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Carson SureGrip SG-16

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Carson SureGrip SG-16

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Carson SureGrip SG-16
Featuring a 2.5X Acrylic Lens with a 10X Spot Lens, and a Fold-Out Hands-Free Stand
Model Number: SG-16
From: Carson Optical

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - April 28, 2009

The Carson SureGrip SG-16 magnifier features a 2.5X, rectangular shaped, clear acrylic lens, as well as a 10X spot lens located in magnifier's ergonomically designed handle. At first glance the SureGrip SG-16 appears to be nothing more than a normal hand-held magnifier. However, it has a secret. It is also a hands-free magnifier! The SureGrip SG-16 has a fold-out stand that reposes on the underside of the frame that surrounds the magnifier. Just unfold the stand, and voila, it will stand on its own, allowing for hands-free use. This magnifier also comes with a soft, zippered, protective pouch that is designed so that it safeguards both of the lenses when you are not using the magnifier.

To open the stand, you just pull on each of its metal legs and it will pop open. You can use your nails to do this, but I also found that a pencil or pen point works just as well. Once opened, the stand will hold your magnifier about four and a half inches off the surface, and I found it really handy for looking pictures, although it will also work for looking at just about anything that will fit under the stand, or upon which you can set the stand on such as a photo or a newspaper. The Carson SureGrip SG-16 was made, I believe, more for right-handed use. The handle of this magnifier comes out at a right angle. Due to the ergonomically designed grip, I found it a bit awkward to use with my left hand. So, if you predominantly use your left hand to hold your magnifier, a more traditional round magnifier might be a choice, unless you plan to use this one primarily as a stand magnifier.

The Carson SureGrip SG-16 magnifier weighs only 7.5 ounces, and has a soft, ergonomically designed handled that I found very comfortable to use (with my right hand), even for long periods of time, such as when reading a book. Last month I reviewed the Carson SureGrip SG-12, which is very similar in many regards to the SureGrip SG-16, except that it has a round lens made from glass and does not have a built-in stand. I have arthritis in my hands, and my only complaint about the SureGrip SG-12 was that I found it a bit heavy for prolonged use. So I was delighted to find that the SureGrip SG-16, despite being only 3 ounces lighter than the SG-12, feels significantly lighter, while also providing the same magnification and same clear view as the SureGrip SG-12. In addition, the SureGrip SG-16 has the added advantage of also having the built-in stand that allows you to turn it into a hands-free stand magnifier.

Consequently, I feel that for those with low vision, who might be using the magnifier for prolonged periods, the SureGrip SG-16 might be a better choice for you if weight is an issue. However, if you don't specifically need a lighter weight magnifier, both the SG-16 and SG-12 are excellent magnifiers and the only real questions to ask yourself when deciding between the two is do you want a round lens made of glass (the SG-12), or would a rectangular lens made of acrylic suit your needs (the SG-16)? However, if you are looking for a duel purpose, hand-held, hands-free, magnifier? Then there is no question. You'll want to go with the SG-16.

Overall, no matter which magnifier you go with, the SG-12 or the SG-16, I think that you will be pleased with the product. Both are well made, provide crystal-clear viewing, and both offer a 2.5X lens that gives you that sometimes essential, extra bit of magnification, over that which is offered by a standard 2X magnifier. As well, both magnifiers will prove beneficial to both those with low vision as well as those who find a magnifier beneficial when reading small print, or when working on various crafts and hobbies from stamp collecting to embroidery.

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