Truthfully, most of us know the bare minimum about magnetic poles. We know there are two of them — North and South poles — and that opposites attract. Some of us may even know that this is referred to as magnetic dipole (di meaning two). But what are magnetic poles really? 

Simply put, magnetics poles are the surfaces from which invisible magnetic field lines of magnetic flux emit and connect -- leaving the North end of a magnet to enter the South end. If you’re going to be using magnets regularly, especially as an effort to streamline, organize, or otherwise improve your business, continue reading to understand more about poles. 

What to Know About Poles

If you take a bar magnet and break it in two, each piece will have a North and South pole. This is true no matter how many times you break the magnet. No evidence has been found that you could ever break it down to a point where you would be left with a single pole (monopole). 

The Earth, like any magnet, also has its North and South pole. A magnet’s North pole will point to the Earth’s geographical North pole, which, because of the nature of “opposites attract,” means that Earth’s physical North pole is magnetic South.

How Can You Tell Which Pole is Which?

The best way to determine the North pole of your magnet is to place it near to a compass. The point of the needle, which as we said above, points to the Earth’s physical North pole, would point to the South pole of the magnet. Alternatively, you could use a pole finding tool like our electronic pole identifier or our pole searcher/finder. 

Fortunately, if you'd like to make things easy for yourself, a portion of our products already have marked poles, like our ¾” x ⅛” disc - black epoxy - North pole marked neodymium disc.  If you ever spot and settle on an Apex product that doesn’t have marked poles, you can fill out a custom order form, and we will make that happen!

If you’re a longtime reader, you already know we love to talk about magnets, but if you’re new here, remember: you can reach us at any time to discuss the ins and outs of magnet use, and how to implement them to improve your business.