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  1. #1
    Bill D is offline Titanium
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Modesto, CA USA

    Default Quality magnifying glass

    Where can I get a quality magnifying glass that is strong enough to view cutting tool edges etc. It does not need a wide field of view. I think i need some thing in the range of 10-30X. All I see are made in China and I doubt if the qaulity control is good enough.
    Bill D.
    Something like this no name on ebay

  2. #2
    bruto is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Benson, Vermont

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by bruto View Post
    Check out B&H Photo
    Ask for the country of manufacture. B&H sells a lot of chinkese junk.

    McMaster-Carr has over a dozen pages of magnifiers in their catalog www.mcmaster.com

    - Leigh

  4. #4
    BWS is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Mnts. of Va.


    I was looking for one of those lighted magnifiers that clamps on bench..........checked Flea bay and found a vintage Stanely,1950's?,with built in little flourecent (sp) light.It was in near mint condition for less than 20$Tried to do a search on it,nothing much about it,its a jewlery magnifier w/base.BW

  5. #5
    Captshakan is offline Plastic
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Port Ludlow, WA


    I’m not even sure I rate to the silly putty level but I do have a Maximat 7 and have enjoyed Practical Machinist for years. What I have been for more than 50 years is a geologist and I couldn’t begin to tell you how many days I’ve had a hand lens (loupe) around my neck on a lanyard and how many tens of thousands of times I’ve whipped it out to look at a rock or mineral.. For years I--and legions of other geologists-- used Bausch and Lomb 7X or 10X triplet hand lens but recently I came across a wonderful loupe that has internal LED lights. Chinese of course (as I suspect most any magnifier or loupe is these days) but being a triplet lens (i.e., highly corrected), the optics are far above the usual magnifier. The price is right too. I suspect you can find these various places. I’ve seen them up to $40 on eBay but Miners, one of the standard sources of geologic and prospecting equipment has them for $23.


    These seem as well made and optically as sharp as any of my B&L hand lens…. which will cost you about twice as much. I must confess I haven’t been using my Maximat much lately but back when I was, I commonly used my B&L hand lens to check things out. The LED hand lens will surely be even better because I won’t have to screw around getting the item to be examined in the right light. I think you’ll also find that the field is not only optically flat but the field is just about right to see much of the end of a lathe or mill bit. You might also be very surprised at what you see. A lanyard is nice too; the hand lens is always there at the end of it, not in the way, and instantly accessible.

    Incidentally, if I’ve had any trouble with this LED hand lens, it was figuring out where to get replacement batteries. Maxell SR927SW batteries are right and you can get them cheap in quantity on eBay.


  6. #6
    madokie is offline Aluminum
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    okc okla

    Thumbs up magnifier

    there are spark plug lighted magnifiers(5-10x)sold by places like jegs & summits.most are chinese.

  7. #7
    LoveMachine is offline Aluminum
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Salt Lake City, UT USA


    I have been happy with this bausch and lomb illuminated magnifier(10x magnification) for about 4 years now. Runs on 2 AA batteries and the incandescent bulb lasted up until a few months ago. I got a 2 pack at Radio Shack for about $2.

    Its perfect for checking out cutting tool tips and indisposable for picking up a previously cut thread on the lathe.

    My only complaint would be the cheap feel of it, though it has functioned flawlessly for years.

    http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?P...PMAKA=505-1936 On sale at enco for $26 right now.
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  8. #8
    bosleyjr's Avatar
    bosleyjr is offline Diamond
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    SE PA, Philly


    Edmunds Optics has a number of what you want. I would not preclude Chinese optics - you may have a hard time finding a magnifier NOT made in China and some Chinese stuff is just fine.

    Optics range from a simple lens, which because of its design will have problems correcting all colors equally, and probably have some other aberrations as well. The Starrett hammers have a simple lens in them. About 1 inch in diameter, and about 50mm focal length, or about 5x magnification.

    Going up in quality (and cost), you could get an achromat lens. These are lenses in which two lenses, each from different types of glass (generally called "crown" and "flint") with differing indices of refraction and dispersion are cemented together to create a single lens that corrects for several wavelengths simultaneously. This gives a sharper focus.

    But achromats can have other aberrations. For some applications, the spherical lens surfaces are modifed to create "asphericals", that fix those problems. You can get achromat asphericals. Edmund actually makes some of these by casting plastic onto an achromat in an aspherical shape. These would probably make cool magnifiers, but the plastic might not be too durable. Then again, the Starrett magnifier is plastic.

    But all that theory may be moot. Generally recognized as the best magnifying lenses are Hastings Triplets. Edmunds and elsewhere also sell Machinist's magnifiers, which are several simple lenses in a frame. It is cheaper than a Hastings, and has several different magnfications in the same unit.

    I would caution against buying the most powerful magnifier unless you know you need super high magnification. If you go too high you have issues holding the lens and workpiece, and you need beaucoup lighting. I'd go with a 7x, or 10x (40-25mm focal length),

    I use an old American Optical Cycloptics (aka "the monster"), which is probably overkill for this, but they are great.

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  9. #9
    J Henricksen is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Roscoe, Illinois

  10. #10
    stuball48 is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Dickson, TN


    Bill D:
    My favorite is the Fowler pocket magnifier 20X and in ENCO the catalog number is 52-662-020. I use it all time to check my hss turning bits when I sharpen them. It is a little tricky at first but after a couple trial and error uses -- you got it.


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