Not using your edger’s bells and whistles could mean leaving money on the table. 

Sure, you can make a pretty good profit fabricating and selling mainstream eyewear, but why settle for dispensing common glasses? Today’s premium edger systems have options that can make you extra money by using their special features. Want to make more profit per pair? Read on.


One way to add panache to rimless eyewear is to groove the lenses, then paint the groove. I prefer enamel-based paint, similar to that used on model cars. It is best applied with a paint pen as opposed to a fine paintbrush, but either can be used. A creative ECP can create a lot of unique styles this way. For example, you can paint the entire groove to match the frame color or just paint the top and bottom of the lens. If the frame is two-toned, perhaps try different colors for the lens’ top and bottom. Another nice effect is to paint everything but the temple side of the lens. Just be sure to experiment on old lenses first! Edgers such as the Topcon ALE-5100SG from Optek International, National Optronics’ 7Ex, and Coburn Technologies, Inc.’s HPE-8000 Exxpert Edger, make lens grooving a breeze.


To add a personal touch to a patient’s eyewear, consider an engraved lens design for a bold fashion statement. Some premium edger systems use the drilling bit to do this. Look for engravings that resonate with your patients. A baseball or school mascot could be a popular choice for a big sports fan, for example, while an engraving of a music note, horse, ribbon, or car on a lens may catch another patient’s eye. An ECP could also have someone sketch an image for the patient, which he can then digitize and upload into the edger’s memory. Customization like this truly gives a patient a pair of eyewear like no one else in the world.

Another simple, yet elegant idea is to monogram a set of lenses. A variety of fonts can be used to etch initials into a lens, and edger systems like Essilor Instruments USA’s Mr. Blue 2.0 make engraving easy, as many designs are already programmed into the edger.


Eyewear has long been seen as a luxury accessory by some people. One way to increase a frame’s sophistication is to add gem stones or crystals to it. This is done by cutting a small, concave curve into the front surface of the lens, then cementing a gem into it. An ECP must carefully choose the stone and create the lens curve, but this option looks great when it’s done well. For those with a tighter budget, the same effect can be achieved with rhinestones.


I find design cuts, or notches and slots, to be one of the more intricate details that can be added to nearly any rimmed or rimless lens. The edges of rimless lenses can also be sculpted into a variety of shapes, such as a butterfly or flames. Briot USA’s Alta Zd and AIT Industries, Inc.’s WECO E.6 edger systems do an excellent job milling sections of a lens to create a custom look.


As it’s been in the industry for more than 25 years, faceting is not a new lens concept. In fact, it remains a striking aspect of rimless and semi-rimless lenses. Premium edger systems, like Santinelli International, Inc.’s ME-1200, can facet and polish lenses in the edgers’ chambers. The end result makes eyewear look like jewelry for the face!

You can add profit to nearly every pair of glasses sold by using your edger’s special features to create add-on options that personalize the patient’s eyewear. These machines really give you an “edge” on the competition!

Kevin Harrison is President and Owner of Heritage Vision Center, an independent optical dispensary in Hattiesburg, MS.


AIT Industries, Inc. 800-729-1959 •

Briot USA 800-292-7468 •

Coburn Technologies, Inc. 800-262-8761 •

Essilor Instruments USA 855-EZ-FINISH •

National Optronics 800-866-5640 •

Optek International 727-522-2301 •

Santinelli International, Inc. 800-644-3343 •


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