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Carson SureGrip SG-12 Magnifier

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Carson SureGrip SG-12

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Carson SureGrip
Featuring a 2.5X Glass Lens & 10X Spot Lens
Model Number: SG-12
From: Carson Optical

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - March 31, 2009

The Carson SureGrip SG-12 is a hand-held magnifier that features a 2.5X magnification glass lens which provides for ultimate clarity. It also boasts of a soft, ergonomically designed handled, into which is inserted at small, 10X spot lens for when you have a need for some high power magnification. This magnifier also comes with a handy, zipper pouch that helping to ensure that it remains scratch free.

Most standard hand-held magnifiers only provide 2X of magnification, and when the magnification starts to go up, the lens, by necessity becomes smaller to prevent distortion around the edges. This 2.5X lens is the best of both worlds. It provides a little extra magnification over standard 2X magnifiers, and the large diameter lens (about 4.3 inches) offers a large viewing area without any noticeable edge distortion. If you have used a 2X magnifier before, you will be pleased to discover that the 2.5X magnifier offers a significant increase in magnification size, despite the relatively small increase in magnification strength. The 10X lens that is built into the handle is rather tiny, being only about inch in diameter, and as such it is best used for looking at minute details in items such as stamps or finding a splinter!

I feel that one of the nicest features of this SureGrip SG-12 is that the spot lens is located in the handle of the magnifier, instead of being inserted into the larger 2.5X lens. Having the spot lens inserted into the main lens seems to be a common practice, and one I personally don't like because I feel that it interferes with the use of the larger lens. Best of all, this magnifier offers crystal-clear viewing, and has a very comfortable handle. The only thing that I don't like about this magnifier is that it seems a little heavy to me compared to comparatively sized acyclic lens magnifiers. However, it is very well balanced and the weight should not be problem for most users as it only weighs 10.3 oz. [I'm on the small side and have arthritis in my hands, so weight is real issue for me when it comes to magnifiers. This is especially true because I have low vision and I use a hand-held magnifier to read, something which I do constantly!] As a side note, Carson does manufacture an acrylic lens version of the SureGrip SG-12. It is called the SureGrip SG-16. I haven't seen or held it, but if weight is an issue for you, this might be the way to go as it is listed as weighing only 7.5 oz. [Update: Since writing this review, I was given the opportunity to review the SureGrip SG-16. Click here to read my review of the SG-16.]

Despite the slight weight issue that I had with this magnifier, I still give it a rousing 10 points out of 10 as the weight issue is a problem with me - not the magnifier. Consequelty, I feel that this is an ideal magnifier for anyone with low vision who uses a magnifier. It is also perfect for use by crafters, stamp collectors, and anyone desirous of a little assistance when it comes to reading all the small print that seems to abound now-a-days! The glass lens is distortion free and offers a wide viewing area. As well, I was really surprised at how much larger things appeared with the 2.5X magnifier over the 2X one I have been using, it was a much bigger increase in size than I was expecting! Last but not least, at the tip of the handle is a small hole that is perfect for threading through a cord so that you can hang your new magnifier next to your bed, table, or other location where you will be using it regularly. I found that hanging it up when not in use helps prevent it from getting buried under papers!

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