hands-free magnifier-what is a really good one ?

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Forum topic by Bigkahunaranch posted 06-14-2015 01:15 AM 1010 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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122 posts in 930 days

06-14-2015 01:15 AM

Topic tags/keywords: inlay veneer routing

I am in the process of doing some small, fine router inlay using a dewalt plunge and a dremel.
But my eyes are not as good as they used to be, has something to do with getting older I think.

Anyway, I am looking for some good recomendations on a hands free magnifier with a lamp.
The kind you where on your head, is what I am thinking.


-- To see samples of my work, please visit

13 replies so far

View Redoak49's profile


1824 posts in 1410 days

#1 posted 06-14-2015 01:40 AM

There is a wide variety of magnifying lamps out there at all prices. The better ones have fluorescent or LED lights and quality glass lens.

I have the Daylight Slimline Magnifing L amp by Daylight. It has a 22 watt fluorescent bulb and 2 glass lens….a 3x and 5x. They are a bit over $100 and you can catch them on sale for a little less.

I have had one for more than a year a year and use it for scroll sawing and carving with a Dremel tool. It is a great one.

Good Luck

View distrbd's profile


2220 posts in 1868 days

#2 posted 06-14-2015 03:29 AM

You should try a magnifying visor ,Amazon sells them for around $30,you may find it more comfortable:

or one of these:

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View MrUnix's profile


4032 posts in 1621 days

#3 posted 06-14-2015 04:21 AM

Anyway, I am looking for some good recomendations on a hands free magnifier with a lamp.
The kind you where on your head, is what I am thinking.

I had never used one… and then several years ago a friend gave me one of those head visor things from HF. I figured it was a POS and wouldn’t use it much, but it was free, so what the heck. Since then, I find myself using it all the time. Don’t know if they still have them though (the one currently listed on the web site looks a bit different). The one I got has an LED light and four different snap in/out magnification lens (and you can use two at a time to get different magnifications if needed). I’m sure there are better ones out there… the HF one is basically all plastic, but for less than $5, you might want to give it a try.


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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3940 posts in 1926 days

#4 posted 06-14-2015 05:21 AM

Bigkahuna, I (sic) your where…

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2756 days

#5 posted 06-14-2015 08:22 AM

I’m old and my eyesight isn’t what it once was. I am pretty dependent on this magnifier light with a round fluorescent bulb. My model is slimmer than the usual designs which makes it a bit easier to get really close to whatever you are working on. You can find these with a web search pretty easy.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View ellen35's profile


2720 posts in 2854 days

#6 posted 06-14-2015 10:19 AM

I was at Lie-Neilson this past week… they have a new one. Looks a lot like the ones you see on Amazon but you can get a lens to fit your need. They have ones for working 8”, 10”, 14” away from the work. The 8” is standard but I picked that one up plus a 14 inch lens for about $40. I haven’t tried mine yet but did try one that another woodworker had.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

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1568 posts in 2281 days

#7 posted 06-14-2015 02:07 PM

I’ve recently been using the Magnifier Head Strap With Lights from Harbor Freight. Just $4.99 and works quite well. I’ve been using it for soldering small wiring to LED light ribbons, it works well.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Redoak49's profile


1824 posts in 1410 days

#8 posted 06-14-2015 02:09 PM

I gave my recommendation and it works well for me….the lens quality is very good and gives a wide fine field of view.

However, I think you should try several different styles as have been suggested. Everyone’s vision is different as are prescription glasses. You need to try some out and see how they work for you and what you are doing. While some like the visors I found they did not work with my glasses and were not comfortable for long use.

Everyone will have something different that works for them. If you were close you could try mine.

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788 posts in 2183 days

#9 posted 06-15-2015 06:20 PM

I have spent more money on magnifiers than you can imagine, from $800 for a used industrial stereo zoom microscope and a medical stereo loupe like doctors and dentists wear to Harbor Freight visors. I have found the $5.00 Harbor Freight 2X visors ( to be my everyday best magnifiers. Wear them every day I am in the shop. Every bit as good as the $40 ones. I keep a pair in various parts of the shop and don’t have to worry about messing them up at that price.


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View RooseveltKoepke's profile


21 posts in 499 days

#10 posted 06-18-2015 10:58 AM

Process of doing good

View JoeinGa's profile


7383 posts in 1429 days

#11 posted 06-18-2015 11:57 AM

I got one of these that was being thrown out at a place I work years ago. The engineering dept decided they needed 10 new ones and I was able to grab the last one just as it was being dropped into the dumpster. Works great for fixing my glasses when the tiny little screws fall out :-)


-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View RogerBean's profile


1598 posts in 2375 days

#12 posted 06-18-2015 07:58 PM

My favorite is the “OptiVisor” in 2x with a 10” focal length. The optional LED lighting attachment is also worth the money and greatly improves your view of the object at hand. I find it perfect for marquetry on the chevalet.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View boblee's profile


1 post in 493 days

#13 posted 06-20-2015 07:56 PM

Pretty obvious this isn’t a one size fits all topic. I have found that a pair of soft sided welders goggles fitted with the appropriate strength 2×4 magnifier lens (don’t forget to remove the shade 5 lens) works where I can work with an 18 inch focal distance. Where I get into trouble with this setup is when I get my big head too close to the work and things get blurry again. These will usually fit over your existing prescription glasses, but keeps you from using the bifocal section so some adjustment to the focal strength may be required to be adequate for each individual.

-- Bob Crawford

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