A Magnetic Guide to the Different Types of Magnets

If you’ve ever picked up a refrigerator door by mistake instead of the grocery list, you’ve experienced the American obsession with magnets. Yet, do you know how they work?

Magnets have been there since the Bronze Age to attract iron-rich metals. Up until the mid-19th century, they remained largely an obscure community doyen. Since then, they were being infused into all manner of modern technology.

From electromagnetic induction to quantum mechanics, there’s much to know about these everyday marvels. Let’s break it down and learn all about the different types of magnets.

What Is a Magnet?

A magnetic field is produced by a magnet. The force that a magnet uses to either attract or repel other materials is using an invisible magnetic field.

Different Types of Magnets

There are a lot of different types of magnets out there. From small, everyday items like our refrigerator magnets to the large magnets used in MRI machines, each one has its own unique purpose. Below is a guide to some of the most common types of magnets.

Permanent Magnets

These are your classic magnets that we use in everything from refrigerator magnets to magnetic therapy. Iron, steel, nickel, and cobalt produce magnets, creating a strong magnetic field.


An electric current passing through a coil of wire is creating temporary magnets. Changing the amount of current flowing through the coil controls the strength of the magnetic field.

Neodymium Magnets

These are the strongest magnet available. An alloy of neodymium, iron, and boron are making these magnets and are often used in industrial applications due to the fact that these magnets are the strongest.

Samarium-Cobalt Magnets

These magnets are similar to neodymium magnets in terms of strength, but they can operate at higher temperatures. These magnets are made from an alloy of samarium and cobalt, and they have a high Curie temperature, meaning they can remain magnetic at very high temperatures. They are often used in medical and aerospace applications.

Alnico Magnets

Alnico magnets are a type of permanent magnet made from an alloy of aluminum, nickel, and cobalt. They are strong and have a high magnetic field strength, making them ideal for applications where a strong magnetic field is required, such as in electric motors and generators.

Temporary Magnets

A temporary magnet is a magnet that only exists for a short period of time. These are the weakest magnet. They are from materials that are not naturally magnetic, such as iron. Stroking a piece of iron with a magnet forms temporary magnets.

Use This Comprehensive Guide to Pick the Kind of Magnet That Is Ideal for You

There are many different types of magnets with a wide variety of uses, from holding things together to generating electricity. Understanding these magnet types allows you to choose the best magnet for your specific application.

If you’d like to discover more designs, tips, and tricks, feel free to explore the other articles on our blog. You never know what type of information and tips you might find that can inspire your next projects.


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