Who knew that the microscope in a science lab is not the only type of microscope present on the market? Thanks to modern technological advancement, there are several different microscopes, all of which solve different kinds of problems and have unique uses. If you’re curious about this topic, here’s a list of 6 different types of microscopes and their uses.

Compound Microscopes

Also known as the biological microscope, they are commonly used to see samples that are not visible to the naked eye. They are commonly found to be used in school labs, veterinary hospitals, laboratories, and even wastewater treatment plants. They use to come with options of a magnification level of 40x to 400x. They can be used to look at tissue cells, parasites, bacteria, and algae.

Simple Microscopes

These ancient devices were the very first ones of their kind. They work like a magnifying glass and offer magnification levels varying from a range of 200x-300x. Even though they are not used today, they can be used to look at simple biological specimens such as differentiating between shapes of red blood cells.

Stereo Microscopes

This type is also referred to as dissecting microscopes and offers magnification levels of up to 300x. They come in handy for looking at large opaque compounds that can’t be viewed with compound microscopes. The benefit of using this type is that the user doesn’t need to prepare slides and can manipulate the sample, which makes them very useful in medical science and electrical engineering.


The scanning electron microscope, as suggested by its name, uses electrons rather than light for image formation. They are used in fields of biology, physics, and medicine by scientists to observe a variety of different specimens such as insects and bones. The samples are prepared in vacuum conditions and provide a black and white 3-D image.


The transmission electron microscopes use electrons to create a zoomed-in, magnified image. Unlike SEM microscopes, they produce 2-D images; therefore, they come in handy for observing translucent specimen. They are most commonly used in the fields of metallurgy, nanotech, and forensic analysis. The key feature of this type of microscope is its ability to formulate an image that is high quality in terms of both magnification and resolution. The samples must be specially prepared in a vacuum.

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