Hi all. Thinking of spending some of my hard-earned on useful tools and stuff that I've had my eye on for a while. A few times while doing nuts I've had trouble really seeing what I'm doing. So I got some new lighting and a dentist-style inspection light. Still struggling, so I guess it's my eyes just getting old and slow! Looking at getting an Optivisor as a Xmas present to myself. Anyone have experience with them? I see there are a bunch of different options.

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For me the SM visor has too many cumbersome moving parts and is way too much cash. I use a cheapo $10 version that works great. And yes hardware glasses in various powers.

Hello Keith,

I have three Optivisors---#3, #7and #10---and a #5 lens in the drawer that I periodically swap in for the #7. I've tried the cheaper brands hoping to find something less expensive for my students---stick with Optivisor!



Hello all,

For all the fans of Optivisor: Woodcraft has the plain Optivisor  (no lens, no light) for about 14 dollars plus change. A decent price (reg. 33 dollars) if you want to try it (or replace an old one). They are not marked as clearance in store so you must tell the cashier that you want the clearance price. Don't know how long this price lasts...

Just a heads up. I spent the first half of 2017 upping the lighting and magnification in my shop, only to discover that I had cataracts that had come on incredibly quickly. Got to the point where I couldn’t build, drive, or read.

Surgery fixed everything, and now I couldn’t be happier.

But one more note. Someone commented that they needed glasses for the shop. The default for cataracts is that they give you distance lenses, on the assumption that you’ll use cheaters or reading glasses for close work. I explained to the surgeon that 75% of my life was lived within 2 feet of my nose, between building, computers, and reading.

So my close vision is now 20/20, and I use glasses for driving and tv. Couldn’t be happier.


HI All,

Show and tell for aging luthiers/technians.

Yep, did the same thing with my surgeon - asked for intermediates/technician biased lenses and don't need any assistance for normal day to day stuff reading or driving - I use a optivisor knock off (a quality one) which I would use anyway for in the grain work which lives at my work station.   Annoyed that I didn't get my lenses fixed earlier.   On the subject of bionic upgrade - dual carpel tunnel surgery via keyhole is a day job these days - I was back on the job in 3 days - the old system of slicing everything open is a three week down time job and is done one at a time.  It was dead easy but either fix takes a while to come good as the scarring breaks down.  Stay tuned - I'm waiting for a personality transplant to become available. 


Just a quick review of the cheap visor. It does the job, build quality doesn't seem great and don't really find the light useful at all. I've used both lenses and they are quite clear and don't distort.

One qualm, and maybe it's also true of the Optivisor, is that the focal length (if that's the right term) is quite short: about 12". I was really hoping to have something that would be able to focus at about double that so wouldn't have to get quite so close to the work.

Hello Keith,

There may be a solution to that problem, albeit a quite expensive one! Surgeons wear what appear to me to be a set of little telescopes. I looked on Amazon for an inexpensive set some months ago, and I think the the "med-student" quality ones were up in the $100+ range. I didn't check Ebay for used ones.



got the optivisor recently; it works fine but is not so comfortable and i frankly feel self-conscious wearing it in my retail environment, it's damn funny-looking.

recently discovered these, far more comfortable and work just as well!

Image result for optic aid spring clip

they're also quite cheap for USA-made product, i got two different ones for medium-close and super-close viewing.


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