Photography by DAVID KRESSLER
Photo Styled by KERRI ANN RAIMO

As an optician, the art of the frame begins with your own two hands.

“I always felt that the hands are the best tool. I almost exclusively adjust everything with my fingers—nose pads, temple tips, and even the hinges,” says InSoo Kim, veteran optician at Gogosha Optique in Los Angeles. “There are times that I need assistance from tools to fine-tune the fitting.”

Here, we share the contents of Kim’s “toolbox,” along with his specific input on why these tools will make honing your craft so much easier.


1 “The fitting of acetate frames must be done exclusively with the FRAME WARMER and hands, from controlling the width of the frame to the bending of the temple tips.”
Pictured: Hilco Vision’s TempMaster Deluxe Frame Warmer

2 SCREWDRIVER SET: “Day to day, [opticians] are constantly tightening hinges and replacing screws.”
Pictured: 9-piece Screwdriver Set from OptiSource

3SCREWS do matter. Self-tapping/snap-it screws will improve the quality of your life as an optician. A tapered end will realign spring-loaded hinges, and the snapping feature breaks off clean and flush with pressure—no need for clippers.”
Pictured: Tap ’n’ Lok Eyewear & Hinge Screws from Hilco Vision

4 “A PD RULER is used to measure the circumference of a frame and the client/patient’s optical center or segment height. A PD ruler to an optician is what a tape measure is to a tailor or carpenter.”
Pictured: Western Optical’s PD3 Multi-Rule

5LENS MARKING PENS are a must; they work on every anti-glare coating, unlike Sharpies.”
Pictured: Black Lens Marking Pen for AR Coatings from OptiSource

6SELF-CLOSING SCREW-HOLDING TWEEZER—a must when trying to insert a screw into the hinge of a piece with chunky temples.”
Pictured: Western Optical’s Self-Closing Fine-Tip Tweezer

7 NYLON JAW FLAT/ROUND PLIERS: “The nylon pad protects the finish on metal frames and the pliers control the desired width of the adjustment for the client/patient.”
Pictured: Grooved Flat Snipe Pliers from Santinelli Int’l Optical Supply (SIOS)

8 NOSE PAD PLIERS: “I prefer to control the width of the pads with the pressure of my fingertips and use the pliers to angle the pads, so they lay flush on the bridge of the client’s nose.”
Pictured: Nose Pad Adjusting Pliers from Santinelli Int’l Optical Supply (SIOS)

9 “The PD ruler can be used to take the pupillary distance measurement, but a PUPILOMETER is far more precise. This tool gives us an accurate monocular reading of the distance between the eyes—very few of us are perfectly symmetrical.”
Pictured: Hilco Vision’s HX-400 Pupilometer

10 LENS WIPES and LENS CLEANER: “These are my favorites. I give a box of wipes and a bottle of spray with each purchase.”
Pictured: Zeiss Lens Cloth & Spray Cleaning Kit and Zeiss Premoistened Lens Wipes from Dynamic Labs