Hand magnifier

Hand magnifiers are held in the hand and the user adjusts the height of the magnifier from the page until the print material is in focus.

Hand magnifiers are either illuminated (with inbuilt light source) or non-illuminated (without inbuilt light source).


  • portable
  • easy to use
  • have flexible working distances
  • familiar
  • inexpensive


  • require use of one hand
  • require good hand control
  • are generally only useful in lower magnifications.

Using a hand magnifier

  1. If you have reading glasses, put them on (unless otherwise instructed).
  2. If you have an illuminated hand magnifier switch on the light by sliding the grey or blue on/off switch towards the lens.
  3. Hold the magnifier by the handle and place it flat onto the page. You will notice that the print is not magnified.
  4. Slowly raise the magnifier off the page but be careful not to tilt it.
  5. Gradually the print will become larger. Keep moving the magnifier towards you until the print blurs and then slowly move it back to the position where the print looks the clearest.
  6. While maintaining this correct distance, move the magnifier across the page to read. Refer to the image below.
Woman reading with a hand magnifier
  1. Good natural light or a lamp can be used with your hand magnifier. The lamp should be positioned close to the magnifier so that the light shines underneath the magnifying lens and onto the task. Refer to the image below.
Woman reading with a hand magnifier and light
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