Tool Review
Magnifying Headgear
  • Enkay_Boxtop

by: Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]

So, I'll start off by saying a huge thank you to Dave (GrumpyOldMan)! For anyone wondering Magnifying Headgear is, a quick look at the accompanying pics will give you the idea - it's basically like the frame from a pair of spectacles but, instead of individual lenses for each eye, it has a centrally mounted swivelling clamp with holds one of three interchangeable magnifying lenses provided. The lenses are 1.5x, 2.5x and 3.5x power and each arrives packed in a separate plastic bag. The whole set is packed in a sturdy cardboard box with a dense foam liner to protect everything. The lenses are plastic, but the optical quality is excellent. There is no distortion or double-imaging.

In use
I must admit I've never really got on with magnifiers in the past. I've got a stand-mounted glass which takes up desk space and I find is a total pain because it gets in the way of everything, and a combined lamp/magnifier which is too cumbersome. Furthermore, with both these magnifiers I've always felt rather disorientated and removed from what I'm trying to work on - almost as through I'm trying to use somebody else's hands. So I usually end up just straining my Mk1 eyeballs to get the job done.

The Enkay Magnifier is a revelation! For one thing, it's light and comfortable and you very soon forget you're wearing it. Positioning the lense out ahead of the frame is great. It pivots up out of harm's way if you don't need it and, when in use, provides a kind of magnified "hotspot" - you can simply tilt your head a degree or so to see the subject unmagnified - and the real beauty of it is that the working distance is the same, so no more having to move the desk or lamp magnifiers out of the way, you simply check your progress and move on. Working with the Enkay rapidly became instinctive and I found it invaluable when tackling the tiny details in a photetched detail set.

This is a tool I can tell already is going to become an essential for detail work. Other magnifiers no doubt do the job equally well, but the fact that this is so little hassle means I'll actually USE it - which is the make or break of any tool, no matter how useful it appears on paper. I don't know the price - and because it was a present, I'm not going to go searching for it! I've never come across one in the UK, so I can't even hazard a guess - I'll simply let others check price and availability for themselves. Thanks again Dave - I really appreciate it!

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
An unexpected present proved to be one of the most useful additions to my arsenal of tools in years. If proof were needed of the wonderful community that has grown up around the Kitmaker Network, it arrived in the form of a mysterious padded packet from America this Christmas. Somehow or other I resisted the urge to rip off the wrapping paper before the big day and was rewarded for my patience with a wonderful gift - a set of Enkay Magnifying Headgear!
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 2930
  PUBLISHED: Jan 06, 2007

About Rowan Baylis (Merlin)

I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...

Copyright 2021 text by Rowan Baylis [ MERLIN ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


And for those of us with glasses? :-) :-)
JAN 05, 2007 - 05:59 PM
Hi Jan Wear these in front! :-) :-) All the best Rowan
JAN 05, 2007 - 06:11 PM
Might be worth a try then, eh? From four eyes to six eyes..... :-) :-) :-) :-)
JAN 05, 2007 - 06:30 PM
I can't find a UK distributor at the moment - if you find one can you let me know - 6 eyes sounds good :-) :-) :-) Andy
JAN 05, 2007 - 06:50 PM
Hi again I don't wear glasses for close-up work, but I did quick test by putting the magnifiers on over my specs and they were no problem at all. The lense holder might even clip directly onto some styles of frames. All the best Rowan
JAN 05, 2007 - 07:04 PM
I wear glasses and these work fine as they will slip over your normal glasses with the nose piece sitting in front of them. I don't know if they ship overseas, but this is where I ordered them from: PaPaJohnsToolBox
JAN 06, 2007 - 01:18 AM
Maybe you should take it upon yourself and become our "dealer", eh? :-) :-) :-)
JAN 06, 2007 - 01:41 AM
Unfortunatley PaPaJohns don't only accept US funds not credit cards from abroad, so we'll have to find somewhere else, but thanks for letting us know Grumpy Andy
JAN 06, 2007 - 04:18 AM

Click image to enlarge
  • Enkay_Magnifiers