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What are magnets used for?

Shop for Magnets

There are many ways to use a magnet. To illustrate their versatility, here are a few examples:

Computer memories

Ferrite core: ring magnetic disc in a pale plastic case Small ring magnetic discs called ‘ferrite cores’ are used in some computers as a magnetic memory. Each core in a computer relates to a single bit of information in a computer’s memory.

For more information on ring magnetic discs, see our page: What is a ring magnetic disc?

Lifting laser cut steel

Two people carrying a steel sheet with the help of two red magnetic claw hand magnets A type of magnet called a ‘hand magnet’ is used for lifting laser cut steel out of the original steel sheet after it has been cut. The magnet’s extended handle allows the user to carry the sheet at arm’s length, preventing any injury caused by the sharp edges of the newly-cut steel.

For more information see our section: Hand magnets


Pocket horseshoe magnet highlighting the magnetic field with iron filings and paper Horseshoe magnets can be used in education, to teach school children about the magnetic field, using iron filings.

For more information see our section: Horseshoe magnets

Guitar pick-ups

Guitar with labelled guitar pickups with a bar magnet inside Magnets are used inside the pick-ups in guitars to create different tones.

The magnet is placed inside the pick-up, with a length of wire coiled around it to create a magnetic field. Whenever a guitar string vibrates in that magnetic field, the coil detects the changes and then creates a voltage, thus producing a sound.


welding a tree shaped candle holder together with an arrow fixed multi angle weld clamp magnet Weld clamp magnets can be used to hold pieces of ferromagnetic materials in position for tack welding. Tack welding involves using a series of small welds to align pieces of metal securely before completing with a final weld. Magnets can help to weld together things such as steel gates, metal stair steps and bicycle frames.

For more information, see our section: Weld clamp magnets

Car roof signs

Yellow taxi with a sign with advertisements, with labelled magnetic mounting pads holding it on Magnetic mounting pads can be used to attach signs to car roofs and are particularly helpful when a sign needs to be attached and removed easily, without damaging the vehicle. This is often useful for advertising purposes.

For more information, see our section: Magnetic mounting pads