Why & How Is a Disc Magnet Different From a Bar Magnet?

After doing some research about disc magnets this week, I became curious about the differences between disc magnets and bar magnets. Since I didn’t know much about bar magnets in the first place, I decided to do some of my own research to find out some more information about the two to effectively compare them to each other.

Why and how is a disc magnet different from a bar magnet? Disc magnets are round and flat magnets that are used in both household and commercial settings for a variety of purposes. Most commonly made of neodymium, they have an increasingly strong magnetic pull.

Bar magnets, on the other hand, take the shape of a bar and have opposite poles on either side. With incredible strength, they are most similar to permanent magnets.

When it comes to disc magnets and bar magnets, both of these objects are most effective for their own purposes. While they might sound very similar due to the “magnet” in their names, they are actually very different.

If you are just as curious about the differences between disc magnets and bar magnets as I was, keep reading to get the full details on the specific characteristics of each one.

How Is a Disc Magnet Different From a Bar Magnet?

While the two names disc magnet and bar magnet might sound very similar due to the fact that they are both classified as magnets, these two objects are actually very different from each other.

With different materials that make them up as well as specific tasks that each type of magnet will be able to complete most effectively, disc magnets and bar magnets are not as closely related as most people would assume.

Take a look at the lists below to get a quick reference on the characteristics and properties of each time of magnet, or keep reading for all of the details about both types of magnets that you have been in search of.

Disc Magnet:

  • Round and smooth in shape
  • Thin and even all around
  • Strong magnetic pull
  • Usually made of neodymium (element present in permanent magnets)
  • Can be used for both household and commercial purposes (depending on size)

Bar Magnet:

  • Shaped like a bar
  • Magnetic poles on each end of the structure
  • Attract ferromagnetic materials (iron, nickel, cobalt, etc.)
  • Usually made up of neodymium or alnico
  • Not attracted to each other
  • Most similar to permanent magnets

Disc magnets are almost exactly what you might have pictured in your head after reading the name. Shaped just like around, even, and smooth disc, these magnets can come in various different sizes.

From small refrigerator magnets to large, industrial-scale sizes, disc magnets are among the most versatile types of magnets that are available on the market. In the next few sections of this article, you will find out more about what disc magnets are really capable of, and how you might use them daily.

Due to the fact that most disc magnets are commonly made of a material called neodymium, which is used in many different types of permanent magnets, they possess an extreme; extremely strong and durable magnetic field.

As a brief explanation, permanent magnets are some of the strongest magnets with an extremely direct field of magnetic energy. In fact, these types of magnets have the potential to last for hundreds of years, depending on the circumstance.

The description of permanent magnets should give you somewhat of a good idea of how strong disc magnets really are since they contain one of the main ingredients that are found in the most durable and long lasting magnets in existence

Bar magnets, on the other hand, is a type of magnet that is shaped like a bar. With magnetic poles on each end of the long and thin structure, it is able to attract materials that are made up of iron after producing its own magnetic field.

The properties of a bar magnet are very much like the properties that exist in the permanent magnets that were discussed earlier in this section.

Bar magnets, although attracted to iron materials, are not attracted to each other. If you were to ever put two bar magnets up against each other, you will have a very difficult time getting them to touch.

This is due to the fact that bar magnets will actually repel each other, making it very hard for the two surfaces to meet in the middle of the strong magnetic fields they create.

In addition to iron, bar magnets attract mostly ferromagnetic substances, including nickel and cobalt, and are most commonly constructed of Alnico and Neodymium elements, similar to the bar magnet.

Similarities Between Disc Magnets and Bar Magnets

As you were reading through the different properties that disc magnets and bar magnets each possess, you might have noticed a few similarities between the two. Although there are not many similarities to point out, you can see some of them in the list down below.

Similarities Between Disc Magnets and Bar Magnets:

  • Both can be made of neodymium
  • Both contain similar strength to permanent magnets.

As mentioned in the previous section, both disc magnets and bar magnets are most commonly made out of the same material element. This element, also known as neodymium, makes up some of the strongest magnets in the world.

Although disc magnets and bar magnets might carry out very different functions throughout their lifetimes, they share a common level of strength that is most closely related to that of a permanent magnet.

With permanent magnets being classified as some of the strongest magnets in the world, disc magnets and bar magnets are not far from them when it comes to their magnetic pull.

What Are Disc Magnets And Bar Magnets Used For?

When the differences between disc magnets and bar magnets are being discussed, it is helpful to know some of the most common instances in which both types of magnets are used in everyday life.

Skim through the lists down below to discovers some of the usual cases where you might have come across disc magnets and bar magnets on a daily basis.

Disc Magnet Uses:

  • Refrigerator/bulletin magnet
  • Lifting/repairing things around the house
  • Magnetic door construction
  • Holding up signs
  • Levitating vehicles and hoverboards

Bar Magnet Uses:

  • Refrigerator/bulletin magnet
  • Picking up small metal shavings
  • Locating loose objects
  • Cleaning oil filter in a car
  • Inside of compasses

Both disc and bar magnets can be used for a variety of tasks that include household purposes as well as commercial ones.

Disc and bar magnets can be used on a smaller scale for anything from holding something up on a refrigerator to picking things up that are attracted to the magnetic field.

For example, if you had been working with metal in your garage and wanted to pick up all of the metal shavings on the floor, you might use a bar magnet. On the other hand, if you are doing a home improvement project, disc magnets can be used to find the studs in a wall.

Each of these magnets can also be found in various commercial areas, from the inside of magnetic doors to compasses and even hoverboards.

As you can see, disc magnets and bar magnets are very different but are both equally effective in the functions that they carry out for various purposes.

Related Questions

How strong are refrigerator magnets really?

When it comes to the strength of refrigerator magnets, they can actually be about 20 times stronger than the strength of the earth’s core, core, believe it or not.

What are the properties of a magnet in general?

The three main properties that all magnets share are attractive, repulsive, and directive.