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Magnifying Glasses for Close Up Work [You Have Plenty of Options]

When it comes to finding low vision aids and tools to assist you with fighting back against low vision problems, it may be somewhat overwhelming to know which vision aids provide the optimal amount of relief for specific task and hobbies.

Sometimes one vision aid can be great for distance related task and functions such as seeing a movie in theaters or attending a sporting event.  

Sometimes vision aids are designed purely to aid with work that’s being performed up close and personal or from a very short distance away.

Whatever the case maybe it’s important to understand the differences and know how to effectively locate the best option to relieve eye strain and get you back to enjoying everyday life and everyday task again.

I see a question come up frequently that relates to low vision aids and work that needs to be performed up close and from short distances.

What are the best magnification tools and magnifying glasses for close jobs or task that need to be completed from very short distances? After some research and several years in this specific industry behind me, here is what I can tell you.

So, what are the best magnifying glasses and magnification tools for close work? The best magnifications tools or magnifying glasses for close work will depend on the severity of your low vision problem and which task you are attempting to complete. Most frequently, handheld magnifiers, loupes, stand magnifiers and bar magnifiers will be the best option to aid you with low vision issues and work that needs to be performed up close or from relatively short distances.

Let’s break down these options further to give you a better idea of what each device can aid with to provide you with a better idea. This should help you understand more clearly what device may ultimately help you the most with the specific task you need to complete.

Handheld Magnifiers


Handheld magnifiers remain one of the top vision aids for work that needs to be performed up close. Typically, you find handheld magnifiers ranging in magnification levels from 5-16x. 16x being on the extreme side and 5x being on the modest side.

Handheld magnifiers are typically lightweight and come with additional options such as including built-in LED lights. More robust magnifiers will even add the opportunity to swap lenses quickly and give you the ability to change magnification levels such as the Imagniphy 3 lens set.

The biggest downfall you run into with handheld magnifiers is the need to continually hold the device while it’s in use. Depending on which task you are attempting to complete such as reading a book or newspaper, over time your arm may become fatigued and can become uncomfortable to use for long periods of time.

For overall eye relief, however, handheld magnifiers are a top choice. We recommend finding a budget-friendly magnifier that can offer comfortable grips, LED lighting, strong, long-lasting battery life and to find a magnifier backed by a strong warranty.


Bar Magnifiers

Bar magnifiers are great for resting on the page or on your current task and enhancing visibility and relieving eye strain. Bar magnifiers typically come in options of 8 inches in length up to ten inches in length.

For the best uses, they are used primarily for tabulated data viewing and can also include an option to highlight portions of the reading/text in colors such as yellow.

The primary function of bar magnifiers includes doubling the size of letters and numbers on the page and often used only to enhance about 2 lines of text at a time.

For an additional method to relieve eye strain and to have a low vision aid that can be used hands-free, a bar magnifier may be an excellent option for you.



Loupes can be used for various task as well. Some common uses include jewelers’ loupes for inspecting jewelry and loupes that can be used for another task such as coin collecting or other fine detailed work that needs high magnification and a small viewing lens.

These can even be great for a task such as reading tiny print such as prescription pill bottles or stamp collecting. Magnification levels range up to 20x in most circumstances, and 20x would be a very high-powered loupe used for extreme detail visibility.

If you haven’t checked out our Double Lens Loupe set that comes with two options in one tool, then you can see that here. It’s one of our newest items we have added to our lineup and features a 10x magnification tool and a 20x magnification tool built into the same magnifier.

This makes having multiple uses an everyday option at an affordable price.

Lamp Magnifiers

Lamp magnifiers can be another great option for work that needs to be completed up close and is another one of the hands-free options on the list.

Lamp magnifiers can offer gooseneck or extendable arms to give you more flexibility to maneuver or complete various task and typically include a standard power source eliminating any batteries dying in the future.

Lamp magnifiers can be great for merely reading various materials or even using in the workshop to get more clarity and eye relief for handling other tasks that can vary greatly from individual to individual.


Stand Magnifiers

Stand magnifiers are a lot like lamp magnifiers but don’t always offer the additional lighting. It’s a lens mounted to a stand.

Stand magnifiers are most often used for hands-free eye relief, and you physically look down into the lens to easily read or scan material for magnified viewing.

All you need to do with a stand magnifier is slide/glide it across the surface and use the pre-focused focal length to help begin enjoying everyday task again.

They are easy to use, affordable and one of the great options if you struggle with low vision problems.

Especially for up close work.



Putting It All Together, One or All of These Devices Can Surely Get the Job Done for You

We briefly just touch on 5 outstanding options you can use for magnification and relief against low vision problems for work that needs to be performed from short distances.

Each one of these products has specific strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to decide which task you need the most help with and to select the magnification tool that will ultimately provide the most relief.

Each device we have covered here today is extremely affordable. Not to mention the tools such as the loupes, handheld magnifiers, and bar magnifiers are entirely portable and lightweight making them easy to bring with you anywhere you go.

Having small tools like the ones we listed above is a sure-fire way to begin battling back against low vision and a great way to start restoring the quality of life.

Do you have any recommendations for the best options or magnifiers for work that needs to be performed up close? Be sure to drop a comment below, and we will continue to add additional options to this post.

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