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Read our blogs written by our Rocher Magnet experts. Rochester Magnet provides magnet tips and information from our team members and their experience!


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Rare Earth Magnets Guide

There are regular magnets, and then there are rare earth magnets. If you're unsure what the difference is or whether you need a rare earth magnet versus a regular magnet, you've come to the right place. This guide will tell you everything you could need to know about rare earth magnets, including their materials, uses and how to get them.

What Are Rare Earth Magnets?

A magnet is a material that produces a magnetic field capable of attracting or repelling ferromagnetic materials. Rare earth magnets are made from one of the 17 rare earth metals on the periodic table. They are an example of permanent magnets, meaning they don't lose their magnetic properties.

The term “rare earth" is misleading, as the metals used to produce the magnets aren't in limited supply. They are found throughout the Earth's crust. The most common rare earth metals are available in concentrations that rival “common” metals such as zinc and copper.

The term “rare earth” comes from the fact that rare earth metals are typically found in combination with other elements. It can be challenging to mine the metals since the extraction process is complex and expensive.


Where Do Rare Earth Magnets Come From?

The metals used to produce rare earth magnets are found worldwide, but some areas produce more rare earth metals than others. The United States, Japan and Australia produce notable amounts of rare earth metals.

The materials that make up rare earth magnets come from the Lanthanide group of elements on the periodic table.

What Are Rare Earth Metals?

While there are 17 types of rare earth elements, two types of magnets are more popular than the others: samarium cobalt (SmCo) and neodymium (Nd-Fe-B).

SmCo was the first type of rare earth magnet to be developed. It combines samarium, a rare earth element, with cobalt, a transition metal. Neodymium magnets were developed later. They feature a combination of three metals — the rare earth metal neodymium combined with iron and boron. Most of today's rare earth magnets are made from Nd-Fe-B.

How Are Rare Earth Magnets Made?

A magnet maker's exact formula to produce rare earth magnets depends on the magnet's grade or strength. However, the magnet-making process typically has several common steps, no matter the magnet's final strength.

First, the metals are mined from the earth. They are then ground into a powder and mixed, based on the magnet type. The powdered metals are then pressed into a mold to shape the magnet. Magnetic energy gets applied to the mold, which aligns the particles within.

After that, the powdered metals are heated in a process called sintering. Sintering fuses the powdered metals. The metal is then cooled before it's cut into shapes.

Finally, the metal alloys are cleaned and coated before getting remagnetized again.

What Are Rare Earth Magnets Used For?

Rare earth magnets have many applications in daily life. They are commonly used in computer equipment, such as hard drives, and medical equipment, such as MRI machines. They help power the motors of electric cars and wind turbines, too. Other common uses include toys, credit cards and speakers.

You can use rare earth magnets at home in craft projects or to close packages. They can also form the basis of magnetic door locks.

What's the Difference Between Rare Earth Magnets and Regular Magnets?

The primary metal found in “regular” magnets is iron. Nickel, zinc, barium or manganese may also be used in a standard magnet. Aside from the materials, there are several other differences between rare earth magnets and regular magnets:

  • Strength: Rare earth magnets are considerably stronger than magnets made from a ferrite metal (such as iron).
  • Durability: Rare earth magnets are also known as permanent magnets. Unlike electromagnets, they don't lose their magnetic strength under regular conditions. In high-heat applications, some demagnetization can occur, so it's important to choose a rare earth magnet graded for a high temperature.

Find Rare Earth Magnets From Rochester Magnet

Rochester Magnet has neodymium and samarium cobalt rare earth magnets available. You can use our rare earth magnets in various applications, and we'll help you select the specifications and grades most appropriate for your needs. Depending on your project, we can special order magnets for you and have them available in weeks rather than months. Contact us today to learn more and get a quote.

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How to Calculate the Strength of a Magnet

Your magnets may need occasional testing to verify that they still perform as expected. Several environmental and adverse use factors can damage the strength of a magnet. Learn about magnet strength, including how to test it.

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Has this ever happened to you?  Your customer has a job they need to be completed, but they do not know exactly what they need for the outcome to work as they had envisioned.  You know that they are looking for the magnet in their project, but there are numerous different kinds of the magnet.  Therefore, you are not sure what type of magnet would work best for their application.  We encounter this issue frequently with our customers, and we love to try to educate them on what types of magnet would work best for their job.  Below is a quick cheat sheet to try and help you determine which magnet would work best in certain common applications. 

Flexible Strip and Sheet Magnet

We recommend using flexible strip or flexible sheet (depending on the size of magnet you need), when you have an application that doesn’t require excessive strength and the magnet will be going directly onto a receptive surface with no air gap.  This means that there will not be any other material between the magnet and what it is attracting to.  The receptive surface could be a magnetic receptive metal or a magnetic receptive material such as RubberSteel.  The flexible magnet can be printed directly onto, or have print laminated to it, which makes it an invaluable tool in the sign and graphics industry.  If you are looking to go magnet to magnet, we do not generally recommend flexible magnets, as there are often issues that arise from poles not lining up correctly, causing the magnet to not align as you would wish.  However, there are certain instances where this is commonly used, such as trade show booths.  The flexible magnet used in these circumstances is a special magnet called Matched Pole.  Matched pole comes in limited widths and thickness, it has an A and B side, and they align perfectly every time, making it quick and easy to use. Common applications that utilize flexible strips and sheets are warehouse labels, POS signage, magnetic notepads and trade show booths.

Neodymium Magnets

Neodymium magnets live up to the saying, “good things come in small packages”.  This saying can be taken literally, as these magnets are most commonly used in packaging, and are perfect for creating magnetic closures.  Unlike flexible magnets, neodymium magnets pack so much holding power into small sizes, that they are perfect for being buried within the packaging and still have the strength to create a strong closure.  These magnets are perfect for being able to line up directly with one another, or with a magnetic receptive material buried opposite the neo.  Neodymium magnets are a good choice when you need a lot of holding power in a very small space.  Common applications for neodymium magnets are packaging or any job where a magnet must be buried between materials and jobs that require significant holding power.

Ceramic Magnets

Ceramic magnets are not as commonly used, nor nearly as strong as a neodymium magnet.  However, ceramic magnets are a good choice if you have an application that must withstand high temperatures.  Ceramic magnets are a hard type magnet without coating and can maintain their holding power in temperatures up to 400ﹾF.  These magnets are also relatively inexpensive as compared to other hard magnets.  They are often found in many magnetic assemblies such as Round Base magnets, Channel Magnets, and Sandwich Assemblies. When used in these types of assemblies, they are usually surrounded by or sandwiched between steel, which greatly increases their strength.  This makes them a popular choice for applications that require lifting, holding, separating or exposure to high temperatures.

With so many different magnetic options, it may be confusing to know which is right for each different project that presents itself.  Hopefully, this summary provides a bit of guidance for choosing which direction to go in.  You can always contact your magnet professional and pick their brain, and don’t forget to ask for samples to try before you buy!

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We all know that February is the month of love, and really aren’t we all looking for our perfect mate?  Like people, magnets are very particular about what other magnets they like to pair up with.  While there is no Tinder for magnets, the article below can help you become the perfect matchmaker when it comes to magnetic pairings so that your projects live happily ever after.

Soul Mates

If an absolutely perfect match every time is what you are looking for, and you can use flexible magnet, then Match Pole magnet may be just what you need.  Match Pole is a two-part, flexible magnet system with an A and a B side that line up perfectly with each other 100% of the time.  This is typically found in a 60 mil thick material and in ½” to 1” widths.  Common applications that use this type of magnet are trade show booths, and anywhere where you wish to match up flexible magnet to flexible magnet.

Opposites Attract

If you are looking to use Neodymium magnets as a set for a magnetic closure, then you will need to make sure that you are aligning the North Pole of one magnet to the South Pole of the other magnet.  Often when creating a closure with neodymium magnets people buy them with adhesive to make assembling their project easier.  If this is the case, be sure to ask for half with adhesive on the North Pole and half with adhesive on the South Pole to make your project simple and effective.  Common applications for this pairing are in packaging where the magnets are buried to create an invisible closure.

Instant Bond 

If you are using absolutely any type of magnet and going directly to a metal surface, your match is a sure thing.  Just be sure that the metal you are trying to attract to is receptive to magnet.  This would include any surface that is steel, iron, nickel, cobalt or has a good amount of iron in the mix.  Going direct to a metal receptive surface gives you a perfect match whether you are using flexible strip, flexible sheet, rare earth magnets, or magnetic assemblies and creates a good solid bond as there is nothing in between the magnet and the surface.

Kindred Spirits

If your application calls for flexible magnet strip or sheeting to be used, but you do not have a metal receptive surface to adhere to, you may want to use a flexible magnetic receptive material.  The advantages to using a flexible magnetic receptive material with strip and sheet is that they will make an   instant lasting connection virtually anywhere you need, and you do not have to worry about aligning poles. Flexible magnet will stick anywhere on flexible magnetic receptive, making this a carefree easy romance between the two materials.  Common applications for this pairing are POP signage, retail displays and menu boards.

As with any great romance, it is important to have things in common, and too many differences usually end up not working out well.  The same is true of magnetic pairings.  When successfully mating magnets together it is important to make sure they are of the same magnet family and strength.  Therefore, you would not want to mix a flexible magnet with a neodymium magnet, or two different strengths of even the same type of magnet with one another.  If one overpowers the other, it will end up draining the other of its magnetic strength, rendering it weak and useless over time.  Hopefully this article ends up helping you to decide which magnetic relationship is right for your project, but your sales rep can always assist in matchmaking for you.

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Businesses that carry an inventory of stock know that having their inventory counts correct is imperative.   Inventory counts have a greater shot at being accurate if your stock is organized, easily identifiable, and easy to count.  Also, it is very important for your workers to be able to easily pick product off the warehouse shelves, as well as be able to restock the shelves accurately and efficiently.    One way to achieve this streamlining of your business is through the use of magnetic warehouse labels. 


Magnetic warehouse labels allow for easy removal and relocation if you need to move pallets around in the warehouse, as opposed to traditional sticker labels, that would require painstaking removal from the shelving often leaving a sticky residue behind.  With magnetic labels, you simply lift the magnet up and move it to wherever you need.  Magnetic warehouse labels come in all different types, so there is sure to be one that meets your company’s needs and budget.  See the different types below, to help you choose what is right for your warehouse.

Write On/ Wipe Off Labels

These magnets have a special coating which allows you to easily write on them with any dry erase marker and wipe off the writing with a dry rag.  These allow for the easiest of changes, with just one swipe you can erase whatever was on the label and rewrite on the same surface.  These can also be used for job scheduling boards, or whatever use you may have for a quick and easy change on the fly.  The usual thickness for these labels is an .030” thick, which is generally all you need for a warehouse label, unless the shelving is knocked into regularly, or you are looking for something a bit heavier duty.

Plain Magnetic Labels

Plain flexible magnet strips are your most simple, budget friendly option.  These can be bought in different thicknesses, which will determine the strength of the magnet. They can be slit into custom widths and lengths to accommodate any size label you are looking for.  Using a plain strip, you can print your own adhesive labels, and apply them right to the magnetic strips.

Adhesive Magnetic Labels

Just as the plain labels above, these come in a variety of thicknesses, and can be customized to exact widths and lengths.  The difference is that these magnets come with a pressure sensitive adhesive with a liner on it that is easily removed.  This means that you can print on any non-adhesive surface and simply apply it to the adhesive side of the magnet strip to easily create your own custom labels.  These magnets can also be scored on a roll to make separating the magnet from the adhesive liner easier and speed up your labeling process.

Colored Magnetic Labels

If you are looking for labels that are different colors to stand out, or simply looking to be able to directly write on your magnetic label, these are a great choice.  These magnets come in a variety of different colors and have a vinyl topcoat, which allows you to write on them with a wet marker and erase them with a damp rag.  The typical thickness is an .030” thick, but some white labels are available in a .060” thick as well.  These can be customized to widths and lengths of your choosing also. 

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It is the holiday season, and that means lots of new toys and gadgets for kids to play with.  Among these toys, there could be a danger lurking that many people are unaware of.  Many popular toys these days contain magnets, whether openly visible in magnetic building sets, or concealed within a toy.  Magnets can be fascinating, and very fun to play with, but they can also pose serious dangers to children and pets alike. 

Most magnetic toys use neodymium, rare earth magnets, that are very strong, even when very small.  These magnets are the most powerful magnets on Earth, and if not used carefully and under close supervision, can cause injury and in extreme cases, can even be fatal.  Neodymium magnets have an incredibly strong pull force and can attract to each other from great distances.  If not handled properly, these magnets can snap together extremely fast and cause painful pinched fingers, or blood blisters from getting your skin caught between the magnets.  While these injuries can be painful, the most serious problem with magnetic toys is when magnets are ingested or inhaled by children or pets that are left unsupervised. 

Often, there are little to no symptoms of magnet ingestion for a day or two.  When symptoms do present themselves, they often resemble flu like symptoms at first.  There may be nausea, vomiting, fever and abdominal pain.  Time is a crucial component when diagnosing a child or pet who has swallowed magnets, if left untreated it can result in severe shock or even death. The real danger occurs when two or more rare earth magnets are ingested into the body.  This poses such a serious threat because the magnets are so powerful that they will attract to each other through walls of tissue or organs. This attraction can cause a perforation or tearing of the bowel or pin the walls of the intestines together causing a blockage.  Most cases, if caught in time, are not fatal but they generally require surgery to remove the magnets and repair or remove damaged tissue.  If you suspect that a child or pet has ingested a magnet, take them immediately to a health care facility or veterinarian. Do not induce vomiting or give them any food or drink.  The diagram below illustrates what can happen when 2 or more magnets are ingested.

Magnets and their amazing properties are fascinating to children and adults alike, and can be very educational, fun and useful.  This is the reason they are a popular choice among toy manufacturers and have been incorporated into many children’s toys as well as many other common household items.  It is imperative that adults educate their children about the dangers of magnets and are diligent in monitoring smaller children if they are using any product that has magnetic components, as well as, watching pets to make sure magnetic products are out of reach at all times.  Parents should check their child’s magnetic toys for any loose pieces and always be vigilant where magnets are involved.

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It’s that time of year again.  The turkey and pumpkin pie are barely digested before most of us turn our focus to hitting the stores to get those Black Friday specials and holiday deals occurring within the month of December.  While many of us are out cruising the stores and restaurants trying to buy this year’s hottest item or filling up on the new holiday beverage at your favorite coffee place, retailers are changing out signage in their shops to keep up with ever-changing promotions, faster than Santa disappears up the chimney.  How do they do it?


One easy and affordable way to keep up with the demand for signage changes is by utilizing flexible magnets in their signage.  Many retailers find that printing directly on or laminating prints to flexible magnets is an effective way to create their in-store signage.  They then couple the magnet with either a metal or a magnetic receptive surface, which allows them to quickly and easily change out their sale signs and graphics with little to no hassle.  Changeout is as easy as pulling down one magnet and replacing it with another, no hardware or tricky assembly is required.  Flexible magnets can come in a variety of sizes and shapes and can be printed or laminated with full-color graphics for eye-popping displays and signage.  Magnets can be used for anything ranging from full wall displays to racking signage, to small POP displays at the register (to try and get you to buy that impulse item), and even on menu boards to easily change out their daily or seasonal specials. 

Don’t want to print or laminate to a flexible magnet?  No problem, there is a large variety of hard magnets and magnetic assemblies that make hanging signage simple for retailers.  Hard magnets and magnetic assemblies come in different strengths, sizes and configurations to make holding just about any type of signage out there, a breeze.  Another option to display signage without printing on it is to use a flexible magnetic strip with a pressure-sensitive adhesive. By simply hand applying magnetic strips, which can be custom converted to whatever width, length and strength you need, you can turn virtually anything into a magnetic display.

Retailers do not have to let the flurry of ever-changing holiday signage turn them into a Grinch.  Magnetic displays are attractive, cost-effective, durable and easy to put up and takedown. Magnets have greater holding power than tape, staples or push pins and can withstand wear and tear better than other signage options. Magnet is the gift that keeps on giving!

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Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland.  All these towns names evoke feelings in us of sadness and helplessness thinking of the young lives lost in senseless school shootings over recent years.  In 2018, school shootings have hit an all-time high.  While the government argues over whether gun control is the answer, concerned citizens wonder what smaller, attainable measures can be taken to try and ensure the safety of America’s students and teachers.  You may ask, why is a magnet company writing about school shootings and safety measures?  The answer is lockdown magnets.

Lockdown Magnets are strips of flexible magnet that can be placed over the strike plate and attract to the school’s metal door jamb.  The magnet allows teachers to keep the classroom door locked at all times, but by blocking the latch from going into the door jamb, the door can still open and close freely throughout the typical school day.  If a lockdown situation should occur, instead of the teacher having to go into the hallway, putting them at danger, and fumbling around with a key to lock the door from the outside, they simply must pull off the lockdown magnet and close the door.  Within seconds the door will be securely locked from inside of the classroom, helping to keep anyone looking to cause harm from easily entering the room.  Lockdown magnets are not only highly effective, but a very economically feasible safety measure for school districts to implement.

Another way that schools can use magnets to help secure their safety during a lockdown is by using flexible magnetic sheets to cover the windows in the classroom door.  Flexible sheeting is wider than strip magnet and can be custom cut to fit whatever window size schools have.  So long as school doors are made of metal or at least the frame of the window is magnetic receptive, a sheet of magnet can be easily placed over the window obscuring the view of students in the classroom from an assailant roaming the halls.  This magnet can either just remain on a metal door, a magnetic whiteboard or be rolled up when not in use and kept easily accessible in a lockdown situation. 

Nobody wants to think about the unimaginable horror of a school shooting occurring in their school or hometown, but sadly, schools today must be prepared for the worst.  Lockdown Magnets  and magnetic sheeting to cover windows are highly effective, highly affordable safety measures that may help to save lives. 

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Neodymium magnets are the strongest permanent magnets in the world. While used in packaging and display industries frequently, these rare earth magnets also make cell phones vibrate, help turn turbines, and power MRI scanners.

As a graphic designer, you will undoubtedly always find yourself looking to offer new types of services to your clients in order to stay competitive and solutions in magnetic sheeting can provide you with something very innovative to add to your roster of services. Because of the nature of magnetic sheeting, you will suddenly have many new options for visually based advertising that you can offer to your larger corporate clients.

No matter what kind of business one may be interested in running, it always helps to find the most efficient ways of going about it. Sometimes in order to increase efficiency and decrease one’s expenditures requires a little bit of creative thinking.

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Did you know that setting up and taking down your Tradeshow Booth could be so easy?  People are finding that using Matched Pole Magnet to attach your banner or backdrop is as quick as a snap! These pieces fit together the same way, every time. Simply place the Adhesive Backed Matched Pole to your Vinyl Show piece and the other to the Backdrop Holder and you’re done!

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Companies are using magnets in POP Displays to showcase their products in many new ways. From cosmetic walls and counter displays, to category management and floor stands they have found a way to create an intriguing appeal.

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What could kettle corn and magnets possibly have in common? They are both in abundance at the summer’s numerous festivals that take place in cities all across the country. While kettle corn is much tastier than magnets, it is much less functional! You may be surprised at how many artisans and vendors are finding unique and creative uses for magnets in today’s marketplace.

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Some might feel that choosing the proper adhesive for their project can quickly turn into a sticky situation.  Many different factors come into play when deciding which tape is going to be the most effective and economical for your job.

When it comes to marketing display, packaging or manufacturing industries, aren’t we all looking for a little closure? Designers are constantly struggling with creating innovative and attractive display designs that are also functional and reliable. So how do they create sleek-looking, unique designs that will stand up over the test of time? Small, powerful, rare earth magnets, also known as neodymium magnets, are a designer’s dream for a variety of reasons:

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Printed magnets are seemingly everywhere these days, from promotional items like calendars and business cards to high end retail display applications. Printed magnetic media has found a home on the sides of refrigerators and file cabinets, as vehicle advertising, and as interchangeable messaging and promotion for in-store displays.

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Flexible magnets are a versatile component of any business’ retail and marketing strategy. These range from simple shapes to specialized rings for switch activation in pneumatic applications. But when choosing the right die cut magnet specs, there are many factors to consider. Does your die cut part require adhesive? What level of tolerance will it require?

Brand-building and promotional signage is everywhere. It dominates the retail environment. What you might not know is that these days, when you see a retail sign, there’s likely a flexible magnet as part of that sign structure.

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With the alarming rise in violent acts occurring in our schools over recent years, comes the need to find ways to heighten security and make our schools a safer place for our kids and educators. One way that schools are doing this is through the use of magnets. Many school districts throughout the United States have started using magnetic strips and sheeting to make their lockdown procedures faster, safer and easier.

Magnetic Strips For Classrooms

School lockdown magnetic strip.

Typically in a lockdown situation, the teacher would need to find the key to the classroom door and go out in the hallway to lock the door so the classroom could not be accessed by someone in the hall. However, through the use of a simple magnetic strip, the classroom door can remain locked at all times, but still be opened and closed with ease.

This is accomplished by placing a magnetic strip over the strike plate on the metal door jamb, preventing the latch from catching and allowing the door to still be able to open and close with ease. In the case of an emergency, when a lockdown needs to occur, the teacher simply has to only open the door a few inches to remove the magnet covering the latch and once the door is closed, it will be locked in a matter of seconds, with one simple action that even a child could perform if necessary.


Covering Classroom Windows With Magnetic Sheeting

One other way that some school districts are securing their schools with magnets, is through the use of magnetic sheeting. Flexible magnetic sheeting is wider and longer than magnetic strip. Some schools have bought large sheets of magnet which are large enough to cover their classroom windows in the case of a lockdown. The magnetic sheeting attracts to the metal window frame and allows the entire window to be covered up quickly and completely obscuring any kind of view from the outside in. The magnet is fast and easy to put up and take down. When not in use the magnet can simply be rolled up and kept nearby without taking up a lot of space.

Unfortunately, out of necessity, heightened security measures are one of the largest growing issues that our nation’s schools are facing today. Magnets are both a cost efficient and highly effective tool for administrators to use to increase the safety in their schools.

Let Us Assist You!

Our magnet experts will help you get exactly what you need – custom or stock – in record time with great quality at a very competitive price.


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