Should You Choose 8x or 10x Binoculars? (Guide 2023)

By Richard

Are you confused and not getting the answer of what magnification power do you need for your outdoor activities? Don’t worry, it’s not only you, as most of the newbies find themselves in utter confusion when it comes choosing the right magnification power.

It is worth noting that every magnification level has its own impact on the functionality of the binoculars. For some activities 8x will do a perfect job but you’ll find trouble if you use 10x magnification for that specific activity.

Long talk, short, what magnification power you’ll need – either 8x or 10x? This is going to be our topic in today’s guide. So stay connected!

Related Article: What Does 8X56 Binoculars Mean?

Difference between 8x and 10x magnification power

8x magnification power in binoculars means that you’ll be able to see 8 times bigger images of the object that you’re viewing. In contrast, with 10x magnification, you’ll be able to see 10 times magnified visuals. Both these two magnification powers put a massive impact on the functionality of your binoculars. In the section below, we will talk about how magnification defines the usability of binoculars.

Role of 8x magnification on hunting

8x magnification power is considered very useful for those activities which require you to locate the target. For example, in hunting, you have to spot the target before shooting. So, you won’t need very high magnification power; instead normal magnification power will do a perfect job. 

For example, in bow hunting, your target remains close to you and you don’t need very high magnification power for locating or targeting the buck. So, bowhunters seem to be happy with 8x magnification. It is wise to remember that very high magnification power makes your binoculars very sensitive to smaller movements which can spoil your hunting experience.

Role of 10x magnification on hunting

10x magnification power is considered higher for many outdoor activities. Many people believe that using higher magnification power binoculars is not useful as you fail to get control over the visual due to higher sensitivity of binoculars.  However, there are some outdoor activities 

Have you ever heard about rifle hunting? The hunter stays very far away from the target and shoots it with the help of a scope mounted on the rifle. So, locating the target for this outdoor activity requires higher magnification power as the hunter stays very far away from the actual target. 

Important to Note: Higher magnification power of binoculars is not always good as it makes your optics very sensitive to small movements and you end up not getting full control on your binoculars.

Also Read: How far can the average military binocular see?

Which magnification power is good for birds watching – 8x vs 10x?

Birds watching is a versatile activity and it is not bound to any specific magnification power. However, if the user is comfortable to stay very far away i-e at the balcony of his home to see the birds, then higher magnification of 10x will be ideal. As the person will be sitting at one place, then the image will also be stable.

But if the user is walking in the jungle or doesn’t want to sit in one place watching the flying birds, then 8x will be perfect as he will be getting stable visuals even with walking. It depends on the personal choice, preference and comfort. If you want to get well detailed visuals of birds, we suggest you go with 10x.

Which magnification power is good for hiking – 8x vs 10x?

Honestly speaking, 8x magnification does a fine job for hiking. The reason is that you keep walking and remain in continuous motion and if you use higher magnification binoculars, then chances are higher that you won’t get comfortable or stable visuals with good clarity. With 10x magnification binoculars, you won’t get stable visuals at all.


Both 8x and 10x magnification powers are good for outdoor activities and it depends on personal choice and preferences. If you’re going to hunt with a rifle, choose 10x magnification. In contrast bow hunting will require only 8x magnification power. Everything about these two magnification powers have been discussed in full details.