Telescopes: Which Is Better, Used, Or New?

Buying a telescope is exciting. It opens a world of possibilities. Who knows? You might be the next Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking or Neil deGrasse Tyson! Yes, you can buy something under a thousand bucks in the market. And yes, there are many affordable brands out there. But what if you are on a tight budget but would not sacrifice quality over affordability? Haunting for a used telescope is like any other task that you do when you are on a budget. It’s like hunting for a used laptop or bicycle, but this time you are trying to make sure you are not getting a rip-off. Then settling for a used telescope is an option. But which is better? Old or used? Looking for the best telescope to buy needs a few guidelines and they are listed below.

Check The Optics With A Flashlight

You’ve found a good brand from a reputable source. Should you take this home right away? Well, not so fast. First, check the optics using a flashlight. Check for dust or molds that might have accumulated with use and years. These problems can accumulate over the years. It depends on the nature of storage or the external factors that greeted the instrument. These are the things that may not be evident in the description. But they can impact your handling of the device over time.

Check The Mechanics

Look for rust or deformities that might ruin the telescope over time. Sometimes these things can break the instrument down after purchasing. So watch out for these. Pay attention to any wobble, chips, or best. The owner might have kept things like past accidents to you. So these things will show as you study the telescope carefully. Telescopes are not static instruments. They get moved, turned, tilted, or shifted because focusing demands these things. Remember that this is an investment that you can hand down to future generations as long as it still works.

Check Out The Tech

Check if the electronics are still working correctly. Watch out for inaccuracies or errors. Sometimes, many factors can affect the working condition of the instruments. Things like spilled liquid or dust can create problems. There are times when heat can melt certain parts, and this will damage the working condition of the electronics. Also, look for the firmware version and see if it’s upgradable. One of the things that you can do before the purchase is to test it. That way, you will know if there is an issue that will create a deterioration of the instrument over time.


It is true that buying a new telescope ensures that you are getting an instrument of optimum working condition. But you can still get a used one for the same situation. So which is better, used or new? The answer can be both.  The cosmos is a vast and mysterious part that is being explored by Science. And this is your chance to join the many who are fascinated by the beauty of the celestial bodies. Events like meteor showers, a visiting comet or lunar eclipse are something you can share with the whole family where there is a telescope around.