Pull force, also known as magnetic pull, is a measure of the strength of a magnet's magnetic field. It is the force that a magnet can exert on an object made of ferromagnetic material, such as iron, nickel, or cobalt. The pull force of a magnet is determined by the strength of its magnetic field and the size and shape of the magnet.
Often measured in pounds or kilograms, the pull force is the force required to pull that magnet straight free from a thick steel plate. The pull force also tells you the limit of that magnet's holding power.
Generally, any magnet with a pull force above seven pounds (3 kg) can pinch your fingers. Stronger magnets can be even more dangerous and should only be handled by experienced individuals. We always recommend hand and eye protection for large magnets.
Magnets stick best to ferromagnetic surfaces and do not stick to chrome, brass, aluminum, silver, gold, wood, plastic or tile. Attaching magnets to these surfaces is best accomplished with countersunk or self-adhesive magnets.
What Effects Pull Force?
While the pull force rating enables you to determine how much weight or tension a magnet will hold, there are several other factors to consider which can affect a magnet’s pull force.
Vertical vs Horizontal Placement
A magnet placed vertically, such as on the underside of a steel beam or table, will hold its listed pull force weight.
The composition, size and thickness of the steel can also affect the performance of a magnet. Different types of steel have different magnetic properties, and some types of steel are more magnetic than others. For example, low-carbon steel is generally more magnetic than high-carbon steel, and stainless steel is generally less magnetic than other types of steel.
Choosing the Right Magnet
It can be challenging to select the best magnet for your specific application due to the numerous factors that can impact a magnet's pull strength. Testing the magnet in your application is the best approach to learn whether it will perform as needed. You may always get in touch with our magnet experts if you have any questions or want assistance selecting the right magnet. We will be delighted to assist you in making the best magnet choice for your needs.