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How to separate a magnet from a
ferromagnetic material

Shop for Magnets

Many options Sometimes, trying to remove a magnet from a ferromagnetic material or another magnet can be difficult. For information on how to remove different sizes of magnets, here are a few tips:

Small magnets

Small ferrite magnetic discs Small magnets are the easiest magnets to separate from a ferromagnetic material. The best way to separate a small magnet from a ferromagnetic material is by sliding the magnet off the edge of the material it is attached to.

Medium and large magnets

Pushing magnet downwards from the edge of a table If a medium or large magnet becomes attached to another magnet, it needs to be placed on the side of a table or worktop, with one magnet overhanging the edge. The overhanging magnet can then be pushed downwards and off the other magnet.
Two rectangular bar magnets Once they have been separated, quickly move them away from each other so that they do not snap back together.
Multi angle weld clamp magnet To separate medium to large magnets, such as weld clamp magnets, from loose ferromagnetic materials such as metal filings, you first need to place the magnet in a plastic bag.
Steel brush Next, working inside the plastic bag, use a steel brush to remove the ferromagnetic material which has gathered along the side of the magnet. The plastic bag will catch the ferromagnetic material, allowing it to be transported or disposed of easily.

A steel brush is better for this task compared with a standard brush as the wire bristles are more spaced out, so there’s less chance of metal debris being left on the brush.

For more information, see the page: What is a weld clamp magnet?

Extra-large magnets

Magnet separating tool Extra-large magnets can usually only be separated using a magnet separating tool. A magnetic separating tool works in a similar way to placing your magnet over the edge of a table or worktop and then pushing down. The magnets are placed in the tool, but instead of pushing down on the overhanging magnet with your hand, an upper handle is pushed down onto it, forcing the two apart.
Rubber mallet For some extra-large magnets with a steel casing, such as pot magnets and weld clamp magnets, hitting the magnet with a rubber headed mallet can produce enough force to separate the magnet from a ferromagnetic surface. Unlike others, these magnets can be hit with a mallet, as the steel casing will protect the magnet from any vibration which could otherwise cause demagnetisation.