The goal of a frame heater should be simple– to produce heat that in-turn heats plastic or cellulose acetate for manipulation by an optician. The Esco-219 does this and more, with a super-compact shape that produces immediate heat with a variety of air and temperature options. Producing temperature steps in Fahrenheit or Celsius, the Esco-219 offers heat from 170° to 320° (76.6°-160°C) with 6 variable steps of air pressure. Navigating these options is made simple from a digital display and easy-to-locate buttons. Aligning eyewear is simple, with a ergonomic frame-cup that allows any frame to be adjusted accordingly.
OUR TAKE: The Esco-219 is one of our favorites in the optical lab. It’s intense enough to quickly heat frames, however still compact and quiet enough to not be noticeable to all. The frame-cup is well designed and holds any frame in the position you desire.
#1. Immediate Heat
Non-air powered frame heaters take forever to warm up, and of course you want to shape the frame immediately. The Esco-219 does just this. Once turned-on the unit blows heat immediately without delay. Depending on the settings, we were able to heat cellulose acetate (for manipulation) in as little as 30 seconds. Of course the unit is powerful, and leaving your frame in there to cook all night is not recommended.
#2. 6-Air Settings, Up to 320°
Glasses aren’t all made out of the same thing, and therefore your frame heater should know this. With 6 different air-heat settings, the force of air is easily controlled. With a wide range of temperatures (170°-320°), it won’t be possible to melt or destroy a frame made with a low-melting point material.
#3. Quiet + Compact
Gone are the days of heating sand; the Esco is modern, compact, and best of all- quiet. It produces less than 60 decibels at its loudest setting so you won’t be talking over it. A modern-day hair dryer is nearly 85 decibels, for comparison.
For a blow dryer, not at all. At its strongest setting, the unit produces no more than 62 decibels –quiet enough to have a conversation right next to it.
You bet. The frame’s front, temple, or bridge can be easily aligned.
You bet. Change between the two unit by pressing both the “up air” button and the “up temperature” button at the same time.
It’s footprint is about 9 inches by 4 inches.