Magnifying Glass Hand Magnifiers
Buy quality, economical 5-30X magnifiers: geology loupes, optical comparators, hand lenses, linen testers and credit card magnifying glasses.
People need magnifiers mainly for two reasons: reading things that weren't too small when you were young; seeing very small things you could never really see. So, categorizing magnifiers can be a bit arbitrary since we don't know what you could see then or now. We hope you will find these groupings useful but call if you're in doubt.
Note: Any recommendations you find on these pages as to usage are intended as guidelines only.
Sometimes, you just need an inexpensive magnifier to give out to customers. Most can be imprinted with your logo.
Geology Lenses for Really Small Stuff
Identifying minerals, plants or insects? Use 10X geology lenses for gems & minerals or higher power 15-30X triplet loupes for ultra fine detail such as microfractures. Or, buy an economical, plastic frame foldout magnifier for plant, leaf & flower identification. All come with glass lenses.
Scale Magnifiers: Linen Testers & Printer's Loupes
Whether you are measuring dot separation or thread density, a linen tester is an inexpensive way to do quality control. Most have ruler markings & can be used hands free. The higher power ones, 8, 10 & 14X are ideal for scrutinizing security features in documents.
"Sherlock Holmes" Handheld Magnifiers
Need to read a newspaper? You might need as little as 1.7 times (1.7X) magnification, so bigger is better. Choose from inexpensive plastic frames or fashionable wood handles. All come with glass lenses.
What Size Lens?
Simply put, the higher the magnification, the smaller the lens. A strong magnifier is ALWAYS used close to your eye AND the object you are looking at, so with a 10, 20 or 30X you might only see a single letter on a page. Further, the part of the magnifier you are using is only about the same size as the pupil of your eye.
What Magnification Do I Need Then?
Probably much less then you think. A 1.7X magnifier enlarges an object a factor of 1.7 in height & width. In effect, this makes something 2.89 times bigger (1.7 x 1.7); that is, your eye is now using 2.89 times as many cells to see something. So, if that newspaper or book is just a little hard to read, this may be all you need.