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The Optivisor is well-advertised in many catalogs as a helpful tool for close-up work — it gives hands-free binocular magnification in a variety of powers.

I’ve resisted getting one (my eyesight is pretty good, but as I get older…) for two reasons: 1) I don’t enjoy putting on any more cumbersome gear than I have to when working in the shop;  and 2) I worry that I’ll scratch the lenses as often as I scratch the lenses of my disposable safety glasses, adding yet another consumable expense (about $12+) to my shopwork.

So what do y’all think, Hot or Not?  Let us know in comments.

Optivisor [Donegan Optical Co.]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


13 Responses to Hot or Not? Optivisor

  1. dlone says:

    I have two or three of these things and use them frequently. I wear bifocals, and often neither segment is right for what I’m trying to do. I can flip down the visor and get a close view, then flip it out of the way to look at a different distance. In effect, this gives me four focal lengths to choose from. Scratching hasn’t been a problem so far.

  2. Chris Williams says:

    Yes, they are cumbersome, but when you need to see close and small, they are invaluable. One of my must-have accessories.

  3. russ says:

    I use mine with my bi-focal safety glasses and like dlone says you can get differrent focal lenghts.

    Scratching hasn’t been a problem with mine. I am starting to use them more frequently. It doesn’t hang on my pegboard anymore. A good accessory.

  4. Chris W says:

    I use mine daily for electronic repair. They give the the magnification needed to keep up with the ever smaller components. They sell an accessory magnifier which flips in/out for 10x viewing. They are very comfortable and easy to adjust. After seeing mine, everyone in my shop got one.

  5. Chris W says:

    Forgot to mention that they’re made in the USA. Hot.

  6. Daniel says:

    I have a set that I use on occasion when there is very fine work to be done.
    My Dad on the other hand uses these all the time, and swears by them. He is the one who gave me my pair.

  7. Mike47 says:

    I use a set for HO scale model train work which, with my eyesight, is impossible without magnification. Between warm and hot.

  8. Erik R. says:

    Hot. While they take some getting used to, they are extremely helpful when working with small parts, like cameras and small electronics. They really aren’t that cumbersome, but I don’t wear glasses or hats, so I couldn’t say how well they’d work with them.

  9. kif says:

    Not for me. Rounding towards forty I find that my eyesight for extremely fine detail is declining at the same rate as the steadiness of my hands. Not shaky, yet, but not doing watch repair either.

  10. Kurt says:

    Hot. When I turned 40, I lost my ability to see fine detail. Optivisor brought it back and then some. Once you get to the point where you need it, you need it. I have had mine for about 10 years, and hang it up on a lamp when I am done for the evening. The lens is still in good shape.

    As for comfort, once I wore it for a few weeks I got used to it; in fact I have left it on coming into the house on a few occasions to my chagrin.

    Be sure to get the real thing, the cheap imitations are uncomfortable to wear, lack the leather band, and have plastic screws which loosen constantly.

    The Optivisor is a Good Tool.

  11. John F says:

    Hot. I have used them for years and find them to be a must have when doing detailed work.
    Dont cheap out and buy an imitator, these have glass lenses that I have yet to scratch,the padded and easy to adjust headband is fairly comfortable,and the quality of construction will withstand lots of abuse.
    MY ONLY concern is I feel like I have almost become dependent on them,and that my eyes have become “lazy”.

  12. zeebish says:

    HOT – Comfortable to wear. Expands to fit a large head (I have a size 8). Good quality lenses. I received a Bauch & Lomb as a gift, but I don’t like it near as much. The optics are not great and the visor is too close to my eyes which makes it real hard to wear glass underneath.

  13. DaveB says:

    Binocular magnifier should be mandatory 40th Birthday present. People don’t lose thier ability to see fine detail (resolution) they lose thier ability to shift focus, which is what these realy help with. I have several different brands. By far, the best value and most convienient in my experience has been the $5.99 version from Harbor Freight. They have a second set of lenses that flip up and down inside the visor behind the fixed set. They also have a external flip down (one eye only) third lens on the outside. The head band is convienient reliable velcro adjustment. Don’t bother putting batteries in the lights, just take out the screws and they fall off. If you want lights, add some keyring type tiny LED flashlights back on.

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