If you’re using reclaimed wood in a home renovation project or in the process of repairing your already existing wood floors, there’s a chance you’ll come across a surprise (and unwelcomed) nail stuck in the wood. When working with power tools, running into a nail may result in damage to your tools or, even worse, an injury. There’s a way to check for nails in the wood prior to doing any cutting, however: rare earth magnets. Rare Earth Magnets There are two categories of magnets you are most likely to come across: rare earth magnets and non-rare earth magnets. Rare earth magnets are derived from rare earth, an ore mined predominantly in China. Neodymium and Samarium are elements both extracted from the rare earth. These elements are two of the most powerful permanent magnets on the planet, which makes them the perfect solution to finding hidden nails and other magnetic material in floors and reclaimed wood. Finding Nails In Your Floorboards and Building Material Using rare earth magnets to find nails in your floorboards and building material is a great way to ensure you won’t destroy your tools or injure yourself. You will need to purchase either a Neodymium magnet (such as a 1/2" x 1/4" x 1/4" ring magnet) or a Samarium magnet (such as a 1/2" x 1/4" x 1/8" ring magnet), as well as some fishing line. The easiest way to check for nails is to tie the magnet to a piece of fishing line, allowing the magnet to swing freely. We recommend ring magnets so it's easy to tie the string to them! When the magnet passes over a nail, it will automatically stop swinging and resist being pulled away. You can even use this method to find studs in your wall. Take your rare earth magnet and fishing line tool and slowly swing it along the wall until it stops and sticks to the wall. Be sure to mark where it sticks with a pencil so you remember where the stud is once you’re done finding all of them. For more ways to utilize magnets in your home, visit our blog to read more about magnets in the news and make sure to check out the newest products in our online catalog today.