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Comparabooblog | March 29, 2017

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Your Guide To Buying a Magnifying Glass

Your Guide To Buying a Magnifying Glass
Yehuda Posnick

You find yourself in all sorts of situations where you have to see detail better. Maybe you want to read small print on a label. If you are a stamp collector, a magnifying glass will help you see all the small detail on those stamps. Or perhaps you want to do some precision work, like to fix a piece of jewelry or change a watch battery. Whatever you want to do, you can find a magnifying glass that suits your needs. There are inexpensive magnifying glasses that can magnify 3, 5 or even 20 times. Here is a guide to some of the best magnifying glasses on the market.

iMagniphy LED Magnifying Glass 10X + 5X Illuminated 2-Lens set

iMagniphy LED Magnifying Glass 10X + 5X Illuminated 2-Lens set

Types of Magnifying Glass

  • Hand-held: These are magnifying glasses that your are required to hold in one hand, as you hold the object to be viewed in the other hand.

  • Bar reader/Sheet reader: A bar reader is a magnifying glass in the form of a bar, that you place over the text of a book or magazine that you want to read. It magnifies the entire line at once. There are also illuminated versions, which have a lamp that light up the text as well. There are sheet readers as well, where the magnifying glass is meant to be placed over an entire page for easier reading.

  • Folding pocket magnifiers: These are magnifying glasses where the lens folds into a carrying case. They are typically small enough to carry around in your pocket. There are also varieties where there are several lenses, of different magnifications.

  • Jeweler’s Loupes: These are a set of lenses, fixed into a cone or cylinder, that are not attached to a handle. The loupe can be held in the eye, like a monocle, or held in the hand. Loupes are typically used by watchmakers and jewelers for their fine work, but can also be used in geology, biology, electronics, and stamp and coin collecting.

  • Hands-free: These include optical visors and magnifying desk lamps:

  • Optical visors: These are worn on the forehead, and are generally like a pair of binoculars: they magnify for both eyes. They typically can be worn on top of prescription eyeglasses or safety glasses. Donegan’s OptiVisor is an example of such optical visors.

  • Stand Magnifiers: These are either round or rectangular lenses that are placed in a frame that is propped up on legs. You place the prefocused magnifier stand on top of the object you wish to view. Your hands are free to do other work. One such type of stand magnifier is the linen tester: This is a magnifying glass that has markings to let you easily count the number of threads in a piece of cloth.

  • Eyeglass Loupes: This is also essentially a hand-free magnifying glass, that fits onto a pair of eyeglasses. When you don’t need the magnification, you move the loupe out of the way.

  • Magnifying desk lamps: These are propped up on a stand that attaches to your desk. You then move the magnifying glass over the object that you are viewing. There is also a lamp to illuminate the viewing area.

  • Convertible: There are magnifying glasses that can convert from a hand-held to hands-free. For example, the Carson Split Hnadle HF-11 has a neck strap that lets you hold the lens in place, your hands can hold the object. That’s good for reading, sewing, and any activities that require both hands.

Fancii FC-MGUV2X Large LED Handheld 2X Magnifier

Fancii FC-MGUV2X Large LED Handheld 2X Magnifier

What People Are Saying

Based on all the consumers’ reviews we’ve scanned, these are the top things they mentioned about their new stuff:

  • For coin and stamp collecting: If you’re interested in collecting coins, it’s important to see if the coin has any scratches or wear. It will be worth much more if it is freshly minted. If you collect stamps, a brand-new, unused postage stamp which has no cancellation marks can be sold for a much higher price than a used stamp. So a magnifying glass is handy to see if the stamp has been used already.

  • For the seeing-impaired: People who have experienced loss of vision recommend the Carson Optical Pro MagniVisor. It has a series of interchangeable lenses, and is easy to wear. People who wear it can go about their regular pastimes (reading, sewing, etc.) comfortably.

  • Reading small print on labels: People notice how much they are missing when trying to read small print, after they bought the Wolf Moon Hand-held Magnifying Glass. It has 12 LEDs that light up the area you are viewing, and can magnify up to 20x.

Useful Tips for Shoppers

  • Width of the lens: Make sure that the width of the lens fits your needs. A linen tester, for example, is used to count the number of fibers in a piece of fabric. It will typically be around 20 mm or 30 mm wide. Loupes for gemstones and jewelry will be around 25 mm wide.

  • Magnification: The magnification of a lens in given in “powers”. That’s the number of times the lens magnifies the object. For example, a linen tester that is 6 power magnifies the piece of cloth by 6 times (written “6x”). A loupe will be around 40x. A magnifying visor will typically have a series of lenses, ranging from 1.5x to 2x.

  • Illumination: Many magnifying glasses have an LED lamp inside to help view the object. But then you’ll have to worry about a power source: The stand magnifiers will run from wall current, whereas visors will run on “AAA” batteries.

Top Brands

Carson Opticalwas founded in 1990 by Richard Cameron. They are currently located in Ronkonkoma, New York. They make binoculars, monoculars, telescopes, microscopes, and magnifying glasses.

Fanciiwas founded in 2013. They are a leading online retailer of optical products. They sell magnifying glasses and loupes, head visors, LED-lit magnifiers, and more.

iMagniphyare located in Springfield Gardens, New York. They are makers of magnifying glasses with interchangeable lenses, with a stylish design.

The Wolf Moonare retailers of a large number of home and kitchen products. They also make a 20x magnifying glass with 12 LEDs to illuminate what you want to see.

Donegan Opticalwas founded in 1952, making precision optical devices and parts for industry, home, and office. Their headquarters is in Lenexa, Kansas. They grind and polish glass on site, as well as distribute imported visual aids.

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