited lifetime warranty
  • Smartphone digiscoping adapter clip
  • Battery extra
  • Enclosed booklet needs more details

3. Celestron Kids Let Your Child Explore The World Microscope. Best Pocket Microscope For Kids

Celestron Kids Let Your Child Explore The World Microscope
Image credit: Celestron

If your children are curious about the microscopic world around them, the Celestron Kids World Microscope is a magic gift to give them.

Because of its tiny size, the microscope can go anywhere they go. Kids are always curious about bugs and yucky things, now they can magnify them by 60x to 120x their actual size. Don’t be surprised if they want to show you what new wonders they are discovering.

The microscope will encourage your kids to explore and develop an active interest in biology. Your child will be able to see the hairs on a live ant, amazing.

Built-in LED lights for more illumination on the subject. Only requires one AAA battery for operation.

Dimensions are Length 1.45 inches, Width 1.00 inch and Height 3.50 inches.

What we like / don’t like about the Celestron Kids Let Your Child Explore The World Microscope:

  • High-quality design
  • Durability
  • High magnification
  • Portable
  • Built-in LED lights
  • One AAA battery required
  • Easy to use
  • Needs a steady hand at high magnification

4. Carson X-Scope Kids 7 Function Multi Purpose Optical Pocket Tool. Runner Up Kids Best Pocket Microscope

Carson X-Scope Kids 7 Function Multi Purpose Optical Pocket Tool
Image credit: Carson

The X-Scope is a 7 function optical tool that is great for young kids just starting to take an interest in the world around them. It’s not particularly powerful, but for looking at bugs and plants close-up it’s ideal.

It’s at its best when the kids are out on walks in the park, it lets them get up close and personal with worms, plants and insects.

This great children’s pocket microscope is compact, lightweight and simple to use. With a little supervision a 5-year-old can get to grips very quickly.  It’s handheld and kids can just walk around and use it whenever they wish.

The pocket microscope comes with some really nice little tools for kids, that they’re going to love. A built-in 30x microscope, 8x telescope, 9x fold-out magnifier, directional compass, flashlight, digital clock and a signal whistle. And, they all work tremendously well.

30x magnification will work when the microscope is placed flat over the top of the viewing object. The LED lights help to illuminate the object.

What we like / don’t like about the Carson X-Scope Kids 7 Function Multi Purpose Optical Pocket Tool:

  • Very nice kids first microscope
  • Sturdy construction
  • Portable
  • Carson’s 1 year limited warranty
  • Easy to use
  • 7 tools in one
  • LED lighted
  • For young children only
  • Batteries are not included

5. SE 30x MW10084 LED-Illuminated Pocket Microscope. Best Pocket Microscope 30x

SE 30x MW10084 LED-Illuminated Pocket Microscope
Image credit: SE

The SE pocket microscope 30x is an LED illuminated easy to use, simple focus wheel, for everyday use. Ideal if you’re a  jeweler or collector of antique coins or stamps.

The microscope weighs a tiny 1.6 ounces only and comes with a fitted vinyl storage pouch.

LED light allows the angle of light to be changed up to 45 degrees, making it much easier to illuminate the object you’re viewing.

Very simple to use. The object you want to view should be flat on a table, place the SE over the top of it, look through the viewfinder and adjust the focus wheel until the object is in full focus, then switch on the LED light to illuminate your object.

The dimensions are 5 5/8 inches by 1 inch by 1 7/8 inches.

What we like / don’t like about the SE 30x MW10084 LED-Illuminated Pocket Microscope:

  • Simple to use
  • Sturdy construction
  • 30x magnification
  • Lightweight 1.6 ounces
  • Bright LED lights
  • Focus difficult to get used to
  • Narrow field of vision

6. Carson MicroPen Microscope Pen (MP-300). Best Pen Microscope

Carson MicroPen Microscope Pen (MP-300)
Image credit: Carson

The MicroPen MP-300 is made by Carson Optical one of the best-known microscope brands. This Carson microscope is a lightweight portable pocket microphone with 24x to 53x magnification. One of the best microscopes for beginners and of course can be taken anywhere you wish.

This pen features a built-in LED light that illuminates the object you’re viewing creating a bright, powerful and clear image. Using the built-in zoom and focus knobs is very easy and you’ll be able to view close-up details of almost anything that catches your attention.

The MicroPen MP-300 will easily fit in your pocket and is extremely lightweight at only 1.34 ounces, you might even forget you have it with you. Just 3-SG3 button cell batteries are needed to power this small pen microscope.

The dimensions are 0.8 x 0.5 x 5 inches. Similar to all Carson microscopes it comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

What we like / don’t like about the Carson MicroPen Microscope Pen (MP-300):

  • Ultra-lightweight
  • Sturdy
  • Small and slim
  • Batteries included
  • LED lighting
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Decent optics
  • Easy to operate
  • So small easy to lose
  • Small field of view

7. KINGMAS Mini 60x Microscope. Best Cheap Pocket Microscope

KINGMAS Mini 60x Microscope
Image credit: KINGMAS

The Kingmas Mini 60x microscope is the best cheap microscope you can buy. Kingmas have even added a Jeweler’s Loupe with 10X into the package. Using LED lights is much more battery efficient and gives brighter and clearer images.

Even by pocket microscope standards, this is a very tiny microscope at only 3.0 inches x 1.5 inches x 2.4 inches (L*W*H).

There is also a UV light, making it useful for such activities as jewelry and currency examination. For such a small handheld microscope it might take some serious concentration to keep it steady when viewing.

It would make a very nice hobby microscope for kids or young teens.

It comes in a handy faux leather pouch to protect the lens from scratches when it is being carried around.

Focus is adjustable all the way up to 60x magnification, which once again is not bad for such a mini microscope.

To use it place the clear plastic end onto what you want to view. Then look through the eyepiece and adjust the focus. The zoom works by pulling/pushing the lens in or out.

What we like / don’t like about the KINGMAS Mini 60x Microscope:

  • Tiny Size
  • Fits in a child’s hand
  • 60x magnification
  • LED lights built-in
  • Included jeweler’s loup
  • Faux leather pouch
  • Decent optics
  • Price point
  • Small viewing port
  • LED lights need to be brighter

8. Carson 60x-75x MicroMax MM-200. Best Handheld Pocket Microscope

Carson 60x-75x MicroMax MM-200
Image credit: Carson

The Carson MicroMax MM-200 is a lightweight portable field microscope. We would classify the MicroMax as a pocket microscope best buy option. At only 3 inches tall and 2 inches wide it’s also one of the smallest options.

This is a little gem for on-the-go science exploration. Kids and teens will have hours of fun checking out all manner of everyday items such as human hair, currency notes, coins, etc. Pop it in your pocket and take it outside and it opens up the natural world for viewing interesting flora and fauna.

The 60x to 75x magnification makes it all possible.

A rubberized eyepiece makes viewing very comfortable along with the built-in LED lights to help light up the object.

To use it correctly, place the MicroMax flat against the viewing object. Then adjust the zoom to bring it into full focus. Viewing anything when it’s not flat against the object will cause the images to be unfocused and even blurry.

As with all Carson microscopes, the MicroMax MM-200 comes with a lifetime limited warranty.

The microscopes dimensions are 1.25 inches x 3.25 inches x 0.75 inches (L*H*W).

What we like / don’t like about the Carson 60x-75x MicroMax MM-200:

  • Well built
  • Good magnification
  • LED lights
  • Lifetime limited warranty
  • Rubberized eyepiece
  • Simple to use
  • Lightweight
  • Tiny size
  • Batteries included
  • Cost of replacement batteries
  • Not good for rocks because of uneven surface

9. Carson Pocket Micro 20x-60x MM-450. Best Hobby Microscope

Carson Pocket Micro 20x-60x MM-450
Image credit: Carson

The Carson Micro MM-450 is a compact, lightweight and portable hobby microscope. It will also make a very useful field microscope for both kids and students.

LED bright lights, internal Aspheric Lens System providing Crystal Clear and Distortion-Free images.

Powerful zoom options from 20x to 60x magnification, but to use properly must be on flat surface and directly on top of the viewing object, but gives very good single hand use. Getting to top magnification though needs a very steady hand.

The unit is powered by one AA battery, which is not included with the initial purchase.

Curious children will love this tiny microscope. It’s definitely a leading contender in pocket microscopes.

What we like / don’t like about the Carson Pocket Micro 20x-60x MM-450:

  • Powerful magnification
  • Price point
  • LED bright lights
  • Internal aspheric lens
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Powered by one battery
  • Battery not included

10. Carson MicroMini 20x LED Lighted Pocket Microscope. Best Mini Pocket Microscope

Carson MicroMini 20x LED Lighted Pocket Microscope
Image credit: Carson

The Carson MicroMini is one of a few mini microscopes that are value for money. Essentially this is very lightweight, portable and compact, in fact, so small it has its own keychain attachment.

There is a built-in LED light for use with the microscope but there’s also a UV light and flashlight.

Brilliant as a starter microscope for kids, it has 20x magnification, bringing the everyday world closer.

A choice of body colors, orange, green or blue. The dimensions  1.5 inches x 1.0 inches x 1.6 inches (LxWxH).

The magnification is brilliant enough to surprise you, revealing many details small enough to be unexpected and exciting. Yet, easy enough for even a 5-year-old to use with a little guidance.

What we like / don’t like about the Carson MicroMini 20x LED Lighted Pocket Microscope:

  • Mini size microscope
  • 20x magnification
  • Sturdy
  • LED lights
  • Choice of colors
  • UV light
  • Awkward to hold and focus
  • Narrow field of view

Summary

When you’re searching for the best pocket microscope for your budget, you need to take a few factors into account. Magnification is obviously important, but so is build quality and optics. Without decent optics, high magnification doesn’t mean very much. And if it doesn’t have good build quality, it will not last a long time.

We’ve picked out 10 pocket microscopes that we believe give a decent cross-section of those major factors above.

Enjoy your viewing whichever one of the microscopes you choose. Don’t forget to contact us if you would like more information.