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Is stainless steel magnetic?

There is a widespread myth about the magnetic behavior of stainless steel. Many believe that all types of stainless steel can attract a magnet. That’s not true at all. As a matter of fact, magnets work on some types of stainless steel.

There are many different types of stainless steel, but we can classify them into two major categories—austenitic and ferritic. Each classification has unique atomic arrangements. For this reason, we often encounter certain stainless steels that aren’t magnetic and others that are.

Basic stainless steels with a ferritic structure will attract a magnet, while more common austenitic types will not. Due to their structure and high iron concentrations, ferritic stainless steels are magnetic.