Magnet Resource Guide




About: I MAKE in my sleep. I MAKE for keeps. I MAKE I MAKE I MAKE creative me.

This Instructable is intended as a resource guide for finding and reusing magnets for a variety of projects. Magnets can be found everywhere and in places you wouldn't necessarily expect. I have been searching for magnets my whole life and have amassed quite a few resources.


Magnets are everywhere if you know where to look for them. You might be surprised at how much we rely on them. Below are leads for you to find and harvest your own.

  • PHONE BOOKS - New phone books usually arrive with advertising magnets glued to the front cover. There are a bunch of applications for these flat magnets, such as gluing photos to them, Air Duct Kit or Instructables Robot.
  • BUSINESS CARDS - These cards are much like the advertising magnets found on the phone book.
  • SPEAKERS - Audio speakers contain a pretty powerful magnet that can be used and exposed by taking the speaker enclosure apart.
  • CABINETS - Kitchen cabinets often us magnets to close and stay shut. I find them all of the time in alleys when folks are remodeling their homes. A quick turn of a screwdriver will get these loose.
  • CHILDREN'S GAMES AND TOYS - Magnets are used for a whole host of children's games and toys. Once the kids get bored, use their games for your own needs.
  • COMPUTER HARD DRIVES - The optical (CD - DVD) drives of computers contain very powerful magnets. These are a bit difficult to get to so be sure that the drive is destroyed or of no use before you break open the housing. Like I said, these are powerful so use great caution.
  • BRIEFCASE CLASPS - Some purses and briefcases use magnets to secure their clasps. These aren't all that common or strong but are yet another resource.
  • ELECTRIC MOTORS - Motors usually rely on magnets to power. There are so many types of motors using them that it is hard to narrow down specifics. If you have an old, non-working electric motor - I suggest searching online before digging into it. This is just a suggestion.
  • GRANDMA'S REFRIGERATOR - OMG! There are literally hundreds of magnets on Grandma's fridge. I think you should ask her first before using the one she got at Dollywood. Will she really notice though?


I reuse magnets mainly to post on things on my fridge. Full circle, I know. There are quite a few uses for them in every day life as well.

  • CLEANING THE FLOOR - Your studio or garage gets messy and nails can be your enemy. Build a stick with magnets on the end and do a clean sweep.
  • RECOVER MISSING ITEMS - Did you lose a screw to your eyeglasses? You are welcome.
  • WELDING PROJECTS - Magnets can be used to hold metal items together for welding. I've found that speaker magnets are useful for this application.
  • REFRIGERATOR - Need I say more? I guess I will. I use the advertising magnets from phone books to create my own decorations. Check THIS out.
  • SCREW TRAY - Keeping screws together when taking projects apart is pretty important. I use a lid from a cookie tin and place a speaker magnet on the base. This works really well and I don't usually have extra parts left over. Usually!
  • STUD FINDER - If you have metal studs, magnets can be used to find them to secure heavy paintings or objects to your walls. It is also possible to find nail heads on wood 2X4's but it's not near as easy.
  • BATTERY REMOVER - Batteries in small appliances can be hard to remove sometimes. A strong magnet will usually pop them right out.
  • PAPERCLIP HOLDER - A magnet and some paperclips, pretty easy. You can also use a metal lid like I did above. Get creative, you have to look at it. Haha.
  • BAG SEALER - The magnets from a computer hard drive are perfect for sealing a bag of chips. Roll the open end of the bag and then put a magnet on either side. Sealed!
  • AND - There are so many ideas, please feel free to add your ideas below in the comment area.


Magic, pure magic.




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    15 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Computer CD and DVD drives does contain some small magnets, but the ones you really want are in mechanical harddrives. They're usually a bit brittle and break easily, but extremely strong and lightweight. Definitely worth the trouble of getting them out.

    3 replies

    And then, you have the mighty doughnuts-o'-ferrite that this fine gentleman uses on his 12KW induction heater...scroll down about halfway to see how he builds his coupling transformer....


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I have been a collector of magnets as well and use hard drive housing magnets to keep a tarp stuck to my BBQ when it rains. Such a great solution for covering anything. Those hard drive magnets are crazy powerful! I also place one to the right of my dryer door to keep it open. Just the small side of the magnet holds it open... power!! Taking apart DVD drives have my favorite magnets in the laser beam housing to hold the prisms in place (they are only about 2mm cubed, but they are so friggin powerful (I used them to stick fortunes from my fortune cookies on the fridge, ha ha, not that a small piece of paper needs a strong magnet).

    You can also add a decorative element to your fridge by keeping some things attached to the magnet.

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    1 reply

    Great tips, thanks. I guess that I've never opened a DVD drive because I didn't get the little magnets you described. It must have just been CD drives that have the powerful curved magnets. Those things can pinch your fingers.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Magnets can also used to find meteorites and other astroid cosmic matter that falls to earth. I was told and I heard on TV that if a rock sticks to a magnet, it is most likely from outer space because of the high metal content--pretty sure it's iron mostly--if someone has a deeper understanding about this topic, please share with the community, because I found a stone in my yard that stuck to a magnet and it looks like it could be from somewhere else. Here's a pic.

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    1 reply

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Your explanation of how magnets work will likely suffer a stinging takedown from our self-appointed Science Team, but it passes muster with me.

    2 replies