How to Restore Old Binoculars? Revive Your Old Pairs!

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Restoring old binoculars may not sound good, but it can be a rewarding experience as you learn new things if you fail to successfully restore. If you succeed in restoring, you actually relive the old memories and legacies with that product.

Similarly, binoculars have been around us for centuries and people love collecting old binoculars. After restoration, showcasing them in the house gives them peace of mind. In fact, one of my friends actually bought old binoculars at a very less price, restore them, and started using his routine optics.

In this guide, I’ll guide you about restoring old binoculars. After reading this guide, you’ll be able to perfectly restore binoculars in a way that works perfectly fine. Yes, you can use the restored binoculars for your outdoor activities.

Related Article: Are old binoculars worth the money?

Material required for the restoration process

While storing the binoculars, you’ll need some equipment and without them, you won’t be able to get the perfect results. Below is the list;

  • Gloves
  • Brass brush
  • cotton swabs
  • Screwdrivers
  • Compressed air
  • Cleaning solution
  • Isopropilic alcohol
  • Lens cleaning solutions like distilled water

Without any of the above-mentioned equipment, the process of storing the binoculars can be affected. So, make sure not to miss any of them.

How to restore old binoculars (Step by Step)

First and the most important step in restoring the binoculars is to blow the compressed air on your old binoculars and remove all the dust if it presents the body.

Once the dust from the outer body has been removed, then you can unscrew all the bolts and nuts one by one. Make sure to keep the nuts in one place so that they don’t get lost. In this step, the screwdriver will be very handy.

Once the nuts and bolts are unscrewed, now separate all the components of binoculars like an objective lens, ocular lens, focus knob, eyecups, and all other small components. 

Now, take the cotton swab, soak it with a cleaning solution and clean all the optical components that you have previously dismantled. Clean in such a way that there remains no dust or debris.

After cleaning with a cleaning solution, put those components in hot distilled water to remove their rust. Make sure that they remain in the water for at least 30 minutes. In this process, rust will come out.

Once the rust has loosened a bit, use a brass brush to clean it. Don’t go with a harsh approach; instead, have a gentle push with a brass brush and remove all the rust. Those components which have any sort of coating or paint should also be cleaned with a brass brush. 

Now, all the components will be cleaned except the lenses. Now, use Isopropilic alcohol on the lens and remove all the debris or contaminants. I know that the lens will be in bad shape due to the accumulation of dust and other stuff. Take your time cleaning the lens. You can use cotton swabs soaked with Isopropilic alcohol to clean the lenses.

Assemble back all the components

When all the components are cleaned properly, then it’s time to assemble them properly so that you can restore your binoculars. Before assembling, double-check that all the components are well-cleaned and that there is no rust left on them. All the checking of components is done, then starting assembling back the components and screwing the bolts and nuts. 

Once you’ve assembled all the components, inspect your binoculars and check if your binoculars are working perfectly or not. If you see anything wrong, then revise the whole process and re-correct the mistake you made while cleaning the components. The chances are high that your binoculars will be OK after the first restoration try.

You might also like to read: Do Binoculars Use Batteries?

Replace the Damaged or Broken Parts of Binoculars

The chances are higher that you’ll see many broken parts while restoring the old binoculars. Not to forget, binoculars are sensitive and fragile tools. So old binoculars have spent their prime time and you can expect some parts to be broken. 

But you should not worry since all the components are available in the market and you can get them without breaking your budget. In order to ensure that the restoration procedure goes successfully, be sure to replace all the broken and malfunctioning parts.

You are lucky if your old binoculars have no broken or defective parts. I still remember when I restored the binoculars by watching the youtube video, and found out most of the binoculars were broken. However, I did purchase the broken parts from the market and replaced them.

Polish the exterior of binoculars

It depends on the exterior of your old binoculars. Some old binoculars do have leather padding on the body, while others are made of metal. However, the binoculars which have leather outside are typically easier to restore than those made of metal, as the metal can get rusty.

In case your binos have leather on the body, then you can simply replace the older leather with a new one and maintain its original look. However, when it comes to a metal body, you’ll have to paint it to ensure that it does not get any rust again and looks new as well. 

Rust is the major issue that most binoculars suffer and if their body is majorly composed of metal then the condition worsens. So, when you’re storing, make sure to paint the exterior of binoculars as the painting will keep the rust away.

Why Do People Restore Old Binoculars?

Majorly, there are a few reasons why people do restore old binoculars and all of them are listed below;

  • To fresh the old memories
  • To satisfy one’s hobby
  • Some people restore old binos because they don’t have money to buy new ones.
  • To make money by selling to those who collect old stuff which has legacy associated..

Binoculars are expensive tools and not all outdoor enthusiasts have the financial freedom to buy them every season. So, they restore the previously bought binoculars and they seem to be happy with that. Trust me or not, if you restore binoculars properly, their visual performance will be as good as a new one.

Frequently Asked Questions

What materials do I need to restore binoculars?

For restoring old binoculars, you’ll need a screwdriver, cotton swab, lens cleaning solutions, brass brush, and compressed air for removing the dust. 

How do I know if the binoculars I am restoring are worth the effort?

Well, there is no way to check if a binocular deserves to be restored or not. It’s totally up to your personal preferences and gut feelings if you should restore or not. Restoring never puts you at a loss as the antique products have their own value and you can sell your old binoculars after the restoration and earn some money.

Is restoring old binoculars easier?

Yes, it is not very difficult however if you’re new then chances are high that you’ll face some problems while cleaning the optical components. However, if you remain patient and follow the process, you’ll end up completing the restoration process.

How much time will it take to restore old binoculars?

It depends on your expertise and willingness to work. However, the restoration of old binoculars takes from 2 days to 7 days. 


Binoculars are valuable tools that have been in use for many years. People enjoy keeping ancient binoculars in their exhibit since they are brimming with memories. If you come across an old pair of binoculars, make sure you restore them and retain them as a reminder of the past. Additionally, restoration can provide you totally functional optics, saving you from having to keep buying new binoculars. In the above section, a step-by-step guide for restoring binoculars is given.

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