Desktop magnifying glass

I’m 54 years old and my eyes are now far from the great vision organs they used to be, particularly in the short distance.
I have to wear reading glasses at work and also in the shack to see well the computer screen and the rig front pannel. But I’ve forgotten my glasses at work today and this handicap has reminded me that I had long time ago thought of getting one of those desktop magnifying glasses of this type, as I always miss them whenever I want to do some soldering or any repairing work in my shack.

I’m sure some of you have one of these and I’d like to hear your opinion and also have your advise on which one may suit best for a typical ham radio stuff use,

  • with or without light, if with, how much power,
  • how many dioptres.
  • with a base or with a clip

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Guru… I have some similar to these

and I like them better than the bench mount magnifier in my experience of using both types…

Richard // N2GBR

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Hi Guru,

I had to get one of these a few years ago, and find it a great help, even when I have my reading glasses!
My answers to your questions -

With a light. Mine has a flourescent tube around the outside of the magnifier. There may be a better LED version now, but it really helps to have light close in, and from more than one angle. eg better than a spot light from one side.

Sorry, I don’t know that!
But, make sure that the lens diameter is great enough for you to be able to focus through it with both eyes.

Mine has a clip, so that it doesn’t take up any space on the bench top, which suits me. If you want to move it between desks, then a base might be better.

Mine is a bit like this one in your photos -
If I was buying another, I would pay a bit more and get a better quality one, where the magnifier stays exactly where you put it. With mine, I have to tighten the joints often to keep it stable.
(I bought it from Maplin, a company which no longer exists, so I can’t provide a link)

Just my thoughts…




You have my sympathy as my near-vision has become poor in recent years, which I find very frustrating when doing soldering and other delicate work. A magnifying glass helps but can create a problem judging how to move your hands or handheld tools as viewed through it.

I have a bench-clip-on type which has two ‘arms’ with croc clips to hold small items like cables, connections, etc.

73, Andy

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I too use a headband magnifier - but not quite like this one. It holds two pairs of interchangeable lenses from the four pairs of different powers supplied. They flip upwards out of view giving four choices. You can have specs only, specs plus weak lens, specs plus strong lens and specs plus both for really close work.

are similar. I seldom use the light.


Hi Guru
Using here a Flexa-Lupa made in spain :wink: dioptres 3 and 8.

They have a new model with led but much expensive !
73 Eric F5JKK

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Pushing 60 here LOL

Found these on E bay tenner, ordered some see how it goes as what some thing to make it bit better close up doing antenna work etc.
On where reading glass don’t cut it as well electronic work also.

Do review once got them let ya all know.


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I must be hardcore… I solder SMD sized devices wearing a jeweller’s loupe. My nose bares testament to the proximity of the soldering iron.



One bit of advice regarding arm-mounted magnifying lenses, with or without a concentric light: one of my radio buddies picked up an inexpensive one at the local hamfest a few years ago. He discovered that the price savings resulted from a poor-quality lens, with distortions and limited useful field of view. If you go with an arm-mounted lens, look (and pay) for a good one.

I picked up some headband-mounted magnifiers at our most recent hamfest, haven’t tried them yet but I’m optimistic.

Hi Richard,
Thanks for your feedback. I also have some similar to those and they have served me well for several repairs, soldering and stuff like that. However, I find them not so practical for certain uses as the objects you want to see and work on must be placed a bit too close to your face and as Andy @mm0fmf pointed in his post, you risk burning your nose :sweat_smile:
At the moment, I believe that one of the desktop type I showed in my original post above will suit me best.


Hi Adrian,
Thanks for your feedback. I’m of the same opinion. After a quick search on the web, I found some cheap ones at 37€ and some other costing more than 160€. There must be a difference between them and I guess the main difference is the lens quality.
It’s like the difference in the quality of the pictures taken with a camera having a cheap lens and one having a really good one. The difference is like day and night and I’m guessing it will be a it of the same regarding these magnifying glasses.
That’s why I posted here. I want to read your feedback and take my time before purchasing.


Thanks Andy,
Yours is a great suggestion with those two arm with croc clips. Will think about it… :thinking:



Hi Eric,
Thanks for your feedback. I’ve looked that one up and it strikes me as a bit too small lens diameter and a bit too short arm. I think a bigger diameter lens and a bigger arm will serve me best.


Thank you. That’s a good advice and I think a good one is what I’ll go for.


Yes, I think that’s very important to have a comfortable vision of the area to work on.
Thank you, Adrian!


I am a heathen as far as magnification is concerned. Having past my 3 score and 10 and having undergone many optometrists eye tests resulting in expensive outlay, I gave up and bought a range of so called reading glasses from eBay that were so inexpensive that I bought many at just over £1 or about $1.50. I have them everywhere and when buying I chose to be colour coded. Red or Black 2.5x, Gold 3x, Brown 4x. In addition I have a couple of the magnifying lenses with side croc clips as sold by Aldi and Lidl periodically for few quid. Essentially I can see everything I want to but I can only take this approach because my long distance vision is still 100%


Greetings again one and all

They have arrived and given them bit of a run out and find they are light weight little flimsy but the lens do help a lot with a small led light enough to light the area your working in.

Advise taking off the stalks that hold them to your ears and go for the strap it comes with other wise does the job nicely. are are comfy to wear also But best feature you can flip up the lends with out taking them off and interchange the lens.

Can’t grumble for a tenner

Mind you what he said above you could do and get one of the cycle headlights for another squid via pond land

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I use one of these and the one point I would stress: spend the extra money and get a good one.

I paid $40 US for one a chain store and it is impossible to get it to stay in the place I put it. I find myself moving my work to line up with the light/magnifier instead of the other way around because it won’t stay in place.

Also, get one with the light in it. It is much more difficult without one.


Here I go resurrecting another zombie thread…
After having thought about this during March last year, I found an interesting one on a second hand market, tried to purchase it but the seller did something weird I can’t remember now and I finally lost my chance to buy it.
Then I got diagnosed with a cancer and while dealing with that important battle for my life, I completely forgot about the magnifying glass.
But now that my cancer got successfully removed and I’m nearly finishing my final chemo treatment (just 3 sessions to go) before the final operation to reverse my ileostomy (expected sometime in June/July, coronacrisis permitting), things were looking better, so I recently had the chance to think again about the magnifying glass and I made a decision: I ordered this one:

but, when I received and connected it, it was a faulty unit, with 1/3 of the LEDs never being illuminated. Seemed to be blown out.
I contacted the customer service and went through the purchase-of-a-new-one-and-return-of-the-faulty-one process.
When I received the new replacing one, instead of an identical one, it was a different model, but I immediately noticed it was a superior one, so I felt happy with it and proceeded to install and connect it to the 12V CC.
This is the new one I received now:

Unfortunately this one resulted in another faulty unit, as none of the LEDs ever got illuminated when clicking on the switch button. I contacted back again the customer service and explained the whole thing. They seemed to take a bit too long to give me a response and after a couple of days waiting, together with the fact that I really liked this new lamp much better and the boredom during these lockdown times, I finally got into investigating why the LEDs of the lamp were not illuminating.
I found that the 12V cc were correctly getting to the switching circuit, but there were 0V at the output and that’s an obvious good reason for the LEDs not getting illuminated.
The switching circuit was in theory, upon consecutive clics of the only pushing button available, for switching the LEDs ON and selecting one up to 4 different levels of brightness. Given that there were 12V at the input of that circuit but 0V at the output, I decided to bypass the circuit and connect the 12V directly to the LEDs.
imagen imagen
Then, after this action, I got the lamp perfectly illuminated, but obviously with just one single level of brightness, which is not a problem for me at all and this was obviously better than nothing at all.
Then the customer service finally responded and I told them that I had managed to finally get the LEDs illuminated and I had decided to keep the lamp as it was instead of going again through the process of buying a new one and returning the faulty one.
A few minutes after having got the LEDs illuminated, I started to smell overheated melting plastic, so I switched it off and decided to power it on with just 9V instead of 12V.
After a few minutes being illuminated with the 9V cc supply and not smelling any melting plastic, I found with deception that 1/3 of the LEDs were OFF; just the middle sector out of the 3 sectors making the whole LEDs ring.
I opened the lamp and inspected the LEDs ring to find out that the middle sector was indeed blown out:

It seems like Murphy is indeed working hard in these lockdown days…
I’m now exchanging emails with the aftersales trying to get a spare sector of LEDs and a spare switching circuit for me to try to repair the lamp, as I don’t obviously pretend it to be covered by the warranty after having been manipulating it.
Furthermore, I have already used the magnifying glass and the lamp for some few repairs I’ve had to do on tiny things lately and I found it very helpful. I’m happy with it, despite having 1/3 of the LEDs non illuminated.


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You’re just trying to out do me on resurrecting zombie threads!

Hope you are surviving the lockdown without going crazy.