How to Separate Magnet Easily


The easiest techniques for separating your neodymium magnets

If you happen to use neodymium magnets, as many of us do, then you will understand fully how strong they are. Magnets come with incredible strength, and they can be quite surprising if you are not aware of their innate power. However, if you are someone who has been using multiple magnets for a particular purpose, you could run into a bit of an issue.

Have you ever had your magnets stuck together? If you have, then you will know hard they can be to separate. Many assume that simply by pulling with their fingers that they can separate a set of magnets. This, though, often proves to be anything but the case!

A magnet can be a nightmare to separate if you do not plan accordingly.

Are small magnets easy to separate?

Not really, no. You might assume that it is only larger magnets that tend to get stuck together, but it can happen with smaller magnets as well. The reason is that the size of the magnet has less of an impact than the actual strength of a magnet.

You could take two very large, weak magnets and find that you can separate them with your fingers easily. Take two tiny magnets with a large level of power, though, and you could find they are near-impossible to separate with your fingers.

The strength of a magnet is determined by far more than just how large it is. If you assume that bigger magnets equal more power, then you could be in for a shock when you find that your magnets are locked together.

To help you avoid that particular issue, we have put together an easy-to-follow guide on how to separate magnets.

separate big magnet

The magnet size really does matter

If you are trying to separate smaller magnets – something with a maximum of around 5lbs of force – then you should find they come apart with relative ease. Most of the time these should not resist one another too much and thus should be able to split apart simply by using the sliding technique that we have listed below.

However, for those dealing with a medium-sized magnet – something up to around 11lbs of pull force – you should focus heavily on using a separator. We highly recommend that, if possible, you keep some kind of separator as noted below. This little washer or spacer will make sure that you are not going to run into the same problems as you would expect when separating the magnets.

A higher range of pull power means that you always need to be careful when you are removing the magnets. Snapping together can become very painful, and in higher strength magnets could lead to physical injury.

Anything in excess of 12-25lbs and beyond, though, must be taken care of with excess precision. Because most of them are large magnets with very big pull forces. You should make sure that you need to use something to wedge the magnets apart, as we will explain in the next sections. You should always make sure that you get the magnets as far apart as possible before you try and remove then with your hands. Larger magnet pulling powers should even be taken apart using a magnet splitter, if you have one.

Getting started with separating magnets

So, the first thing that you should probably look at when you want to get a magnet to separate is to get used to the very basics. Any magnet you wish to remove should be slid not pulled. Many people try to use all of their physical strength to pull the two magnets apart. Do that, though, and you simply run the risk of hurting yourself. With two magnets – especially powerful magnets like neodymium magnets – stuck together, you are in no position to pull them apart.

Instead, you need to use a sliding technique that we will try to explain below. This should make it much easier for you to be able to split apart the magnets in the future.

slide manget

Sliding your magnets free from one another

So, the best way to make sure that you can get the magnets to separate is quite simple – you should slide the magnets free. By sliding a magnet across one another it is much easier to get the magnetic connection to loosen and thus make it easier to actually pull apart said magnets in the first place.

Try to keep that in mind, as many people will find that pushing a magnet and sliding it alone is much easier than trying to pull. Why? Because magnet strength is managed and determined by their pull power. If a magnet is able to be pulled apart then it is not very strong. Magnet movements are made easier by large multiples if you simply push the magnet into the other magnet and then slide.

Smaller magnets should slide apart with relative ease, even if you are not able to get some kind of spacer in there to separate the magnets. Larger magnets might need you to push down and then slide the magnet with both hands, though!

gap for separating

Creating a gap for magnet separation

One of the most common issues when learning how to separate magnets is to form the edge you need. Magnets of a particularly high strength will often need you to produce some form of gap and leverage for you to open them up. You can do this by using something like the edge of a table – just make sure it is a non-metallic surface, obviously.

To do this, you need to take both magnets and face the point where both magnets join together on the table. Then, you need to make sure that they are carefully and closely pushed apart. By doing this, you make it much easier for you to create the gap slowly but surely you need to either split the magnets or drop in a little separator to keep them apart.

Make sure that when the magnets give way that you separate quickly, as they could quickly re-connect. This could lead to fingers getting jammed, causing yourself unneeded pain and discomfort.

Creating a wedge

In some cases, you might find that two magnets are simply too strong to separate using the conventional means that we have explained above. If you find yourself in that position, you might need to employ a few tools to split them apart.

The best place to start with that in mind would be to use a wedge that could pull them apart. We recommend you use something like a wooden wedge that could be placed in-between and used as a means of forcing a gap. These wedges, though, might need the strength of more than one person to ensure you can create the gap to separate your magnets.

You should therefore always look to make sure that you use wedges with the help of someone else. The strength of the magnets means that you could easily snap or crush your fingers/hands if you are not being careful. By having two people, you can then focus on prying the magnets apart, only dropping your fingers in when it is absolutely necessary.

You should wear gloves and you should wear safety goggles for your eyes, too, as magnets can be surprisingly easy to snap off and break. If the magnets reconnect during the removal process, this could see a part of the magnet snap off and become like shrapnel, so both eye and hand protection is essential.

Storing your magnets

If you are using magnets that are as strong as neodymium magnets, then you should probably look to use the storage siders you are given. Most neodymium magnets will come with a little piece of card or plastic that is kept between the magnets. If you keep this piece of card then you can easily store the magnets together, but not on top of one another. By keeping that little sheet of plastic/card in-between, you make it much easier for the magnets to stay separate to one another.

These little spacers should always be determined by magnet thickness, though. A very strong magnet could easily still connect to something even if it is separated by a piece of paper or thin card. The stronger the magnet, the thicker and stronger the spacing item has to be. Naturally, you cannot use any metallic spacers; something made from heavy card and/or plastic is the right choice.

Conclusion

As you can see, learning how to separate magnets can be a surprisingly challenging experience. If you stick to the above steps, though, it should be much easier for you to do so safely. This means you can avoid the risk of your fingers getting caught etc.

This is a very useful way to make sure you can easily split those magnets without worrying about yourself or your health. The above tips should make sure you can safely and easily remove a magnet from one another; you just need a little bit of time and patience to get the separation angle just right. Good luck, and be safe!