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Best microscope for veterinary use

Last Updated: 24.06.24


Microscopes for veterinary use – Buying Guide & Comparison


If you are short on time and you just want to find the best microscope for veterinary use, this short paragraph should help you get exactly the model you need. According to our research, the VanGuard 1421BRI is the best as it is versatile, well-made, and fit to serve you whenever you need ti the most. What’s more, this clinical microscope has been outfitted with a halogen lighting system of which the brightness can be customized using the integrated Koehler illumination. Given the fact that this particular microscope has been designed to withstand the test of time, you won’t have to replace it too soon. Based on what we found about it, it appears that the VanGuard model is tailored to the needs of people working in vet clinics and other laboratories where diagnostics are set on a regular basis with the help of such a device. If the VanGuard 1421BRI is unavailable, your second option should be the VanGuard 1210CM.



Comparison table


The Good
The Bad



What are the best microscopes for vet clinics? This is a difficult question to provide an answer to, and that’s because you first have to assess your requirements before choosing a particular model. While some vets might be focused on analyzing cytology samples, others strictly need a handy microscope that they can take with them wherever they might have to go. This last one can typically be utilized for looking at parasites, for example. For more information, check out our guide.

What is the type you need?

Not all vet practices are the same, in that it’s probably unlikely that the same person performing bacteriological and cytological examinations does the same with ectoparasites and various other living organisms that might not require the same powerful magnification range as the first situation asks for.

As such, you need to think things beforehand and decide on the kind of microscope that will be most useful to you. Handheld alternatives aren’t particularly excellent if you are looking to get high-quality images, and that’s because they’re mostly built to meet your expectations under certain momentary circumstances. If you don’t go out on the field every day, such a model might be a good option if the occasion ever arises.

Hundreds and hundreds of compound microscopes get ruined every year because of corrosive materials that are traditionally used in heartworm and fecal testing. Besides, a compound unit is thought of as being cumbersome as you’ll have to get a lower-end alternative that works with batteries and that might not be as high-tech as you want it to be.

A high-quality option is best when employed in your lab or clinic. This way, you’ll be able to preserve it for as long as possible as nothing will prevent you from placing it in a corner where it doesn’t get exposed to dangers, harmful substances, or unadvised people who might not know how to use it properly.


Monocular, binocular, or trinocular?

Monocular units aren’t all that different compared to their binocular counterparts, but some people find them harder to work with. Binocular choices are far more common and considered somewhat more user-friendly. As a general rule, a monocular microscope offers great results if you’re looking to purchase a model for a kid as he or she might yet have close-set eyes that make it difficult for the child to look through two eyepieces.

Trinocular models have this name because a camera is added to the two eyepieces. This way, you won’t ever have to use your separate digital camera to capture the image of the sample as the device will do so on its own. Plus, the resolution of built-in cameras for microscopes is usually better than that of a pocket digital camera.



Some argue that the best veterinary microscope comes with a low-voltage tungsten lamp. However, various manufacturing brands have started to include halogen bulbs in their illumination systems, and these do a rather good job if your main focus is photomicrography.

The light source can be either above or below the sample and here is where you have to decide whether that’s an important consideration for what you have in mind. LED systems are also available these days, and they’re quite efficient as you won’t have to replace the bulbs quite as often as in the case with the other two we’ve mentioned.

Final thoughts

Make sure to give some thought to your needs before deciding on a certain model and try to imagine whether you’ll be the only user or more people will utilize the microscope, as well. While it is an important factor to mull over, the price should not be the sole detail you should take into account. If you do decide to go for a low-budget alternative, it’s very likely that it will gather dust in a corner as you won’t be pleased with its performance.



6 Best Microscopes for Veterinary Use (Reviews) in 2024


To make it easier for you to select the best veterinary medicine microscope, we have gathered a set of the critically acclaimed choices out there. We’ve showcased them below, so be sure to throw an eye on them if you haven’t made up your mind just yet.



1. VanGuard 1421BRI Brightfield Clinical Microscope with Binocular Head


Everyone in the veterinary field has heard about VanGuard at least once, and that’s because this manufacturer is a top choice of many private practice owners whether they buy consumables or electronic devices made by this brand.

The 1421BRI has been outfitted with a binocular head and a halogen illumination system of which the brightness can be adjusted depending on your needs. Plus, the 360-degree angle and the VIOS infinity-corrected optical system make two useful features that you ought to keep in mind.

Since this is a rather hefty clinical microscope, it might not be the right choice if you’ve been searching for a portable alternative. Nonetheless, due to the fact that it boasts a plethora of helpful features, this model should make the top five units on your list. Plus, a clear diffusing filter, a spare 20-watt lamp, and a spare 250V fuse can all be found in the box.



Quite popular in the veterinary field and a host of other sectors, this microscope features binocular viewing heads that simplify microscopic observations with both eyes open.

Offering magnification abilities varying from 4x, 10X, 40X, and 100X, this device allows you to view details as you prefer so it can be used for a wide range of applications.

This model is designed to enhance image and object resolution so it can prove to be indispensable for demanding applications such as educational and diagnostic purposes in veterinary and medical clinics, industrial laboratories, and universities.

Providing a more comprehensive view while easing eyestrain, this model comes with 55 to 75mm interpupillary adjustment capacities to accommodate individual eye spacing.

The optical system is fixed at 160mm. The scope is equipped with Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN)-standard plan achromatic objective lenses that reduce yellow and red chromatic aberrations for sharp images.



Because this needs an 110-volt power source for illumination, it might be challenging to view objects without access to an electric socket.


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2. VanGuard 1210CM Brightfield Clinical Microscope with Monocular Head


In some respects, the 1210CM isn’t all that different from the model we have talked about earlier on. The fact of the matter is that the only detail that really sets these units apart consists of the head as this one has been outfitted with a monocular one instead of a binocular one.

Other than that, the VanGuard 1210CM shares most of its features with its formerly mentioned counterpart. The halogen illumination system proves its worth, and the fact that you can customize the brightness level as you deem necessary is a net bonus that needs to be considered.

Boasting a stain-resistant, durable cast metal body and an ergonomic design, this model is a great addition to any busy practice where a lot of things tend to happen all of the time, and there are many samples to process and analyze. Besides, it’s considerably more affordable than other options.



This clinical microscope features a monocular viewing head so that what you see with the right and left eye is the same. This enables you to observe details clearly.

Designed to enhance image or object resolution, this device offers a magnification ability of 4X, 10X, 40X, and !00X (for oil immersion objectives), giving you multiple observation options.

If you want a versatile instrument, this option fits the bill. It can be used in veterinary and medical clinics, universities, along with industrial laboratories.

Thanks to the rubber eyepiece on the head, external light is effectively blocked out and prevented from interfering with image resolution.

The 360-degree rotation capability plus fixed 30-degree vertical inclination enables you to view objects in a comfortable position or to enable a co-worker to view what you are looking at without the need to rotate the entire instrument.



The illuminator is powered via a 110-volt power source so you can’t operate the scope without access to electricity.


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3. AmScope T490B-10M 40X-2000X Lab Clinic Veterinary Trinocular Microscope


If you’d like to invest in an all-American microscope, there shouldn’t be too many things stopping you from taking this unit into account. On the one hand, it’s a trinocular option, which means that you’ll be able to take pictures of your specimens with the help of the 10-megapixel camera boasted by the unit.

What’s more, the microscope offers the benefit of a more than generous magnification range that goes from 40x to 2000x, and that suggests that the unit takes the cake with regard to versatility and convenience. You’ll be able to analyze the structure of a lot of samples if you decide to go for this product.

As is the case with the previously discussed choices, this particular model comes with halogen illumination. Something that’s worth noting is that the product is accompanied by proprietary software with the help of which you’ll be able to edit and measure your images if you own a Windows computer or laptop.



This option is a 40X-2000X Simul-focal trinocular microscope that provides a generous eight widefield magnification settings to enable you to view objects with details as fine as you need.

The 3D two-layer mechanical stage comes with fine and coarse focusing along with an iris Abbe condenser to focus light where needed so you can obtain clarity in images.

Suitable for clinics, veterinarians, medical doctors, and students, this device is versatile enough for use in a variety of work settings.

The sturdy metal framework ensures a solid configuration to prevent shakiness and ensure your view is not hampered by inconsistencies on the work space.

As a cool bonus, the integrated 10Mp digital camera enables you to take snapshots of what you are viewing for review on a computer. The component comes with advanced measuring and editing software to accommodate Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10.



The lite version provided for Mac and Linux comes with limited processing features so those who use those operating systems might not optimize this instrument.


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4. AmScope T490B 40X-2000X Full-Size Professional Trinocular Lab Biological Compound


Since it’s more affordable than some other units out there, the T490B has become quite a popular choice among veterinarians and scientists working in different other fields. The model has a magnification range of 40x to 1600x which, in most situations, is more than enough you might need.

The T490B unit has been equipped with a myriad of desirable characteristics that you will be able to take advantage of. A halogen lighting system is available, as well as an Abbe condenser and a 2-layer mechanical stage. The only factor that sets the difference between the T490B and the AmScope unit we’ve described above is that this one does not include the digital camera.

Since a 10-megapixel camera compatible with such a microscope can be quite expensive, you will be able to choose a lower-resolution one if you don’t have the budget for the expense. Some owners argue that the lighting could have been better.



Featuring a revolutionary simul-focal optical system, this model comes with an adjustable trinocular port that enables the delivery of nicely focused images on a video or computer screen. Images are delivered sharply and clearly to the eyepieces.

As adaptable as it is dependable, this model comes with an industry-standard 23mm photo port that converts to a C-Mount port via the attachment of the included C-mount adapter so you can easily affix a large variety of video systems and digital cameras for microscopes.

The trinocular Siedentopf head swivels conveniently at 360 degrees and inclines 30 degrees so you can share viewing with a co-worker.

This model has found its place in a variety of fields including medical, veterinary, and educational.  

The intensity-variable halogen illumination system and 3D mechanical stage ensure that images are delivered through the eyepiece with ample clarity.



As there is a tendency for the halogen lighting to get hot during operations, the sample slide may dry out quickly.


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5. AmScope B120C Siedentopf Binocular Compound Microscope, 40X-2500X Magnification


The B120C is one of those low-budget options that you simply have to mull over because it isn’t particularly limited, it does precisely what it is supposed to do, and works ideal for all educational and biological purposes.

The LED illumination source that this model has been outfitted with makes it stand out from the crowd as it is true that LED bulbs are considerably cheaper compared to their tungsten or fluorescent counterparts, but that doesn’t make them any less useful. In a sense, you won’t have to spend a lot of money on getting a replacement bulb.

From what we have gathered by going through the ratings and reviews acquired by this model, it appears that the optics are clear and bright and that it works great. On occasion, the manufacturing brand has even replaced power adapters of people who had accidentally received a European-style one. Teachers recommend it for educational applications, as well.



This option is a dependable compound microscope engineered to deliver high magnification so it proves to be useful for educational and biological purposes. It makes a dependable device for medical and veterinary doctors, university classrooms, and other purposes.

The Siedentopf binocular head with pairs of 10x widefield and 25x widefield eyepieces makes viewing with both eyes effortless.

To deliver a more comprehensive view and allow the sharing of the microscope between coworkers, it features a 360-degree rotatable head.

The 30-degree vertical inclination helps reduce eyestrain and neck pain from prolonged viewing. Color correction is provided via the forward-facing nosepiece with 4x, 10x, 40xS (spring), and 100xS (spring, oil) DIN achromatic objectives.

For effortless light control and clear microscopic examination, you can leverage the LED illumination that works nicely with the 1.25 NA Abbe condenser fitted with an iris diaphragm.



Since the light is LED, it takes a second to come on. So does the current supply that also needs a second to set.


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6. AmScope M162C-2L-PB10 40X-1000X Dual Light Glass Lens Metal Frame


Just when we thought that we would be unable to find an even more budget-friendly choice, we came across this AmScope model.

It’s just as versatile as the M150C-I and shares many of its features with this model. The magnification range is one of them as is the fact that the product boasts a built-in illumination system.

Having been equipped with a frame made out of metal, it’s rather obvious that the unit will withstand the test of time.

Unlike other choices in the same line, this particular unit comes with a series of slides. It can be used with batteries, so you’re free to carry it everywhere.

While some buyers argue that they would have appreciated the microscope more if it had come with a case, the fact is that it’s too reasonably priced to include anything other than a dust cover.

This is not a USB model, so you can’t connect it to a computer or laptop.



This unit is budget friendly. Because of this, it is best that you use it to learn how to work on a device of this type before you invest in a more expensive product.

The model includes two lenses, five blank slides, five prepared slides, and a plastic slide case. Three batteries that you have to insert in order to use the LEDs are also supplied by the seller.

A dust cover and a power adapter are provided to the buyers by the manufacturer. Hence, you won’t have to make additional investments.

The product has a sturdy frame constructed from metal and a lens condenser that features 6-hole disc diaphragms.



One user claimed that the stage on this unit does not go up and down as it should. Consequently, one might find it difficult to adjust it.

Numerous of those that have purchased the device before remarked that this is not a high-quality unit.


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4) Microscopy – Meeting veterinary challenges



Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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