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What are the different types of magnet?

What are the different types of magnet?


There are many different types of permanent magnets available such as horseshoe magnets and weld clamp magnets.


Here are a few details about the magnets covered in this guide:


Bar Magnets

Bar magnets are a type of magnet where the length is greater than the width. They can be used in a large variety of different ways from teaching children about magnetic fields to cleaning oil filters.

Horseshoe Magnets

Horseshoe magnets have two magnetic poles on the same level as each other (on the same plane), with an air gap to keep them from creating a closed circuit. 


There are a variety of different shaped horseshoe magnets, from cylindrical to the traditional horse’s shoe.

Because both ends of the magnet point in the same direction – in a U shape – the strength of the magnet is doubled. This is because the magnetic field lines do not have as far to travel between the two magnetic poles.


Horseshoe magnets are most commonly used as work-holding devices for jobs such as welding and sign making. For example, they can be used to hold inspection mirrors. They can also be used for removing ferromagnetic materials from chutes carrying any powder or granular material.

Magnetic Discs

Magnetic discs are magnets that have a diameter greater than their depth. They can be used in a large variety of different ways from fridge magnets to speakers.

Pot Magnets

Pot magnets are permanent magnets encased in a steel shell, which is sometimes called a pot, hence the name ‘pot’ magnet. The steel shell helps the pot magnet by increasing the magnet’s holding power and providing the magnet with added strength and stability.

Pot magnets can be used as magnetic bases, for example, for tow lights on a car, and magnetic holders for large supermarket ceiling signs.

Hand Magnets

Hand magnets have a handle for easy lifting and manipulation of ferromagnetic materials. The handle aids the manipulation of ferromagnetic materials by allowing the user to have a better grip on sometimes awkward and dangerous pieces of ferromagnetic material.

For example, they are used to lift extremely hot and sharp sheets of steel after they have been cut with a laser. Hand magnets are predominantly used for lifting and carrying sheet steel after it has been cut.

Magnetic Mounting Pad

Magnetic mounting pads hold objects made of non-ferromagnetic materials, such as plastic car roof signs, to ferromagnetic materials like car roofs. They are particularly useful for these tasks due to the amount of shear strength they have.

Flexible Magnets

Flexible magnets are permanent magnets made of ferrite magnet powder and rubber. The added rubber allows the flexible magnet to be coiled into a small radius, for example 6.35mm (0.25″). Flexible magnets can do this without becoming damaged, as they will not crack or break easily.

Flexible magnets can be used for making car signs, holding fridge doors closed, and helping to organise stock in a warehouse.

Magnetic Sweeper

Magnetic sweepers are used to pick up dropped pieces of metal such as screws. They make cleaning up dropped materials fast and easy by attracting all the small pieces of metal from the ground due to their magnetic pull, so there is little effort involved for the user.

Weld Clamp Magnets

Weld clamp magnets are used to aid the welding of pieces of steel or iron together. They can help to make welding a quick and easy process by holding the metal sections together at any angle before welding.

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