To meet the performance requirements for some applications, including small sizes, precise optics, low power consumption and non-electrical control in the devices, an optical fiber scanner using electromagnetic actuation has been developed. This paper acquaints a compact external magnetic field actuated fiber optic scanner, in which the main structure is an optical fiber coated with nickel magnetic gel. The advantages of device architecture are: (1) the scanner dimensions are in the same scales of an optical fiber diameter, (2) optical properties and information are well preserved in the fiber, and (3) the actuation control is external and requires no electrical wiring in scanner design and zero power consumption. In this work, magnetic properties of the nickel based ferromagnetic gel were measured in order to carry out the theoretical calculations of static response and resonant frequencies. With the dynamic waveforms of input and output signals from the position sensing device at both modes of resonant frequencies, we conclude that it is significant to operate at the resonant frequencies so that the scanner requires less power to reach large displacement and the oscillating motion of the scanner is purely sinusoidal. A simple and versatile rotary gel coating technique, static and dynamic performance characterization and potential applications of the fiber scanner will be discussed. Moreover, we will also discuss the practical issues in operation and possible waveform distortion that affects imaging and display quality.