Zhumell is a relatively small brand owned by Hayneedle, a large eCommerce vendor which got acquired by Walmart’s Jet.com. Over the past few years, it has seemed like Hayneedle has been trying to exit the amateur telescope market, which would be the end of Zhumell. Whether this will ultimately happen anytime soon is anyone’s guess, but we would certainly miss Zhumell if they did bite the dust.
Zhumell Telescopes’ Quality
Zhumell’s telescope offerings include their 100mm-130mm Z-series tabletop Dobsonians, their 8-12” full-sized Z series Dobsonians, a few low-priced, low-quality refracting and reflecting telescopes, and a handful of other items such as a decent laser collimator, a photo tripod, a half-decent 1.25” eyepiece/filter kit, a 2” 2x Barlow, some basic filters, 20×80 and 25×100 binoculars, some smaller roof prism binoculars, and a few junk-quality refracting and Bird-Jones telescopes. Few other well-known manufacturers have a product line this small, especially ones that cater mainly to beginners like Zhumell.
Where exactly Zhumell gets most of their products is unknown – probably some manufacturer in China – but their 8”, 10”, and 12” Z-series Dobsonians are made by Guan Sheng Optical (GSO) in Taiwan. Not only do the Z series telescopes offer great value, but the GSO-made optics are outstanding – the last Zhumell telescope I had, a Z8, optically tested almost as good as a premium mirror of the same aperture, with only some slight undercorrection compared to the near-perfect mirror which I paid over $1000 for! The included accessories with the larger Z series scopes are also outstanding for the price – though the mini Z series tabletop scopes come with rather poor eyepieces. Zhumell is but one of many importers of GSO telescopes and accessories, but it seems to be the most widely known one, particularly among novice astronomers.
There really isn’t much else to say about Zhumell telescopes, though this is neither good nor bad. Their customer service is quite decent – I’ve had no issues. The workmanship on all but Zhumell’s cheapest telescopes and accessories is pretty good, as is to be particularly expected with GSO products.