Whether you’re a hunter, a nature lover, or possibly a sports fan?
You know just how addictive using binoculars can be. Being able to look in detail at distant places or objects gives you an in-depth sense of understanding what is around you, making people love their binoculars.
However, if you happen to drop them, you can damage the delicate parts of a pair of binoculars. Therefore, you might need to know how to repair binoculars at home. That’s why I decided to share some of my favorite tips and tricks in order to keep your binoculars in perfect condition.
So, let’s get started with…
Binocular Maintenance, Repair, and Cleaning
If you follow these three disciplines, you will have any quality pair of binoculars working exactly as they were designed to for decades to come. Buying a pair of high-quality binoculars is not cheap, so you need to take care of them. However, if you do have any minor accidents with your binoculars, don’t worry because it won’t take much to fix them.
By going through my in-depth DIY Binocular Repair Guide, you will hopefully be visiting expensive optic repair shops a lot less often in the future!
Let’s start by taking a look at…
How To Repair Binoculars At Home: Lens, Prisms, Focus Knob
Lenses are the most important yet also the most delicate and part of a pair of binoculars. They are also the most exposed. Whenever your binoculars fall or you end up in unfavorable weather conditions, your lenses will suffer the most damage. Therefore, to keep your lenses in the best condition possible, take note of these precautionary measures…
Keep them Dry
Never store your binoculars anywhere damp. Moisture in the air can get trapped inside, which could lead to the growth of fungus. If this happens, it’s a lot of work to remove it.
Also, try to avoid using your binoculars in unfavorable weather conditions. As soon as the weather gets nasty, replace the lens caps (if you have some) and put your binoculars away. There probably isn’t much you can see in such conditions anyway.
Don’t take them apart unless you need to
Some people are naturally inquisitive, and there is nothing wrong with that. But unless it is absolutely necessary, don’t open up a pair of binoculars. You may be intrigued by what is going on inside; if so, look on the internet; it is a lot easier and safer than getting a screwdriver and diving in.
Binoculars are carefully sealed to ensure a long working life; every time you tamper with them, you are shortening their usable life. Or worse still, you might do some damage by opening them, which you will then have to repair. So, unless completely necessary, leave the screws where they are.
Now that you know how to protect your binocular lenses, here are some tips on how to repair them at home. But before we get to them, remember to be careful and take your time while working on optics; they are as delicate as our eyes.
How to Repair Binocular Lenses at Home?
If one or more of the lenses have moved from their original position and you are having trouble focusing, this can normally be easily repaired at home.
First of all, get yourself a 6Pcs Mini Screwdriver Set, Eyeglass Repair Tool Kit to open the tiny and nearly invisible screws. These are available online or from an optic repair shop. And you might as well buy a full set, in case you need others in the future, and they are very affordable.
If you want to spend a little more, get yourself the Paxcoo Eyeglass Repair Kit with 6 Pcs Magnetic Screwdrivers, which also includes a number of accessories that may come in useful for binocular and general eyeglass repair.
You will also need your binoculars manual, a cloth, soap solution, kitchen roll, and a ruler.
Let’s get started…
First off, locate lens screws. If they are covered under the rubber coating, use your manual and mark their placement on a piece of paper to help you to remember their respective positions.
Then take a small screwdriver and open the lens screws. For most binoculars, they can be found at the top of both lenses. After you have removed them, remove the lenses.
Give them a good clean…
Before you fix the lens position, you need to clean the lenses thoroughly. It is best to use a professional cleaning kit or a microfiber cloth. However, if the lenses are extremely dirty with a lot of dust, wash them gently in a soapy solution. After you have cleaned the lenses, let them dry.
Next, measure the central position of the two lens cups using the ruler. Once the lenses have dried, place them precisely at the center point. This can be very tricky, so use tweezers to adjust their position. Do not use your fingers because they will leave fingerprints which will be difficult to remove afterward.
Time to check the repair…
Now, take a look through the lenses to check that they are in exactly the correct position. If so, tighten the screws. Next, take the ruler and measure the center point from the two sides. If the lenses are exactly equidistant from both sides, the repair is a success.
However, even if they are even slightly out, you will need to do the whole process again, which should be a lot quicker and easier now that you have some experience.
One final note, this repair will only fix misaligned lenses. If they are cracked or completely broken, they will need to be replaced.
The prism’s role is to combine the images coming from the two sides of a pair of binoculars in perfect alignment. This ensures that our brain receives only one image, not two. Therefore, if the prism alignment is only slightly out, our eyes will struggle to see a single clear image.
This misalignment of the prisms is called de-collimation and usually happens because of an internal fault in the binoculars. Repairing the problem can be a bit tricky, but not that difficult if you take your time over it. So, let’s find out…
How to Repair de-collimated binoculars?
You will again need the typical Binocular Repair Tools – screwdrivers, ruler, binoculars manual, cleaning cloth, and kitchen roll.
You will also need a tripod if your binoculars has a tripod mount; if not, you will need to set something up so that you can adjust and look through the binoculars without disturbing them. Plus, you’ll need some sort of target to check the accuracy of the alignment process while repairing the prisms.
Let’s get started…
First, establish what your target will be; it can be anything you like and needs to be about 100 meters away from you. The distance of the target will depend upon the magnification of your binoculars. If they are 10x, then 100 meters is fine; if the magnification is 5x, a distance of 50 meters will work well.
The screws which control the prisms are usually hidden under the covering. Therefore, you will probably have to remove it by using a penknife to carefully peel away the covering to reveal the screws. There are usually two screws on each prism (four in total), one is used to increase the power of the zoom, and the other aligns the path of light.
Now establish the fault in the prisms by aiming at your target. If there is a fault, you will see the target at different heights through each side of the binoculars.
If the target seems lower on the right side, you will need to tighten up the screws for that side. You will probably need to use the smallest screwdriver you have. After you have moved it slightly, test the target again. If it has moved up a little, you are going in the right direction, so keep adjusting until the two sides of the target merge perfectly.
Alternatively, if the target is higher than it should be, loosen the screws until it merges with the other side.
If you want to learn even more about the process, I highly recommend that you take a look at Choosing, Using, and Repairing Binoculars by J.W. Seyfried.
Fixing The Focusing Knob
Excessive use of the focus knob results in friction. If the grease used to ease the movement loses its viscosity over time, you will have trouble focusing through your binoculars. However, this problem can be repaired easily at home.
What tools do you need to fix a focus knob?
There are many types of grease, and most have a terrible odor. It is, therefore, best to go for a colorless and odorless grease. These are available online or from optic stores and automobile workshops. I recommend Super Lube 92003 Silicone Lubricating Grease with PTFE, 3 oz Tube, Translucent White.
These are used to apply the grease and also clean the focus knob thoroughly. You can’t beat Johnson’s Pure Cotton Swabs, 200 Count (Pack of 3) for jobs like this.
Magnifying glass (optional)
This can be used to check for small dust or rust particles. The Magnifying Glass with Light,15X, is great for working on optics and electronics.
If a focus knob stops moving freely and starts producing a creaking sound when it moves, it shows a lack of lubrication. So, here’s…
How to Repair a Focus Knob?
First, open your focusing knob; it normally has a large screw, allowing you to easily remove it. After opening, take a cotton bud and clean the inside. You can use an Air Dust Blower such as the GearFend Air Dust Blower and Soft Brush for Digital Camera Lenses, LCD Screens, and Cleaning Keyboards as well if you have one.
Next, apply the grease to a cotton bud and start applying it gently and thoroughly. However, note that the additional grease will make the screws more slippery than before; you will now have to tighten them up occasionally.
Finally, put the screws back, and the fix is complete.
Now clean your binoculars, and test them by moving the focusing knob back and forth, ensuring that it is working fine.
Looking for More Great Advice on Binoculars?
Then check out my informative article on Binocular Parts and their Functions.
Or, if you’re after a quality scope, take a look at our in-depth reviews of the Best Simmons Rifle Scopes, the Best Vortex Scopes, the Best Ruger AR 556 Scope, the Best Scope for Hog Hunting, the Best 300 Win Mag Scopes, the Best Scope for AK-47, or the Best Scope for 6.5 Creedmoor on the market in 2023.
You should now know everything you need to easily repair most binocular problems at home. Most of what I have covered is quite basic, but if you are in any way unsure of your ability to successfully complete any of these repairs, it is far better to take your binoculars to a professional and pay them to do the work for you.
Also, if after investigating a problem, you find that any part is cracked or broken, you are again better off taking your beloved binos to a shop for extra special care.