Magnetic Connectors for Batteries




About: Hi there!

Hi everyone,

Here is a small tutorial about useful and easy to make battery connectors. I recently started to use 18650 cells batteries from old laptops, and I wanted a quick and easy way to connect them. Connectors using magnets were the best option, but I had to figure out how to use them correctly.

UPDATE:Thank you all for your comments! I have added a new step at the end to answer the most relevant and recurrent questions!

Quick description:

One connector is made of 2 magnet that keep the electric wire between them. Then I used hot glue to protect, glue and insulate the connectors.


  • They are really easy to make
  • They are really easy to use
  • No soldering iron is required
  • They avoid short circuits as the connectors repel each other, and if they attract it is on the insulated parts (as both connectors free the same magnetic pole).
  • It takes 5 minutes to make (time for the hot glue to harden).

Step 1: Magnets + Wire

In the first step I just added the wire between 2 magnets.

Step 2: Plastic Support

I have put this on a transparent piece of plastic. I used this piece of plastic to melt the hot glue on it and detach it easily. So make sure the plastic is smooth enough (to detach the hot glue) and heat resistant (at least a minimum so it does not deform).

Then I have added a third magnet below the plastic to stick the magnets above to the same place when I am pouring the hot glue.

Step 3: Add the Hot Glue

To stick everything together and insulate the magnets, I proceeded as follow:

-I cut a small part of PVC tube (about 1 cm high, and 2 cm of diameter; it has the same diameter than the 18650 cells)

-Then cut the PCV ring so it is open

-I added the hot glue on the magnets using the PVC ring to maintain the hot glue. (Make sure you are in a well ventilated area)

-Wait few minutes the time for the hot glue to harden;

  • If it is not long enough the hot glue will be still liquid
  • If it is too long, the hot glue will stick very well to the PVC and plastic piece and it is hard to detach

-Then detach the hot glue

-And remove the PVC ring!

Step 4: Use It!

Now that it is done you can use it to connect easily any electronic device to your battery!

If you make the north pole magnets of all the connector pointing in the same direction, they will repel each other, that is useful if you don't want short circuit. And if you want them to connect, just make other connectors with the magnets upside down!

Step 5: Questions & Answers

In this step I answer some of the frequently asked and most relevant questions:

  • What is the resistance of the connectors?

As my multimeter was not accurate enough to measure the resistance of the connectors, I have used the four-terminal sensing technique, and measured the resistance of others connectors to have a comparison:

  1. One magnetic connector: R=50 milliOhms
  2. One magnetic connector soldered to the wire (see next question) : R=17milliOhms
  3. One wire of the same length than the 2 connectors above : R=17milliOhms

To finish, at this range the multimeter's wires resistance might influence the results given above, so the resistance could be even smaller.

As a conclusion I would say that the resistances of the connectors seem quite low to me. The connectors with one wire stuck between 2 magnets without soldering has the higher resistance with 50 milliOhms. Then the connectors soldered to the wire, and the wire alone have the same resistance of about 17 milliOhms.

  • Why not soldering the magnets to the wires directly?

I have tried before publishing this instructable, and here are the main reasons I did not solder my connectors:

  1. First I had some problems to solder the wire to the magnet, the tin did not stick to the wire correctly and flowed on the magnet. I have tried later with another magnet but I had no problems. So I think some magnet might be coated with some kind of product to protect them or whatever.
  2. The soldering iron is magnetic and it sticks to the magnet. So be prepared if you plan to solder a magnet!
  3. The heat of the soldering iron might demagnetised the magnets, if the soldering iron is in contact for a long time with the magnet.
  4. I think it was interesting to publish this article without the use of soldering iron

On the other hand, the resistance of these soldered connectors seems lower, so it is quite interesting as well!

To conclude I would say that both the sandwich technique (wire between the magnets without soldering) and the soldering techniques are useful depending of what you want to make. And to finish the hot glue (no matter which technique you have chose), is something I would recommend because it has 2 main properties:

  1. It insulates the magnets (and the magnets stick to everything that is ferro magnetic!)
  2. And it protect the wire end close to the magnet

  • Will the magnets drain the battery?

No the magnets will not drain the battery (unless you use them to short-circuit the battery!).



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    104 Discussions


    10 months ago

    Very very could 3D print a sleeve for them as well...this way you can use any diameter magnet
    Really cool!

    1 reply

    Reply 10 months ago

    Thanks! At that time I had no 3D printer, but now it is possible :)


    Question 10 months ago on Introduction

    does anyone know if you can take a 18650 singlecell charger and put 2 sets of mag leads on and charge 2 cells?

    2 answers

    Answer 10 months ago

    Parallel charging?
    or are you wanting to charge at 8.4v rather than 4.2v?


    2 years ago

    Great tutorial. I will definitely make this one for myself and post some pictures.

    To improve the design a little so we can prevent a short with battery polarity reversed, have the magnet with the positive end contact, a little recessed. This will allow only the protruding top (positive) end of the battery to make contact with it. When you try to touch it to the other end, the positive end of the wire contact might stick to the battery's negative end because of the magnetic pull, but will not make contact with it, preventing a short circuit.

    3 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    I made some using the battery itself as a mold. this way, the 2 connectors are different, and the positive one is a little recessed, as you said. So there is no way to connect it wrong.
    To do them I taped the battery with masking tape, used a metal sheet from another battery (carcass) as a mold, bracing it to the taped battery and protuding it a little bit from the battery ends, placed the magnets and wire and then filled with hot glue.
    It works very well, and looks neat.
    now I'll do some with ogoo, it will last longer and be more flexible.


    1 year ago

    This is GREAT just ordered a bag of mags to start making these. Thanks for the instruck.


    2 years ago

    I have to build several little joule-thief robots and had to find a cheap way to attach the battery and your idea came to my rescue. I'm using just one thin magnet to each pole and two others to attach the battery to the robot body. It was not so professional as yours but it is working. Thanks.
    1 reply

    Reply 1 year ago

    I'm glad you found it useful! That is a great robot!


    1 year ago

    Great idea!

    Its a shame some enterprising manufacturer can't make smart 18650s with NFC reading ability (so any smart phone can check a bare cell) and these magnetic connectors built in. Also it might cut the number of ecig/model/etc related accidents as people switch to the new safer connectors.

    I would avoid soldering though and use spot welding, with 3D printed shroud that permits venting and mechanically shields the wires at both ends, and contains the NFC chip, cell protection etc.

    Once made a pack of LiFePO4 (cheap and nasty) and it might have worked for years if the soldering process hadn't weakened all those cells.


    2 years ago

    How do you know when to remove, You said that too soon it will be liquid but too long the glue sticks to the plastic. is it seconds or minutes?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    I'd say you have to wait at least 2 or 3 minutes (but I guess it depends on your hot glue). The best thing is to try, if it is too liquid the glue will spread everywhere and you'll see it. And if you wait too long (lets say 10 minutes), it will work, but you might have some problems to detach the glue form the plastic! have a try, and let me know if it worked!


    2 years ago

    This is so cool! It is such an original instructable that it redefines for me the number of options I now have available for connecting to a battery.


    2 years ago

    Thanks pal, very nice idea. I've made some, but used less magnets, as I didn't have many of them. I used 2 for each connector. For the mold, I used the metal sheet that is used on the batteries: I disassembled them, cutted the top and bottom parts and filed the rough edges, than used some masking tape on the batterie to avoid the glue to stick to it.
    Then I placed the "naked" connector (the 2 magnets and wire sandwich) on the batteries, inside the mold, that was protuding from the batterie's end and filled with hot glue. It became great. In my case the hot glue entered around the magnet, so mine became polarised.
    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you and share my experience. I didn't clicked the "I made it" because it require pictures and I don't have any. Sorry for any english mistakes.


    2 years ago

    Its very good design for a charger, or a battery tester


    2 years ago

    Nicely done


    2 years ago

    Ingenious! Elegant in its simplicity. I got lucky and found some Teflon tubing of the correct diameter. Slips right off. Silicone tubing would probably also work. If you need higher voltage, just use a single loose magnet to stick two or more batteries together.