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  • Writer's pictureSusanne Nordman

Magnetic Powerhouse

Updated: May 7

On the cusp of completing its 75th year in the manufacture and service of magnetic machine tools, we review how Magna-Lock USA magnetic workholding products have had a reach into all categories of industry within our economy.

The scope of sub-industries that Magna-Lock USA products have been present is far reaching and their customer base encompasses individual industrialists to large international businesses. This makes Magna-Lock USA recognized as one of the major electromagnetic and permanent chuck and industrial chuck control manufacturers in the world.

With a quick review of economics, the four categories of industries are classified as primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary while secondary industries are further classified as heavy and light. The manufacturing industry, or secondary category, of the economy earns the largest usage of Magna-Lock USA magnetic workholding, but we must not overlook how their products have touched all four categories.

This feat can be largely attributed to how Magna-Lock USA magnetic chucks and controllers have been requested and included with so many manufacturers’ new machines since their formal beginning in the late 1940’s.

Hanchett Manufacturing began in 1889 with the invention of the hand swage for band saws. As their company grew, they added more products. By 1940 they began experimenting with Hermeti-Coil chucks and magnetic workholding. In October of 1948, Ralph V. Hanchett and 2 of his sons-in-law formed a new company, Hanchett Magna-Lock, setting the stage for a magnetic powerhouse to take formation.

The 50’s, 60’s and 70’s brought much growth to the US magnetics industry before off shoring took off. Magna-Lock USA magnetic chucks played a large part in the success of many machines and were highly sought after by the machine manufacturer as well as the end user. The magnetic chuck is an essential component of a machine.

While searching Magna-Lock USA serial number archives, we find many prestigious machinery manufacturers that have put their trust in Magna-Lock USA magnetic workholding. The following list is just a sample of companies that have purchased Magna-Lock USA magnetic workholding for their machines.

· Boyar Schultz

· Clausing Industrial, Inc.

· Covel Manufacturing Co.



· Gallmeyer & Livingston

· Giddings & Lewis

· Hanchett Mfg.

· Harig Mfg. Corp. (Bridgeport)

· Ingersoll

· K.O. Lee


· Okamoto

· Parker Majestic

· Rockford Machine Tool Co.


· SpeedFam

· Swisher

· The Thompson Grinder Co.

While some of these manufacturers are no longer in business, many of the machines are still in use and are continually being repaired and remanufactured for longstanding use into the future. Magna-Lock USA electromagnetic chucks can be remanufactured as well and provide their owners decades of continued use with proper care and service.

You can find Magna-Lock USA magnetics on planers, mills, surface grinders, knife grinders, and lathes. They are used to hold parts and material for angular machining, milling, rotary grinding, heavy machining, flat grinding, turning, surface grinding, precision grinding and planing.

In today’s industrial market in the US, many new CNC machines, regardless of their brand, are paired with Magna-Lock USA workholding because of the availability of quick service proximity. While no one chuck design is ideal for every application, Magna-Lock USA can design and manufacture a chuck for your application including robotics.

Today, Magna-Lock USA is a brand of Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. and still partners with machinery manufacturers and end users to provide superior workholding products including magnetics and vacuum as well as accessories and remanufacturing services. Magna-Lock USA workholding is sold direct to the end user or we are happy to work with a third party of your choice. To learn more, visit

ObsidianMfg Logo

Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. is a Rockford, Ill. manufacturing company and is the OEM for Magna-Lock USA workholding, MagnaLift & Power-Grip lift magnets, and Arter Precision Grinding Machines as well providing surface grinding services. They are located at 5015 28th Ave. in Rockford, Ill. with a phone number of 815-962-8700. Check out more at


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