Last Updated on August 15, 2020
Magnifying glasses may seem like a novel item from a mystery movie, but they’re actually very handy tools with a vlariety of helpful uses. For individuals with less than perfect vision, reading a menu with a small font in a poorly lit restaurant can be a nightmare. A magnifying glass with built-in LEDs can solve this problem easily.
The small print in books can be a similar problem for many, and again, magnifiers can be an inexpensive solution. You may also use a magnifying glass for working on intricate objects such as watches, jewelry, or electronics. If you need your hands free, some magnifiers are mounted on flexible arms to allow you the freedom you need to see your work from any angle.
We’ve put quite a few magnifiers to the test, and the following ten reviews will compare the best ones we found. The first three stood above the rest, which is why they’ve earned our recommendations.
|Best Overall||MagniPros Magnifying Glass||
|Best Value||Dicfeos Shatterproof Magnifying Glass||
|Premium Choice||Brightech LightView Magnifying Glass||
|iMagniphy LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass||
|SeeZoom Lighted Magnifying Glass||
Equipped with a wide-view rectangular lens instead of the more common round style, the MagniPros 3X magnifying glass is a superior device that delivers exceptional performance. No matter where you are, you’ll be able to see with this magnifier thanks to the ultra-bright LEDs that pump out 600 lumens of illumination. They’re also rated to last for 20 years, so you won’t need to replace this magnifier any time soon. You’ll need three AAA batteries to power them, which can make the MagniPros magnifier start to feel a bit heavy, especially if you’re using it for long periods.
In case the lights are too bright, they’re also dimmable so you can always dial in the perfect amount of light. The anti-glare lens is crafted from optical grade acrylic which is more scratch-resistant than glass and also less likely to shatter if dropped. We saw no optical distortion and were impressed with the clarity of this magnifier. The viewing area was large and well-oriented for reading, and the image was clear all the way to the rim. It’s a bit more expensive than some of the other models we tested, but we think it outshines all of them in performance.
Dirt cheap but solidly built, the Dicfeos Shatterproof Magnifying Glass is our pick for the best value. Many of the other magnifiers in this price range that we tested offered poor optics with visible ghosting and distortion in the lens. The Dicfeos had none of these problems, instead, providing a clear viewing experience free from distortion. It’s rated at 3.5X magnification, but in our testing, it didn’t seem to enlarge quite as much as claimed. At just 4.8 ounces, it’s a very lightweight device that can be easily carried in your pocket.
The lens is just three inches across so it’s very compact, but you also don’t get as much viewing space as the wide-view lens provided by the MagniPro in our top position. You also won’t get any built-in LEDs on the Dicfeos, another flaw that keeps it out of first place. Of course, at this price, you can only ask for so much. This magnifier is rubberized to make it shatterproof. It has the added benefit of also making it more comfortable to hold. With so many features packed into such an affordable package, we think the Dicfeos magnifier is the best magnifying glass for the money.
When you need a magnifying solution that won’t keep your hands full, we suggest checking out the Brightech LightView Pro Flex 2-in-1 Magnifying Glass. It’s a bit more expensive than handheld magnifying glasses, but it leaves both of your hands free to work. There are bright LEDs built-in to pump out 570 lumens of white light, illuminating your work or reading so you can see more clearly than ever before. The magnifier and LEDs are mounted on a flexible arm that allows you to position it wherever it is most beneficial. It’s strong enough to stay put, and we never had any issues with it migrating once we had set it in position.
On the downside, this magnifying lamp does need to be plugged in. We would have liked to see a wireless feature allowing it to be powered by battery, but this device will always be tethered to an electrical outlet. The high optical clarity of the lens impressed us, and 2.25X magnification seemed to be a perfect fit for our uses. A desk clamp is also included for even more mounting flexibility, as well as a three-year warranty in case anything does happen to go wrong.
Though it just missed our top three, the iMagniphy LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass is a great product with a unique concept that we liked. Instead of being stuck with a single magnification level, this magnifier includes two interchangeable lenses. This allows for 5X and 10X magnification from the same magnifying glass. We loved this concept, but the lenses were difficult to change for some of our testers, which made them somewhat less appealing. You’re also paying a bit more for the versatility, so if you only need a single level of magnification, then it may not be worth the extra cost.
To make sure you can always see what you’re looking at, two LEDs are built into the handle. They did a great job of illuminating whatever we were looking at, but sometimes they were a bit too bright and there was no way to dim them. The LEDs run off of three AAA batteries, and the magnifier is pretty heavy once they’re installed. Altogether, it’s a great tool with a few key flaws that held it back from earning our recommendation.
Lightweight and compact, this magnifying glass from SeeZoom is a basic device with average performance. There’s nothing wrong with it; it’s just not exceptional. Made from hard plastic, it has a bit of a cheap feeling in your hand. You get a 3X main lens and a 45X jeweler’s lens that’s too small to be of much use. Worse, the jeweler’s lens in ours was set backward, so the magnifier had to be flipped over to even use it.
There are three LEDs built-in to illuminate your subject, but they’re not adjustable in any way, so you’re stuck with a single level of brightness. SeeZoom does back their product up with a lifetime warranty, something that we were impressed by. For how basic this device is, we think it’s a bit overpriced. We believe there are better options for the money, which is why this magnifier is stuck in the middle of the pack.
Cheaply priced and built to the same quality, this magnifying glass from RockDaMic is a budget option that didn’t do much to impress us. You can feel the low quality when you hold it as it’s very lightweight and the plastic just doesn’t feel sturdy. It will definitely break if you drop it, and we experienced this first hand. Before we even had the opportunity to drop it, the magnifier started coming apart of its own accord. When we took off the back to insert the batteries, the insides began falling out. We had the first one replaced, but the second one wasn’t any better.
The lens is of low quality and had visible distortion. Likewise, the magnifying area was rather small since the edges were blurred and not of much use. Despite the low price, we don’t think this magnifier offers enough value. We would instead recommend something like the Dicfeos Shatterproof Magnifying Glass in the second position of this list instead. It’s similarly priced but built to a much higher level of quality.
Affordable and oversized, the Unimi UM-GL01 is a good concept with poor execution. We like the extra-large 5.5-inch viewing area, but it makes the magnifier too large to carry around in your pocket. It’s supposed to be 2X magnification, but it doesn’t seem to really magnify at all. Worse, the image is very blurry and there seems to be a haze to the lens. There’s a smaller 4X magnifier on the side of the lens and even smaller 25X built into the handle. These worked, but they’re too small to be very useful. What we thought was a good idea turned out to be a very weak product once we used it. Though it’s cheap, we don’t think it’s a good purchase at any price.
The BearMoo Magnifying Glass is another budget-priced magnifier that’s built as cheaply as it’s priced. If you drop this magnifier, it’s most likely going to break the first time. Even if you’re careful with it, the image quality wasn’t great, with lots of blurring around the edges eating up the usable magnifying area. There are LEDs built-in, which is a nice feature at this price. With no dimmer, they can be difficult to work with, and were often too bright with no way to lessen the brightness. A small 45X magnifier is built into the handle, but it’s too small to be very helpful. However, the included lifetime warranty is a nice feature. Moreover, it’s an important feature because you’ll be returning this magnifier all the time. It’s just not built to last—it’s built to sell cheap.
Covered in non-slip soft rubber, we expected the Illuminate Magnifier Magnifying Glass to be similar to the Dicfeos that earned our pick for the best value. Unfortunately, it wasn’t anywhere near as durable, and its poor construction kept it from climbing our list despite how it looks. Within the first week of light use, the lens in ours had fallen out. We were surprised, but there’s a money-back guarantee protecting this magnifier, so we had it replaced. Then, we experienced the same problem with the second one, so we knew it wasn’t just a fluke.
While it did work, the image wasn’t impressive. There was visible distortion and it never seemed to want to come fully into focus. There were also no LEDs built-in, a feature that we’ve almost come to expect on magnifiers now. Of course, this one is priced very affordably, so they had to keep the features to a minimum. Still, the Illuminate Magnifier is poorly built and we can’t recommend it.
Advertised as 10X magnification, we were surprised to see that the IAMGlobal Magnifying Glass didn’t seem to enlarge our subjects much at all. We’ve seen many magnifiers with a discrepancy between the advertised magnification and the actual magnification in the real world, but this was a bigger difference than usual. Moreover, the lens wasn’t very high-quality, and the edges were very blurry, making the usable magnifying area pretty small.
The handle is covered in a shatterproof rubberized coating that offers protection to the entire device. It also makes it much heavier, and you’ll feel the extra weight when using it for long periods. There are also no lights built into this magnifier, another disappointment that held this product back. Overall, we don’t think it’s one of the better magnifiers available.
There are many magnifiers to choose from, and our reviews have compared ten of the ones that we thought were the best based on our testing. Three of these stood out to us and we want to make sure that they’re fresh in your mind. We think the MagniPros Magnifying Glass is the best overall. Its wide-view rectangular lens is excellent for reading, and the dimmable LED strips let you dial in the perfect amount of light for any setting. We also loved the 20-year lifespan that means we won’t need to replace it any time soon.
For the best value, we think it’s hard to beat the quality of the Dicfeos Magnifying Glass at such a low price. The rubberized coating is comfortable to hold and also protects the magnifier by making it shatterproof. It’s a very affordable way to get a well-built magnifier. For a hands-free magnifier that allows you to use both hands and see what you’re doing, the Brightech LightView Pro Flex 2-in-1 Magnifying Glass is our recommendation. The bright LEDs will illuminate your work and the flexible arm allows the head to be positioned anywhere.
Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.
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