Factors of 42

What are the Factors of 42?

Factors are an important concept in arithmetic. Factors of 42 are simply numbers — more than two, which upon multiplication lead to the result or product of 42. In simple terms, factors are two or more numbers which upon multiplication lead to another number.  Factors are also explored in algebra. Since algebra uses variables most of the time, the factors of an algebraic term are also in the form of variables.

 The example below can explain this further:

(x2 + 5x + 5) is an algebraic term with two factors (x+5) and (x+ 1)

(x+5)(x+ 1) = x2 + 5x + 5

Factors of 42

Factors of 42 are simply numbers, more than two, which upon multiplication lead to the result or product of 42. Other important concepts for solving for factors are prime numbers, multiplication tables up to 20, negative and positive numbers.

Let's discover the factors of 42 through the division method. 

Starting from the smallest number, let's find the common factors 42 by division method:


42 ÷ 1 = 42

42 ÷ 2 = 21

42 ÷ 3 = 14

42 ÷ 4 = not divisible

42 ÷ 5 = not divisible

42 ÷ 6 = 7

42 ÷ 7 = 6

42 ÷ 8 = not divisible

42 ÷ 9 = not divisible

42 ÷ 10 = not divisible

42 ÷ 11 = not divisible

42 ÷ 12 = not divisible

42 ÷ 13 = not divisible

42 ÷ 14 = not divisible


42 ÷ 15 = not divisible


42 ÷ 16 = not divisible

42 ÷ 17 = not divisible

42 ÷ 18 = not divisible

42 ÷ 19 = not divisible

42 ÷ 20 = not divisible


Following the multiplication tables up to 20, we can easily find the factors of 42. 

The factors of 42 obtained are 42, 21, 14, 7, and 6.

In order to know more factors of 42, we can start dividing 42 with the factors that we have obtained until now. 


42 ÷ 42 = 1

42 ÷ 21 = 2

42 ÷ 14 = 3

42 ÷ 7 = 6

42 ÷ 6 = 7


With the above method, we have found 3 more new factors of 42 that are 1, 2, and 3. The common factors for 42 are 6 and 7. 

Therefore the total number of factors that 42 has is 8 and they are 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 14, 21, and 42.

Pairs of factors is another approach of finding factors of a number. The pairs of factors for 42 can be derived from the single factors that we have found above: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 14, 21, and 42.

Use the approach below in order to understand the methodology behind a pair of two factors:


1 x 42 = 42

2 x 21 = 42

3 x 14 = 42

6 x 7 = 42


From the calculation above, it can be inferred that there are 4 pairs of two factors for 42. They are (1, 42), (2 x 21), (3 x 14) and (6x 7). You can observe that these pairs of factors have been derived originally from the factors obtained through division. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you use the division approach when attempting questions on factors.

Just as there are pairs of two factors, there are also pairs of three and more factors for a product. This approach is used to find the smallest factors of 42. Similar to pairs of two factors, we will be using the factors derived from the division method: 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 14, 21, and 42.


2 x 3 x 7 = 42

1 x 2 x 21 = 42

1 x 3 x 14 = 42

1 x 6 x 7 = 42


From the calculations above, we can see that there can be a pair of three factors for 42, and they are  (2, 3, 7), (1, 2, 21), (1, 3, 14), and (1, 6, 7).

Factors can also be positive and negative numbers. This means that a positive product can also be due to the multiplication of two negative factors. By simply adding the negative sign for each factor, you can get a positive product with negative factors. It can be put as follow:


-1 x -42 = 42

-2 x -21 = 42

-3 x -14 = 42

-6 x -7 = 42


Therefore the factors for 42 can also be a pair of two factors such as (-1, -42), (-2, -21), (-3, -14) and (-6, -7). 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Greatest Factor of 42?

Answer:. Since factors are a multiplication of numbers that lead to another number, the factors are always smaller than the product. 

A number itself is its greatest factor. The biggest factor for 42 is 42 itself. The value of the factor never exceeds the product value.

2. How can we use the Prime Factorization Method to Find Factors of 42?

Answer: A prime number is a number which is the product of 1 and the number itself. 

2 is a prime number which is the product of 1 and 2 (the number itself). Remember, that 1 is not a prime number. 

Some other examples of prime numbers are 3, 5, 7, etc. These numbers do not have any other factors except for 1 and the number itself. 

Prime Factorization of 42 is 2 x 3 x 7 = 42

Factors of 42 are specifically unique in its nature. Understanding its factors through division, prime factorization is some key takeaways from this article.