Craft

Eye Loupe Set

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A set of three eye loupes for around six bucks

Eye loupes are a cheap and small way to magnify things while keeping your hands free. They are almost as good as the previously described workbench lamps and headset magnifiers, but they cost under $2 a pop so I can keep on in the car, one in the tool bag, and one at work. Even the one in the tool bag has lasted 10 years or so without cracking. Since they are monocular, you retain the ability to see things on your workbench without having to move anything out of the way.

Their only drawback is that you have to hold them in your eye by squinting a bit, as you would a monocle. Their magnification is enough to inspect all but the smallest surface mount electronics or insects. and works sufficiently well as a macro lens to take documentary cell phone snaps of what you are working on.

-- Dave W 02/25/20

(This is a Cool Tools Favorite from 2013 — editors)