Though a magnifying glass might not, at first glance, seem like a tool used by artists, it actually is. Photographers, painters who work from photos, and crafters who sew, solder, or make jewelry, are often in need of a little assistance to view the tiniest details in their work and may turn to a magnifying glass for help. If you’re looking for a hands-free magnifier, a model that is illuminated, or one that delivers high-power magnification, our picks of the best magnifying glasses will help you find just what you need.
1. iMagniphy LED Illuminated Magnifying Glass Set
Who doesn’t appreciate a single product that does double duty? Featuring an ergonomic handle, complete with rubber grip, This magnifier comes with two interchangeable lenses: a 3.5-inch-diameter lens delivering 5x magnification and a 2-inch lens at 10x. (There is another version of this product that offers three lenses, at 2.5x, 5x, and 16x.) Two LED lights, mounted on the handle and powered by three AAA batteries, further boost the visibility of your detail work.
2. Busatia Magnifying Glass with Light
This sleek, light magnifying glass is a perfect choice for art teachers and other educators who sometimes require an up-close look at something. The lens delivers 3x magnification and measures 2.75 inches in diameter, and the entire tool weighs only 5.8 ounces. There are three built-in LED lights as well. What sets this glass apart, however, is the tiny second lens just beneath the larger one, which boasts a gigantic 45x magnification power. While that lens is quite small, at 0.72 inch in diameter, it’s a great addition for those times when you really need to zoom in.
3. Beileshi Helping Hands Magnifier
This magnifying glass is the only one of our picks that’s totally hands-free. An adjustable stand holds the magnifier up above your project, leaving your hands free to work. This budget-friendly option offers three lenses from which to choose, at 2.5x, 7.5x, and 10x magnification. There is also a small gooseneck-mounted light with five LEDs, powered by either the included adapter or three AA batteries.
4. AIXPI Magnifying Glass With Light
With an impressive 30x magnification power, this magnifying glass, ringed with ultra-bright LEDs, is definitely a good pick for professionals. The acrylic lens measures 3.15 inches in diameter. Though it’s larger overall than other handheld magnifiers on our list, this product weighs just 255 grams, a little over half a pound, and is easy to hold.
5. MagniPros 3x Magnifying Glass
Although this magnifying glass offers a modest 3x magnification, for many tasks this is enough enlargement to prevent eyestrain when working for long stretches of time. What we really love about this one, however, is its large rectangular lens, which measures 4.35 by 2.5 inches. The lens is made of optical-grade acrylic, which is lighter than alternative materials, so the magnifier is easy to hold without fatigue. For illumination, LEDs are embedded in the rim around the lens; these can even be easily brightened or dimmed with just the tap of a finger.