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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Should I buy a ferrite or neodymium magnet?

Table of Contents:
That depends on how you intend to use the magnets. Below some assistance:
We especially recommend ferrite magnets for the following circumstances:
  • Tight Budget
  • High Temperatures (80-250 ░C)
  • Outside use
  • Low aesthetics required
We especially recommend neodymium magnets for the following circumstances:
  • Very high adhesive force required
  • Limited space (miniaturisation)
  • Little weight required
  • Decoration/gift (nice coating)
Ferrite magnets
Neodymium magnets

Features of the materials neodymium and ferrite


= good
= medium
= poor
Ferrite Neodymium
Adhesive force per volume
Price
Price stability
Temperature resistance
Outdoor use/rust resistance
Break resistance
Loss of adhesive force over time
Standard tolerances
Uncomplicated transport
Coercive field strength
Aesthetics
Danger for children (swallowing)
Danger for devices

Quick facts about magnet features

Adhesive force per volume

Ferrite magnets are much weaker than neodymium magnets of the same volume (see Are your super magnets really the "world's strongest"?). Neodymium is therefore the preferred material when you have little space available and the end product needs to be fairly light (miniaturisation).
Same volume, different adhesive force:
Article Volume Adhesive force Weight
S-20-10-N 3,14 cm3 11 kg 24 g
FE-S-20-10 3,14 cm3 1,4 kg 15 g
Different volume, comparable adhesive force:
Article Volume Adhesive force Weight
R-27-16-05-N 1,8 cm3 8,3 kg 14 g
FE-R-80-40-15 56,5 cm3 9,5 kg 270 g

Price

On the one hand, ferrite material only costs a fraction of the NdFeB material. On the other hand, a neodymium magnet has an adhesive force that is about 8 to 10 times higher than that of a comparable ferrite magnet. If you calculate the cost per kg of adhesive force, ferrite magnets are about 2 to 3 times cheaper than neodymium magnets. This is especially true for block or ring magnets and for larger quantities. (With disc magnets the price per kg of adhesive force is comparable.)
The cost advantage is only then relevant, however, if weight and size do not matter, because the ferrite magnet is much heavier and larger than a neodymium magnets with the same adhesive force.

Price stability

Ferrite magnets are less subject to price fluctuations than neodymium magnets because their production does not require rare earth metals.

Temperature resistance

Ferrite magnets can be used at temperatures between -40 ░C and 250 ░C, while most neodymium magnets lose their magnetisation permanently at a temperature of 80 ░C. However, temperatures under -40 ░C are no problem for neodymium magnets.

Outdoor use

Ferrite magnets are chemical and rust resistant, while neodymium magnets are not suitable for outdoor use (except for rubberised Nd magnets).

Brittleness

Ferrite magnets can break into pieces when you repeatedly put a strain on them. Neodymium magnets are very brittle and crack easily, which can lead to injuries of user or bystanders.
More information under Warning about splinters

Loss of adhesive force

Neither ferrite nor neodymium magnets lose their magnetisation by itself. They can only be demagnetised by external factors like heat or strong external magnetic fields.
More information under Does a magnet weaken over time?

Standard tolerances

Neodymium magnets generally have a tolerance of +/- 0,1 mm.
It's more complicated with ferrite magnets: Their height-related standard tolerance is +/- 0,1 mm; their width- and length-related tolerance is 2%, but at least 0,1 mm.

Transport

Smaller ferrite magnets have a rather weak magnetic field and can be shielded quite easily. It requires much more effort to shield neodymium magnets in order to send them.
More information under Can I airfreight magnets?.
Ferrite and neodymium magnets should always be transported at a distance of at least 22 mm (we recommend 30 mm). Otherwise, neodymium magnets can demagnetise or even reverse the polarity of ferrite magnets (see table below).

Coercive field

Stronger neodymium magnets have the power to demagnetise or even reverse the polarity of ferrite magnets (see table below).
These minimum distances between the various magnet types have to be adhered to when it comes to use, storage and transport:
Ferrite Neodymium AlNiCo Sheets and tapes
Ferrite - 22 mm 0 mm 0 mm
Neodymium 22 mm - 43 mm 30 mm
AlNiCo 0 mm 43 mm - 0 mm
Sheets and tapes 0 mm 30 mm 0 mm -

Aesthetics

Ferrite magnets are not coated, they have an unattractive dark-gray colour and they stain under friction. Therefore, ferrite magnets are not suitable for use on clothing, e.g. as name tags. The surface is uneven and edges may have dents.
Neodymium magnets have an attractive silver colour thanks to the nickel-copper-nickel coating and they don't stain under normal use. Therefore, they are very suitable for decorations and gifts.
Staining of a ferrite magnet
Jagged edges of a ferrite magnet

Danger for children

Strong ferrite magnets are very large, which makes it harder for children to swallow them. Neodymium magnets of the same size have a much higher magnetisation, which can lead to serious complications when swallowed (see safety tips).

Danger for devices

Magnets can compromise electronic devices like pacemakers and hearing aids. Ferrite magnets are not as strong as neodymium magnets, which makes them safer to be near those devices. However, we still recommend a safe distance for both magnet types.