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Picking Up With Magnets: Magnetic Pick-up Tools

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So there you are, working on your car engine or computer, and just as you get that bolt loosened you drop it, just out of the reach of your fingers. Don’t worry; help is just a telescoping magnetic tool away! 

Magnets are the perfect tool for getting down in those hard to reach spaces to grab that bolt, nut or washer that you dropped. Generally, that is the first application that comes to mind, but there are a variety of magnetic tools that are available for pick-up jobs of all sizes.

Some things to remember:

  • Using strong magnets can be dangerous. Magnets like neodymium or rare earth magnets are very powerful and can cause injury. Be careful when you are using powerful magnets like this to keep hands, fingers and other extremities clear of where they are sticking
  • Magnets and some electronics do not get along. If you are using a pickup tool inside a computer, laptop or other electronic device, be very careful what you come near or touch. BIOS chips and on board storage devices can easily be erased.
  • Be aware of breakables like glass and ceramics. Magnetic fields will attract through these surfaces, and if you are not carful you can crack or break them by pulling metal quickly towards a powerful magnet.
  • Be aware of your work surroundings. Trying to pick up a bolt near a large aluminum engine block can be tricky. Using a magnetic roller to pick up bolts off of a metal floor might be impossible. Keep in mind where you will be using your pickup tool and what other metallic objects could be an obstruction.

Now, let’s take a look at the types of magnetic pick-up tools that are available.

Telescoping Magnets

These tools are typically the ones that come to mind when thinking about magnetic pick-up tools. There is a small magnet attached to one end of an arm that can be extended to reach into small places. These arms can be stiff, like an antenna, or they can be semi-flexible or fully flexible to reach around corners and underneath objects.  Telescoping magnets are a perfect tool for getting that dropped screw or nut from underneath a motherboard or engine block. These tools come with a variety of magnets available, from ferrous to neodymium. Remember to keep your application in mind when selecting the power of magnet to use.

Magnetic Sweepers

  • Handle types are like a magnetic broom on wheels. These have a strong magnet on the bottom that can be used to roll over a surface and pick up what you need.
  • Hanging type sweepers are a long bar with hooks on that top that can be attached to a fork lift or tractor. These are generally larger magnets that can be used on roadways to pick up debris.

Magnetic Grabbers

These tools can be used to grab items you might need. Don’t risk injury by dipping your hand in that bucket of nails; use a magnetic grabber to pull out a pile instead. Working on the roof and forgot your wrench? Use a grabber on a telescoping arm to grab tools you might have forgotten. These tools come in all shapes, sizes and powers to suit all of your needs.

Magnetic pick-up tools are a useful and sometimes overlook tool that should be a staple in every workshop and garage. BC Magnets has a variety of pick-up tools available, check them out today!



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