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  • Writer's pictureBen Nordman

MagnaLift and Power-Grip, Lift More, Lift Better, Lift with Us

Updated: May 8

lift more, lift better, lift with us

Over 70 years of lifting material has cemented MagnaLift and Power-Grip into a variety of industry's workplaces across the world. From the early days of development for both brands in the 1940s and 1950s, to the joining of the two brands under one roof with Hitachi Magna-Lock Corporation, all the way to their current home with Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc., the brands have set the tone for material lifting and continues to be a prominent name.

In the late 1940s, the Sundstrand Corporation looked to create and engineer a line of magnetic products including electromagnetic chucks, lifting magnets, and coolant separators. As they developed their line in their Ann Arbor, Michigan location, they were eventually ready to trademark the first line of Power-Grip lift magnets in 1954.

Sundstrand developed the Model 50, Model 60, and Model 80 lift battery-operated lift magnet with lifting capacity ranging from 2,000-8,000 lbs. depending on the model. Additionally, there were three different types of electric lift magnets developed, a hand lift magnet, round lift magnet, and rectangular lift magnet, coming in different sizes to fit the customer needs.

Upon the Sundstrand Corporation moving from Michigan to Illinois, the Power-Grip line of magnetic products were produced and sold out of their Belvidere, Ill. location. The products were produced until 1975, when Hitachi Magna-Lock bought the product line and moved the company back to Michigan.

With the sale and move into the Hitachi Magna-Lock product line, the Power-Grip and MagnaLift lines were joined together.

Sundstrand Power-Grip Lift Magnet Advertisement

Going back to the start of the MagnaLift line, the Hanchett Magna-Lock Corporation wanted to develop a lift magnet product line around the same time the Power-Grip line was started, in 1948.

Throughout the next 13 years, the line was engineered to perfection and sold, with the corporation filed patents for the lift magnets, and the MagnaLift product line was born. Among the line was the Magna Dyne series, a more versatile line of lift magnet. While the name was dropped years later, some of the models are still sold today.

MagnaLift Bi-Polar Lift Magnet

In 1970, the Hanchett Magna-Lock Corporation went through a name change, dropping the Hanchett and just becoming the Magna-Lock Corporation. Four years later, the Magna-Lock Corporation was sold to Hitachi Metals American Ltd. and the Hitachi Magna-Lock Corporation was born. A year later, in 1975, Hitachi Magna-Lock saw the opportunity to purchase a competitor in the Power-Grip line and did just that, with the two product lines joining into one.

Ten years passed by before Hitachi Magna-Lock looked to sell the lift magnet lines and they found their buyer in a former employee, Bruce Cocklin. Cocklin formed the Magnetic Specialties Corporation where the lift magnets were sold for 25 years.

MagnaLift Lifting Magnet

As Magnet Specialties looked to close its doors in 2010, Magna-Lock USA, Inc., owned by David Nordman, purchased the lines and became the OEM for the lift magnets. As the company grew through the next eight years, Magna-Lock USA changed its name to Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. and are the OEM for MagnaLift and Power-Grip lift magnets to this day.

magnalift power-grip logo

To avoid confusion from other brands of the company, the lines are identified as MagnaLift and Power-Grip lift magnets with the logos being updated as well.

Today, Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. remains the OEM of the material handling lines.

Today, the lift magnets are found throughout many different industries including Coil and Pipe Distributors, Heavy Construction Equipment, Manufacturing, Metal Fabrication, Primary Metals, Wind Energy, Aerospace, Marine, Rail, Automotive, Military, Bridge Builders, Highway and Street, Industrial Building, Steel Erection and Water, Sewer and Pipe. The magnets are built to last, with many magnets in use today being produced sometime within the last 70 years.

Obsidian also offers repair services for the lines lift magnets, certification, manufacturing of new lift magnets, and spare parts for MagnaLift and Power-Grip lift magnets.


MagnaLift and Power-Grip are brands owned by Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc.

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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