Things That Are Magnetic

Welcome to our list of things that are magnetic!

Magnetism is the force when magnets attract or repel one another. This is the result of electrical charges of tiny atoms. Magnets are useful in holding things together, and can be a gentle force or extremely powerful. We’ve tried to cover as many magnetic things as possible in this list, and have included both materials that are magnetic and objects that use or have magnets inside them.

Hopefully that visual list of magnetic things was useful! Here’s a longer and more descriptive list of things that are magnetic:

  • Iron: A chemical element that is strongly magnetic and is the 4th most common element in the Earth’s crust.
  • Nickel: A silvery metal which is found rarely in the Earth’s crust.
  • Cobalt: An element commonly used in lithium-ion batteries. Is commonly used for wear-resistant magnetics.
  • Neodymium: A hard, malleable element that is usually refined for general use.
  • Alnico: A type of alloy that is mainly composed of aluminium, nickel and cobalt. The strongest permanent magnet before the discovery of rare-earth magnets.
  • Audio Speakers: In speakers, magets are used to create opposing magnetic fields to make vibrations.
  • Earbuds: Similar to speakers, earbuds use magnets to create magnetic fields that cause vibrations.
  • Headphones: Headphones contain small magnets that cause vibrations that result in the sound we hear.
  • Cabinet Door Latches: Some cabinet doors have magnetic closures, which let them close softly and quietly.
  • Fridge Magnets: Magnets are commonly used to pin light, thin items to the front of refrigerators as reminders.
  • Vacuum Cleaner: Some vacuums have magnetic devices that remove metallic debris before they’re sucked up. In all vacuums, magnets are used to create magnetic fields that push against one another, creating a force that drives the motor.
  • Building Blocks: Some building blocks have small, fairly weak magnets inside to help hold the blocks in place.
  • Toy Train: Toy trains are commonly magnetised at the front and back of each carriage to help the train stay together during play.
  • Chess Set: Chess pieces can be magnetised, helping them stay in place on the board even when it’s nudged or knocked.
  • Checkers Set: Checkers pieces can be magnetised to help them stay in place even when the board is nudged or knocked.
  • Debit Card: Debit cards have a magnetic strip on them that stores data.
  • Credit Card: Credit cards have a magnetic strip on them that stores data.
  • Computers: Many computers have tiny magnets inside them that store information.
  • Laptops: Like computers, laptops have very small magnets that are used for storing information.
  • MRI Machines: MRI machines use strong magnets to create a magnetic field that aligns with the protons in a patient’s body, which helps the machine to create detailed images of the body.
  • Hard Drives: Hard drives use neodymium (also known as rare earth) magnets to store information. Magnets can continue to store information even when the computer is turned off.
  • Electric Generators: Magnetic fields are used to push and pull electrons around inside electric generators.
  • Bottle Opener: Many bottle openers have magnets attached to them so they can be stuck on the front of a fridge.
  • Blender: Blenders have an electromagnet inside which spin around and turn the blender’s blades.
  • Washing Machine: Washing machines use rare earth magnets to turn the drum (that holds the clothes) around.
  • Compass: Magnets are what makes a compass point north. The little pin/arrow in a compass responds to the planet’s magnetism.
  • Phone: Phones use magnets to store information, similar to computers and laptops.
  • Doorbell: Electronic doorbells have a small electromagnet inside that creates a magnetic field which powers the doorbell sound.
  • Shower Curtain Weight: You can attach magnetic weights to the edges and bottom of your shower curtains to prevent them from flowing inwards while you shower.
  • Microphone: There are different types of microphones, but they all use magnetic fields to create sound.
  • Loudspeaker: Magnetic fields are used to create vibrations in amplifiers. You can have stronger vibrations and louder speakers with larger magnets.
  • Maglev Train: “Maglev” is short for “magnetically levitated”. These trains use magnets to help them levitate, which give them less friction and faster speed (with less wear and tear).
  • Wall/Door Hooks: You can purchase wall and door hooks which use magnetism to stick to the surface.
  • Garbage Disposal: Garbage disposals have magnetic rings near the drain opening to catch metal items that might have otherwise fallen in.
  • Gadolinium: A silvery-white, metallic element. Slightly malleable and a rare-earth element.
  • Watch: Some analog watches use magnetic forces and fields to move the motors inside. Other watches may have steel components, which can be affected by magnets and can become magnetised if left around strong magnetic objects.
  • iPad: iPads have a few different types and uses of magnets. The current models have magnets on the side to connect to the Apple pencil, and there are magnets inside which are used to store data and information.
  • Franklinite: A ferrous mineral.
  • Hematite: A darkly coloured, reddish mineral which is composed of ferric oxide.
  • Hybrid Vehicle Motors: Neodymium magnets are the most commonly used magnet in hybrid motors. They can tolerate higher temperatures and can perform with high strength and speed.
  • Wind Turbine Generator: Wind turbines use powerful magnets to rotate the shafts of the turbines.
  • Dysprosium: A rare-earth element with a silvery white colour.
  • Steel: Some types of stainless steel can be magnetised.
  • Manganese: A chemical element which is paramagnetic (weakly attracted to magnets).
  • Lodestone: Pieces of magnetite that have been magnetised naturally.
  • Whiteboard: Whiteboards are commonly magnetic, allowing educators to stick items (like whiteboard erasers, small containers or worksheets) to the surface.
  • Lockers: Storage lockers are commonly made of magnetic materials.
  • Cars: Magnets are used in anti-lock braking systems to help cars stop faster. They’re also used in seatbelt detection systems and to let drivers know when doors aren’t properly shut.
  • Fridge: Fridge doors have magnets within their seals to keep doors securely shut.
  • Filing Cabinet: Some filing cabinets have magnetic locking systems, and many are made of magnetic materials as well. This allows their surface to be used as a storage place as well.
  • Metal Shelving: Many types of metal shelving have a magnetic surface, so people are able to stick reminders, paperwork and other small items to them.
  • Toolbox: Some toolboxes have magnetic locking systems. Many toolboxes are magnetic, so things can be conveniently stuck to their surface while they’re being used.
  • Magnesium: A chemical element which is commonly found in the Earth’s crust.
  • Molybdenum: A chemical element which was originally confused with lead.
  • Tantalum: A chemical element with a blue-grey colouring.
  • Scrap Yard Lift: These are large, powerful magnets used to lift blocks and car parts in scrap yards.
  • Lawnmower: Some lawnmowers use magnetos (the reverse of an electromagnet) as a power source.
  • Kitchen Mixer: Kitchen mixers commonly use magnetic fields to power their blades.
  • Train: Different types of trains will utilise magnets differently. Maglev trains will use them to levitate and for speed, while other trains might use them to close doors, or to connect carriages and compartments.
  • Security Tags: Security tags commonly use magnetic closures.
  • Dentures: Dental implants can be placed in a patient’s jawbone, which are then used to magnetically secure dentures.
  • Handbags: Some handbags have magnetic fastenings.
  • Knife Rack: Metal knife racks are commonly magnetic, allowing users to stick the knife to the surface rather than placing it in a slot.
  • Paperclip: Paperclips are commonly made of magnetic stainless steel.
  • Thumbtack: Thumbtacks are generally made of stainless steel, which is magnetic.
  • Uncommon Earth Magnet: Powerful, permanent magnets that are made of combinations of rare-earth elements. They produce the strongest magnetic fields.
  • Jewelry: Some types of jewelry are magnetic or have magnetic fastenings and closures.
  • Duvet Cover: Some duvet covers have magnetic closures rather than zips, velcro or snap buttons.
  • Book Cover: Some book covers have magnetic closures to help keep pages safe.
  • Treadmill: There are a few different types of treadmills. Some are magnetic and don’t need electricity to run, and can be made smaller and lighter than other treadmills.
  • Security Alarm: Some security alarms use magnets to work as contact sensors.
  • Tin Opener: Some tin openers have magnets attached so you can stick the opener to a fridge or knife rack.
  • Microwave: Microwaves commonly have two large rare earth magnets inside.
  • Cat Flap: Some cat flaps have magnetic closures.
  • Electric Fan: Electric fans commonly use magnets to power the blades.
  • Printer: Some printers use magnets to create the tiny dots that make up text and images.
  • Spice Rack: Some spice racks have magnetised backs, allowing them to be stuck to magnetic surfaces.
  • Ceramic Magnet: Also known as ferrite disc magnets or ceramic disc magnets. A cheap type of magnet commonly used in sensors and motors.
  • Magnetic Organiser: Compartments made out of magnetic materials so they can be stuck to metal surfaces.
  • Money Clip: Some money clips use magnetic closures to keep their contents secure.
  • Business Card Holder: Some holders have magnetic fastenings.
  • Charging Cable: Some charging cables (like Apple’s MagSafe) use magnets to secure the cable to the port.
  • Bike Lock: Bike locks can commonly have magnetic closures.
  • VHS Tapes: VHS casettes use a magnetic strip of tape to write and store data.
  • Audio Tapes: Like VHS tapes, audio tapes use magnetic strips to store data.
  • Electric Guitar: Electric guitars use magnets and magnetic coils to create the vibrations and sounds you hear.
  • Bass Guitar: Similar to electric guitars, bass guitars use magnets to create vibrations and sounds.
  • Toys: Many types of toys use magnets to stick together. This helps with creativity and play.

We hope this list of magnetic things was useful and that you found what you needed!

We did our best to cover all of the varied meanings of “magnetic” with our visual gallery of magnetic things and descriptive list. But if you feel there’s something we missed, please feel free to let us know and leave a comment.

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