How to Separate Magnets

One of the most fascinating things about magnets is their incredible strength.  It can also be the source of frustration for anyone who has ever gotten their magnets stuck together.  Of course large magnets for tool holding appear strong, but even small rare earth magnets can prove surprisingly difficult to separate.  How to separate magnets depends largely on the strength of the magnet.


Separating magnets relies on a few simple principles – create an air gap and slide don’t pull.  Often our neodymium magnets come with a plastic or heavy cardboard spacer between them.  It’s helpful to keep these for future storage.  As a rule of thumb, the stronger the magnet, the thicker the spacer should be.  Spacers simply provide a non-attracting surface for the magnets making it easy to pull them apart.

Separate magnets with neodymium magnets with spacers

Neodymium magnets often have plastic spacers, like this, to help the magnets easily slide apart.


The Slide

The easiest method to separating magnets is to slide them apart. When separating magnets keep in mind shear force.  Magnets are measured on pull strength, so are up to five times easier to move if they are pushed apart instead of pulled apart.  Small magnets slide relatively easily, even without spacers.  Use two hands for slightly larger magnets or magnets without spacers.



The Edge

Separating magnets on the edge of desk

Push strong magnets apart using the edge of a table or desk.

Stronger magnets need a little leverage to introduce a gap. Utilize the edge of table or desk by positioning the magnets where they are joined and then carefully pushing the magnets apart.  Be sure to quickly separate the magnets and store far enough away from each other to prevent jumping and avoid pinching fingers.





The Wedge

Some magnets are very difficult and dangerous to separate.  In order to separate magnets with a very strong pull strength, users often make non-magnetic aides to wedge and pry stuck magnets apart.   Wooden jigs or wedges are the most common and useful tool.  They are easily made and customized to the exact size needed.  In most cases, separating magnets with a wedge takes two people.  It’s the safest way to ensure the magnets don’t jump back at each other.


When separating magnets of any size, take care to avoid pinching, smashing or crushing fingers. We recommend wearing gloves and safety glasses.  Magnets are brittle and chip easily.  If they accidentally snap together, it is common for them chip or even shatter.  And of course, once separated, store separately.

Do you have tip on how to separate magnets? Share it with us in the comments below and help someone out of a sticky situation!

Getting Organized with Magnetic Tool Holders

Got the urge to organize? Get a handle on your clutter? Reign in the chaos?  If this is your mission, one creative way master the mess is to organize with magnetic tool holders.

Image of getting organized with magnetic tool holders and gardening toolsIf magnetic tool holders conjure up images of screwdrivers hanging on a strip above a workbench, you’re not wrong.  That’s a great place to start.  After all 40 years ago, magnetic tool holders were the first product Master Magnetics manufactured.  Garages and workbenches all around North America have gained order and tidiness from these 13 and 24 inch strips of magnetic organization.

And they are pretty handy at organizing screwdrivers, wrenches and other small hand tools.  But with 20 pounds of pull per inch, they can easily handle other heavier, larger garden items like shovels, picks and hoes. Putting away tools has never been so fast.


Not Just For Organizing Tools


Thinking beyond the garage, magnetic tool holders can be useful items in the indoor organizational struggle.  When taken into the kitchen, magnetic tool holders can easily keep knives and other utensils at hands’ reach.  Or use them to store spices when cabinet and counter space is minimal.  Simply hang on the side of the refrigerator, under the cabinet or inside a cabinet door and attach spices using metal canisters.  Magnetic mount versions of the tool holder easily attach to any metal surface without tools.


Ever creative, crafters can creatively organize with magnetic tool holders and help corral those small items and embellishments that seem to pile up everywhere in a crafters space.  By using tins, metal containers and jars with metal lids as small, uniform storage areas they easily attach to magnetic holders.  As a bonus, install the tool holder where it will be seen, allowing items to be used. And it keeps them off of valuable table space.


Image of custom magnetic tool holder

Photo from the Family

In the bathroom, where counter space is at a premium and clutter is seems to multiply like bunnies, mount the small, five inch magnetic tool holder inside a cabinet door to hold those little items like bobby pins, nail clippers, tweezers, and other metal items.  For tiny vanities with next no counter space, the Family Handyman share a tutorial on how to make a custom magnetic holder with Corian and neodymium magnets designed to keep electric toothbrushes stored neatly off the counter.


Find our magnetic tool holders in hardware and home improvement stores across North America.  With eight different traditional styles, there is sure to be one perfect to help organize your project. If you are still unsure which to choose, please contact us for more information!

Shipping Magnets: Understanding the Rules

Shipping magnets safely might be a little more complicated than you realize.  In today’s age of instant gratification, there are still a few times that our products just can’t be shipped by air for overnight delivery. Graphic image of shipping magnets by air

Because of their ability to interfere with the navigation and electronic equipment on planes, many industrial magnets, magnetic assemblies and strong rare earth magnets cannot be shipped via air.

Whenever possible we prefer to ship magnets by ground transportation, because magnets shipped via air will be classified as Dangerous Goods if not properly packed to block their magnetism.  Additionally, many carriers will not accept magnets for air shipments.

There are few guidelines that dictate how magnets are packaged and what is deemed safe to ship by air.

The Rules for Shipping Magnets

Magnets and magnetic devices can be shipped by air if the following criteria are met:

  • “For carriage by aircraft, any package which has a magnetic field of more than 0.00525 gauss measured at 4.5 m (15 feet) from any surface of the package.”  – Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Dept. of Transportation (PHMSA) rule 173.21 (d).
  • If the maximum field strength observed at 7 feet is less than .002 gauss, or there is no significant compass deflection, the package is not restricted as “Magnetized Material” per the FAA and the IATA .

Packing Magnets for Shipping

That can be a lot of magnetic field to block if you consider a magnet with 100 pounds of pull.  In some cases it can be accomplished by shielding the magnets with specially designed covers, by using padding or cardboard shredding, or by creating a steel lined box.  All of these take extra packing time and material, and add to the weight of the shipment.  Additional shipping fees will apply.

As expected, PHMSA and IATA also provide guidelines for packing magnets for air shipments.

  • IATA Packing Instruction 953 states “Magnetized material will be accepted only when:

(a) devices such as magnetrons and light meters have been packed so that the polarities of the individual units oppose one another;

(b) permanent magnets, where possible, have keeper bars installed;

(c) the magnetic field strength at a distance of 4.6 m (15 ft) from any point on the surface of the assembled consignment:

(1) does not exceed 0.418 A/m (0.00525 gauss), or

(2) produces a magnetic compass deflection of 2 degrees or less.

See Packing Instructions 953, IATA –

  • The FAA and PHMSA both require training and ongoing documentation of training records for employees who package any dangerous goods articles.

Proper documentation and labeling must be provided for any shipment that will be classified as dangerous goods or magnetic materials.   We are experts in shipping magnets and will professionally handle the shipping process, including any documentation preparation.

However, if you plan to re-package or re-ship magnetic materials yourself, be aware that shipping magnets via air classifies them as Dangerous Goods.  As such, proper paperwork and labeling is required. Your carrier can provide you with these documents.

Shipping magnets probably isn’t something you’ve thought about, it’s okay, we do.   If you have questions about how your order will arrive, please contact our sales team for more information.


Additional Resources:

Top Three Magnetic Gifts for Father’s Day

If your dad doesn’t need (or want) another tie this Father’s Day, we have some suggestions for unique magnetic gifts for Dad that he is sure to use.  Here are our top three picks that make pretty great magnetic gifts for Father’s Day.


The Pop 'n Catch makes a great magnetic gifts for Father's Day.

 1. The Beer n’ Chill Dad – The Pop ‘n Catch is a clever magnetic bottle opener that lets Dad pop the top on his favorite bottle beverage and catch the cap in one single-handed action. It magnetically mounts for easy portability on any steel surface like grills, metal coolers, tailgates, and refrigerators. The Pop ‘n Catch is perfect for man caves, camping, tailgating, and parties.  Wrap one up with a six pack of his favorite beverage for a thoughtful gift sure to be enjoyed all year.


2. The Auto Lover  – Got a dad that loves to work on his car? This gift suggestion is actually two great picks- the magnetic parts tray and retrieving magnets; both are incrediblyA magnetic parts tray is useful magnetic gift for Father's day useful tools for car enthusiasts.  Our handy magnetic parts trays provide the perfect spot for corralling loose nuts, screws and other small metal items while keeping them securely in reach.  These smooth stainless steel trays have powerful magnetic bases which secure the tray to any metal surface while firmly holding important metal pieces in the tray – even upside down.   And the retrieving magnets easily rescue dropped screws and bolts from small spaces.   Add a few other necessities like leather wipes and car wash gift certificates and you’ve created a great car care gift kit.


Magnetic tool holders for Father's Day

3. The Handyman Organizer – For every dad who is DIYer or hobbyist, the magnetic tool holder makes a great addition to any workbench or hobby area. With 20 pounds of pull per square inch, these practical organizers keep Dad’s most used tools neatly organized and easily accessible.  Available in multiple styles and lengths, including magnetic mount styles perfect for attaching to the side of tool boxes, there sure to be a magnetic tool holder just perfect for Dad’s space.  This makes a great gift with a few new hand tools that Dad may have his eye on!


These magnetic gift ideas for Dad can be found at many local hardware and retail stores throughout North America.  Find our list of retailers here, or buy the Pop ‘n Catch online here.

Handle With Care: Tips for Magnet Safety

Tip for magnet safetyMagnets might appear small and shiny, but don’t under estimate their strength.  Just like most things there are some common sense guidelines for handling magnets.  These tips for magnet safety can help prevent personal injury and property damage.

  • Wear gloves and take care when handling magnets.  Pinching, snapping or crushing can easily occur when a finger is caught between two attracting magnets. Many of our magnets come with plastic spacers just for this reason.
  • Wear protective eye wear.  Magnets are very brittle and pieces can easily chip or shatter if they accidentally snap together, sending shards flying.
  • Magnets are not toys.  Do not give to children to play with.
  • Do not swallow magnets. They can do severe damage to internal organs, resulting in surgery or death.
  • Magnets can interfere with pacemakers and other medical devices such as magnetic ports.  Avoid wearing badge magnets, decorative magnetic clips or similar items near the device.
  • Many magnets are coated with nickel to prevent corrosion.  People with nickel allergies should avoid prolonged handling of these magnets.
  • Always properly store and label industrial magnets.  Their extreme strength poses an added risk to users who may be unaware of the magnet’s capabilities.
  • Always store magnets in “Off” position or with shields, if available.
  • Take care in placing electronics, such a cell phones, near magnets to avoid damage.  Older electronics including computer diskettes, audio/video cassettes, credit cards or other magnetically stored media and electronic equipment. Magnets can alter or erase the important information stored on these devices.
  • Magnets affect compasses and navigational equipment. For this reason, we do not recommend shipping most magnets by air – without being properly packed and shielded strong magnets are classified as dangerous good for air transportation.  Refer to our shipping magnets page for additional information.

While many of magnets with low pull strength may not pose the same danger that very strong rare earth magnets do, it’s always a good idea to treat magnets with respect.  Safety first!

Creative Magnetic Projects Perfect for Celebrating Mom

What mom doesn’t love a thoughtful, handmade gift? With Mother’s Day right around the corner, we have some quick and easy magnetic projects that mom will love receiving and displaying.


Sentiment Button Magnets

Picture of Sentiment Button Magnets one of three magnetic projects for Mother's Day

Making Sentiment Button Magnets is an easily customizable magnet project that kids can help with – from start to finish. First, gather all the needed supplies, including colored or patterned paper, clear glass flat pebbles, spray adhesive, and small round magnets. We used half-inch diameter ceramic disc magnets, which are readily available at most craft or hardware stores.

What You Need 2

It takes just a few items to make this special magnet project for Mother’s Day.


Using a nickel as a template, cut the paper to fill the back of the pebble (small pictures would work great for this too). Add any sentiment at this point.  Then spray the flat side of the pebble with the adhesive and apply the paper design side down. Glue the magnet in the center of the paper and viola – you have a customized set of sentiment magnets!


Decorative Magnetic Frame

Moms love to display pictures of their kids and this small, decorative frame featuring a favorite picture makes a lovely gift. This project only requires leftover scraps of paper, ribbon and a small flower embMother's Day magnetic projects includes photo frames like this oneellishment. We used a neodymium disc magnet with adhesive to finish off this magnetic project.


First we printed the photo and trimmed it to size (this one is two inches square). Next, we matted it on card stock and added a contrasting boarder. Washi tape would also work great for this step. A simple brad holds the flower embellishment. The ribbon finishes off the frame and also hides the magnet, which was applied on the back left corner. Neodymium discs with adhesive are very strong and will easily hold through the fabric (allow 24 hours for full cure time).



Reusable Magnetic Photo Pockets

If you have more digital photos than you know what to do with, then reusable magnetic photo pockets are a quick, clean way to display those cherished pictures. Simply print the images you want Mothers Day Photo Pockets together 2to display and slide into the open side of the pocket. It’s a great way to display photos, keep them protected and easily exchange pictures when needed.


Available in three sizes (3.5” x 5”, 4” x 6” and 8.5” x 11”) magnetic photo pockets are also a great way to display the latest artwork by a young Picasso. It makes a clean finished look for gifts that kids love to give to Mom.



You can find a wide selection of ceramic and neodymium magnets suitable for these magnetic projects at most local hardware or craft stores. If you’re looking for assistance with the best type of magnet for your project, our magnetic products specialists are available to assist.

Benefits of Magnetic Sign Holders for Merchandising

Creating the right retail environment involves taking into account every detail, including sign holders. The range of sign holders for merchandising can be overwhelming, and selecting the right sign holding system to best communicate sales and branding messaging is important to your overall retail environment. Magnetic sign holders provide many benefits from complimenting the décor to ease of simple installation. Photo of magnetic sign holders in front of a mannequin.

By definition, magnetic sign holders, frame holders, round base magnets, and hooks are repositionable sign holding systems, which are easily moved within a retail setting and not permanently attached to shelving or fixtures.

While that alone may sound attractive, here’s a few more benefits magnetic repositionable sign holders provide retailers.

  • Quick Change – Magnetic sign holders are repositionable and can easily be moved to a variety of locations within the store. Reorganizing aisles or placing new floor sets is as easy as picking up a sign holder and placing it in the new location – no tools required. In the case of some magnetic adjustable sign holders, accommodating a taller or shorter location is as simple as pushing a lever.
  • No Special Staff – Unlike certain systems that require outside design firms to install or change out heavy or unwieldy graphics, or even repair damage to walls or fixtures, magnetic sign holders can be set up and changed by the store’s own staff. Even when using magnetic hooks to hang signs from the ceiling, extender tools can be used to keep employees safely on the floor while changing out graphics.
  • Fits many environments – Magnetic sign holders come in such a wide range of sizes, styles and types that they can seamlessly compliment almost any retail décor. Repositionable sign holders have the advantage of accommodating seasonal decorating changes and branding updates; making the task easier and quicker for employees.
  • Cost effective – Available at a relatively low cost per unit, magnetic sign holders can be used over and over again. Reposition them where needed for maximum impact in the store. Simply change out graphics to reflect current sales, holiday promotions or new branding, and continue to utilize the existing sign holders. There is no additional investment in hardware.


Our knowledgeable magnetic solutions specialists can help you choose the right type of repositionable magnetic sign holders or frame holders for your P.O.P. or merchandising application. With over 80 different P.O.P. magnets, there is sure to be an option for your retail setting. Contact us for samples and solutions!

Creative Uses for Craft Magnets to Inspire Your Project List

March is National Craft Month, so what better time to look at some great crafting projects using magnets. Crafters by nature are creative people who do amazing things with a range of media – magnets included. Here’s a roundup of some of the most interesting projects we’ve seen using craft magnets. From Pinterest to Etsy to your favorite DIY blog, there’s a range projects incorporating craft magnets that just may inspire you to get your craft on!


Magnetic Terrariums

Photo of small terrarium attached to metal surface with craft magnets.

Photo by Melissa Caughey

This may be the most unique use of a craft magnet we’ve seen out there. Create small terrariums using succulents, tiny rocks and a small container. Just attach a small magnet to the back to hold this tiny terrarium on your fridge. Or maybe that boring filing cabinet in your office needs some life? For an even smaller space, hollow out a wine cork and add the air plant. Affix the magnet to the back of the cork for instant greenery. In both cases ceramic craft magnets can easily be attached with glue or use neodymium discs with pre-applied adhesive.

Check out this site for the how-to:



Magnetic Poster Frame Rails

Image of magnetic poster rail being closed on a poster.

Photo by

If you have an aspiring young artist with lots new work to display or teens who love to change the look of their space, these easy to make magnetic poster frames rails provide and easy way to hang posters and art without tape or tacks. The supply list includes thin wood, magnets, glue and string or ribbon. It’s a project easily customizable for décor and scale of room; making the project as complex or simple as desired. shares a great video tutorial:


Magnetic Bookmarks

Image of bookmark with magnetic strip at the bottom.

Photo by Master Magnetics

For the readers in your life, this magnetic bookmark stays put and has the bonus of being easy to make. Use your favorite card stock cut and scored to length desired so it folds in half. Embellish  with washi tape, card stock, paper flowers, or other favorite items. These types of bookmarks lend themselves perfectly to magnetic tape or flexible magnetic squares or strips. Simply apply the craft magnet to the inside of the bookmark and let the magnet grip the book pages. If you are looking for a kid friendly craft, with a little preparation, this one is perfect.

Check out this link for a quick tutorial:


Magnetic Jewelry

Photo by LemonLeeDesign

Photo by LemonLeeDesign

DIYers and Etsy enthusiasts may have noticed a fun trend toward interchangeable pendants and charms. These can be made of nearly anything (bottle caps, resin, buttons, small stones) – as long as they are backed with a small magnet that secures it to the necklace or bracelet. We recommend using small, neodymium magnets to insure the pendant stays securely attached to the base.

Visit this artist’s store at Etsy for some great magnetic jewelry:




Magnetic Frames

Image of Magnetic photo frame displaying craft magnet projects and photos.

Photo by Master Magnetics

Display photos, store small frequently used items or showcase your favorite craft magnet project with beautiful and functional magnetic frames. These frames are easily made with a few simple items found in craft and hardware stores. Simply insert a piece of metal into a pre-made frame, replace the back and hang. If desired, the metal can be covered with craft paper or fabric to achieve look suitable to your décor. Once your frame is ready you’ll need some magnets to make it functional. Small, but powerful, neodymium magnets are a great choice for holding pictures and notes – and they look sleek and clean. Or neodymium discs with adhesive are a great choice for making your own posting magnets.

Check out this link for tips on how to make:


Do you have a favorite craft with magnets? We’d love to see it! You can find a wide selection of ceramic and neodymium magnets suitable for crafting at most local hardware or craft stores. If you’re looking for assistance with the best type of magnet for your project, our magnetic products specialists are available to assist.

Printing Direct to Magnet: Achieving Quality Results

Printing direct to magnet is a cost effective method of creating high impact vehicle graphics, P.O.P. displays, calendars and other ad specialty items, portraits, decorative magnets, message boards, photos, way finding signs, temporary signage, and more. Achieving quality results from your printer and magnetic sheeting is essential for the success of every project.


Printing direct to magnet with the HP Latex 3000.

Printing direct to magnet with quality results doesn’t take an advanced degree, just a little extra time during setup. PrintMagnetVinyl on HP Latex 3000, HP certified.

Magnetic sheeting is considered a semi-rigid substrate, and, like all semi-rigid substrates, takes a little know-how to produce the best quality product. Here are some tips for printing direct to magnet.


  1. Choose the right top coat. Selecting the type of magnetic sheeting is critical, as different inks react differently with different coatings. PrintMagnetVinyl™ is a vinyl topcoat that is designed to work with solvent, eco-solvent, UV, and latex printers. For aqueous-based ink printers, PrintMagnet™ a magnetic sheeting with a paper topcoat, is an ideal match.
  2. Choose the correct thickness. For roll-fed wide format printers, thinner magnet can be advantageous as the weight of the magnet pulling through the machine can get quite heavy. Many printers prefer staying below 30-mil for this type of printer and have the best success with 20-mil. Sheet fed or flatbed printers can handle slightly thicker magnet. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for the recommended maximum thickness to ensure that the printer can handle the thickness of the magnet for the required application.
  3. Avoid strikes. As with other semi-rigid substrates, it’s important to steer clear of head strikes. In order to avoid damaging printheads, adjust the printer’s head height to the highest setting. Your owner’s manual provides information on the thickest material that it can handle in order to prevent head strikes.
  4. Make some space. As some printers may have metal platens, it is important to cover this piece to keep the magnet from sticking or catching during the printing process. A simple strip of heavy tape will do the trick, as will a thin piece a chip board. The point is to create a little air gap or space that prevents the magnet from attracting to the metal as it passes over.
  5. Raise it up. Elevating the roll of magnet sheeting in a way that gives a slightly straighter feed into the printer or lessens the steepness of the angle from the feed spindle to the printing area often provides better printing results. The goal is to prevent the magnetic sheeting from rippling, bunching up, or pulling too taught while feeding through the printing area. Check your owner’s manual for the maximum weight restrictions on the feed end of your printer.
  6. Slow and steady. Now isn’t the time to rush. Take the time to adjust the printer settings and be patient. Slowing your printer down and having patience is a necessity when printing on magnet. It is NOT a “set-up and walk away” type of printing job.


Mutoh ValueJet Printer w-PrintMagnetVinyl

Mutoh ValueJet Printer printing direct on PrintMagnetVinyl

On a final note, it’s always a good idea to contact your printer manufacturer for recommended printing profiles. And we always recommend using material tested for compatibility with your printer.


Our team of magnetic solutions specialists can help select the correct type of magnetic sheeting for your printer and application. Contact us for samples and solutions!



*While we want you to be successful, Master Magnetics is not responsible for damage caused by improper product use.

How To Select Magnetic Inventory Labels

Warehouse imageWith the unique challenges faced in business today, most warehouse and distribution centers face the added tasks of scalability, flexibility and easy navigation. Magnetic inventory labels, a relatively low-tech item, can provide a quick and re-positionable solution for shelving and storage areas.

As companies grow, reorganize, bring in new products, and discontinue old ones, magnetic inventory labeling makes sense as both the holders and the cards can be relocated with the product.

Master Magnetics offers four types of categories of magnetic inventory labels: Data card holders, magnetic strip with vinyl top coat, plain magnetic strip for pre-printed labels, and label holders

It’s important to fully understand the scope of the labeling project to determine which product will work best in your warehouse or storage application.

Some things to consider include:

  • Will you relabel shelving or items frequently? Seasonally?

    Magnetic Inventory Labels - Data Card Holder

    Magnetic Data Card Holder kit available in four standard widths.

If this is the case, then data card holders or labels holders make it easiest to simply relabel the magnet.

  • Are your labels generated by a bar code machine, RFID or by hand?

Pre-generated labels work best with any of the magnetic inventory label systems except for the vinyl topcoat. Be sure to take into account the size of label your machine generates and match it to the corresponding size magnetic label.

  • Is your warehouse racking or shelf storage smooth or is does it have a texture that might interfere with the gripping power of the magnet?

Any surface that isn’t smooth may need a thicker magnet to ensure the label stays put. Both the standard magnetic strip and the magnetic vinyl coated strip are available in different thickness.

  • Do aesthetics matter?

In areas that are customer-facing, label holders present a cleaner, more polished appearance.

Other considerations to take into account include determining if the labels should be pre-cut, score cut or uncut? Will  standard lengths and widths work in your environment, or do you require custom sizing?

Our seasoned team of magnetic solutions specialists can help you choose the right type of magnetic inventory label to help organize your space. Contact us for samples and solutions!