Uses of Magnets

Magnets have a scientific power of attraction, and they're used for many different purposes. They're found in electronics and machines, including televisions, computer hard drives and turbines. Parents hang their children's art and school work on the refrigerator door. Compasses use magnets to determine direction. Metal shavings can be manipulated with a magnet on a stick to create "hair" on the classic "Wooly Willy" toy from the 1950s. Magnets only attract certain materials, including specific metals and other magnets.

Home Improvement

Quite a few home improvement projects benefit from the use of magnets. Metal studs are easily found by running a magnet along a wall. Magnets will hold coated sheets over steel registers to seal air conditioner vents. After you spill nails, magnets will easily collect them without too much trouble. To prevent metal particles from corroding the water heater, place a magnet near the water intake pipe, and they won't get in the tank.

Construction or Craft Work

For jobs requiring a picture or a blueprint, use a magnet to affix it to a steel cabinet or metal shelf. Magnets placed in the oil pan of a tractor or other lawn, garden or farm equipment will keep piston metal filings from getting into the oil. After grinding metal, use magnets for picking up the shavings. Magnets are used to find underground metal pipes.

Around the House

Use magnets to pick up anything metal, including sewing pins or tacks. Make a notice board by coating walls with paint that contains magnetised metals. Many can openers have magnets that "catch" the lids, preventing them from sinking into the cans.


Magnetic signs are ideal for the sides of cars, trucks and other metal surfaces. These can be removed without damaging the paint finish.

For Fun

Magnets can be used for crafts, hobbies and other types of fun. Magnetic decals can decorate any metal surface. Magic hobbyists often use magnets for their "tricks."

Biggest Magnet on Earth

The biggest magnet on Earth is the Earth itself. The South Pole attracts south seeking magnets, and the North Pole seeks north seeking magnets. Compasses are magnets with north and south polarities, thus showing direction. Anyone who drives, flies, navigates or hikes can use a compass to find their way to their destination and then back home.

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About the Author

Debby Mayne started writing professionally in 1992. Her work has appeared in regional parenting magazines and she has been managing editor of the magazine, "Coping with Cancer." She was also fashion product information writer for HSN. During college, Mayne worked as an instructor at a fitness center. She holds a Bachelor of Science in health, PE and recreation from the University of Southern Mississippi.