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New Optivisor Complaints

Greetings all.

My old optivisor was 35 years old and just barely holding together.
Yes, it’s a one owner optivisor and I’m really that old. It was a
gift from my father on my 16th birthday when I was taking my first
silversmith course. So I splurged and bought a new one at an after
Christmas sale at my local rock shop. And have not been happy since.
My list of complaints are as follows:

  1. Too small. When I use a sweat sponge I cannot get it to fit
    comfortably around my 7 BE melon (head) without giving myself a

  2. Too difficult to move up and down smoothly. I can’t seem to get
    the cheaper plastic adjustment knobs to a happy medium for moving the
    visor up and down like my old one.

  3. Lost the adjustment knobs (See the above problem) from having
    them too loose to get the visor to move up and down without giving me
    a neck sprain.

Has any optivisor users found any solutions for the above problem?
I’m not looking for any referrals to having my head shrunk, thank

If not what is a viable replacement?

I was sorry to see optivisor had cheapened the construction on a
product that has served me so well for 35 years.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado


I use the black empty frame glasses with the flip up/down
magnifiers. It does not fit around your head so no need for “knobs"
and no tightness to give you a headache- no sweat sponge needed- and
for those of us that have to get up and down to wait on customers- no
"Hat Head”. Also, comfortable with or without glasses.

Johnny Johnson
Edward-Johns Jewelers
Marietta, Ga.

Hi Rick,

Sorry to hear you’re having optivisor difficulties. I can at least
help out with your lost adjustment knobs. Mine was purchased 2 years
ago, and one knob was lost pretty quickly. I replaced it with a wing
nut I happened to have in my shop, and it works like a dream. No more
loosening knobs, and it holds the tension I want, moving up and down
smoothly enough to suit me. (Then again, I don’t have an older/better
model to compare it with.) Strangely enough, I only replaced one lost
knob. The other one has never caused any trouble.

As for the mellon head dilemna, I can’t help you. My kids make fun
of me, I’m known as the “bean-head”, and I can pretty much wear
kid-sized hats. Vive la difference!


7 BE melon (head) 

Should be “seven and three quarters.” Somehow the 3 slash 4 got
translated to BE. Just another feature of Outlook 2007 and Vista I’ve
come to loath.

Rick Copeland

The optivisor bands–even the old ones are so uncomfortable that I
gave up using them. Instead I got some inexpensive reading glasses
in the strongest prescription I could fine. One pair usually works
just fine. If I need even greater strenth, I slip a second pair over
the first, and that really magnifies things. Works for me.


Sorry man I feel your pain. My solution was to not use one at all.
This may not work for you or anyone else for that matter but that is
what I did.

I had the same problems except I also felt like I was going
crosseyed and in a tunnel so…I chucked it. I very rarely use one
at all any more and when I do, it is for about 15 minutes and I
remember again why I don’t use it.

So there you have it the solution is easy. Thow it away.(HAHAHAHA)


I couldn’t keep mine tight so I replaced the knob in back with
velcro…I can set the headband to any size I like now.

Hi Rick,

If not what is a viable replacement? 

I can sympathize with you. I haven’t used Optivisors for about 15

I wear glasses so the Optivisor was a real PITA. I found the
Opticaid Clip-on. It’s great. the lens & it’s support are made of
clear poly carbonate. The clip on mechanism is made of stainless
steel wire. When wearing the magnifiers you can look over & around
them if someone comes in or you have to look at something else. They
can be flipped up above your glasses if you are done looking at the
small stuff.

The magnifiers only weigh 1/2 oz., so they don’t put a load on your
nose. They’re available in 6 different powers from 1 1/2 to 3 1/2.
Because the clip on mechanism is stainless steel wire, it can be
adjusted to fit many size glasses from the large aviator size to
smaller reading glass size.

They’re listed in the Vol 56 Stuller tool catalog on page 323, price
$21.95. They may be available other places as well.

Usual disclaimers, just a very satisfied user of the Opticaid


Hi Rick. I have to again rave about and recommend getting a pair of
glasses made that uses your reading prescription, with a bifocal
section 2x that prescription. It is so much more comfortable and
optically correct than my Optivisor, which I rarely use any more. A
great investment!

Allan Mason
Hermosa Beach, CA


I do the same things with the glasses, but it always causes my wife
to laugh hysterically, doesn’t stop me from doing something that
works though.

I have tried 3 of differing types of head visors, haven’t been happy
with any of them, all pretty much for the same reason Rick isn’t. If
it gets bad enough, I may have to go to fish eyes, but parting with 4
to $600 will be a tough sell.


I purchased a visor type unit from harbor Freight, which offers 4
separate strength lenses which slip in either singly or in pairs.
Several of my Studio Mates are also using them now, and find them
functional. The headband is easily adjustable, and easy to wear.
Reasonable priced, especially on sale.


I have both the clip on glasses kind which I would like but I’m blind
as the proverbial bat so the ones I need are so thick they pull my
glasses off. I use the optivisor usually but my big problem with them
is I flip them up go to do some other chore bend my head and they
flip forward whacking me on my nose. Kind of annoying actually but
after a few hundred times I have almost gotten used to it.


I’m prone to tension headaches from squinting and scrunching muscles
to see these tiny things we deal with. I don’t like things confining
my body. I don’t even WEAR jewelry.

I’m a hot rodder at heart so I made an extension for the Behr
Spectacle Loupe, puts the lens out about 2 1/2 inches so the working
distance is very comfortable. I get light weight(1/3 oz avoir), easy
on/off, I can easily see around the contraption, which is handy when
you need to grab that pliers over on the left without taking your eye
off the work. I can even use a 10X loupe while wearing the Behr.

Usually goes a couple/three years before the spring gives up the
ghost, which is not a big deal to fix.

Now if I can just adapt my nitrous oxide setup to this puppy…

I am obsessive and I am a bit embarrassed to admit it but I have
three optivisors.

One that I especially love that still has my dad’s name in it from
when he was alive and we worked together (in a different
industry)… When we worked together’ he would say “where are my
eyes”, and I would dutifully fetch his pair…

The good ones are old and have glass lenses (not cheesy plastic)…
In addition to my father’s pair, the others are from eBay and time I
was in another country and needed some magnification…

Note the number system on the lens is very goofy and a bit arbitrary
and unscientific; it has nothing to do with the magnification power
at all and is just labeled numerically (but close enough to the
actual magnification levels to be confusing) for example the
arbitrary number 2 lens is 1.5 power magnification…

One pair has an optiloupe attachment and I rarely use it… Anyway
the main purpose of this post is to talk about the new headlights
available for them called Quasar LED Lighting System for Optivisor.
It has 6 LEDS that go around the lens. I really like it…Most of
the supply houses now carry it. I don’t use it all the time but find
it worth turning on about 3 or 4 times a day. It is bright and
helpful for those times when you are not sitting perfectly in
position at your well illuminated bench but you still me some close
up vision. Like that one stump in the corner of your studio that
isn’t well lit or those times when we are on our hands and knees
looking under our bench for that very jumpy jump ring. It really
helps me a whole lot as the lighting under my bench is quite
poor…For around twenty us dollars it worthy of checking out…

I wear mine so much in the unused “UP” position that I forget that I
have them on my head… twice I have bumped them getting into my

Mark Kaplan
Providence, Rhode Island USA

I would love to hear what folks are using that is currently
available, as the cheap imitation optivisor I have been using (and
like very much, thank you!), is also dying slowly. I’m going to have
to replace it, and would love to know what I can buy now that people
are pleased with. I don’t need bells and whistles, just good vision.

Beth in SC

The last time I had an eye exam, I explained that I needed glasses
for work… what I ended up with are tri-focals - Very close up
(4-6"bottom, 12-14" middle and 22-24" upper) I got paid for very
inexpensive frames (gray, plastic) with safety lenses - not heavy,
easy to wear and great to see through. Well worth whatever it was I
paid (two years ago). Although I may be due for another eye exam, I
won’t be changing the glasses I currently use. I wore a previous pair
(bi-focal) for over 5 years.? I’ve tried store “readers” but none fit
the bill and spent more on those over the years.

Good luck

Hi Beth,

I know this has been talked about, so I’ll just tell you what we
use. My husband bought a decent visor through his school with lights
and a few extra lenses. Pretty nice. They have the same visor
(exactly) at Harbor Freight. I had a good laugh. He likes it a lot
and gets teased for his ‘extras’ (the lights especially), but he
doesn’t mind. So I’ll be picking mine up this week. :slight_smile:

Basic and less than $20.


I have to weigh in on the side of Optivisor. I have used the
inexpensive version from Harbor Freight (didn’t even last for a month
in my workshop) and then switched to a true Optivisor a few years
ago. I have had to replace the hardware on one side, but I love mine.
I have several different lenses because I work at different focal
lengths and I haven’t found anything better for my work. It’s
comfortable, convenient, and less expensive than getting specialized
glasses made for me. I love my Optivisor.

BBR - Sandi Graves
Stormcloud Trading Co (Beadstorm)
Saint Paul, Minnesota

Hi All,

As some of you know I’m in the process of writing a little "guide"
that is tentatively titled OPTICAL AIDS FOR JEWELERS. I am gathering
optical devises from all kinds of sources to evaluate and include.
The emphasis will be on simple, inexpensive but effective devises
(along with some very expensive ones). Each of you who is posting
your experiences is unknowingly contributing to my database-thanks. I
hope to finish the manuscript before the year is out.

The book, when finished, will be offered to Hanuman at no cost, to
sell with 100% of receipts going to support Orchid.

Unfortunately I won’t make it to Tucson, at the moment I’m
snow-bound in the mountains and can’t even make it home!

My best to all,
Dr. Mac

The guys in my shop all use the telesight magnifiers or the
optivisor. Owning each but not really liking either, I recently got
an Opticaid clip on from Stuller I love it!!! It is light with no
heavy black frame “blocking in” my view, and I’m no longer in the
optivisor tunnel, flipping that thing up and down a hundred times a
day and leaving work with optivisor/baseball cap hair.