Lifting magnets may be electro or permanent, and may be installed and used as single magnets or as arrangements of multiple magnets. In all of these cases, making an optimum selection of lifting magnet components to handle steel plate and shapes requires a thorough knowledge of the application.

The factors that dominate the lifting magnet selection for any specific applications are:
1. Weight, shape, and contact area of the objects to be lifted.
2. Surface conditions of load and magnet.
3. Stiffness of load.
4. Range of sizes and shapes to be lifted.
5. Frequency of occurrence of the different sizes and shapes.
6. Adjustment of lifting power for less than full magnet face utilization.
7. Temperature of load material.
8. Ambient temperature.

Consideration of each of these factors will lead to identification of the magnet type, shape, number, and face contour best suited for economy, efficiency, and safety.

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