Best magnifying glasses for building

I’ve been doing ok so far whilst building 1:35 armor. However the Takom Hetzer full interior kit has me
thinking about more help to see the tiny parts which challenge these 91 year old eyes… I currently use one of those magnifiers thats on a huge boom and can swivel… etc. It doesn’t give me room to work under it when I really really need it. Perhaps a set of magnifying eyeglasses. that focus at 12-14". That’ll let me see and still swing tools around.

I’d appreciate some of your thoughts on this subject.



I use a cheap set of glasses that a friend gave me.

SImilar, but without the lights on the sides.

If you wear glasses, then ones like SableLiger recommended are great, as they fit down over your prescription glasses. If you don’t wear prescription glasses then look for “cheaters”, “readers”, whatever you want to call them. The higher the number, the more magnification. I use 1.5 for reading and computer work. I use 3.5 for model working. I think you can get them as high as 6.0, check Amazon.


I bought a set of these off Amazon and they work very well. I use the headband so I can wear my glasses.

YOCTOSUN Magnifying Glasses with 4 LED Lights, Head Mount Magnifier with Storage Case,5 Lenses, Headband, Hands Free Lighted Head Magnifying Visor for Hobby Crafts & Close Work

I have one similar to SableLiger’s; I think mine is an Optivisor or a knock-off. It came with a set of different magnification inserts depending on your needs.

I never found myself using the smaller lens on the swivel, and it in fact eventually broke off from being rammed into my work light when leaning forward.

1 Like

Mine has a flip down lense that gives you additional magnification. The little lens on the right is useless to me.

Yes, that’s what the inserts go in. I’ve not changed mine; I just put the strongest one in and left it.

I use an optivisor with a light,got it at Hobby Lobby


@corsutton Hits the mark here. I have reader magnifier eyeglasses from +2 to +6 that I use for all my modeling. I keep them lined up at the back of my bench and just switch among them when I need more or less magnification. They are much lighter and less claustrophobic than a visor and you can easily look over them to locate tools / read instructions. They let in more light. They’re cheaper than an Optivisor, too. You can order a whole set online from any number of sources or find them at the dollar store.


Optivisors are very good, the lenses ate glass not plastic and therefore don’t distort.

Make sure you get a pair with lenses for the distance you usually work at and are comfortable with.

I’ve got two pairs, one for really close and another for 12-14" distance work.

Highly recommended :+1:



I’ve been through a couple pairs of the inexpensive head-band type magnifiers, and they worked just fine.

Amazon:: Cheap Headband Magnifiers

However, they’re cheap because their lenses are plastic. My problem with them was that I either wound up scratching them (always in a spot directly in front of my eyes!) or I splashed a drop or two of some solvent-based paint, glue, filler, etc. on them which etched permanent defects.

I finally pulled the trigger on a pair of genuine Optivisors with a couple of different magnification power lenses. As @flatfour observes, the lenses are glass and so are nearly impervious to scratches and anything I’ve every splashed on them has wiped and cleaned away with no problems.

Use your experience with the magnification and working distance you get with the cheap ones to select and buy the appropriate ground-glass magnification power lens plate (or plates). You don’t need to buy the entire Optivisor boxed set with all of the available lens plates at once. You can buy them individually, as needed.

Amazon:: Optivisor

Once you get used to wearing them, you’ll never work without them again. First thing I do when I walk into my workroom is to put them on and taking them off is the last thing I do before turning out the lights.

Try a cheap pair, maybe to get an idea about what they’re all about, then when you’re ready, buy a really good pair.

Having said all of the above, I do have a number of modeling friends who really like the inexpensive drug-store magnified “reading glasses.” These might be worth checking out (especially since you can just walk into the drug store and try them on).


Have the this pair. $15.95. + shipping.
They have bright led lights that are rechargeable. Work great with my reading glasses . interchangeable. Lens.

I covet the Zeiss ones my dentist uses, but he informed me that they cost $3500!

But I manage to get by with my 4x Opti Visor, two 1.7x ring-light magnifiers, a 5x hand loupe, a 10x jeweler’s loupe and a 17x geologist’s magnifier, and lots of light.

1 Like

I use these and they’re really good.

I’ve settled on a 5X Optl… Excellent in every respect.

Thank you all for your help with my question.

1 Like