10 Creative Ways to Re-Purpose Hard Drive Magnets

I come across a lot of dead hard drives as an IT Director, I like magnets, and I’ve found a lot of creative ways you can re-purpose a hard drive magnet.  They won’t be around for long since everything is switching over to solid state, but for now there’s still magnetic data hard disks going bad-so let’s re-use those magnets inside them instead of throwing them in a landfill.  I wrote a tutorial on how to remove the magnets from a hard drive, which you can read here:

Since I have a lot of magnets I’ve found many alternative uses for them.  I’m going to share 10 great ways you can re-use a hard drive magnet.

10 Creative Ways to Re-Purpose Hard Drive Magnets

1. Find a wall stud.

Don’t buy a stud finder–make your own.  Wrap your magnet in electrical tape or it will leave grey marks on your wall.  What you are really doing is locating the screws that were used to attach the drywall to the studs.  If you find a screw head then you know there’s a stud directly behind it!  These magnets are so strong that they will stick to the screw head through the drywall mud.  I have used my hard drive magnets to hang shelving on the wall, to hang up my table saw on the wall…

Use hard drive magnets wrapped in electrical tape to find the location of wall studs

2. Store paperclips in close reach.

When I need one, I need one!  I put the magnet in packing tape and then tape it to the top cover of my cubical wall:

Use old Hard Drive magnets for paperclip storage

3. Keep your stapler handy.

Beware of cubicle surfers because they like to lean over your cubicle and knock off your stapler (so don’t put it right above your laptop).

Tape a hard drive magnet to the bottom of your stapler to hang it up at an arm’s reach

Here’s how I have the magnet attached to the bottom, with packing tape around the rubber cover on the bottom of the stapler:

Here’s how I taped the magnet to the bottom of my stapler–around the rubber cover on the bottom

4. Store your stapler remover.

Don’t break a nail, use a staple remover and now you can have one handy at your desk.  Since the stapler remover is made out of steel you can just tape the magnet up and stick the stapler remover to it:

Store your staple remover with a magnet

5. Add a mailbox latch.

Our postal worker would shove our mail in the outside box and the back door would pop open sometimes and the mail would dump out in our yard, behind the locked gate.

Create a magnetic latch on your mailbox with an old hard drive magnet

I solved this problem of the back door opening up with a hard drive magnet.  At first I wrapped it in electrical tape, but because of the summer heat it gets all sticky.  To solve this problem I just slipped the magnet inside a piece of heat-shrink tubing, which is then held in place by the magnet.  DO NOT shrink the tubing on the magnet with your heat gun because the heat you apply to the magnet will cause the magnet to loose its magnetism.  If you don’t wrap the magnet in something it is almost impossible to open (which my wife wouldn’t appreciate).  And yes, I’ve thought about putting a lock on it but the lock Home Depot had didn’t fit right and I didn’t care about locking it that much, I just wanted it to stay shut.

Hard drive magnet in a piece of heat shrink tubing

10 Creative Ways to Re-Purpose Hard Drive Magnets

Don’t get locked out again and DO NOT buy a key holder–make your own with a recycled hard drive magnet!

Hide a key under your car with a recycled hard drive magnet

Tape the magnet to the key with electrical tape:

Tape the magnet to the key with electrical tape

Attach it somewhere discretely, and no, this is not where I keep my key:

Key attached to bottom of car with a hard drive magnet

7. Retrieve something metal you dropped in a hard to reach place.

I’ve dropped a screw driver behind my gas oven and I didn’t want to move out the refrigerator just to get it–time for magnets on a string!  Be careful because the magnet sticks to stoves too 🙂

Retrieving a dropped screw driver in a tight place with a recovered hard drive magnet taped to a cord

8. Find a tiny screw you dropped in the carpet.

Lost an eye glass frame screw?  You can find it with a powerful recycled hard drive magnet!

Find a dropped screw with a re-purposed hard drive magnet

Found it, with a magnet:

Easily found with a magnet!

9. Super powerful refrigerator magnet.

If you are one of those people whose kid’s artwork stacks up on their refrigerator, you can hold it ALL with one of these.  Be careful to keep these up out of reach of children because they are not at all toys.

Use a recovered hard drive magnet as a super powerful refrigerator magnet–hold ALL your kid’s artwork

10. Clean up spilled messes.

I’ve used hard drive magnets to clean up a box of spilled penny nails.  They work great to clean up any mess of metallic parts that are spread out over an area when you don’t want to pick them up one at a time:

Clean up spilled metal messes with recycled HD magnets
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