Here we put a checkboard pattern around multiple sets of magnets so you can see how even and consistent the coating is. Functionally, a smoother coating will last longer, than a gritty surface with uneven ridges.

Coating Behind the Scenes Photo
  • Zen Magnets are A+ quality magnets. The highest possible quality coatings that exist on magnet spheres. Each one is a mirror-ball that reflect the entire environment around them them. They are smooth to the touch, and last the longest.
  • Nickel Neoballs are B quality magnets. Far above average and a great value. Equal or better than Buckyballs used to be in 2013, back before they shut down. The Buckyball trademark is now abandoned and poached on by Chinese sellers that sell Generics. 
  • Chinese 5mm Generics are the most common magnet spheres on the internet. D+ Average if we were to give them a grade. Pretty much what you find if you search "buckyballs" on google or aliexpress. Also what #nanodots look like SOMETIMES.


Zen vs Neoball vs Generics


Geometric tolerance affects consistency and repeat-ability of use. Consistently sized magnets will lie flatter in sheets, and be stronger when forming frames. The rigid stick test is the easiest way to visually compare tolerance of magnet spheres. To try the rigid stick test yourself, follow these instructions.

Rigid Stick Photoshoot
  • Zen Magnets are the best that is available at the moment, but not always available. Frequent shortages. The unmatched tolerance is why the epic magnet sphere builds are nearly always built with Zen Magnets.
  • Nickel Neoballs are pretty good! You'll be able to do most things with them. Unless you're spending a lot of time with them, or building something large, or are forming a lattice, Ni Neoballs are probably good enough.
  • Chinese Generics are wobbly and the side near the camera leans down despite being placed in the same position as the others. Find them on Amazon, eBay, Aliexpress, or many other places.
Zen vs Neoball vs Generic rigidness