Reply by DannyB

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Posted on Is it safe to drill out a rare earth magnet?

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46 posts in 3416 days

#1 posted 11-26-2012 05:56 AM

The magnets should not be harder than the drill bit, if it’s a good HSS drill bit (or carbide bit)
Neodymium itself is not very hard, about 25-28 HRC, but neodymium magnets are neodymium-iron-boron. As a combination, they have a vickers hardness of between 550-650, which is ~53-57HRC.

A good HSS drill bit is at least 60 HRC.

So drilling them would be mighty painful, but should work. You’d be better off drilling them with diamond, and at that point, i would just make slightly larger holes as SCOTSMAN suggested.

Sanding them is going to be quite difficult, normally you’d grind them or something. Imagine trying to thin out a piece of HSS steel with sandpaper. It’s doable, but not something i’d want to do.

As for the heat issue, it’s actually a long and complex topic, but for neodymium, the short answer is it’s entirely possible to cause irreversible but recoverable (IE lost until remagnetized) loss in neodymium magnets using only a heat gun

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