Being able to clearly see what you are doing is key to creating/having/performing successful DIYs. And other than good lighting, nothing improves your ability to see more than magnifiers do. We present to you a collection of the types we have found useful in our own DIYs. Happy making and fixing!!!
Clip-on Eyeglasses Loupes
Many of us wear glasses, and clip-on loupes are a great way to get closer to the work without having to squint. These handy loupes come in single, double, and triple lens versions in different magnifications, are easy to use, and very adjustable. Best all, they are really inexpensive… so having a bunch of them around will not strain your eyes or break the bank 🙂
Carson LumiLoupe 10X Magnifier
A handheld loupe is a handy magnifier to have in the tool drawer. They come in a lot of different styles, but the ones we like the best are those with a clear base, because the light can get in from the side to illuminate the work. Note that these loupes are typically fixed focus and is best used for examining things on a flat surfaces.
Helping Hand Magnifier
For handsfree magnification, one really useful version is the “helping hand magnifier.” Typically, we use it for soldering and gluing small pieces, especially when the alligator clips can hold the pieces in position while we work.
A flip-up head-mounted magnifier is a great tool when there is a lot of moving around and/or switching between regular and closeup work. We have had a single lens version for awhile and have used it for working on watches and other such projects which require “getting in close” and then back out to see everything. The other feature of this magnifier is that the lens may be “unclipped” from the frame and clipped directly onto prescription frames.
There is another version which is bulkier, but more elaborate. We JUST got one in house but have not yet had a chance to give it a try. Based on first impressions, we think it will be a very popular addition to our magnifier tool set. This unit has five interchangeable lenses, LED lighting, and two different methods for securing the magnifier on the head (arms, elastic head band). We’ll have more on this new piece of gear shortly.
Magnifier Task Lamp
The last magnifier in our collection is a task lamp with a large magnifying lens. This magnifier is a great option when you really need maximum flexibility, direct lighting, and hands free. The swivel arm allows for exact positioning of the light as well as the magnifying lens. The tradeoff is obviously size and portability. However, there is nothing like having a bright, large, clear view of what you are working on!!! The one downside with this piece of kit is that a good version of this magnifier can set you back a good few bucks.
What does Sugru Mouldable Glues have to do with magnifiers? A lot. In a future article we’ll show you some great hacks to modify many of the magnifiers we mentioned today to make them even more DIYer-friendly!!! Look for it in the Fall.
Amazon links to items mentioned:
- Clip-on Single Lens Loupe
- Clip-on Triple Lens Loupe
- Carson LumiLoupe 10X Magnifier
- Helping Hand Magnifier
- Head-mounted Clip-on Magnifier
- Head-mounted Magnifier with LED light and interchangeable Lenses
- Magnifier Task Lamp w/Swivel Arm
- Sugru Mouldable Glue- 8 Single Packs
- Sugru – Hacks For Your Home Kit