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Should I buy a ferrite or neodymium magnet?

That depends on how you intend to use the magnets. Here are two concise lists summarising the advantages of neodymium and ferrite magnets. Below them, you can find more detailed information on the differences between neodymium and ferrite magnets

We especially recommend ferrite magnets (also called ceramic magnets) for the following circumstances:
  • Tight Budget
  • High Temperatures (80-250 °C)
  • Outdoor use
  • Low aesthetic requirements
We especially recommend neodymium magnets for the following circumstances:
  • Very high adhesive force required
  • Limited space (miniaturisation)
  • Low weight required
  • Decoration/gift (nice coating)
Table of Contents

Properties of the materials neodymium and ferrite

The following summary shows you a comparison of the characteristics of neodymium magnets and ferrite magnets.
= good
= medium
= poor

Quick facts about magnet features

Adhesive force per volume

Ferrite magnets are much weaker than neodymium magnets of the same volume (see "World's strongest magnets"?). Neodymium is therefore the preferred material when you have little space available and the end product needs to be fairly light (miniaturisation).
Same volume, different adhesive force:
Article Volume Adhesive force Weight
S-20-10-N 3,14 cm3 11 kg 24 g
FE-S-20-10 3,14 cm3 1,4 kg 15 g
Different volume, comparable adhesive force:
Article Volume Adhesive force Weight
R-27-16-05-N 1,8 cm3 8,3 kg 14 g
FE-R-80-40-15 56,5 cm3 9,5 kg 270 g


On the one hand, ferrite material only costs a fraction of the NdFeB material. On the other hand, a neodymium magnet has an adhesive force that is about 8 to 10 times higher than that of a comparable ferrite magnet. If you calculate the cost per kg of adhesive force, ferrite magnets are about 2 to 3 times cheaper than neodymium magnets. This is especially true for block or ring magnets and for larger quantities. (With disc magnets the price per kg of adhesive force is comparable.)
The cost advantage is only relevant, however, if weight and size do not matter, because the ferrite magnet is much heavier and larger than a neodymium magnets with the same adhesive force.

Price stability

Ferrite magnets are less subject to price fluctuations than neodymium magnets because their production does not require rare earth metals.

Temperature resistance

Ferrite magnets can be used at temperatures between -40 °C and 250 °C, while most neodymium magnets will permanently lose their magnetisation starting at 80 °C. However, temperatures below -40 °C are no problem for neodymium magnets.
Find more information under What temperatures can magnets withstand?

Outdoor use

Ferrite magnets are chemical and rust resistant, while neodymium magnets are not suitable for outdoor use (except for rubber coated neodymium magnets).
Find more information under Can I use magnets outdoors as well?


Ferrite magnets can break into pieces when you repeatedly put a strain on them. Neodymium magnets are very brittle and crack easily, which can lead to injuries of user or bystanders.
Find more information under Warning about splinters.

Loss of adhesive force

Neither ferrite nor neodymium magnets lose their magnetisation by themselves. They can only be demagnetised by external factors like heat or strong external magnetic fields.
Find more information under Does a magnet weaken over time?

Standard tolerances

Neodymium magnets generally have a tolerance of +/- 0,1 mm.
It's more complicated with ferrite magnets: Their height-related standard tolerance is +/- 0,1 mm; their width- and length-related tolerance is 2%, but at least 0,1 mm.


Smaller ferrite magnets have a rather weak magnetic field and can be shielded quite easily. The dispatch of neodymium magnets requires a lot more effort.
Find more information under Can I airfreight magnets?.
Ferrite and neodymium magnets should always be transported at a distance of at least 22 mm (we recommend 30 mm). Otherwise, neodymium magnets can demagnetise or even reverse the polarity of ferrite magnets (see table below).

Coercive field

Stronger neodymium magnets have the power to demagnetise or even reverse the polarity of ferrite magnets (see table below).
These minimum distances between the various magnet types have to be adhered to when it comes to use, storage and transport:
Ferrite Neodymium AlNiCo Sheets and tapes
Ferrite - 22 mm 0 mm 0 mm
Neodymium 22 mm - 43 mm 30 mm
AlNiCo 0 mm 43 mm - 0 mm
Sheets and tapes 0 mm 30 mm 0 mm -
Additional information on AlNiCo magnets as well as magnetic tapes and sheets can be found under FAQs What are neodymium, ferrite and AlNiCo magnets made of? und What do I need to know about using magnetic tapes and sheets?.


Ferrite magnets have no coating and are a dark grey colour that rubs off with friction. Consequently, ferrite magnets are not suitable for use on clothing, e. g. as name tags. The surface is uneven, and the edges could be jagged.
Neodymium magnets have an attractive silver colour thanks to the nickel-copper-nickel coating and will not stain with normal use. Therefore, they are well suited for decorative purposes and as gifts.
Staining of a ferrite magnet
Staining of a ferrite magnet
Jagged edges of a ferrite magnet
Jagged edges of a ferrite magnet

Danger for children

Strong ferrite magnets are very large, which makes it harder for children to swallow them. Neodymium magnets of the same size have a much higher magnetisation, which can lead to serious complications when swallowed (please see safety tips).

Danger for devices

Magnets can compromise electronic devices like pacemakers and hearing aids. Ferrite magnets are not as strong as neodymium magnets, which makes them safer to be near those devices. However, we still recommend a safe distance for both magnet types.