Shop Floor Talk  

Go Back   Shop Floor Talk > Welding and Metalworking Forums > Shop & Safety

SFT Search:   
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-18-2007, 11:28 AM
Corm Corm is offline
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Northern Vt
Posts: 109
Question Magnifier for work bench

Here's a subject that I haven't seen come up yet -

As I age, I find myself needing to grab a magnifying glass more and more often to see stuff I used to be able to see real well without any !@#$ magnifying glass.... Occassionally, while turning something small on my lathe, it would be real nice to be able to look thru a magnifier of some sort, or while repairing something on the bench that has small pieces, etc... So, I think I need to buy one of those large magnifying lenses that could mount to my work bench on some kind of a swing arm, preferably with a light of some kind integrated into it. I may even buy two, one for the lathe, and one for the bench.

I've been looking at several outfits that sell them. They have diopters that go from 2 to 10, incandescent lights, flourescent lights, some are round, some are rectangular, some aren't much bigger than a hand held glass, and some are up to 12" in diameter, and then they talk about focal lengths, and how they vary from about 6" to up to 18". The prices vary from about $20 to over $200...

Before I buy one, I just thought I'd query you folks (that are 'mature' like me) to see what you have, what works good, what doesn't, or if it really makes much of a difference. Thanks in advance for any info you care to share.

Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 11:45 AM
Harvuskong's Avatar
Harvuskong Harvuskong is offline
The Enforcer
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Big Country Area, TX - Abilene TX area
Posts: 3,789

There are head band type mag glasses that you can get at Harbor Freight.

They have "headlights" installed too. Use AAA batteries.

Check them out on Harbor Freight's website. Around the $10.00+ range, but under $15.00 as best as I can remember.

Other than that, I suggest the purchase of what Foster Grant calls "Spare Pair" glasses for under $10.00. Cheaters, I guess, is what I have heard them called sometimes. Ben Franklin half glasses is another term that I have always heard as well.

I have seen them available up to 3X power. It depends on your retailer.
Running away is the coward's way out of war.
Appeasement is the coward's way into one.

Biden & Harris is our enemies favorite candidates

In time the right project will find the scrap pile, no need for the scrap pile to go out looking for a project.
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 12:54 PM
Corm Corm is offline
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Northern Vt
Posts: 109

Thanks Harvuskong! Harbor Freight is one of the sites I've looked at. I saw those headband type lighted and magnified visors. The Opti-Visor site has some nice ones also. I'm sure they work OK, but I really don't want something I have to put on and take off each time I need to use it. I already wear glasses (tri-focals), so cheaters won't work for me. I really miss the eye sight I had a few years ago... I've been near sighted all my life, and have had to wear glasses since I was in the 5th grade. Now it seems that whenever I need to look at something real small, I can actualy see it better with my glasses off rather than on. That desn't mean I can see it well, just better with my glasses off.... Getting old isn't easy...

Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 04:50 PM
Mith Mith is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Southern England
Posts: 143

I made something like what you are describing. It has a cast alu base, and an arm sticking up. Then a joint and an arm sticking out that attaches to a lens with LEDs around it.
You can move it around using the joint, and the LEDs give a bit of light. Works great for pulling out splinters.
Handy bit of kit. Probably cheaper to buy then to make though.

Mine is about 2-3x magnification, which seems to be plenty.
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 08:25 PM
largely largely is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: chino,ca.
Posts: 96

I've tried lots of magnifiers and found that the only one I like is an Optivisor. Available in many tool stores in several magnifications. I have a 5x that's used a lot and a 10x for the really small stuff.

Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 08:55 PM
Sberry's Avatar
Sberry Sberry is offline
GOD of Strawberries!!!
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 3,859

I bought illuminated one on an arm from one of the box stores, about 40$, works great.
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 10:06 PM
tackit's Avatar
tackit tackit is offline
Elite Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: North Central Indiana
Posts: 1,705

I have a $20 cheapy and a not so cheapy $60 one. I have the better one on my bench and the other on the computer desk.

The cheapy I had to shorten the springs about 1 1/2" to get it to hold position. Grizzly sells them too.
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 10:08 PM
precisionworks's Avatar
precisionworks precisionworks is offline
American Tools Keep Americans Working
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Benton, IL
Posts: 3,177

The Opti-Visor site has some nice ones also. I'm sure they work OK, but I really don't want something I have to put on and take off each time I need to use it.
I have two Optivisors in the shop, plus an Optivisor lens plate in each welding hood.

Put the Optivisor on in the morning, take it off in the evening -- you'll use it all day long and never even notice you have it on
Barry Milton - Please email or PayPal through
PM's are disabled
Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2007, 11:18 PM
cutter's Avatar
cutter cutter is offline

12-29-1943 to 1-17-2020
Curmudgeon emeritus
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Lubbock,Texas
Posts: 33,110

So how do you get an Optivisor to work with bifocals?
Housekeeping Staff: the Gatekeeper
Director of Policy, Syntax and Grammar (by appointment)

"Dr. Chandran, will I dream?"

Just Keep Walking

"I am not a body, I am free.
For I am still as God created me."
Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2007, 09:03 AM
Corm Corm is offline
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Northern Vt
Posts: 109

Thanks everyone for your replys. I guess I'll start by ordering a cheapy from HF to see how that works. I was surprised that several guys mentioned the Opti-Visor. I figured that putting it on and taking it off everytime you need it would be a real PITA, but maybe it's worth it... I can see where it would work real well if you were doing the same sort of stuff all day long, and you could just leave it on.

Again, thanks for all your replys. I really appreciate them.

Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Web Search:

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:22 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.