Refractor telescope is the oldest and simplest telescope design. Galileo used it to record the phases of Venus. They work on the principle of refraction of lights. Their design features a glass objective lens at the front, an eyepiece, and a focuser at the rear of the long tube. The objective lens focuses light directly onto a focuser. A star-diagonal mirror is usually added between the focuser and the eyepiece to rotate the light 90 degrees for more comfortable viewing. They are suitable for viewing objects which are bigger, brighter, and closer. For example, they are useful to view objects like moons and planets in the solar system.

They are available in a wide range of sizes and configurations. Moreover, they are available in a varied number of lens elements and arrangements, various glass types, and explicit observations for planetary, lunar, and deep-sky viewing. The enhanced image quality makes these refractor telescopes preferred choices for people who are keen on astrophotography. Relish viewing big astronomical objects with a clear view using the best refractor telescope under 1000 dollars from the following selection.

List of The Best Refractor Telescope

Check out the thorough reviews of the best refractor telescope under 1000 dollars below.

1. Gskyer 600×90 mm AZ Astronomical Refractor Telescope

Gskyer 600×90 mm AZ Astronomical Refractor Telescope

This Gskyer 90 x 600 mm astronomical refractor telescope provides a clear view when observing terrestrial objects and celestial bodies. It is the best refractor telescope under 1000 dollars if you want to view Lunar and Planetary, regardless of your experience. No extra tools are required to operate it. To obtain the best viewing experience, you can vary the height of the aluminum tripod from 31.5 inches to 49 inches. Along with the purchase, you get 3 eyepieces.

Key Features

  • The use of high-quality optics provides a 600 mm (f/6.7) focal length and 90 mm aperture.
  • High Magnification power is guaranteed with three replaceable eyepieces (24X, 60X, 120X) and a 3x Barlow lens. The 3x Barlow lens triples the magnifying power of each eyepiece.
  • The diameter of the objective lens is 90 mm.
  • The 25 mm (0.98 inch) eyepiece comes with 24X magnification. 
  • The 10 mm (0.39 inch) eyepiece comes with 60X magnification. 
  • The 5 mm (0.196 inch) eyepiece comes with 120X magnification. 
  • Maximum magnification achievable is 360x. 
  • Zenith Mirrors feature a 48° Erecting BAK7 prism. 
  • AZ Altazimuth Mount is used as the Telescope Mount.
  • Multi Antireflection Green Film coating is available.
  • Resolution is ≤ 2.8. 
  • Angular Field of View is 1°36″. 
  • The tube connection used is Hook Dovetail Plate 
  • The length of the optical tube is 600 mm.
  • The focus type is Manual Focus.
  • Telescope dimensions and weight: 38 x 12 x 8 inches; 17.86 pounds.

Pros And Cons

  • The fully coated optics glass lens presents stunning images and protect your eyes
  • Includes a sturdy full-size stretchable tripod built from stainless steel
  • An adjustable tripod offers multiple viewing positions
  • Assembled easy, quick and easy to focus
  • Great used for viewing the moon. But if you want to view nebulae or deep sky objects, it would be wise to invest a little more money for a better model

2. SOLOMARK 70mm Aperture and 700mm Focal Length Refractor Telescope

SOLOMARK 70mm Aperture and 700mm Focal Length Refractor Telescope

For astronomical and terrestrial use, this SOLOMARK refractor telescope is very useful because it offers erect image optics. The fully multi-coated optics glass lens comes with high transmission coatings. So, the lens can create stunning images and the output will not damage your eyes. With this professional refractor telescope, you can observe planets, moon, nebula, and also explore the mysteries of the universe. Also, you can watch rivers, animals, birds, mountains, and natural scenery.

Key Features

  • The focal length is 700 mm and the aperture is 70 mm.
  • The focal ratio is f/10.
  • The 10 mm and 20 mm PLOSSL eyepieces are included; their magnification is 70X and 35X respectively.
  • The Smartphone adapter with the 1.5X Barlow lens offers 70x magnification. It helps you to capture and share videos and images.
  • The Equatorial Mount comes with two slow-motion control cables. They let you perform fine pointing adjustments to the telescope in both Declination and R.A.
  • The Finderscope is Reflex.
  • The focus type is Manual Focus.
  • Telescope dimensions and weight: 36 x 12.5 x 8 inches; 16.94 pounds.

Pros And Cons

  • High magnification power and vivid image quality make this telescope suitable for beginners
  • The phone attachment allows capturing photos of objects you are looking at
  • Stainless steel adjustable tripod meets angle and height to offer safety and stability
  • No extra tools are required for installation
  • The use of a mounting bar instead of mount rings restricts rotating the scope when balancing it

3. Celestron AstroMaster 90AZ Refractor Telescope for Beginners

Celestron AstroMaster 90AZ Refractor Telescope for Beginners

Are you looking for a high-quality, professionally designed refractor telescope that is easy to set up and use? If yes then this Celestron 90AZ refractor telescope can be your best refractor telescope under 1000 dollars. It is equipped with fully-coated glass optics, two eyepieces, a lightweight yet sturdy frame, an adjustable tripod, and a StarPointer red dot finderscope. The setup is straightforward, no tools are needed. Accessories included are two eyepieces (10 mm and 20 mm), an erect image star diagonal, a StarPointer red dot finderscope, a tripod, and a free download of one of the topmost consumer-rated astronomy software.

Key Features

  • The key functional unit is the fully-coated 90 mm primary mirror.
  • The 20 mm eyepiece presents 50x magnification whereas the 10 mm eyepiece presents up-close views up to 100x. So, you can focus on far objects with great clarity.
  • The AstroMaster mount comes with a panning handle allowing you to make accurate adjustments to view terrestrial and celestial objects.
  • The Finderscope is Reflex.
  • The focus type is Manual Focus.
  • The Telescope Mount is Altazimuth Mount.

Pros And Cons

  • You’ll get a crystal-clear, vivid images of moon and planets
  • The pre-assembled, rugged tripod with 1.25-inch steel tube legs offers stability for hours of usage
  • Celestron 1.25” Moon Filter decreases glare and increases the contrast of the Moon
  • The lightweight frame and a manual Altazimuth mount offer precise and smooth pointing
  • The tripod feels cheap

4. Sky Watcher Evostar 72 APO Refractor Telescope (S11180)

Sky Watcher Evostar 72 APO Refractor Telescope (S11180)

For astronomers or amateurs looking to elevate their viewing experience with superior extra-low dispersion glass, Sky-Watcher EvoStar series of apochromatic doublets can be a good choice. The Sky Watcher S11180 is a doublet refractor telescope that conveys vivid, coal-black skies and contrast-rich views of the terrestrial and deep-space phenomenon. Its structure shows a matched lens assembly equipped with a single ED element and a 2-inch dual-speed Crayford style focuser, designed to deliver optimum visual and photographic performance. Also, Tube-ring attachment hardware comes with a V-style dovetail plate. Fully Multi-coated lens coating is available. What’s more, this refractor telescope is shipped with a foam-lined aluminum case to help transport your investment to and from star parties or any other field-based observation.

Key Features

  • The ED doublet design features a focal ratio of f/5.8 and a focal length of 420 mm.
  • The primary aperture is 72 mm.
  • Dawes Limit is 1.61.
  • Rayleigh Limit is 1.94.
  • Limiting Magnification is 11.7/4
  • The minimum Magnification is 10x.
  • The maximum Magnification is 142x.
  • The mounting accessory used is Rings/V-Rail.
  • The length and outer diameter of OTA are 3.5 inches and 2.2 inches respectively.
  • Telescope dimensions and weight: 43 x 15 x 14 inches; 12.15 pounds.

Pros And Cons

  • Very crisp image even for deep sky objects
  • Comes protected in an aluminum case
  • Easy to mount with Rings/V-Rail
  • The manual focus is accurate
  • Excellent stability
  • Takes time to mounting

5. Celestron DX 102AZ Smartphone App-Enabled Refractor Telescope

Celestron DX 102AZ Smartphone App-Enabled Refractor Telescope

When using the Celestron DX 102AZ refractor telescope, you will not have to undergo any learning curve. Right from the first night, you can view a wide range of celestial objects like double stars, planets, nebulae, star clusters, and more. This Celestron refractor telescope automatically generates an explicit list of all planets, stars, nebulae, galaxies, and more currently visible celestial bodies from your viewing location. You just need to choose the one from the list and then enjoy the outstanding observation experience. The clarity of the output and ease of use suggests that this refractor telescope can be one of the best refractor telescope under 1000 dollars for you.

You can also use this Celestron refractor telescope with the starsense app to find planets, stars and more. The pack contains accessories like a red-dot finderscope, two eyepieces, and a full-height tripod.

Key Features

  • The patented StarSense Sky Recognition Technology is implemented. With the help of this technology and your smartphone, you can examine the star patterns above to compute their position in real-time with very high accuracy.
  • The aperture is 102 mm (4 inches), the focal length is 660 mm (26 inches), and the focal ratio is f/6.5.
  • A Galilean eyepiece lens is used.
  • The diameter of the objective lens is 102 mm.
  • The magnifications of the two included eyepieces are 26x and 66x.
  • The Limiting Magnitude is 12.5.
  • The lowest useful Magnification is 15x and the highest theoretical magnification is 240x.
  • The Telescope Mount used is Altazimuth Mount.
  • The Finderscope is Reflex.
  • The focus type is Manual Focus.
  • Telescope dimensions and weight: 38.98 x 16.93 x 8.98 inches; 14.08 pounds.

Pros And Cons

  • Fully coated with high transmission XLT optical coatings
  • The corresponding app has plenty of information on any object within its database 
  • The sturdy tripod offers great stability
  • The instructions simplify the assembly
  • The mount permits a little vibration which takes a few seconds to settle

6. FREE SOLDIER 700x90mm AZ Astronomical Refractor Telescope

FREE SOLDIER 700x90mm AZ Astronomical Refractor Telescope

This professional refractor telescope can be one of the best beginner refractor telescopes for viewing the moon and planets. What makes it stand out is that it comes with a long focal length of 700 mm. Another unique characteristic is that it comes with a patented 360° rotating Zenith lens which allows kids and adults to watch the sky comfortably.

The stable and adjustable tripod offers a wide range of viewing positions. So, it conveys to you an outstanding observation experience. The pack contains accessories like K9 mm and K25 mm eyepieces and a 3x Barlow lens.

Key Features

  • The 5×20 finder scope makes it easy and accurate to locate objects.
  • The lens aperture is 90 mm with which the lens can collect more lights than 60 mm, 70 mm, and 80 mm telescope. Hence, the image appears brighter in the eyepiece.
  • The maximum Magnification is 234x.
  • The focus type is Manual Focus.
  • The Telescope Mount used is Altazimuth Mount.
  • The Finderscope is Reflex.
  • Telescope dimensions and weight: 33 x 12 x 6.5 inches; 11.68 pounds.

Pros And Cons

  • Affordable price
  • Detailed instructions for the installation process
  • Quite easy to tear down and store in its travel case
  • Coated with multiple layers that guarantee high light transmission and let images appear clear and realistic
  • Comes with a wireless remote and universal phone adapter which helps in capturing videos and photos
  • Difficult to find the right position
  • Great for the moon, but not great for the stars

7. Sky-Watcher EvoStar 80 APO Doublet Refractor Telescope

Sky-Watcher EvoStar 80 APO Doublet Refractor

The EvoStar 80 doublet refractor features a portable and compact optical tube that provides affordable astronomy and astrophotography experience. Whether you are a novice or experienced astrophotographer, this refractor telescope boasts enough features to enhance your astronomy skill sets.

A matched doublet objective lens along with a synthetic fluorite element is included. It provides outstanding color correction for visual and photographic purposes. Accessories packed in are a foam-lined aluminum hard case, 5 mm and 25 mm LET eyepieces, 2-inch dielectric Diagonal, 8×50 Right Angle Correct Image (RACI) Finderscope, Mounting Rings, 1.25-inch adapter, and a V-Style Dovetail.

Key Features

  • With the proprietary Metallic High-Transmission Coatings (MHTC) and the finest quality glass, this refractor generates sharp images with minimal aberrations and accurate colors.
  • The optical design is APO Doublet.
  • The aperture is 80 mm, the focal length is 600 mm, and the F/R ratio is 7.5.
  • The limiting Magnitude is 12.
  • The maximum Magnification is 157x.
  • Telescope dimensions and weight: 29 x 12 x 15 inches; 7.3 pounds.

Pros And Cons

  • The ED optical glass to deliver makes the telescope suitable for beginner visual astronomers and experienced astrophotographers
  • The dual-speed 2-inch Crayford-style focuser assembly is impeccable for astrophotography and visual use
  • The superior quality ED apochromatic glass removes all chromatic aberrations to deliver rich contrast
  • Comes protected with a high-quality case
  • Overpriced

How To Pick The Best Refractor Telescope under 1000 Dollars?

When you keep in mind the following aspects, you can end up buying the best refractor telescope under 1000 dollars with all desired features.

1. Types of refracting telescope

The four major types of refracting telescopes are:

  • Galilean telescopes: They feature a concave lens.
  • Keplerian telescopes: They use convex lenses.
  • Achromatic refractor telescopes: They are more complex and include two lenses. These telescopes are built of two separate pieces and are designed to decrease spherical and chromatic aberration.
  • Apochromatic refractors: They are designed to decrease aberration with the help of three-piece lenses.

2. Aperture

The aperture of any telescope influences the amount of light that will be presented in the output image. This parameter is measured in inches or millimeters. To obtain the best results, it is recommended to choose a refractor telescope with a minimum aperture diameter of 70 mm or 2.8 inches.

The one with a higher aperture can emphasize finer details and therefore, it can be useful in astrophotography. The majority of the beginner refractor telescopes are incorporated with a lens of aperture in the range of 70-80 mm. This range of aperture lets you view the most basic objects in the sky like planets and other objects of the solar system. Some of the best refractor telescopes including the ones mentioned above can come with an aperture of more than 100 mm.

3. Magnification

Magnification is as significant as aperture. You need a refractor telescope with a good aperture to benefit from the powerful magnification. Note that the aperture makes the finer details quite easier to see and the magnification brings them closer to you.

The rule is that you can detect a magnification that is 50x as big as the number of inches of the aperture. For example, for an aperture of 3 inches, you can get a maximum magnification of 150x. Before choosing a refractor telescope with a high level of magnification, you must consider this aspect.

Some of the best refractor telescopes including the ones discussed above come with a magnification power of 120x or even higher.

4. Stability

Along with the key technical specifications, you should also consider some physical aspects when buying a refractor telescope. Stability is one such aspect. Before buying, look at the base, tripod, and mount. It is always better to buy a refractor telescope with an adjustable tripod that offers multiple viewing positions.

5. Age

Certainly, Astronomy is a subject that can be enjoyed by fans of all age groups. But it is critical to ensure that you get the right model if you are buying it for a kid. You can find plenty of refractor telescopes that are uniquely designed for kids and young people. Such refractor telescopes equip them with the expertise, skills, and knowledge they require. Before purchasing, keep in mind the age of people going to use it.

Components of A Refractor Telescope

Dew Cap

A dew cap is a thin-walled tube attached to the front of the objective lens to prevent condensation on the surface of the lens during long-term night observation. Not only the dew cap protects the objective lens from moisture in the atmosphere, it also helps to prevent stray light from entering the barrel and scattering from the objective lens, thus improving observation.

Objective Lens

The objective lens (primary) is located at the front of the telescope barrel. It focuses the light along the barrel to the focuser. Modern objective lenses are usually multi-coated in order to provide better light transmission.


You are observing celestial objects in the sky through an eyepiece, and using different eyepieces can magnify or reduce the field of view. It is important to note that observing is not just a matter of magnifying the image, you should choose the right eyepiece depending on the observing conditions and the limitations of the telescope (e.g. how bright the image is seen through the eyepiece).

Most beginners use eyepieces of 3.175 cm (1.25″) aperture. You can usually put them directly into the focuser, although many people add a star diagonal mirror for viewing comfort.


The focuser allows the telescope to produce a clear image. Basically the focuser of a refractor telescope is usually a ‘rack and pinion’ design with two finger wheels for easy adjustment.

Base Head

Like the reflecting telescope we reviewd, the refractor telescope has an equatorial base head design. However, many basic refractor telescopes use a simple ground level base head design.

Star Diagonal Lens

If a refracting telescope has a long focal length, the eyepiece will be very close to the ground, making it uncomfortable to observe. Star diagonal lenses allow the light to be rotated by 90 degrees to provide a better viewing experience.


Like reflecting telescopes, refracting telescopes need a sturdy tripod to ensure that they do not wobble around when observing.

Terminology Buster

Focal length: The focal length is the distance between the primary mirror or lens of a telescope and the point where the light is focused. For a given eyepiece, a longer focal length shows a narrower range (because the image is large), while a shorter focal length shows a wider field of view.

FAQs When Picking The Best Refractor Telescope Under 1000 Dollars

1. Can refractor telescopes be used outdoors?

They usually perform well outdoors. Even in adverse conditions like cloudy nights, cold, etc., they continue to perform flawlessly. So, you can use them for camping and other trips.

2. Do refractor telescopes come with low maintenance?

Yes, most of the refractor telescopes including the best refractor telescope under 1000 dollars come with low maintenance and are easy to use. Convenience and low maintenance are two prominent benefits of using such telescopes. So, they are so much suitable for beginners. You would spend less time on repair and maintenance.

3. What is a common issue with refracting telescopes?

Refracting telescopes often suffer from chromatic or spherical aberration. If the f ratio is lower, there is a higher risk of this aberration.

Final Thoughts

For securing the sharpest, crispest, and finest quality of images and views, refracting telescopes is considered the best option. The best refractor telescope under 1000 dollars offers a clear, vivid, unobstructed view of the night sky without needing to compute complex sums regarding contrast performance and aperture.

They are extremely suitable for beginners because they are quite easy to use and less prone to breakage due to the sealed-tube design. Moreover, owing to the closed optical tube assembly, these telescopes stay protected from dirt and dust, thus ensuring a clear picture.

Enjoyed this article on the best refractor telescope under 1000 dollars? Then be sure to check out our other guide of the Best Reflector Telescope under 1000 Dollars.