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Things to Consider When Selecting a Microscope for Your Lab

Almost all laboratories have optical microscopes, which are used for illuminating and magnifying specimens. Although they are simple to operate, optical microscopes have limited resolving power. A scanning electron microscope (SEM) may be more practical if a much better resolution and larger depth of focus are needed. SEMs produce information about the specimen, such as its shape, chemical makeup, and crystalline structure, using a focused stream of high-energy electrons.

Questions to Consider Before Buying a Microscope:


  • What kinds of specimens will be examined?
  • How much magnification is necessary?
  • What is the light source?
  • Are there attachments and accessories for different applications?
  • What are the options for service and warranties?


  • Will you require a floor model or a smaller desk model? Desktop models are usually less expensive.
  • What is the finest resolution you need?
  • What is the speed of the microscope?
  • How many people will use the microscope?
  • How will they be trained?
  • Is there enough room in the lab or a separate room for the SEM?
  • What options are there for ergonomic features?
  • What service and warranty options are available?

Ergonomic Considerations

It may not seem critical, but ergonomics should be taken into account when buying a microscope. Staff members in laboratories, particularly those who work in clinical labs, may spend a lot of time at a microscope. Make sure your microscopes are suited to the user's body to reduce the danger of back, neck, shoulder, and arm injuries.

Maintenance Tip

Keeping your microscopes maintained is a fairly simple task that may save you a lot of time and money. Keep your microscopes away from water, sinks, and potentially dangerous chemicals. When not in use, keep the microscope unplugged and covered.

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