How to magnetize steel? Just a few objects found easier in your hardware store or DIY stores. In this post we will explain two easy methods.
Method n.1: magnetizing steel using an existing magnet.
The first method is easy. You can find all the steps to do it better! Use this to quickly make a temporary magnet. (NB: keep a strong magnet around, and you can magnetize some types of steel with a couple minutes of work. This turns the steel into a weak magnet that loses its magnetism over time)
- Find a strong magnet. (you can use any magnet to “pass on” the magnetism to the steel, but ordinary refrigerator magnets will have a very weak effect)
- Test the steel’s reaction to the magnet. If the steel doesn’t respond to the magnet, it can’t be turned into a magnet itself.
- Stroke the magnet along half the steel, repeatedly. Hold the steel object in one hand. Stick the magnet to the steel about halfway along its length, then drag it to one tip. (repeat several times, stroking only in one direction, and only along half of the steel. The more you do this, the more magnetized the steel will become)
- Stroke the opposite end of the magnet along the other half. Flip the magnet over so the other pole touches the steel. Place it against the steel at the midpoint again, but drag it the other way, toward the end of the steel that wasn’t rubbed earlier. Repeat until the steel can pick up a paper clip, or continue to rub to increase the strength slightly.
This method is ideal for magnetizing a screwdriver, nail, or needle just before use. You can also use it to restore magnetism to an old compass needle or other weakened magnet. Also note that this method is easiest to use on long, thin pieces of steel, such as screwdrivers or nails, but will work on any shape of steel.
Method n.2: magnetize steel using a battery
Indeed, the second method is:
- Strip the insulation off both ends of a wire. (NB: using wire stripping pliers, strip about an inch (2.5cm) of insulation from each end of an insulated wire. You’ll need enough wire to wrap around your steel object at least ten times)
- Wrap the wire around the steel. Leaving a couple inches (several centimeters) of wire at each end, wrap the insulated portion around the steel. (NB: the steel will become more magnetic the more times you wrap the wire. Use at least ten loops for nails, and several dozen for larger objects)
- Select a low-voltage battery. DC power source sufficient to magnetize nails or screws. Larger steel objects may require a higher voltage battery, but these will create more heat, and a more dangerous electrical shock if handled improperly.
- Use rubber gloves and rubber-handled tools. These will prevent the electrical current from reaching you.
- Connect the wire ends to the battery. Attach one of the stripped wire ends to the positive terminal of the battery. Attach the other wire end to the negative terminal of the battery. For small household batteries, wrapping the wire around a brass paper fastener will make it easier to keep them together. Place the fastener head on the battery so the wire makes contact, then use tape or rubber bands to attach the fastener arms to the side of the battery.
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