How to Make a Round Electromagnet

by Karen Silvestri
Karen Y. Silvestri, Mark A. Hicks

Electromagnets are advantageous over permanent magnets in that they can be turned on and off at will. Electromagnets are relatively easy to build if you follow these steps.

Step 1

Take the circular piece of metal (magnet) and wind copper wire around it. The windings should be tight and close together.

Step 2

Connect one end of the covered copper wound wire to the output side of a switch.

Step 3

Connect the negative (black) battery terminal to the negative input terminal on the switch.

Step 4

Connect the positive battery terminal to the end of the wound wire on the magnet.

Step 5

Check that the circuit is complete, beginning at the negative terminal of the battery to the input side of the switch, then from the output side of the switch to the magnet windings, and then back to the positive terminal of the battery.

Turn the switch on and the magnet will work.


  • Magnet windings can be covered with tape.
  • Circular magnet can be placed in a case for ease of use.
  • Wiring can be encased in purpose made covers.

Photo Credits

  • Karen Y. Silvestri, Mark A. Hicks

About the Author

Karen Silvestri is an English professor at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth, Fla., and has been writing professionally since 1997. She also leads workshops on memoir writing, journaling, creative writing and poetry in her community and online. Silvestri holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, and studied business and education at the graduate level.

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