Enamel pins and button pins are common pins in everyday life, but do you know what are the similarities and differences between them? In today’s guide, we’ll compare the two in terms of definition, benefits, and materials. Read on for more information.
1. Enamel Pins VS. Button Pins: Main differences
Enamel pins are stamped into metal or plastic and then painted, while button pins usually consist of an image coated with a layer of plastic, with a metal backing. The creation process differentiates these two types of pins. Fasteners also differ, as buttons usually have safety pin-like clasps, while enamel pins look more like the backs of earrings. They are all designed to be worn over clothing.
Enamel pins versus button pins: what’s the difference? The main differences are the appearance, the materials used, and the mechanism of the fixtures. They also have different uses, as enamel is generally considered sturdier and is used in items such as military badges, while button pins are more temporary as they are less durable over time.
For those who are just starting to collect or trade them, there are several differences between button pins and enamel pins beyond appearance and the materials used. The uses of each are unique, and the pros and cons of choosing one over the other vary. This article will briefly highlight the most significant differences.
(Another related post: Top 10 Hard Enamel Pins in 2023)
2. Enamel Pins VS. Button Pins: Definition
The following are the definition differences between enamel pins and button pins.
1) What is an enamel pin?
These pins are usually made from two main elements, the plated metal of your choice and the enamel paint. They are smaller than buttons, typically measuring 0.5 to 2 inches. Certain parts of the creation process and the materials used will determine the appearance of the pin (e.g. smooth, matte, dimpled, etc.).
The pinback closure mechanism can have a variety of appearances, and there can be one or more pinbacks depending on the designer’s size and preference. They were more expensive to produce than button pins and were therefore primarily used for commercial, military purposes or as fashion statement pieces.
These pins go by several names (e.g., pin button, pin back buckle, button badge), but they are all the same. They consist of a round button with a hard metal or plastic backing that has a pin or latch mechanism to secure it to clothing. The image on the front is protected by a thin layer of plastic to keep it waterproof and scratch-resistant.
Most button pins are used for temporary identification or appearance, but they are collector’s items. Depending on the level of care, these pins can last just as long as enamel pins, although they are more susceptible to damage and tend not to stay locked. Many people use buttons to express their opinions, interests, and fashion style.
(Another related post: 15 Custom Enamel Pins for Book Lovers)
3. Enamel Pins VS. Button Pins: Advantages
The following are the advantages differences between enamel pins and button pins.
1) Advantages of enamel pins
The advantages of enamel pins over other styles make them one of the most popular pin options. Here are some of the reasons why enamel pins are popular.
They can be designed in a variety of colors, patterns, and designs, and can be made into almost any shape. They can come in simple and complex designs and can be produced in both small and large batches.
Enamel pins are durable and can be made from materials that are resistant to corrosion, scratching, and bending. They can be made from a variety of metals and can be plated with other materials to increase their durability.
Enamel pins are relatively inexpensive and can be produced in small or large batches. They are also easy to design and can be made from a variety of different materials.
#4. Upgrade with hard enamel pins
Enamel can be applied in different thicknesses to create different effects. Thin enamel will produce a subtle effect, while thicker enamel will be more noticeable.
#5. Types of enamel pins
There are two main types of enamel pins, and you can tell them apart based on their appearance. Hard enamel pins have the paint flush with the die-cut surface, meaning the pin is smooth and flat, whereas soft enamel pins have thinner paint, which causes a dimpled effect between the lines of the design. Variations in texture and appearance are a consideration, but soft enamel is also much less expensive while allowing for greater color control, making it more popular with new artists.
(Another related post: How to Design Backer Cards for Custom Pins)
There are undoubtedly many unexpected benefits you can gain when you use button pins.
#1. Attract attention
Button pins are useful because they attract people’s attention. Have you ever taken a moment to examine someone’s shirt? Button pins’ beautiful prints, designs, and other features can grab the attention of anyone who may cross your path. If you want to tell the world something, you can print it on a pin.
For example, if you’re a business owner and want people to learn about your company, you could display something short, emotional, and memorable on a button pin that they can wear all the time. Badges are undoubtedly stylish badges that make it easier for people to communicate their views, ideas, and opinions.
For example, I have a client. He is a stand up pouch supplier. In order for customers to understand his company clearly and clearly, he customized a button pin from me for each employee with the company profile. And employees are required to wear them at work.
Badges If you work for a company that regularly hosts or attends events, roadshows, conferences, etc., then button badges may be helpful in identifying employees working at the event venue. Your regular colleagues may also be asked to help with larger events. So, with badges, attendees can quickly differentiate staff from other attendees, consumers, or customers. Of course, you can buy matching overalls, but that’s much more expensive than custom button pins.
#3. Events and celebrations
The coat of arms was originally developed for political campaigns and major events such as Queen Victoria’s 60th birthday. Due to their small size and affordable price, they are ideal gifts for those attending such celebrations or events. Additionally, since these activities often take place outdoors, it’s wise to invest in something lightweight and simple.
#4. Good durability
Button pins are very strong, functional, and simple. Just pin one of these to your favorite outfit! Their durability and injury resistance are other great qualities. They don’t require the same level of maintenance, including washing, as shirts. Button pins are inexpensive and last a long time. When you have a unique and personalized button pin made just for you, you will undoubtedly take advantage of its many advantages.
#5. Affordable door-to-door gifts
Like other advantages, button badges make great gifts or souvenirs for various occasions, such as weddings, birthday celebrations, annual dinners, etc. For larger orders, you can negotiate a lower price per badge. What a wonderful thing! If you’re having a baby shower, print a sweet photo of your newborn with a vibrant balloon backdrop on your favorite custom badge button pin.
#6. Fashion accessories
Button pins can be turned into fashion accessories and occasion gifts. It can be created in any way you like, including text, photos, graphics, etc., and then you can pin it to any surface you like, including your bag, hat, jeans, jacket, or shirt. You can quickly provide a different style by adding something small and simple to your usual outfit.
Becoming a fan of a celebrity, actor, musician, or popular band can be difficult because the need to accumulate items about them can be strong. Like most things that bring us joy, it costs money. So why not create your button badge collection online for a lot less than spending God knows how much on their products? You can make the most of this by saving up for their fan events or concerts.
(Another related post: How to DIY Enamel Pins at Home?)
4. Enamel Pins VS. Button Pins: material
The following are the material differences between enamel pins and button pins.
1) Enamel pin material
The image is die-cut into a metal of your choice (such as steel, aluminum, copper, brass, or iron), and then the design’s grooves are filled, usually with enamel paint. This is a beautiful, colorful accessory that can be used for many purposes.
2) Button pin material
The buttons are made from pictures printed on paper, with plastic covering the image and metal holding everything together. The locking mechanism is built into the metal backing or is easy to install, depending on the style chosen. These are cost-effective materials that usually don’t last long.
5. Enamel Pins VS. Button Pins: Usage
The following are the application differences between enamel pins and button pins.
1) Main purpose of enamel pins
This is the preferred pin type for military and professional badges because they look stylish and are more durable than button pins. Their backings are also more secure, and the materials used make them easier to withstand continued use and rough handling overall. Here are some common uses for enamel pins.
- Fashion Accessories
- Business and branding logos
- Military and civilian uniform badges
- Political affiliation and patriotism are often expressed using these pins
2) Main purpose of button pins
Due to their fragile nature, these pins are primarily used for decoration or temporary identification. They are cheaper and faster to produce than enamel pins, making them ideal for fundraisers, meetings, and other quick events. Here are some common uses for button pins.
- temporary identification card
- Political, sports, or other gatherings
- event gift bag
- Corporate or brand logo
- freedom of speech
- novelty gifts
(Another related post: How To Clean and Maintain Enamel Pins)
There are several ways to make button pins. You can buy a snap-on button case, which is one of the easiest ways to do it. To use them, you just need to follow the steps below.
- Print and prepare an image suitable for your button.
- Place the image inside a shallow bowl-shaped plastic lid with the image facing outward.
- The plastic cover should be snapped onto the metal backing.
For a more professional-looking pin, you can use a pin press. This machine can easily pump out hundreds of buttons in a short time. There are cheaper hand presses, but for best results, most manufacturers use a bench press and the following steps.
- Print and prepare the image to fit the button housing.
- There are two rounded parts, one is the top of the button and one is the back of the button. Place the backing (back side of the pins facing out) into one nest and the solid disc into the other nest.
- Place the image side out on the disc and place the clear plastic cover over it.
- Use a press to press down on the lid. There will be a clicking sound from the machine.
- Use a level to switch the press until it is over the second nest and press firmly.
- Lift level (press the release switch if your press has one) and the button is done.
(Another related post: Enamel Pin Backing Cards：A Full Guide)
The above is the difference between enamel pins and button pins summarized in this guide. I believe that after reading this article, you will have a better understanding of the two. From now on you will be able to choose the pins you want faster and better.