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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.