Paperclip Compass

A simple and easy way to make a home-made compass using a paper clip and magnet.


paperclip compass After I made my Homemade Compass I was thinking how dangerous is to use needles to make a compass. So I decided to use something less dangerous and easy to get. (Kids: Don't play with needles).


A paperclip is the best solution. The clip can be magnetized and used to point the magnetic north.


Magnet and Paper clip Basically; you only need a magnet (Any magnet works) and a paperclip.


Here are the instructions:


magnetize clip First, you need to magnetize the clip. Just pull one side of the clip and rub it on the magnet (about forty times). You need to make a circular motion to properly magnetize the clip.


Clips Now, you can bend the clip in two ways to make your compass. (see the left image).


Hang the paperclip in plastic or wood. You can hang it on non-magnetic materials and the paper clip will align to the magnetic north.


Compass ready


That's all. Your Paperclip Compass is ready!




  • The clip points south - You need to rub the paperclip to the other side of the magnet or rub it to the opposite direction.
  • The clip doesn't point - Maybe it needs more magnetism. Rub the clip another forty times. Hang the paperclip in a way that can move freely.
  • It moves continuously to any direction. - Keep the paperclip compass in a quiet place, without wind or vibration.

    Update: Looks like I'm not the only one that had the idea to make a compass using a paper clip. I thought I had a great idea. Anyway, it's a cool project.


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