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20 Things You Can Do With A Magnifying Glass

Be inspired – so many tasks, jobs and hobbies are made more enjoyable with a magnifier.

Magnifico (The Magnifier Company) has been around since 1999. In that time we must have had every possible enquiry going about magnifying glasses, helping customers with queries on subjects that are often brand new to us (pigeon eye anyone?).

Of course everyone knows that magnifiers are great for reading books, enlarging stamps, studying maps and enlarging tiny insects but that’s just the start of it. We know too that they are invaluable magnifying aids for the blind and for those with impaired or low vision. We’ve also encountered many professions that use magnifiers for their daily work. Archivists, science lab technicians, production line inspectors, crime scene detectives and beauty therapists could not manage without them.

Over the past 20 years barely a week has gone by without someone sending us a new query about a magnifying glass. In many cases they are for usage requirements that are completely new to us. Here’s a selection covering 20 things that you can do with a magnifying glass – some well known, others more unusual. Please let us know what you use your magnifier for – perhaps we’ll add your use to a future list.

Make do and mend
So many of us now are looking to save the planet by recycling the old instead of replacing with new. The BBC series The Repair Shop has shown the way but our eyes also need a little TLC. A magnifier can take away the strain, leaving hands and eyes free to concentrate on the task to hand.

Electronics repairs
Vintage radios, printed circuit boards, old phones and other electronic items have many minuscule components that the naked eye cannot fully see. With a fixed lens over them, you can see the detail and fine tune even the tiniest part.

Complete a puzzle
Those fiendish jigsaw designers just have to try and make each puzzle more difficult. They know that making two pieces almost exactly the same is part of the challenge. A decent stand magnifier gives you a fighting chance of being able to tell them apart. Now there are only 998 pieces to go.

Learn about the natural world
It’s fair to say that you probably won’t see a silverback gorilla in your garden but there’s plenty to marvel at so close to home. Ants, beetles and bugs of all kind are truly amazing when you look at them under a magnifying lens. Share the experience with a child and give them a love of nature for the rest of their lives. 

Win at a quiz
There’s nearly always a picture round at a quiz – normally something like ‘Celebrities as Babies’. It’s not just the winning that counts. One way to impress your fellow team members is to pull out a credit card magnifier to help identify the famous faces.

Prospect for gold
If you ever take a ring to be valued, the jeweller will inspect it closely through a powerful magnifying loupe to reveal the hallmark. The hallmark tells you the purity of precious metal in the item. Gold, silver, platinum and palladium must all be hallmarked by UK law. 

Eat more healthily
magnifier-to-check-food-packagingFood manufacturers are trying to reduce packaging just as consumers demand more information. Calorie counts, allergy warnings, artificial flavourings and recipes can all influence the buying decision but the text is so small that you often need a magnifier to see it. 

Train your eyes
If you have had glaucoma, advanced macular degeneration or cataracts, then your optometrist might suggest a magnifying glass as a way to ‘train’ your eyes to adjust. We can assist but if you think you have any issue with your vision, don’t delay – go to an eye specialist straight away to get proper professional advice. 

Bring back old memories
Even In a digital age, nothing beats a magnifying glass for the sheer joy of looking at boxes or albums full of photos. The tiniest detail, a sign revealed or a face enlarged, can instantly transport you back to ‘the good old days’.

Manage your finances
Perhaps you are about to buy, buy, buy on the stock market, or you simply need to check an old premium bond certificate, the numbers may be too small for the naked eye. Bar magnifiers that rest on the page have the added benefit of helping you keep your place.

Research your family history
Genealogy is a popular and fascinating hobby but occasionally it’s a test of endurance. Researching family histories through  ancient documents and historic texts can take a while. An endless supply of coffee, a decent notebook and a good-sized magnifier would seem to be three sensible tools to help you get started.

Read the meter
Magnifiers are handy to have for all manner of mundane household tasks – from highlighting gas and electricity readings, to checking small print on insurance documents or gadget instructions, through  to removing a splinter when a DIY or garden job goes wrong.

Take the right tablets
If you are on medication, or maybe know someone else who has to take pills on a regular basis, it’s not a bad idea to keep a magnifier in the medicine cupboard. Labels and instructions are so small that anything making them easier to follow surely must be welcome.

Let’s get crafty
Stand magnifiers, magnifying lamps, head or round-the-neck magnifiers all have one thing in common: they keep your hands free for sewing, model-making, painting or any other art and craft task.

Solve a crime 
Sherlock Holmes was not the only detective to use a magnifier. The classic magnifying glass still forms part of an essential crime scene field kit, along with fingerprinting equipment, plastic bags and tweezers.

Study ancient maps
Whether your interest is in the Lost City of the Incas or what happened to the old village hall, poring over old maps is an absorbing pastime, but one which certainly benefits from having details made larger.

Help people with reading difficulties
We have dome and bar magnifiers with reading lines that can help children with dyslexia to more easily identify and highlight words when reading.

Manage your production line
Magnifying lamps are used widely in manufacturing environments for production control, quality inspection and component testing. Our industrial-strength lamps feature large lenses, with adjustable arms, bright LED or daylight illumination, bench clamps, wall mounted and floor. standing fittings.

Swallow a dictionary
Find or check a meaning of a word, look up a reference or a date, find an alternative phrase or meaning, even discover how to say something in another language. There aren’t as many things to do with a magnifier as there are words in a dictionary but having a magnifier to hand when you’re looking certainly enables you to find way you are looking for more quickly.

Promote your business
Magnifiers overprinted with your logo, brand or message make great low-cost giveaways for organisations of all sizes. We have more than 20 years supplying magnifying glasses as bespoke promotional gifts. Our magnifiers have been commissioned by marketing teams for Mission Impossible, Royal Bank of Scotland, the House of Lords as well as countless other great causes, companies and campaigns over the years.