Please forgive me, I am new to this forum and I am not a physics guy but any help would be appreciated. I would like to know how to I increase the range or reach of my electromagnet. By range, I mean the distance from my magnet to a metal object (paper Clip). Currently, my electromagnet has to touch the paper clips to affect them, but I what it to be able to attract them by just coming close with out having to touch. What materials and techniques would be best to achieve this? Thanks for reading


  • Increase the current
  • Increase the number of turns of wire
  • Place an iron core inside the coils of wire
  • Bend the electromagnet into a horse-shoe shape

There are three main ways to improve your electromagnet without needing a physics degree to model the magnet.

1) Put more current through the magnet. You will need a higher voltage power supply to do this.
2) More loops of wire. This one is a bit tricky since the increased length also increases the resistance, so if you can't keep it compact enough this won't help very much.
3) An iron core. Wrap your wire around a piece of iron. Not all iron is equally susceptible to magnetic fields, so experimenting will definitely help here. The ideal iron would be the kind they use in transformers, but that's typically annular which is not ideal for producing exterior magnetic fields.

Other methods would involve examining the exact geometry of your windings, which I doubt you want to do.

  • $\begingroup$ Perfect! I am going to try it this weekend. Thank you $\endgroup$ – Jay The Goober Mar 10 '17 at 20:03

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