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Plastic frames for glasses?
October 15, 2011 7:49 PM   Subscribe

How do you adjust plastic eyeglass frames? I have always had wire frames which are easily adjusted (and easily knocked out of true). Can plastic frames be adjusted? Do they need adjusting? Any other opinions on plastic vs. wire?
posted by metahawk to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
They can be adjusted. At an optometrist they have a machine that blows hot air, which then heats the plastic just enough to make it a bit malleable. If you're on your own, you can use a hair dryer, or if it's just a tiny adjustment sometimes just rubbing the spot between your fingers for a minute can heat it up enough.

In my experience they need adjusting when you pick them up, to customize them to your face, and then they don't need to be adjusted again.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:52 PM on October 15, 2011


My optometrist uses a headed tray of sand to warm plastic frames in order to facilitate easy adjustments without breaking the plastic. An old discussion on AskMe suggests a number of ways to adjust plastic frames at home.
posted by RichardP at 7:57 PM on October 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


My plastic frames definitely need to get adjusted on a somewhat regular basis. Speaking of, I should go do that again. (But I think wire was worse).
posted by nat at 8:30 PM on October 15, 2011


I think my optometrist uses a heat lamp, oddly enough. I just recently went back to metal frames but had plastic for about 8 years and only had those adjusted once. I'm not particularly rough on my glasses though. YMMV.
posted by FlamingBore at 8:38 PM on October 15, 2011


opinions on plastic vs. wire?
The best frames I've ever had have been titanium. Plastic are fine if they fit you, painful if they don't. Wire can be fine or can be flimsy, but titanium keeps its shape. Without titanium, wire frames need some kind of spring-loading, for less-fragile arms.
posted by anadem at 9:34 PM on October 15, 2011


Ditto on the warm tray of sand; my optometrist just sort of swishes them around in the sand for a few seconds, then he adjusts them as needed.

A stray thought, if your glasses (either metal frames or plastic) frequently need adjustments: how do you take them off? Do you do it one-handed? If yes, this is a problem: it's best to always take glasses off or put them on with BOTH hands, one at each hinge --- because your skin warms them just a tiny bit, just enough to slightly soften them (like the optometrist does!), over time doing it one-handed will pull them out adjustment.
posted by easily confused at 3:38 AM on October 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


(worn glasses since age eight, generally 16+ hours a day)

Plastic frames actually need adjusting less often, because they don't bend as much as wire. But you do need to get a professional to adjust them.

Most plastic frames are also relatively strong: I had plastic for years as a not very careful child. The only plastic frames I have ever broken were stepped on by my SO. Ironically, my only pair of titanium-armed frames snapped after about a year of careful usage -- titanium is often stretched to be thin and light and is thus not strong enough for people with heavy lenses (11+ prescription, had glass by preference).

I used to knock my glasses out of true a lot, but I have changed my habits recently by being more careful: being more conscientious about falling asleep with my glasses on, taking them off by the front rather than one arm - and by using an eyeglasses stand (my eyebuddy.)
posted by jb at 5:23 AM on October 16, 2011


I am all about plastic glasses and have had only one pair of wire glasses in 25 years of glasses-wearing. And my glasses always need adjusting, because I have what is known in my family as "giant moon face" (it's affectionate!).

I buy my glasses online so I adjust them myself, with a hairdryer to bend the arms (anything that will get them hot will work; they shouldn't get so hot that you can't touch them, and coatings on lenses can be more heat-sensitive). It's harder than adjusting wire glasses but it's not really hard.
posted by mskyle at 9:04 AM on October 16, 2011


opinions on plastic vs. wire?
The best frames I've ever had have been titanium. Plastic are fine if they fit you, painful if they don't. Wire can be fine or can be flimsy, but titanium keeps its shape. Without titanium, wire frames need some kind of spring-loading, for less-fragile arms.

anadem, my experience with titanium was good, up until they suddenly broke, presumably from fatigue, after about a year. Since I paid a premium for them, I am in the never-again camp on titanium. (To be fair, titanium isn't known for early fatigue fracturing.)
posted by IAmBroom at 1:48 PM on October 16, 2011


"Any other opinions on plastic vs. wire?"

I leave my glasses on all the time and don't take good care of them at all. Never heard that you shouldn't take them off one-handed. I've thought about switching from metal to plastic, but am unsure whether plastic frames could handle the abuse.

I've been using these titanium frames for 3-4 years. They may look thin and flimsy, but I fall asleep in them all the time and nothing horrible has happened (yet). I've woken up to find them on the floor, on the other side of the bed, underneath me...

The few times they became noticeably crooked (which were surprisingly few) I just gently bent them back into shape by hand.
posted by junques at 4:07 PM on October 16, 2011


I know at least some, if not many or all, glasses shops will adjust your frames for you for free. I've seen signs out on windows in a few, and have taken mine to get adjusted at a random place by my office. I bought the glasses in another state, but they didn't care. Generally takes about 5 minutes, unless they're very busy. I'd go with a professional.
posted by manicure12 at 11:50 PM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


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