If you want to buy a telescope for yourself or your family, you should know that telescopes are manufactured of high-quality materials to ensure that they perform well and last a long time. Telescopes are classified into three categories. The most basic telescopes are refracting telescopes, which employ a lens to focus and observe an image and you can get the best telescope under $300. Meanwhile, reflecting telescopes use mirrors to reflect light into the telescope’s interior. Catadioptric telescopes have characteristics of both refracting and reflecting telescopes.
Must read this article Guide on Choosing Telescope Before buying
All of these telescopes are rather expensive. Telescope costs seldom go below $500 and might reach $1,000, therefore it’s critical to get the greatest deal when purchasing a telescope. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on your first telescope right away, you may look for less expensive versions, and there are several decent-quality telescopes that cost less than $300.
Best Telescopes Under $300
|Telescope Brand/Model||Key Features||User Feedback||Price to Expect||Our Rating|
|Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope||Quick and easy no-tool setup with fixed StarPointer ideal for terrestrial and astronomical use, pan handle Alt-Az control with clutch & 2.6″ optical lens Diameter||Very good||Affordable||4.2 / 5|
|Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker Telescope||German Equatorial Mount with 127mm Aperture & 1000mm Focal Length, 3x Barlow Lens, comes with aluminum tripod & accessory tray||Very good||Affordable||4.0 / 5|
|Celestron Cometron 114||No-tool setup, lightweight and portable, a great grab-and-go telescope, large aperture for more light and detail, parabolic mirror, fast focal ratio for observing comets, star clusters, galaxies, and more||Very good||Affordable||4.0 / 5|
|Orion 09798 StarBlast 4.5 EQ Reflector Telescope||General purpose wide-field reflector telescope with enough aperture & great for beginners, fast f/4 optics & a short focal length, tracks night-sky objects extremely easy using slow-motion controls||Very good||Affordable||4.2 / 5|
|Orion 10014 SkyQuest XT4.5 Classic Dobsonian Telescope||Compact & lightweight for traveling or home use, 4.5″ aperture with 900mm focal length for a clearer view, sturdy and portable Dobsonian base, and handy navigation knob.||Very good||Affordable||4.75 / 5 (Our Top Pick)|
|Orion 9851 SpaceProbe EQ130 Reflector Telescope||Complete 5.1″ aperture reflector telescope with full-size adjustable tripod and equatorial (EQ) mount, 900mm focal length and f/6.9 focal ratio, 130mm optics for more amazing viewing||Very good||High||4.3 / 5|
|Meade Instruments 209006 Infinity 102AZ Refractor Telescope||102mm aperture with 600mm focal length and focal ratio of f/5.9, Rack-and-Pinion Focuser & Red dot viewfinder, Altazimuth mount with panhandle and slow motion controls||Very good||High||4.2 / 5|
|Astronomers Without Borders OneSky 130||5” scope, easy usage and good optics, high powered and easy setup||Very good||Affordable||4.0 / 5|
Celestron is one of two brands that lead the list of inexpensive telescopes. The Celestron 21061 AstroMaster 70AZ Refractor Telescope with its altazimuth mount is a step up from basic viewing devices and immensely superior to utilizing regular binoculars. It provides an excellent sharper view of distant things on land, as well as the moon and adjacent planets in the sky. This 70mm refracting telescope is extremely simple to put together and lightweight. This telescope is not as powerful or focused as other models, but it produces pleasingly precise pictures that are ideal for novices.
- Easy to install and use
- Better view
- You will get 2 eyepieces
- You can not actually see dots on Jupiter
- Not as focused as an expensive one
The Celestron 127EQ PowerSeeker is one of the most powerful reflector telescopes in its price range. It is a sturdy aluminum telescope with aluminum and quartz lenses and mirrors that must be adjusted for better focus. This telescope is great for young aspiring astronomers who wish to view a crisp picture of the heavens for the first time. Parents will enjoy how simple and fast it is to build and position the telescope on its equatorial mount. Eyepieces (50x and 250x magnification) and a Barlow lens to boost the magnification by three times are included as accessories, as is a valuable software application that introduces newcomers to celestial bodies and how to use the telescope to search for them.
- The most powerful reflector telescope
- Good for teenagers and adults
- Come with Barlow lenses and eyepieces
- Not good for beginners
- You have to keep adjusting it
The Celestron Cometron 114, our third Celestron selection, is a reflector telescope that’s both lightweight and portable, making it ideal for automobile journeys to wide fields for the finest night viewing. The 20mm and 10mm eyepieces give improved focus and clarity. This telescope is also stable once mounted on its altazimuth mount, which is significant since tiny movements in other telescopes may distort the picture details, forcing you to adjust the telescope again. This telescope can be moved horizontally and vertically due to its robust mount, allowing it to follow objects in the sky. Overall, the simplicity of use and rapid installation of this telescope makes it highly recommended.
- Lightweight and decent
- Easy to use
- Fast focal ratio
- Good for beginners
- Finderscope is difficult to align with the telescope
Orion is another manufacturer of more budget telescopes that do not compromise quality, and their Orion 09798 StarBlast 4.5 EQ Reflector Telescope is a perfect example. This equatorial mount reflector telescope comes with 6mm and 15mm eyepieces for crisp views. Another significant benefit is their well-regarded software program. Users have also commented on the mount’s ruggedness, which is necessary for higher-quality details and monitoring of moving objects such as comets. However, installation may take some time, and manual adjustment is required for a great view, thus this telescope may be best suited for individuals who already know how to operate and assemble telescopes.
- Can see planets with this
- Made especially for the beginners
- Good quality at an affordable price
- Easy to carry by a single person
- Slow motion controls
- Installation may take time and you need to watch the video for properly adjust it
- Tripod is not good enough
The Orion 10014 SkyQuest XT4.5 Classic Dobsonian Telescope has a 114 mm aperture and creates amazing pictures with unexpectedly clear detail. The altazimuth mount on the telescope makes adjusting it simple. It’s an excellent choice for youngsters, particularly since the eyepiece is at a low height. It’s also lightweight, tiny, and portable, allowing you to take it with you to the finest viewing spots. This telescope includes 25mm and 10mm eyepieces for increased magnification, as well as Orion’s best-selling software for teaching newcomers to the sky and celestial bodies. This telescope has received several favorable reviews owing to its mobility, simplicity of use, and great quality views.
- Lightweight and easy to use
- High-end telescope
- Best for beginners and experienced astronomers
- Adjustment may take time
The Orion 9851 SpaceProbe EQ130 Reflector Telescope is an excellent alternative for beginning astronomers on a tight budget. This reflector telescope comes with 25mm and 10mm eyepieces as well as an equatorial mount that may take some time to adjust and get accustomed to. This telescope, like the other versions listed, comes with Orion’s famous software suite. The 5.1-inch aperture collects enough light to provide a clear view of nearby stars, planets, and the moon. This telescope may even be used in regions with moderate light pollution and still provide a clear view of the sky. The complete telescope is light enough to be handled but not strong enough to be transported.
- After some time it will be easy to use
- Best features and affordable
- Good for new astronomers
- Assembling takes time
- Plastic material is not satisfying
Meade Instruments and their Meade Instruments 209006 Infinity 102AZ telescope are other brands that provide a more cheap telescope. Despite its inexpensive price, the Refractor Telescope boasts excellent features. It provides stunningly brilliant views of the night sky and neighboring celestial bodies, with features finely delineated. The altazimuth mount on this refractor telescope ensures stability and ease of adjustment. The telescope itself is simple to set up and operate, even for novices. There are three eyepieces included: 6.3mm, 9mm, and 26mm. However, there have been some concerns with the mount and tripod, since they are not as stable or supporting as those found on other telescopes.
- Show clear and crisp image
- Amazing wild-field telescope
- Easy to setup
- Beginners telescope
- Mount is not good enough
- The finder is too close to the telescope
The Astronomers Without Borders OneSky 130 telescope is not well-known, yet it is magnificent in its own right. This reflector telescope is unusual in that it was built using a foldable truss tube, and since it is compact and lightweight, it is easy to transport. It includes a 5-inch aperture for enhanced viewing, as well as 25mm and 10mm eyepieces for magnification. Also, the altazimuth mount is pretty stable. The nicest aspect about this telescope is that a portion of its proceeds supports the Astronomers Without Borders outreach program.
- Good for viewing the moon and the planets
- Worth the price
- Have an amazing magnification
- Easy to assemble
- Little stability issues
- Not good for astronomical elements
Which telescope should you buy?
Several variables influence your final choice of telescope.
First, are you purchasing it for yourself as a beginner or for your children? The low eyepiece height of the Orion 10014 SkyQuest XT4.5 Classic Dobsonian Telescope, for example, may be problematic for adults.
Second, what would you want to see? Will you be satisfied with neighboring celestial bodies or do you need a more powerful telescope?
Finally, think about your location. Is the telescope simple to move if your location has a lot of light pollution, or can it perform effectively even if there’s a lot of light?
Keep all of this in mind when you shop for your first telescope.
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