What metals will a magnet stick to?

Have you ever wondered why a magnet sticks to some metals but not others? It turns out that not all metals are created equal when it comes to their magnetic properties. In this blog post, we will explore which metals are attracted to magnets and why.

What makes a metal magnetic?

Before we dive into the specific metals, let's first understand what makes a metal magnetic. At the atomic level, magnetic materials have unpaired electrons that align in the same direction, creating a magnetic field. This alignment allows the metal to be attracted to a magnet.

Ferromagnetic metals

The most common metals that magnets stick to are iron, nickel, and cobalt. These metals are known as ferromagnetic metals. They have strong magnetic properties and can be magnetized themselves. This is why magnets are often made from these metals.

Paramagnetic metals

There are also metals that are attracted to magnets but are not as strongly magnetic as ferromagnetic metals. These metals are called paramagnetic metals. Examples of paramagnetic metals include aluminum, platinum, and titanium. While they are not as magnetic as ferromagnetic metals, they still exhibit some magnetic properties.

Diamagnetic metals

On the other end of the spectrum, there are metals that are actually repelled by magnets. These metals are called diamagnetic metals. Diamagnetic metals, such as copper, silver, and gold, have no unpaired electrons and therefore cannot be magnetized. When a magnet is brought close to these metals, it induces a weak magnetic field in the opposite direction, causing repulsion.

Non-magnetic metals

Finally, there are metals that are completely non-magnetic. These metals, such as lead, zinc, and tin, have no magnetic properties and are not attracted to magnets at all.


In summary, magnets stick to ferromagnetic metals like iron, nickel, and cobalt. They also have some attraction to paramagnetic metals like aluminum, platinum, and titanium. However, magnets are repelled by diamagnetic metals like copper, silver, and gold. Non-magnetic metals like lead, zinc, and tin have no magnetic properties and are not attracted to magnets. Understanding the magnetic properties of different metals can be useful in various applications, from designing magnetic materials to sorting and separating metals.

So, the next time you come across a metal object, you can now determine whether it is magnetic or not. Remember, not all metals are created equal when it comes to their magnetic properties!