Magnets are objects that attract some types of metal to themselves via their magnetic fields. Magnets come in many different shapes and sizes including ring-shaped and horseshoe-shaped. The shape of the magnet can affect its usable strength.
Magnetic fields are forces leaving the north poles of magnets and re-entering the south poles. These lines of force take the most direct route possible from north to south pole.
Ring magnets are magnets that are made out of rings of metal. One side is the north pole and the other side the south pole. The field lines go from one side of the magnet around to the other.
Horseshoe magnets are bars of metal bent into a U-shape, exhibiting a characteristic horseshoe. The north and south poles are right next to each other. The field lines hop directly from the north to the south poles.
Magnetic fields are strongest at the poles, where the field lines are closest together. Because of this horseshoe magnets tend to be stronger than ring magnets, because they can use both their poles at once, and so use more of their field lines at once.
This is only true if all else is equal. Magnet size, material and manufacturing process can all affect the strength of magnets as well.
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