6. Performance Tool Lighted Magnetic Pickup Tool (PN: W9102 v2)
Initially, we thought including a light on a magnetic pickup would be a clever and useful idea. Unfortunately, we found that this was not necessarily the case, since the addition of an LED in the center of the head limits the effectiveness of the tool's magnet. The Performance Tool pickup was the best of the three tools we tested with lights, since it was at least able to lift our 2½-pound weight. In addition, we can see the LED light coming in handy when hunting for a bolt in the dark. Either way, this tool is a fair compromise between a small flashlight and a magnet but doesn't excel at either function.
7. OEM 2.4-pound Heavy-Duty Magnetic Pickup Tool (PN: 25466)
It's interesting that OEM markets this pickup tool as "heavy duty," since its 2.4-pound claimed lifting strength is anything but. Despite this, we found the claimed strength to be accurate, lifting a 2½-pound weight in our real-world test. This tool's construction feels cheap, with a rough raised seam running around the handle from when the plastic was cast. Otherwise, this pickup was simply adequate, with an average price and no outstanding features. Not a bad choice, but not nearly the best.
8. The Magnet Source 5-pound Telescoping Pickup Magnet with Locking Hinge (PN: 07227)
To be honest, we expected more from a company called “The Magnet Source.” Although it claimed on the packaging to lift 5 pounds, we couldn't lift our 1¾-pound weight. The magnet is strong enough for picking up a stray bolt or two, but not much else. It's also too long to carry in your pocket, at over a foot long fully retracted, and the swiveling head won't stay straight. At $13.10, you'd be much better off with the similarly priced Craftsman 10-pound or much less expensive Harbor Freight.
9. OEM 5-pound Lighted Magnetic Pickup (PN: 25934)
The OEM 5-pound pickup tool looks nothing like its competitors, with a screwdriver-style textured handle and flexible extension. We had high expectations for this model, but its overly weak magnet prevented lifting even our lightest weight. Again, the LED light is useful, but less so than a cheap pocket flashlight, and it prevents the magnet from being very strong. The flexible shaft is also loose in the handle, and feels like it could come apart at any minute. We applaud the makers for thinking outside the box, but in this case, it just didn't work out.
10. General 2-pound Telescoping Mini-Lite and Magnetic Pickup (PN: 582)
The General 2-pound pickup combines a swiveling extension, LED light, and small magnet into one tool. This tool's compact size makes it a better flashlight than anything else, as we found the magnet too weak to lift our 1¾-pound weight. Also, the thin extension immediately bent and buckled when we tried to compress it, finding it a place in the trash can immediately after our test. For $9.96, there are simply much better options out there for less money.
11. Snap-on Blue Point 2-pound Hinged Head Magnetic Pickup Tool (PN: PT28E)
Snap-on placed last in a tool test. Yes, you read that right. We never thought we'd see the day either, but this magnetic pickup was not up to par. The design is nearly identical to the Magnet Source pickup, but with a rubberized head. The magnet is rated for 2 pounds, but feels even weaker and would not budge our 1¾-pound weight. Add that to its bulky size, flimsy swivel, and high price tag, and it's clear why Snap-on was left behind in this test. It's worth mentioning that Snap-on and Craftsman are the only made-in-USA pickup tools we found, but between the two, the Craftsman is clearly superior.