So you want to put a magnet in your finger…

edited January 2015 in Magnets
…then you've come to the right place.

Before you ask any questions, check out the Magnets category. There are number hundreds of topics there produced by people that are thinking about having the procedure done, who are trying to acquire the materials, and who have good advice for those thinking about doing it.

EDIT: New magnet threads that don't cover new ground will be closed and sunk with extreme prejudice.

You can also check out the information in the wiki. We'll be moving some of the information produced in the forum into a new FAQ there.



  • I just added such a page, with a few questions, to the wiki.  Obviously, you're all free to tinker with it, add more questions, improve my word choice, etc.

  • There should probably also be a wiki page outlining the different types of magnets (neodymium/alnico, disk/cylindrical) and sizes, with comparisons.  Maybe I'll find some time to work on that.
  • Is there a consensus on how deep below the skin the magnet should be for maximum sensitivity?  
  • rdbrdb
    edited March 2013
    I would guess that most of the nerves in the fingertips are near the surface and that you should try to tuck it right behind your skin.
  • I know this thread is rather ancient but it did occur to me to ask out of curiosity - has anyone using these fingertip magnets had any issues with airport security?
  • I haven't, myself.
  • I wonder if Neodymium Magnets are non-ferrous metals, so perhaps don't set off metal detectors?

  • NdFeB-- Neodymium+Iron+Boron.

    Definitely ferrous, it's the size of the implants (relatively small) that make the difference; airport security isn't built to detect metal artefacts that small.
  • edited July 2013
    I would much prefer an electric magnet in my finger, so I could turn it on and off, possibly connected to an external device?
    The idea of a weak magnet in my finger which takes many months to heal and loses potency over three years seems like a lot of pain (not all physical) with very little to gain.

    What are the chances of heavy metal toxicity, maybe the magnet should be covered in a form of coating also?
  • 1. You're going to have some difficulty implanting an electromagnet in your fingertip.
    2. Neodymium magnets take several thousand years to demagnetize naturally...
    3. Yes, they are very toxic. Some options for bioproof coating that have been used are parylene C, PTFE, and various silicone compounds.

    P.S. search "bottlenose" on this site; some pretty intsyeresting uses have been developed for the neodyms...
  • 4.  Even if you do manage to implant an electromagnet, you're going to have your work cut out for you in designing a practical device to turn it on.  The reason the Bottlenose works is because the neodyms are naturally magnetic, so all I have to do is aim the correct magnetic field in its general direction.
  • Ian, just to clarify - you've gone through and had no issues? Or you haven't travelled and your second response is just good technical knowledge about the detection level of airport scanners/metal detectors.
  • I've gone through with no issues, yes.
  • I also have been through airport metal detects several times and they haven't picked either my magnet or my rfid implants.

    I would be interested to see if the wands can detect them.
  • Just cause I'm curious, what's the most powerful magnet you've implanted? Any suggestions about what kind of magnets to start with?
  • @TheGreyKnight

    The strongest magnets available are N52 (neodymium).

    I recommend these:

    That parylene doesn't stand up to mechanical stress very well though. @Cassox coats them in dental resin to compensate for this, click his name and send him a pm for more details.
  • Thanks. I'll do that. Have any of you had any problems with your implants around other neodymium magnets, like hard drive magnets for example?
  • Hard drives are safe, as well as credit cards etc. :)
  • i think the question was more targeted at handling those magnets, rather then the hdd itself. (as in taking the hdd apart and playing with the magnets themselves)
  • Saal, with the magnet you linked, is it necessary to add a coating? I was under the impression from other posts that it was already coated sufficiently. 
  • Many grinders implant them as is, with the parylene. Parylene is certainly an effective bioproofing method, but it's super thin, like 20-30 microns. I'm going with @Cassox' idea and adding an additional coating because of this; even rubbing them together slightly to pull them apart has resulted in the parylene scratching off some of mine. There's also been a study (can't remember where) showing that years after implantation the body perforates the parylene as tissue bonds to it, messing up your bioproof seal. The medical it's usually used for are generally biosafe anyways (titanium) but for us that's a problem.
  • I think I would rather just implant it as is, rather than messing with resin that I have no idea how to use safely. The first one I'm implanting, I am not planning on leaving in for years anyway. I just want to get used to the sensation. 
  • @begonia

    Here's a fairly detailed explanation of how to apply the resin:

    He also sells them precoated. But to each his/her/its own :)
  • I may buy a precoated one from him. I don't have any of the materials or skills necessary to do all of the coating safely. @Cassox What are you charging for the precoated magnets?
  • $25, $20 With the $60 implant kit he also sells. I can vouch for the kit being quality merchandise, and I'll be implanting a magnet I coated myself with the resin he recommends for more feedback on that.
  • I would probably just get the magnet. I couldn't do the nerve block on myself. I would rather have pain than try to jam a needle into exactly the right spot.
  • Digital nerve blocks don't require nearly as much precision as you're thinking, and are actually quite simple (I tried it a few times following @Cassox' instructions). The implant kit he sells isn't a lido kit anyways. It contains quats for instrument sterilization, 2 different scalpels (1 disposable), hemostats, forceps, suture scissors, a sterile suture kit, 3x1mm magnet (resin coated for an extra 20, plain parylene otherwise), hairbands for tourniquets, chloraprep for incision site sanitization, antibiotic cream, alcohol wipes, sterile surgical gloves (medium), etc (might've been a few more things, I don't have my kit in front of me)
  • I have most of that already, just in my medical kit. I'm a trained first responder, and mostly trained EMT, so I keep all of that at my apartment in case something happens. I know it doesn't take that much precision, but just based on the fact that I'm doing it to myself, I would rather not deal with the issues that needles can cause. 
  • Just because you don't want to use an injector doesn't mean you have to deal with the pain. Use a topical anesthetic or a patch. I've also heard that icing the target hand for 30 minutes beforehand (With a glove on the hand) also minimizes pain and blood loss. Or, If you've got the money, use one of those fancy Iontophoresis machines to deliver the Lidocaine.
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