Including capturing prescriptions that might otherwise walk out the door additional cost savings are found by performing finishing work on surfaced jobs from a lab. This means that you receive un-cut multi-focal and progressive lenses from the lab and perform the finishing work on these jobs on-site. Wholesale labs charge for finishing work so when you add up even a few jobs a day the cost savings multiply quickly.

Just 3 jobs a week at $12.00 per job is $1872.00 a year, 6 a week is $3744, etc…

Choosing to have finishing equipment on premises may be one of the most important business decisions you will make.

Things you must consider:

  • The cost for your investment in equipment
    – $5000.00 to $200,000.00
  • Type of equipment
    – New vs. used?
    – Will it require any special plumbing or electric work?
  • The initial cost of maintaining a SV stock lens inventory
    – $1000.00 to $100,000.00
  • The space necessary for equipment and inventory
    – Do you have it?
  • The range and types of lenses you will stock
    – What material(s)?
    – What AR coatings?
  • The noise created by the finishing process
    – Do you have a quiet place in the store?
    – Will you need to work before or after hours
  • Note that high index lenses have a VERY strong odor when they are being edged.
  • You may need to employ a person able to perform the work
    – Can someone actually run the equipment?
  • Finding time in the day when an employee can work on finishing jobs
  • The potential for cost if mistakes are made during process
    – If operator makes an error on a $90.00 lens you may lose $90.00


I have been very careful throughout this site never to endorse or suggest a specific product. I like to think of the site as being 100% vendor-neutral. I hesitate to do it now, however my experience with Santinelli edgers has been nothing short of fantastic. I have run over ten thousand jobs on Santinelli edgers. Their edgers are simple, efficient, accurate, and most important, ultra-reliable. I simply want to give credit where credit is due. If only my car ran as well…

Only you can decide what is right for your business. Many shops are still operating fifteen, even twenty-five year old equipment, on a daily basis. An experienced operator can achieve consistent and accurate results on old manual equipment. However, modern equipment is far more accurate and less prone to errors in sizing than older equipment is.

To grasp the advantage of modern equipment over older equipment requires the ability to visualize or picture the finishing process in three-dimensions. Just like lenses, eyeglass frame eyewires are not symmetrical, and do not have consistent base curves.

Look at a pattern.

Pretty flat is it not?

Now look at a frame.

Notice how the frame curves?

If an edger traces and cuts on a single axis then the bevel will often be inconsistent with the actual curvature of the frame making lens mounting difficult. These errors in lens bevel and frame curvature are compounded as prescription strength increases in both plus and minus lenses.

It is only when an edger can trace in multiple dimensions that it can create a bevel that will accurately match the frame. You will see the term “axis” used by the edger companies to describe the edgers ability to cut in more than one direction. For instance, “The Brenton-66, 4 Axis Edger, is the Best in Class.” I know this a little silly but, there are only 3 dimensions so they use the term axis so it sounds better.

There are affordable and very basic pattern edgers available. Will they work? Yes. They will work in the exact same way that any other inexpensive and entry level item will. If you are considering edging equipment be sure to do your research and demand to see the edger in action.

Have your sales representative cut and mount a full series of both plus and minus lenses in a variety of frames. Force the issue! Run high minus, high plus, grooves, rimless and a wide variety of frame sizes. Do NOT settle for the “demo”.

If you are considering adding edging to your store buy the best you can. The better the edger the better your ROI or return-on-investment will be.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!