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by Jordan Ficklin

de-magnetizer-005J. Edwards wrote about an Archaic Spin on the Demagnetizer and it made me realize I had never discussed a de-magnetizer as one of my tools, despite having discussed Magnetism and having a discussion about de-magnetizers in the comments.

A rough synopsis on magnetism: (feel free to read the original post for more information on the subject). Watches get magnetized and the magnetism causes them to tell poor time. It is therefore necessary to remove magnetism from watch components. Steel tools also become magnetized which can be annoying.

There are two common types of de-magnetizers. Both work well and have their advantages and disadvantages. One could also easily be made from simple supplies available at your local electrical supply store or Radio Shack.

The first type is a platform style de-magnetizer. (Shown on the left) You place the item on top of it and push the button. It is the easiest type to use but doesn’t seem to be as powerful as the coil type and won’t work for tools larger than the platform.
de-magnetizer-003The coil type is a little more tricky to operate. You need to insert the item into the coil and turn it on. You then slowly pull out the item along the axis of the coil until it is several feet away from the coil. You then turn off the coil and the magnetism is gone.

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  1. Posted March 3, 2009 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    I love the look of that old coil demagnetizer. The compass in the lid is a nice touch – do you find you make much use of it for detecting magnetic fields?

  2. J.Peter
    Posted March 3, 2009 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    I never use the compass. But it does provide a nice look.

  3. MB
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    An easy, effective and cheap demagnitizer can be found in any wall powered VHS tape eraser. Like the ‘coil type’ above, turn it on several feet away from the work, walk towards your tools or movement, then walk away before turning it off. I assume the ‘pulse’ unit works like a TV tube (soon to be another outdated term) auto degausser which is also limited in demagnitizing power.

    I am still amazed how quickly tools can become slightly magnitized and I am not sure how it occurs, seemingly from just using them. If watch parts were not so small and low in mass it would not be noticeable.

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