Separating strong magnets

Creative ways to separate strong magnets
Author: Martin Dux, Rossens, Switzerland
The handling of strong magnets can be dangerous. Many customers have to grapple with magnets clinging together and they have a hard time separating them again. Therefore, we would like to show you a tried and true method.
Table of Contents

Separating strong magnets

Here, the magnets are not ideally positioned - the edge of the table should actually be exactly under the two magnets!
Here, the magnets are not ideally positioned - the edge of the table should actually be exactly under the two magnets!
1. Move the combined magnets sideways toward the edge of a table. Place one magnet on the table. We concentrate on the overhanging magnet, which shall be pushed off.
2. By all means, put on gloves!!!
3. Hold the magnet on the table tightly and push the wooden edge down on the overhanging magnet.
4. Push evenly and hard until the wedge slowly makes its way between the two magnets.
5. As soon as the resistance becomes a little less, quickly push down the wedge with the magnet. (If you don't hurry up, the couple could reunite in no time and you have to start over again...)
6. Store the magnets at a safe distance from each other until the next use.

Separating flat magnets

Addition from R. C., Cointrin (Switzerland):
I have 2 strong disc magnets, that like to hook up. Getting them apart is rather difficult. I use two tin cans as leverage. First, I place the magnets between the tin cans.
Then, I put one can on the edge of a piece of furniture. I press the second can down. As you can see, it works like a charm.

Separating ring magnets

Addition from Bernard Le Gall, Landerneau (France):
After my last supermagnete purchase I handled my four new ring magnets a little awkwardly and the separating discs slipped out. All my attempts to separate the rings by hand failed. Finally, I fastened the magnets into my vice and tried to detach the magnet on top with a screw driver - with catastrophic consequences!
So, I had to think of a softer method for the remaining three rings. After giving it some thought, I put a protective thick piece of plastic floor cover around the two ring magnets on the bottom. Then, I fastened the whole thing in the vice again. Thereafter, I placed a strong piece of rope around the magnet on top and pulled it off to the side. The magnetic force was considerably weaker this way.
As soon as I pulled it enough to the side, the magnet attached to the clamp jaw of the vice. It was not easy getting the magnet off of it, but clearly easier than yanking on the magnet :-). I quickly put the separating discs on the "freed" magnets to prevent a further tête-à-tête.
I think this method is suitable for other magnet types as well, not just for rings.
Additional comment from customer Heinz Pahle, Offenbach (Germany):
A helpful tool is needed, should it happen that two magnets (in this case Q-20-20-10-N) are stuck together. Initially, it was only a single wooden “fork piece”, its height matching the thickness of the magnet.
The small stack of magnets has to be placed in the fork opening. With some effort, it is now possible to slide the top magnet off by hand. A big improvement is the use of a matching second “wooden fork” because it is much easier to slide the magnet with two of these wooden pieces. The wooden pieces will not damage the magnets. Beechwood with its hardness would be ideal.
It is also possible to separate more than two joined magnets with this method. It works like this: Place the stack of magnets in one of the forks, which will hold the bottom magnet securely. Now place the other fork on the second to last magnet (from the bottom) and push the entire stack out, thus freeing the bottom magnet. Repeat the same steps until there are only two magnets left to separate.
We from supermagnete think: Actually a practical solution - and you don't have to consult the customer service department anymore, when you can't separate your newly purchased darlings! :-)

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