Hard vs Soft Enamel Pins: Everything You Need to Know

enamel pins

An amazing way to make a statement about your business or brand is to wear a handsome enamel pin on your favorite jacket or shirt. Think about the last time you saw someone wearing an enamel lapel pin. Your eyes were drawn to that pin because it stood out. That’s the power of enamel pins. They demand attention because they look great and add brand value. 

Custom enamel pins can give your brand the boost it needs to succeed and beat out the competition. You can customize enamel pins anyway you like. You can showcase your logo, byline, or company name. Or you could have some fun and have custom enamel pins made with your favorite character, or design, while still making a bold statement about your brand. 

The great thing about enamel pins is that you can have your pins made into the exact shape of your desired style that represents your brand, in your way. You can use bold colors, fine lines, and immersive designs. The possibilities are endless with enamel pins. 

Now that you’re excited about enamel pins, we’re here to tell you about hard and soft enamel pins. If you’ve been looking at enamel pins, you’ve probably noticed the terms ‘hard enamel’ and ‘soft enamel’. If you’re like most people, you may not know what the difference is between hard and soft enamel pins. Here’s a rundown, so you can learn what the similarities and differences are. 

It’s All About the Finish & Feel 

The main difference between hard and soft enamel lies in the finish, feel, and texture. Hard enamel pins are super smooth looking and feeling. Soft enamel pins are significantly less smooth. 

The edges on soft metal pins are raised, making them look and feel slightly ‘bumpy’ and textured. When both of these types of pins are manufactured, the same metal molds are used, and both come out with bright, vivid colors. But the soft enamel pins tend to stand out visually. This is due to the raised metal edges that create a textured finish. 

When you run your fingers over a hard enamel pin, you’ll notice the pin has a smooth, flat finish. When you run your fingers over a soft enamel pin, you’ll feel the raised metal edges in the design that gives the pin’s finish a textured feel. 

Now that you know the main difference between hard and soft enamel pins, you may be wondering which type is right for your brand. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Continue reading to learn more about both types of pins, and what they’re both best used for. 

Hard Enamel Pins 

Hard enamel pins offer more durability than soft enamel pins, plus they’re resistant to scratching. These more rugged pins can take a beating and still look great. Hard enamel pins can be put on outdoor apparel and endure all kinds of weather and wear, and still look great later. They have long-lasting finishes. 

Many people prefer hard enamel pins over soft enamel pins because of the sleek, well-finished look they offer. They’re smooth, classy, and great-looking. Lots of different designs can be incorporated into hard enamel pins.

When a hard enamel pin is made, it’s first filled in with color. Then the enamel is added, baked, and allowed to cure. Once that process is complete, the pin goes through a grinding process to ensure it the surface has an ultra-smooth finish. Hard enamel pins go through a rather involved & long grinding and polishing process to make them stand out and get noticed. 

When finished, hard enamel pins feel smooth and look amazing. These pins are particularly striking when gold or silver finishing details are added around the edges and sides. 

Soft Enamel Pins

Since hard enamel pins have so much going for them, you may wonder how soft enamel pins can even compete. Forget that thought because soft enamel pins have lots going for them. These pins are eye-catching and bold. They turn heads because of the raised metal edges to make them stand out and get noticed. 

Both soft and hard enamel pins are baked to cure and harden the enamel. But unlike hard enamel pins that are baked at high temperatures, soft enamel pins are baked at much lower temperatures.

When soft enamel pins are made, the free-flowing enamel clings to the edges and recessed bottom. As the enamel is curing and hardening, it ends up being at a lower level than the metal borders surrounding each section of the pin. This is what gives the raised, textured look and feel too soft enamel pins. 

Once cured and hardened, soft enamel pins are plated with metal finishes like gold, silver, nickel, and copper looking finishes. Once that’s done, the enamel paint is applied and the pins are polished. 

Cost Differences Between Soft and Hard Enamel Pin

When it comes to cost, soft enamel pins are more affordable than hard enamel pins. This is because soft enamel pins don’t take nearly as much time to make as hard enamel pins. 

Since hard enamel pins go through a more labor-intensive production process, manufacturers must pass some of the production costs off to the consumer. That’s you! So if you’re on a super tight budget, you’d be better off going with soft enamel pins so you can save a few dollars. 

Even though hard enamel pins cost more than soft enamel pins, both types are affordable. In fact, when compared to other types of marketing products, enamel pins are hard to beat, price-wise. 

For example, if you were to order 1000 custom printed t-shirts using more than one color, your total cost would be well into the thousands. But if you were to order 1000 custom hard enamel pins featuring many colors, you’d only have to spend a few hundred dollars instead of thousands. 


Both hard enamel pins and soft enamel pins have lots going for them. Custom enamel pins offer an amazing opportunity to businesses of all types and sizes. They’re great looking, versatile, attention-grabbing, and affordable. 

Everybody loves enamel pins and they come in all types of shapes and sizes. You can fully customize your enamel pins so they come out exactly like you want them to. 

Whether you go with hard or soft enamel, BrandSick has the enamel pins you need to take your brand to the next level of pure awesomeness. Check out our vast assortment of custom pins and let us help you make your brand stand out and shine! 

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