Explanation of different magnet types

Adhesive? Plain? Inkjet Printable? Vinyl? Dry Erase? What’s the difference in the different types of magnets? Read on!

Adhesive: Adhesive magnets have a paper liner on one side that conceals a very sticky adhesive black surface. The other side is plain black magnet. To use, peel off the paper liner covering the adhesive surface and attach your picture, graphic, craft etc. This product is not inkjet printable.

Plain: Plain magnet is just that, plain magnet. It is plain black on both sides with no adhesive or printable surface. For the 30 mil 8.5" x 11" sheets, only one side is magnetic.

Inkjet Printable: The 14 to 18 mil thickness of these products can be used in the vast majority of inkjet printers that pull the magnet straight through rather than bending it back over itself during the printing process. The thicker 20 to 24 mil inkjet printable products can be printed in most inkjet printers that pull the magnet straight through, but not all.

Please do not email us to ask if a certain product will work in the printer you have. Every single printer has different wear patterns and capabilities, so a question sent to us like this will go unanswered (sorry). We sell the products by the sheet or in sample packs in our ’samples and sample packs’ category if you would like to sample sheets to make sure they work with your printer. We do not send free samples for any reason.

The inkjet printable material is not suitable for outdoor use. It has no dry erase capabilities nor can it be used in a laser printer or copier.

Vinyl: The vinyl car sign magnets sheets can be used outdoors. These products are not inkjet or laser printable nor can they be run through a copier. They must be screen printed. Or, you can buy vinyl decals and lettering to add to the sheets instead of having them screen printed.

Dry Erase: This product has a white write-on/wipe-off front surface and a black magnetic back surface. It is not inkjet or laser printable nor can it be run through a copier. You must use a dry erase marker only with this product.


What is a Magnet?
A magnet is an object made of certain materials which create a magnetic field. Every magnet has at least one north pole and one south pole.  By convention, we say that the magnetic field lines leave the North end of a magnet and enter the South end of a magnet. This is an example of a magnetic dipole ("di" means two, thus two poles). If you take a bar magnet and break it into two pieces, each piece will again have a North pole and a South pole. If you take one of those pieces and break it into two, each of the smaller pieces will have a North pole and a South pole. No matter how small the pieces of the magnet become, each piece will have a North pole and a South pole. It has not been shown to be possible to end up with a single North pole or a single South pole which is a monopole ("mono" means one or single, thus one pole).

Amazing Magnetic Facts
Did you know that the name “magnet” was first used by the Greeks as Early as 600 B.C. for describing a mysterious stone that attracted iron and other pieces of the same material? According to one Greek legend, the name “magnet” was taken from the shepherd “Magnes” who discovered the magnetic stone by accident when his staff was mysteriously attracted to the force of the stone. Another, and perhaps more believable, theory says that the word “magnet” came from a city in Asia Minor, called Magnesia, where many of these mysterious magnetic stones were found. During the Middle Ages, this stone became known as lodestone, which is the magnetic form of magnetite.

Today, magnets are available in all sorts of shapes including discs, rings, blocks, rectangles, arcs, rods, and bars. They are made out of materials such as ceramic (strontium ferrite), alnico (aluminum, nickel, and cobalt), rare earth (samarium cobalt and neodymium) and flexible rubber-like material. Not only do the shape and material of magnets vary, so do their applications. At many companies, magnets are used for lifting, holding, separating, retrieving, sensing and material handling. You can find magnets in a car — even around your house! Magnets are used in the home to organize tools or kitchen utensils and can be found in doorbells, loudspeakers, microwaves and televisions! Business offices and schools use magnetic planning boards to display schedules and charts.

Magnets are also used in a compass to guide people if they are lost. In fact, the compass was probably the first important magnetic device discovered. Around the 12th century, someone noticed that when allowed free movement, a magnet always points in the same north/south direction. This discovery helped mariners who often had trouble navigating when the clouds covered the sun or stars.