Why Won't My Magnet Pull Small Items?
Sometimes we get a few customers who would like to return a magnet because it did not stick to their refrigerator, car hood, chair, knives, keys, door knobs, etc. Once, we even had a customer who was upset because the fishing magnet would not pick up gold and silver. That’s like saying, “I would like to return this microwave because it sparks when I try to heat my water in a metal cup.” The fact of the matter is it typically won’t stick when it has less surface area contact.
The pull force of any fishing magnet is directly proportional to the surface area contact and inversely proportional to the amount of rust and paint present in the object. The thickness of the object/structure also make a great difference.
For example, if the material is painted, the paint (although not entirely) blocks the magnetic force; therefore, you won’t be able to experience the full effect of its strength.
Similarly, if the item is irregular in shape, less surface area (of the item) is in contact with the magnet and the magnetic force will be less. Imagine a thick metal plate and a door knob. In the case of a thick metal plate, the magnet has direct contact with 100% of the surface, whereas, in the case of the door knob, it may have only 40% surface contact. Plus, the door knob may be made with alloys of non-ferromagnetic materials which are less magnetic in nature. The presence of iron also makes a great difference.
Let’s look at the following items:
Keys: If you look at the design of most keys, they are very thin (maybe 1/5th of an inch) in nature, plus all the surface area is not in contact. Most keys are also plated with different materials.
Chairs: Nowadays, chairs are either mesh or thin metals. Some of the chairs are also covered with fabric, cottons, plastic, etc. If the chair is very thin, you can add some weight to the bottom of the chair so that it will pick it up properly.
Refrigerators: Most of the refrigerators are made with thin metals. Stainless steel refrigerators contain less ferromagnetic materials present in them. Plus the outer doors and sidings are usually hollow.
Foundation Metal Beams: They are usually cylindrical in shape and not all of the surface area of the magnet will be in contact with the beam. But, they are usually very thick so most of the times the magnet will pick it up or else try attaching it to the end of the beam (with a flat surface).
Kitchen Utensils: Most of the items found in the kitchen are usually very thin. It will pick the utensils but since they are very thin in nature, they will easily come off.
Elliptical: Most of the elliptical have a very thick base. So, it shouldn’t have any problem picking it up. We recommend trying it on a flat surface of the elliptical.
Metal Safe: They are usually very thick and heavy in nature. Most of the fishing magnets won’t have any issue picking it up.
Garbage Cans: It depends. If you go to a park and find a thick, commercial grade garbage can, it will stick without any problem. Now, if you try to stick it to a household garbage can then it may not stick properly because most of those household cans are painted and thin.