Magnets and electromagnets have only one thing in common, that is, they are both magnetic and able to attract iron. However, there are many differences between them, and I think discussing the differences between them is more telling.
The different states of the magnetic poles.
Magnets have N poles and S poles, which can be easily distinguished with a compass. Electromagnets are divided into DC and AC.
Like permanent magnets, DC electromagnets have a fixed magnetic field and stable poles. The alternating current produces an alternating magnetic field, and the N pole and S pole are constantly changing.
The strength of the magnetic field varies.
Among the permanent magnets, the strongest magnetic force belongs to the artificial permanent magnet. Natural magnets are much weaker. Magnets and electromagnets manufacturers tell that the magnetic force of artificial magnets is through magnetization, which belongs to residual magnetism. So it will never reach the electromagnetic level. Of course, there are also deep-seated reasons for the material itself.
The volume is different.
In addition to the limitations of manufacturing technology, permanent magnets can and don't need to be too large. It is conceivable that there will be many insurmountable difficulties in transportation and use of a strong magnet of one cubic meter. The size and shape of the electromagnet can be adjusted according to actual needs, which is no different from the handling and installation of ordinary equipment without electricity.
The controllability of the magnetic field strength is different.
Manufacturers of Magnets and electromagnets tell the electromagnet that the magnitude of the magnetic force can be controlled by adjusting the excitation current as needed. However, the magnetic field strength of permanent magnets is fixed and difficult to adjust. Of course, some fine-tuning can also be done through magnetic short circuit or magnetic shielding, but the effect is limited and the operation is inconvenient.
The purpose of permanent magnets is mainly miniaturization, and electromagnetics are mainly used for large motors or equipment. Because the permanent magnet itself is magnetic, the volume can be made very small. For example, the rotor in a quartz clock, the magnetic buckle on a backpack and a handbag, and the small motor used for vibration in a mobile phone. Magnets and electromagnets manufacturers tell you that electromagnetic cannot be used in these places due to the limitation of volume and usage. Electromagnets are used, because the magnetic field strength of the excitation coil is too small to meet the standard. The large motors and magnets used for lifting in steel mills must use electromagnetics, otherwise the magnetic field strength will not meet the requirements, resulting in failure to work.