Neodymium Magnets Safety and Handling Tips
Neodymium magnets are the strongest, most powerful magnets on earth and the surprisingly strong force between them may catch you off guard at first.
Please review this checklist to help you handle these magnets properly and avoid potentially serious personal injuries, as well as damage to the magnets themselves.
Neodymium magnets will leap and slam together from several inches to several feet apart. If you have a finger in the way, it can get severely pinched or even broken.
Neodymium magnets are brittle and will peel, chip, crack or shatter if allowed to slam together, even from just a few inches apart. Despite being made of metal and coated with a shiny nickel-plating, they are not as hard as steel.
Shattering magnets can send small sharp metal pieces into the air at great speeds. Eye protection is recommended.
Neodymium magnets are not toys. Do not allow children to handle or play with them. Small magnets can pose a serious choking hazard. If multiple magnets are swallowed, they can attach to each other through intestinal walls causing serious injuries and even death.
Neodymium magnets create strong magnetic fields around them, which can interfere with pacemakers, ICDs and other implanted medical devices. This is because many of these devices are made with a feature that deactivates the device in a magnetic field.
The strong magnetic fields emanating from neodymium magnets can damage magnetic media such as floppy disks, credit cards, magnetic ID cards, cassette tapes, video tapes or other such devices. They can also damage older televisions, VCRs, computer monitors and CRT displays.
Magnetic fields interfere with compasses or magnetometers used in navigation for air and sea transport, as well as the internal compasses of smartphone and GPS devices.
Studies show a small percentage of people suffer from an allergy to some metals including nickel. The allergic reaction is often manifested in redness and a skin rash. If you have a nickel allergy, try wearing gloves or avoid directly handling nickel-plated neodymium magnets.
While magnets have been proven to retain their effectiveness up to 80°C or 175°F, this temperature may vary depending on the grade, shape and application of the particular magnet.
Avoid drilling or machining neodymium magnets. When ground into a dust or powder, this material is highly flammable.
Our magnets are finished with a nickel plating, and this coating provides enough protection for most applications. But remember, neodymium magnets are not waterproof. They will rust or corrode in the presence of moisture. If used underwater, outdoors or in a moist environment, they can corrode and lose magnetic strength.
Recommendations on Handling Neodymium Magnets Safely
- Wear eye protection and work gloves (if necessary) when working with magnets.
- Pay close attention when you are separating or handling magnets.
- To separate magnets, grasp the outside magnet, slide it off the stack and pull it away quickly.
- Work on a metal table or surface, so that magnets stay where you set them and don’t jump together.
- When you have magnets in both hands, remember to keep your hands far apart.
- Do not drill or machine neodymium magnets.
- Immediately apply ice to any pinched skin or area to minimize any pain or damage. With larger magnets, injuries of this type can be severe.
- Seek immediate medical attention for any serious injuries.
- Neodymium magnets will retain their magnetism and integrity for decades when handled, utilized and protected properly.