A magnet will not attract all metal objects. Only a few metals, such as iron, cobalt, and nickel, are attracted by magnets or can be made into permanent magnets. Every atom contains electrons. Electrons have magnetic properties. In the atoms of most elements, the magnetic properties of the electrons cancel out. But in the atoms of magnetic materials, these magnetic properties do not cancel out and each atom behaves like a small magnet with its own magnetic field and north and south poles. Even though these atoms have their own magnetic fields, objects made from these metals are not always magnets.