Get the facts on “lifting power” versus “lifting height”

Manufacturers often measure a magnet’s “lifting power” in pounds of solid steel. This lifting power should really be called “holding power”.


Usually the lifting power statistics don’t indicate the distance or height the magnet can pick up the weight. It only indicates the magnet’s hold on this weight of steel without lifting it up. However, holding power is not as important as the lifting height capability of the magnetic sweeper.


When comparing magnets for picking up debris compare maximum lifting height and other features.

Permanently charged magnets
Aurora holding onto nails demonstration
pickup height
Piranha lifting power test

Holding power is a secondary concern. In fact, if you have too much holding power you may have trouble removing the debris from the sweeper.


When designing some of our models and testing them with our industry partners, we’ve actually purposely decreased the magnetic power sometimes because the holding power was too great. Our testers indicated it was too hard to clean off the magnetic sweeper.


The ideal is to have a lot of lifting power but not too much holding power that it creates a clean off problem.

For information on how we measure lifting power read this post: Measuring Magnetic Sweeper Pickup Power and Performance