This terrific tool qualifies as the perfect stocking stuffer for the sewing enthusiast on your list: a seam ripper with a built-in magnifier and light. The Mighty Bright Lighted Seam Ripper comes from the same clever folks who bring us those cool little book lights and wallet magnifier lights. Even if you aren't yet in the, "where the heck are my reading glasses?!" category, ripping out tiny seams or tone-on-tone topstitching is a strain on anyone's eyes and patience. This cool tool is a lifesaver.
When our friends at Moda Fabrics/United Notions brought this seam ripper to our attention, my first reaction was that it reminded me of the detachable magnifier and High Light features on Janome's new Horizon Memory Craft 12000. I think manufacturers and product designers are finally realizing we don't all have the visual acuity of Superman!
The Mighty Bright Lighted Seam Ripper is small and lightweight with a generous 1¼" diameter lens and a 4x magnifier. It has a comfortable, ergonomic design; you hold it similarly to how you'd hold a pen or marker.
There is a plastic blade guard protecting the seam ripper, which is probably just for packaging purposes, but I think it would be handy to keep around for storage.
It will protect the blade, and if you want to just use the magnifier, you'll be less likely to stab yourself.
The bright white LED is powered by three micro cell batteries, which are included and can be removed and replaced. The LED is stated to last 100,000 hours and the battery life is listed as seven hours. The batteries are protected with a plastic insert. So, you have to open the battery compartment and remove this insert. I always forget about this little safety measure and so was initially disappointed when I thought the light didn't work right out of the package. Duh!
It actually puts out quite a lot of light, 2.5 lumens to be exact.
Here's what it looked like when I turned off my sewing lamp.
The seam ripper itself is on a rotating arm, which I thought was very cool because sometimes you need to be able to twist and turn your seam ripper to get into tricky seams. You can do that with a regular seam ripper, but I was a little worried it would be hard to maintain the position of the magnifier when I had to turn the seam ripper. Nope! Just turn the arm. It's a little hard to see in a picture, but here is the arm in its starting position.
And here it is rotated about 45˚. It actually rotates a full 360˚.
The arm also opens up so you can adjust the distance from the lens. Here it is in the fully closed position... and, fully open.
Now the true test: tone-on-tone topstitching in red.
Wow! The stitches... and my fingernail... look huge.
The close-up detail is nice and sharp with the light on...
And also with the light off.
Finally... I took this picture in my hallway. It could be the lighted seam ripper; it could be an alien spacecraft headed our way.