Happy Sunday evening, my friends! It is finally time to finish up my Clasp Wars series!
The last type of clasp I’ll be discussing is the magnetic clasp. This is the official end of this blog series, but I might do a bonus post if I realize that I’ve forgotten any types of clasp or if I encounter a new one. If you wanna go back and read my past clasp posts, they are all collected here.
So, I used to be really crazy about magnetic clasps. I used them all the time. Nowadays, though, not so much.
There are some major pros to using magnetic clasps. The biggest one is accessibility. I couldn’t tell you how many folks have told me that they only buy pieces with magnetic clasps because arthritis has limited their mobility in their hands, or they live alone and struggle to put on bracelets single-handedly. Magnets are easy to fasten blindly behind your head for necklaces too. You really just can’t beat them for ease of use.
If you’re trying to sell your jewelry, using a magnetic clasp is a great way to expand your possible customer base. That’s largely why I used to use them. But what goes one easily can also come off easily. Magnetic bracelets are very easily lost. Mine used to get scraped off my wrist every time I put my backpack on in college. I lost more than one to a shopping cart. I’ve found them in the bottom of my car and on my kitchen floor and many I have never found at all.
There are two solutions to this. The obvious one is to get a stronger magnet. But it can be really hard to gauge the strength of a magnetic clasp if you’re purchasing online. And even if you get a super strong one, sometime a customer won’t realize that you need to slide the magnet to get it to release and end up tugging directly on the beadwork and weakening it.
You can also use a safety chain, which will catch the bracelet if the magnet fails. These can be a great way to protect your piece. Unfortunately, I just don’t like the look of them. (I also find them very ticklish to wear – I don’t like dangly bits on my wrist). They can be a great solution if they fit the aesthetic of your piece, but I’m just not crazy about the look.
Also, like many clasp options, magnets also make a bracelet unadjustable, so it’s gotta be the right length right out of the gate. And if you need an extra extension chain, that’s one more measurement to worry about.
Generally, I’ve sacrificed the extended customer base I would be able to reach if I used magnetic clasps because I just don’t feel confident in their strength. Some clasps use a combination of magnet and another type of clasp (like a folding hinge or something) and theoretically, I wouldn’t be opposed to them. But when you get more complicated, you use that ease of access that folks usually choose magnets for.
I definitely understand why folks like magnetic clasps and why some people need them. But I just don’t have the confidence to sell pieces that use them, so… I don’t!
And that is my rather lackluster conclusion to my Clasp Wars series! Did I miss anything you wanna talk about? Am I totally wrong about magnet clasps? Let me know in the comments!
I totally agree with you, Sam. I would like to add a couple of things. One, is that magnetic clasps (to my knowledge) are the only clasps that have a health caution: Do not use if you have a pacemaker. I’d also add that some of the nicer clasps have lips that really help to secure them. I don’t hesitate to use these on necklaces, since they are much less likely to encounter a metal filing cabinet or trash can, etc, and be left behind.
I didn’t even think about pacemakers-I’m surprised that they’re strong enough. But that’s definitely something to think about!
Sam, once again, you have brought many things to my attention that I didn’t know. That’s why I hang on every word you speak!
Don’t ever stop what you’re doing!
All the best,
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Oh yes, the pacemaker warning is good to put in listings. I’ve found some really strong clasps that start magnetizing at 3/4″ and they’re small -1/4″. I usually attach them with rosary style links for added security. If using a thinner wire, I either wrap 2x for loop or do a decorative coil. I agree that necklaces are the preferred piece for magnetic clasps, but I’ve sold a couple of Sterling Silver bracelets with them also. True, that they have a tendency to ‘attract to’ other metals ..
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Something else to consider when using magnetic clasps, I found that my laptop would randomly turn the screen off, at the most inconvenient times. I thought it was a problem with the laptop, but apparently not, it was the sensor that thinks the lid is being closed being confused by the magnetic clasps on the bracelets I was wearing. So now I only wear them when I’m going out and not when I’m working on my laptop.
Omg, that’s so funny! I’m glad you figured out what was causing it. I’ve never heard of that happening, but it makes sense!
Janine, in the ‘old’ beginning days of home computers, it was a no-no to set floppy discs anywhere near & that a magnet would erase anything. That was a desktop so I never put anything magnetic next to mine. Then in later years I saw kids putting their phones on the laptops, etc. and just figured the new technology had remedied that! But apparently not, thx for the heads-up :).
I know I am late to this party but find all of your posts very interesting. The one option for magnetic clasps that I have developed for myself is to add either a lobster claw or spring ring on one side and a jump ring on the other so I can convert any necklace to a magnetic clasp one instantly. I have also run across some magnetic clasps that are little bulkier than most, but it is actually a magnet with a screw lock outer casing that makes the magnet very secure.
Bought a set of clasps for my necklaces, put them on various chains and now I am in hell. All 3 chains are now bonded together!!!! HELP!!!!