Microscope Accessories Guide

Microscope Accessories are a must-have, regardless of which microscope you use. But if you've already had a browse through our website, its easy to be overwhelmed with the vast number of options you have. That's where we come in! This Microscope Accessories Guide will help you understand exactly which accessories you'll want (or need) for your microscope.


Microscope Slides

Suitable for Biological (Compound) Microscopes

Microscope Slides are an essential accessory for users of Biological / Compound Microscopes.

They are flat, rectangular sections of glass that are about 1mm thick, designed to examine microbiological samples.


Prepared Slides

A great way to introduce yourself to the world of microscopy, these Prepared Slides are generally sold in kits of either 50 or 100, and may have samples of plant specimens, animal specimens or both.

A kit of 100 prepared biological microscope slides of animal and plant specimens made by Saxon.
Saxon 100 pre-cleaned blank slides for biological microscopes.


Blank Slides

These are empty slides, designed for more experienced users who want to create their own specimens for observation. Sold in kits of 50 or 100.

Often included in kits of blank slides are coverslips, which are small, square pieces of glass that you use to keep your specimens flat and thin to prepare for examination.

Concave Slides

Concave Slides feature a slight depression to hold your samples in place - meaning they are more suitable for the examination of liquids are larger specimens. They do not come with coverslips as they are not necessary.

Two double concave biological microscope slides manufactured by saxon.
Case for microscopic slides that suit biological microscopes, manufactured by saxon.

Slide Cases

As thin pieces of glass, slides can be fragile. What better way to protect them from the elements than a purpose-built slides case?



Three-Dimensional Samples

Suitable for Stereo Microscopes

Slides are great for users of Biological Microscopes, but what if you use a Stereo Microscope? You'll have a much better experience observing samples of three-dimensional objects, such as insects preserved in resin. Another great way to make immediate use of your Stereo Microscope is with an Ores Sample kit, for a perfect introduction to geology.

Stereo Microscopes can also be used for dissections, but we'll talk about this below in the section about Dissection Kits.



Immersion Oil

Suitable for Biological (Compound) Microscopes

If you're interested in microbiology and use a high-powered Biological / Compound Microscope, there's no doubt that you'll need immersion oil to reach the full potential of your microscope. Without it, you might notice that your samples appear blurry and not as sharp, especially at a magnification greater than 1000x.

To clarify (pun intended), immersion oil works by replacing the air gaps that exist between the objective lens and the coverslip with a refractive index medium equivalent to the glass slide.

If your microscope came with a bottle of immersion oil, then great - that bottle will do perfectly fine. However, these bottles can also be purchased separately here.

A translucent bottle of half-full immersion oil manufactured by saxon sealed with a blue lid.



Petri Dish

Suitable for Biological (Compound) Microscopes

If you're a biologist, you'll also need a Petri Dish, which are lidded, shallow, circular culture plates, designed to function as a suitable growth medium for cell culturing. For example, you might use a Petri Dish for the culture of bacteria cells, fungi or small mosses.

This means that they can be incredibly useful for slide preparation.

Petri Dishes are often sold in various sizes such as small, medium and large.

Empty petri dish photographed from above.



Suitable for Both Biological (Compound) Microscopes and Stereo Microscopes

Upgrading to stronger eyepieces is a great way to increase the resolving power of your microscope. Most microscopes include an Eyepiece or Eyepieces that have a 10x magnification, so a Widefield 16x (WF16X) Eyepiece is a popular upgrade.

But not all microscopes can take higher magnification eyepiece - you need to consider your microscope's maximum focusing distance.

A single WF16X Optex Eyepiece for Biological Microscopes captured from a high, front-on angle.


Optical Cleaning Kit

Suitable for Both Biological (Compound) Microscopes and Stereo Microscopes

Regardless of how much your microscope is worth, it contain fragile optics that need to be cared for appropriately.

At the bare minimum, microscopes are sold with a Dust Cover, which are absolutely essential to use to prevent dust buildup. But even with a dust cover, your microscope will need to be cleaned every now and then.

The easiest way to ensure you clean your microscope properly and minimise scratching and damaging to its lens surfaces is by using a professional Optical Lens Cleaning Kit.


Digital Microscope Camera

Suitable for Both Biological (Compound) Microscopes and Stereo Microscopes

It's not all about observing - microscopy is also about imaging and reporting findings with your microscope. This means that whenever you use your microscope, you should also be considering how you plan to capture photomicrographs and record your findings.

An External Digital Microscope Camera offers an excellent way to convert a traditional microscope into a digital microscope capable of capturing fascinating images and videos. These cameras are especially useful for users of trinocular head microscopes, but are still compatible with all standard-sized binocular head, and even monocular head microscopes.

These cameras also allow for the live-streaming of observations, so they are great accessories for practical applications in classrooms and other similar learning environments.

The Celestron 5MP Microscope Digital Imager, the Saxon 3 Megapixel Digital Microscope Camera and the Saxon 10 Megapixel Digital Microscope Camera are all good options.

2MP Celestron Digital Microscope Imager, or Camera, with its USB cable attached and an eyepiece adapter.

Optical Cleaning Kit

Suitable for Both Biological (Compound) Microscopes and Stereo Microscopes

Regardless of how much your microscope is worth, it contains fragile optics that need to be cared for appropriately.

Microscopes normally include a Dust Cover at the bare minimum, which is absolutely essential to use when your microscope is not-in-use to prevent dust build-up. But even with a dust cover, your microscope will need cleaning every now and then, and should be cleaned appropriately to avoid scratching or damaging any surfaces - especially the lenses.

Taking care when cleaning the microscope is as easy as having the right tools, such as those sold in a professional cleaning kit.

An opened optical lens cleaning kit photographed from above.


Dissection Kit

Suitable for Both Biological (Compound) Microscopes and Stereo Microscopes

Dissection Kits or Slide Preparation Kits are purpose-built for the dissection of larger specimens, such as plants and animals. For users of Stereo Microscopes, these kits are a great alternative to prepared three-dimensional samples.

But for users of Biological Microscopes, dissection kits can be of use too. These kits are also great for preparing thin specimens to be observed under a slide.

At the very least, a Dissection Kit such as the 7 Piece Dissecting Kit typically includes tweezers, a scalpel and scissors.


Microscopes are incredible optical instruments that need an open range of accessories to truly be appreciated.

Which accessories you decide to purchase are entirely up to you and what you plan to see with your microscope.

Whatever the case, any of the accessories listed in this Microscope Accessories Guide are a great way to start (or continue) your journey into the microscopic world.