Cutting magnets is a relatively easy process. It is however important to take into consideration the different types of magnets. Different types of magnets have different properties and such may require a different approach when cutting them.
Tip & Precautions when Cutting Magnets
Protective gear is essential for cutting these magnets. Protective gear to be used when cutting magnets include:
- A pair of heavy-duty protective gloves to prevent your hands from being injured by sharp splinters that will be breaking off during the cutting process.
- Eye protection protects your eyes from the splitters and the dust that I typically produce during this cutting process.
Masks are also important as the dust typically produced from cutting these magnets may sometimes be toxic.
· Cutting Ceramic Magnets
Ceramic magnets come in different sizes ranging from thicker sheets to hard brick magnets. Cutting ceramic magnets should be done with the right types of equipment to prevent them from breaking. Drilling is not highly recommended for cutting ceramic magnets as the vibrations cause the ceramic magnets to lose their magnetic ability.
A clamp for securing your magnet prevents it from moving as well as losing its magnetic ability due to high vibration levels. It is important to outline the desired area before cutting.
You can use cutting blades, saws, or chisel depending on the thickness of the magnet you wish to cut. It is important to mark the area you need so that you don’t repeat the process over and over again. You should ensure that you use your protective gear as well
· Cutting Neodymium Magnets
Neodymium magnets are typically sintered and are therefore hard and rigid. The dust produced from cutting this magnet is highly flammable. Therefore, when cutting this type of magnet, it is best to have a coolant.
Protective gear is also important to include. Your gear should comprise heavy-duty gloves, eye protection glasses, and a mask. A clamp is also required when cutting this magnet. The clamp helps to keep it in place and this reduces the vibration and makes working on it easier.
It is important to use diamond cutters for this type of magnet. You can attach your diamond lathe to a Dremel. Before you begin to cut your magnet line out the required portion. The dremel will spin the lathe over the desired portion cutting it out from the rest.
· Cutting Ferrite Magnets
A lot of caution should be employed when attempting to cut a ferrite magnetic. Even though ferrite magnets are highly magnetic cutting them without following the proper procedure may lead to the magnet losing its magnetic ability.
It is therefore important that while you are cutting this magnet, you should properly secure it using a vice or clamp. High levels of vibrations are typically what lead to the loss of its magnetism
If you decide to cut a ferrite magnet, you should take precautions by ensuring you have your protective equipment. Having a pair of gloves, masks, and eye protection are mandatory. If you decide to use a drill it is essential to have a coolant for washing the hole at short intervals.
Draw lines to act as a guideline so that you can the magnet into the shape you desire. The line you drew will help guide you and where you should cut. You can use a saw, a diamond cutter, or a chisel to cut through the secured ferrite magnet.
· Cutting Alnico Magnets
Alnico magnets are typically hard and rigid. The dust produced from cutting this magnet is highly flammable. When cutting this type of magnet, you should use equipment that has coolants.
These magnets produce toxic dust if inhaled. It is therefore important that before you attempt cutting these magnets you should have your full protective gear.
You should use carborundum grinding wheels and abrasive wheels when cutting this magnet. It is also important to ensure that you secure the magnet before you cut it. Securing it using a clamp or any other equipment will reduce the risk of any accidents as well as allow you to easily work on the piece.
It also reduces vibrations running through the magnet.
· Cutting Rare Earth Magnets
Rare earth magnets come in different types and sizes but are typically hard and rigid. For most of these types of magnets, the dust they produce from cutting is highly flammable. When cutting this type of magnet, it is necessary to use equipment with coolant. It is also advisable to use diamond cutters.
Given how flammable they are carefully cutting into them is the recommended procedure. If you want to use drills do so in short bursts followed by a coolant flush. Protective gear is also a necessity for cutting these magnets.
Different Ways of Cutting Magnets
How to Cut Magnetic Strips
Magnetic strips are usually 1- 2mm thick and are typically 25mm wide and a meter wide. Some come sized down to your specifications. In case you want to customize your magnetic strips here are the steps you can follow using an industrial paper cutter;
- Clear a work area for cutting the magnetic strip
- Outline the required area on the strip
- Place a heavy-duty cutter on the surface of the table
- Carefully place the magnet in the cutter facing down aligning the outline with the steel edge
- Clamp the sheet in place using your hand or a portable vice
- Carefully push the blade down ensuring it cuts out the desired section
- Pull out the blade and take out your cut strip.
How to Cut Magnetic Tape
A magnetic tape is typically 12 -15mm wide and the length is usually more than a hundred. Its thickness typically ranges from 1.5 mm up to 2mm. Given their short width and reduced thickness, they are fairly easy to cut.
Cutting a magnetic tape using a blade involves the following steps:
- Clear a workspace where you are going to cut the magnetic tape
- Place the magnetic tape with the magnet facing down on the table
- Measure out the correct amount of tape you will need and outline the area using a marker or chalk.
- You can either secure the tape using a heavy object or a clamp or your hand.
- Use a knife or blade to cut across your outline
- Bend the tape at the cut you have made and it should break off at the outlined cut
If the tape remains intact, you can repeat step 5 and step 6 until it breaks off.
How to Cut Thick Magnets
Cutting thick magnets often requires the use of heavy-duty cutting equipment as well as protective gear. There are different types of equipment you can use to carry out this process. The type of magnet also determines what type of equipment is appropriate for use. You can use a diamond cutter or a diamond-plated drill, saw, chisel, or dremel. If you are attempting to cut a thick magnet, you should do the following:
- Clean your work area and put on your protective gear. The protective gear includes heavy-duty gloves, a mask, and eye protection.
- Secure your magnet using a clamp or vice
- Measure and outline the desired portion to guide how you are going to cut
- Using your blade or chisel carefully cut along the drawn line so that you do not need to repeat the process.
- Once the piece is out you can use sand paper to shave it down to the size it your application requires and exact fit.
Die Cutting Magnets
Die-cut magnets are one way of shaping your magnets into different designs. Die-cut magnets are highly customizable and wholly depend on an individual preference.
- The first step is to make a die. A die for cutting magnets is typically made from steel for sturdiness and durability. You can customize the shape on your own or have it made.
- The next step is to feed the die with the magnet. For personal die-cut magnets, it is important to use magnets that can easily be cut such as rubber magnets.
- Press the magnet so that it passes completely through the die cutting it into shape in the process
How to Cut a Hole in a Magnet
Cutting holes into magnets is typically achieved using a drill. It is however important to ensure that you consider the type of magnet as some produce flammable dust. There are also thin and brittle magnets that may break when using a drill. You can also cut a hole using a dremel fitted with a lathe.
- The first step is to clear a work area
- Clamp down the magnet to be cut. Too much vibration may cause the magnet to lose its magnetic ability.
- Wear your protective gear: gloves, mask, and eye protection
- Mark out the area for the hole
If you are using a drill
- Gently drill in short bursts. It is important to slowly drill and if necessary flush the forming hole with coolant to prevent the magnet from bursting into flames
If you are using a Dremel
- Drag the rotating blade carefully along the line pausing to flush with coolant if needed.
Does cutting magnets change poles?
A magnet has to have a north pole and a south pole at any given time. When a magnet is cut each of the magnetic pieces with form a new north and a south pole. Changing the poles of a magnet requires running an electrical current through the magnet one or more times. Cutting will only result in the formation of new poles
Yes, it is possible to cut and size down the different types of magnets. However, before you take a knife or a drill it is important to take the type of magnet to be cut into consideration. Different cutting tools and drills can be used for different types of magnets. It is also important to ensure that the magnet does not lose its magnetism in the cutting process.