Magnetic Sweepers: Everything You Need to Know

Magnetic sweeper by Monroe

Swarf is a byproduct of many manufacturing processes. Whether you’re cutting, sanding, bending or otherwise manipulating a piece of metal, you may produce chips of leftover metal. Known as swarf, they can litter the floors of your workplace. Investing in a magnet sweeper, however, will allow you to control swarf while maintaining a cleaner workplace in the process.

What Is a Magnetic Sweeper?

A magnetic sweeper is a tool that’s designed to collect swarf and other forms of metal debris from the floor. They look like push brooms. Rather than a bristle-based brush on the bottom, though, magnetic sweepers feature a magnet.

Magnetic Sweeper Benefits

Magnetic sweepers leverage the properties of a permanent magnet — or an electromagnet in some cases — to create a strong magnetic field. This magnetic field will automatically attract ferromagnetic objects, such as swarf.

Any swarf, chips or other pieces of ferromagnetic debris will be attracted to the magnetic sweeper. Most magnetic sweepers feature a built-in collection tray. As you run the magnetic sweeper over the floors in your workplace, it will collect the ferromagnetic objects in this tray.

Magnetic sweepers are ergonomic. Without them, you may have to walk around your workplace while manually picking up the swarf by hand. Not only is this tedious; it can take a toll on your back and body. A magnetic sweeper offers a solution. You just need to push it across the floors in your workplace to pick up the swarf.

What to Look for When Choosing a Magnetic Sweeper

If you’re planning to use it in your workplace, you should choose a magnetic sweeper with an appropriate ground clearance. Ground clearance represents the distance from the bottom of the magnet to the surface of the floor. With little or no clearance, you won’t be able to pick up many objects. A 2-inch ground clearance, conversely, will allow you to pick up small and even medium-sized ferromagnetic objects.

Something else to consider when choosing a magnetic sweeper is the wheels. If the wheels are hard or poorly designed, they may leave behind scratches on the floors. Alternatively, you may struggle to push the magnetic sweeper. Choose a magnetic sweeper with smooth, high-quality wheels.

A hand-operated release mechanism is a convenient feature in magnetic sweepers. It eliminates the need for bending your back to access the collection tray. You can release the swarf and other ferromagnetic objects from the magnet by pulling the handle.

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