There are several types of magnets, but we are going to look at three of the most common ones. Different magnets have varying qualities and purposes, so we will explore the reasoning behind the magnets we use in certain products, while focusing on their advantages and uses.
Flexible magnets are used for fridge magnets, car magnets, custom signage, and mailers. This material is made from ferrite powder mixed with plastic or polymer. The mixture is fused through a press and comes out as sheeting. We print directly to our flexible magnets, meaning we start with true 15mil, 20mil, or 30mil, thus increasing the overall strength and durability of the advertised magnet. Our final product becomes about 5mil thicker (e.g. 20mil becomes 25mil) because of our direct print process. Other suppliers will print on paper and then mount to thinner magnet, so their paper is included in their final thickness, resulting in a thinner, weaker magnet. We carry custom flexible magnets, quick lockdown magnets used primarily in elementary schools, team schedule magnets, and vehicle magnets.
Ceramic magnets are gray in color and are the strongest non-rare earth magnet, making them strong but economically advantageous. We use ceramic magnets in our aptly named “Hold Everything Magnet” as well as our elegant chrome clips, Magnetic Cup Caddy ™ and round domed magnets. You might be surprised to know that ceramic magnets are also used in our magnetic bottle opener and magnetic parts trays. They are covered in a non-scratch coating, but pack so much strength as to be implemented in these industrial items.
Neodymium magnets, sometimes called rare earth magnets, are the strongest magnets on the market. They are named “rare earth magnets” not because of their scarcity, but because they are not commonly found in high concentrations, making them difficult to mine, and because their processing method is extremely complex. Neodymium magnets are beneficial because they have a small size to high power ratio. We use neodymium magnets in our magnetic name badges, nail starter magnet, eyeglass holder, plastic clips, and our 65 pound-pull swing hook. Neodymium magnets are fragile so they are either plated or coated, as is the case with our eyeglass holder.
It’s easy to think that all magnets are the same, but their differences determine the end product and its recommended use. The better we understand the different types of magnets the easier it is to make smart buying decisions. Not all magnets are created equal, so it's important to search and buy with a critical eye; using the knowledge you have will help you find the magnet specific to its intended purpose.