I got a question recently about buying a magnifier. I can’t use these because they aggravate my vision problems. What I can tell you is that you should think about how and where you will be using it in order to narrow down the options. If you are considering this, take some time before you go looking to do some research.
No I don’t mean poke around looking at sites for products, but think about how you will use them. Ask yourself some questions:
- Will I be using it at home only or when I travel to guild meetings and classes?
If you will be using it for classes, you’ll need one that’s portable.
- When I’m at home do I have a table nearby for holding the magnifier?
If not, I’ll need one that hangs on my neck, sits on your nose (glasses), or sits on the floor.
- Will I need light as well?
If so, look only at magnifiers with lights attached.
- How much magnification do I need?
Different ones have different amounts, so some might be too weak or too strong.
- Do I need color matching?
Then I should consider magnifiers with true light bulbs/lamps only.
- Do I get migraines?
I know some people who have problems with some brands of light or with magnifiers because the flickering or magnified shapes cause migraines for them.
Whatever magnifier or lamp/magnifier combo you consider, try it out first to be sure it works for you. This is especially true for more expensive models. Some shops will let you try out the models there or borrow ones from your friends to try.
When you try them, do so under the conditions you normally stitch, in your regular chair. with your regular lighting, and with the mesh size you usually use. This is the best way to determine if a magnifier will work for you.
Once you have narrowed down your list, it’s time to do the fun thing — shop!