Daily Wire Tip: Magnify Wire Jewelry with Optivisors

By on April 18, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip


I was watching the Bonus Intro DVD and wanted to find a visor like you recommended. Where can I find the Optivisors?

-Kate in Dayton, Ohio


Hi Kate, Wire-Sculpture does carry the same Optivisor that I both wear and recommend. It comes with just one lens, because additional lenses cost quite a bit more. I have found that the 1.75 magnification works for nearly all of my students; some wear their glasses with it, and some don’t. They really make those small details easy to see!

JewelryTools also carries a large selection of the many styles of Optivisor available, as well as an on-visor lighting tool.

Keep this in mind when purchasing a set of magnifying glasses or an Optivisor: the greater the magnification, the closer you have to hold your work to your eyes; which results in bad posture, neck and shoulder aches, etc.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    April 19, 2011 at 8:07 am

    The use of an optivisor is really a great tool for seeing your work up close. And as Dale stated, the more magnification, the closer you have to work to your object in order to keep it focused so you can see it.

    That is why she is warning you before hand about neck aches, shoulder aches, etc. These result from you unconsciously tensing up as you work thru the optivisor trying to keep things focused for your eyes to see. So, use the 1.75 magnification, take breaks to rest your eyes and your body and you will enjoy working with the optivisor.

  2. avatar


    April 19, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Regarding the Optivisor: Please keep in mind that if you wear readers or bifocals (either over the counter or prescription), the magnification of the Optivisor will be IN ADDITION to that power. If you are wearing the optivisor INSTEAD of your readers, you will want a power higher than your glasses, or the vision will be the same.

  3. avatar

    Jeanne Lyons

    April 19, 2011 at 10:31 am

    The optivisor you wear in your DVDs looks significantly different – open sides and tan. I’m kind of clostrophobic so I’m not sure of the WS on-line one that’s closed in. What could you reccommend?

    • avatar


      April 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm

      Oh – ok Jeanne, I sometimes use a headband magnifier that I bought at a fabric store! I believe it is used by quilters and it does allow more peripheral vision. They are called MagEyes.

  4. avatar


    April 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    For close work like cross stitch, beading or some wirework, I like to use a magnifying lamp with a 22 watt flourescent bulb around it. The type I use is on an adjustable arm so I can swing it into or out of position with a light touch. It also prevents fatigue by allowing my eyes to adjust simply by looking away for a time. I can adjust its position so I’m looking straight forward or down at my work. You can see a picture by Googling “magnifying light 22 watt.” Stands are available if you don’t want to clamp it to a table. I recommend the 3 diopter as the 5 diopter is too strong for extended use.

    • avatar


      April 19, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks Diane, my mom also likes to use this type of magnifying lamp for tiny seed bead work.

  5. avatar

    Kate Serene Doe

    April 20, 2011 at 9:37 am

    This is important for me–I wear contacts (sometimes) and glasses the rest of the time. Each requires different power lenses on my visor.

    I need different strengths because I do different kinds of work; I also need as much light as possible. I found a reasonably priced setup much like the Headband Magnifier Wire-Sculpture carries (G7-6)

    It comes with a bulb on top you can turn on and off (I recommend buying an extra bulb when ordering but I noticed the bulbs are presently out of stock–you might be able to pick one up at a local hardware store–I just recommend having an extra on hand in case you are like me and you drop your visor) –filaments break–but the bulb seems quite durable).

    For what I paid, this visor is worth every penny–even for the AAA batteries you’ll go through for the lamp (try not to leave it on when you go talk to a family member–you’ll blind them because it’s easy to forget it’s on–you’ll know when people shield their eyes as you approach–I am not kidding).

    You can snap in two lenses at one time and flip one up–so you experiment with the four lenses until you have a combination that works for you (I have a combination for my glasses and one for my contacts–it just works that way)–and write down the combination and put it on a label on the lens box so you remember. There is one fault–the lenses are not marked but they look different so I kind of noted which is which and keep them in order in the box (which is marked inside). Just be aware. Before I say these are perfect I want to mention any imperfections . . . that is the only thing that has bothered me (and I’m sure I could mark the lenses in some way at the top–color-code or something). You might do that before removing from the box and note which is which and avoid getting into the situation I did–having to figure out which is which (not that difficult but you really don’t want to have to sit and do that).

    There is a hard plastic carrying case for all four lenses–so if you are going somewhere, you just take lenses out and stuff the rest of the visor in your bag or carrying case–your lenses are protected–the bulb recedes back in a plastic casing which affords it some protection when stuffed in a tool bag–I just worry about dropping and impact. Here’s how clumsy I am–I dropped my mini-anvil twice last week–on the same foot. At least I have a sense of humor. Therefore, I prepare for clumsy moments and keep extra stuff (carry extra AAA batteries, too for the lamp as you will go through them quickly–nothing to do with dropping things, though). (Note: I have MS, I have an excuse for being clumsy, LOL). Because of that I’m blessed to have strong, steady hands to work–thanks to therapists.

    I can use both lenses for really close magnification and flip one up when I don’t need it (make sure you put them on in the proper order so your “regular” lens is closest to you so it works. The whole unit is easily raised without removing from your head. It’s just so convenient (once you get the darn thing set up at first the way you like it). Because they fit the way they do, they are easily worn over safety glasses. The headband is a bit uncomfortable (for me) and caused headaches but I just put a bit of padding in there (I’m not that industrious–I used a thick piece of weatherstripping I found at a moment of disgust and pain and it worked for me).

    When that wears off I’ll probably go for a bit of quilting–good idea.

    I think this product is excellent–and a reasonable price.

    I’m no expert by any stretch–I just like to pass along what I’ve learned from experience and sometimes stupid mistakes–and always appreciate it when others do the same as we all benefit (I know this is in much greater detail than necessary–but I would have loved to have had ALL this information a while back). Any tips gleaned from experience help (and if someone can improve on my ideas or conclusions from experience I welcome it).

    I hope someone finds this helpful–I believe in Karma. Good luck to all!

  6. avatar


    May 22, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Kate-if it’s ok can you please let us know the name of the magnifier that you use and where you purchased it. Thanks.Janet

  7. avatar


    May 22, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I have both the Optivisor and visor set that looks and sounds like the decription for the G6-7. I bought the my version of the G6-7 before I started making jewellery when I had to make repairs to small stuff like watches, glasses, circuit boards, etc. They were very good for what I needed. Incidentally, the set I have has the magnifcation for each lens stamped on the upper corner of the lens. You can also tell the different magnification by the thickness of the lens. The fatter the lens the more magnification.

    I started wire wrapping about 5 years ago now and used these lenes, however, I found that all the light coming from every direction caused my eyes to tire. My wife gave me an Optivisor with a 1.75 lens for Chrsitmas 2010 and I have used them ever since. I find the optics to be of a higher quality and I really appreciate having all the glare and reflections eliminated by the shielding. I have since purchased the LED light frame and the Optiloupe attachments, plus a 2.0 magnifcation lens and really like the set up.

    A note of caution: The people who make the Optiloupe attachment do not seem to be in touch with those that make the LED attachment as the two cannot be used together as they come. The bolt provided with the Optiloupe is not long enough to go through the light attachment AND the visor, nor could I find a longer replacement. It appears to be a bolt with a fine thread so the I ended up having to drill the hole in the light attachment and visor slightly larger to accommodate a regular bolt. Jewellery Tools was very willing to refund the cost of the loupe and retuen postage if I did not want to keep it, but with this little modification the set up works just fine and it isn’t hard to do.

  8. avatar

    Rachel Ison

    May 22, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    I love my optivisor! I enjoy wire working so much better and my projects look so much better. I have fellow beaders and wire workers that are always asking me how I get my pieces so precise. When I mention the visor they are quick to tell me they are too embarassed by the look to wear them! How silly is that!

  9. avatar


    May 23, 2012 at 7:11 am

    I wear contact lenses for distance and need readers for reading. I have an optivisor type magnifier and a headband type that I prefer for working on my jewelry. The closed optivisor type does not give me any peripheral vision while working and the weight of the batteries for the light make it too heavy to wear for long without discomfort.
    The adjustable headband type works great since I purchased the different magnification lenses for use as needed and it is much lighter than the battery one.
    Since I take a small soft tackle box of pieces to work on when I am selling at Art & Craft shows the easiest magnification to take is my CLIP-ON SPECTACLE MAGNIFIERS. They come with 4 lenses with magnification; 1.7x, 2.0x, 2.5x and 3.0x. I wear them over a 2x reader for tiny work. They ‘breakdown’ much smaller then a headband or optivisor and they easily clip on to any standard eye glass frame.
    I have had people stop at my booth to ask about my eye wear. I’ve met some very interesting people this way, and they’ve bought pieces from me as well!

  10. avatar


    June 10, 2014 at 5:55 am

    Gwen, where did you get the CLIP-ON SPECTACLE MAGNIFIERS? That sounds like just what I need. Thanks so much.

  11. avatar

    Wilford Bickel

    August 19, 2014 at 8:27 am

    A few things I learned when purchasing my optivisor. The true Donegan Optical Optivisor WILL have optical grade GLASS lens. Be aware that there are some import knockoffs that come with polymer lenses that are not as accurate and scratch much worse then the true optical grade glass – this was per an email from Donegan Optical.

    Make sure you purchase the strength that matches the distance you like to work – the strength actually matches the distance from the visor that you would want to work. The 1.75 is for 14 inches working distance, I prefer working at 10 inches and therefore purchased the DA-4 strength 2.

    I too had problems as I preferred the LED light system over the single top unit and wanted the loupe. I have a local hardware store that carries many odd nuts and bolts and by taking the too short loupe bolt into the store they were able to match me up a fine thread bolt long enough to work. I did not want to try drilling the optical glass lens.

    The website for Donegan Optical is http://www.doneganoptical.com/products/optivisor

    Hope this helps! I don’t care what I look like wearing it, I need to see and have reached the age of appearance just is not that important – especially with the chest of drawer disease setting in now!!! LOL!!!!

  12. avatar

    kay edwards

    November 18, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I love my Optivisor . I have two of them one with lights for working with wire at night ( that is my personal need ) and one without lights.
    They make my wire work so much easier .
    I highly recommend for everyone who works with wire designs.