Download Timstar’s microscope buying guide


Microscopes are highly important pieces of equipment and are one of the most influential scientific inventions ever made. The invention of the microscope opened up a new world of discovery and study of the smallest things.

Microscopes have played a huge part in science and, as they are configured to suit different applications, it is important to ensure that you purchase a microscope that is well-suited to your application.

Timstar takes a look at some of the key attributes you should consider when purchasing a microscope.

TOP TIP – When buying a class set of microscopes, consider buying multiple monocular microscopes for regular student use, and a digital binocular microscope for teacher-led demonstration and occasional advanced use at the front of the classroom.

Every year, Timstar provides quality equipment and resources to 5,000 education establishments worldwide, including 1,250 UK academies, and we help 2.5 million students globally to improve attainment in science. Over 5,000 queries are effectively handled yearly by our in-house technical experts and our responsive customer service team is always dedicated to your needs.

Timstar stocks an extensive range of microscopes that have been chosen specifically for their suitability for education. These competitively priced microscopes include up-to-date requirements for the needs of today’s young scientists.

Timstar's Top Picks

Purchasing microscopes should take into consideration levels of teaching, features, technical capabilities. The CLEAPSS GL125 guide has some useful additional information in selecting microscopes specifically for Key Stages
3, 4 and 5.


A range of well-priced microscopes with a specification aimed for the education market. Motic microscopes deliver excellent resolution and contrast and are designed specifically for the end users in mind and are one the most popular brand of microscope used throughout UK schools today.

Best Buy for Key Stage 3

Our Student Advanced Microscope SFC-100 Series is our recommended buy for Key Stage 3 as it fulfils the requirement for overall magnification up to x400, fine and coarse focusing ability and retractable high-power objectives. This range also offers multiple optional extras such as a choice of illumination and objective lenses.


Kern and Sohn, established in 1844, have utilised German design and workmanship to manufacture a range of high-quality microscopes for education, research and industrial use. Timstar is offering a selection of mid-range educational microscopes from KERN, along with selected higher-level models. The full range from KERN is available from Timstar, on request.

Best Buy for Key Stage 4

The Kern OBE-1 series, Model 111, is the ultimate out-of-the-box Key Stage 4 microscope for GCSE microscopy teaching and learning. This model features both superior optics (100x objectives) and a built-in mechanical stage as standard.

Perfect for GCSE Biology required practical activity: Microscopy.

‘Use a light microscope to observe, draw and label a selection of plant and animal cells. A magnification scale must be included.’

Perfect for A-Level Required Practical

‘Preparation of stained squashes of cells from plant root tips; set up and use of an optical microscope to identify the stages of mitosis in these stained squashes and calculation of a mitotic index.’

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