When shopping for magnets, you may notice magnetic sheeting is often described in terms of mils. “Mil” is a magnet industry term that stands for a thousandth of an inch. It’s used to measure the thickness of a magnet, but it also plays a role in the strength of the magnet. The bigger the mil, the thicker and stronger the magnet will be. To make sure you’re getting the right magnet for your needs, it can be helpful to understand the what the different thicknesses mean for the magnet.
It can be very confusing because not every company measure magnetic sheeting the same way. Ads On Magnets prices and sells our magnets by the thickness of the magnetic material. Other companies may advertise the total thickness of the material including the vinyl topcoat. The same 20 mil magnetic material might be listed as 27mil by other companies. When pricing magnets, make sure you are comparing apples to apples as far as the thickness of the magnet.
One mil is 1/1000 inches or 0.001″. A standard piece of copy paper is 3.8 mils thick. A magnet with a thickness of 20 mil would be about as thick as 5 sheets of paper. However, flexible sheet magnet thicknesses commonly range from 15 mils up to 60 mils. A 20-mil magnet is typical for indoor applications, 30 mils is stronger and often used for outdoor applications including vehicle magnets and anything over 60 mils is typically strong enough for industrial applications.
To help you choose the right magnet for your application, let’s break down the different thicknesses and their uses.
A 15-mil magnet is only strong enough to hold itself to the fridge, nothing else. 14 mil will hold one sheet of paper. 15 mil will hold two pieces of paper. A 20-mil magnet will be strong enough to hold up to four pieces of paper. These weaker, thinner magnets are usually recommended for use as fridge magnets like calendars, business cards and promotional magnets.
The standard thickness for outdoor magnets is 30 mil. These magnets are strong enough to withstand outdoor conditions, but still thin enough to be cut with a standard pair of scissors. They are great for heavy-duty applications like P.O.P. displays, vehicle signs and warehouse labels.
A 60-mil magnet is strong enough to be used in warehouses, factories and other industrial settings. Typically, anything over 60 mil will stay in place and is not easily removed but can still be cut with a sharp scissors or utility knife. Common uses for these magnets include shelf labels, inventory organization and dry erase boards.