Price and appearance are two of the things you’ll look at when deciding whether to buy a magnetic pin or a more traditional pin backing The main difference. There are some other considerations about how magnetic backing works that don’t apply to other alternatives. This pin article details Magnets vs. Pin Backings for Enamel Pins to decide which is best for displaying your pins to the world. Read on to learn more.
1. What you need to know about magnetic backing
Before choosing a magnetic backing for your pins, here are some things you need to know about magnetic backings. These can help you decide if they are right for you and your plans for accessories.
(Another related post: Materials of Different Types Enamel Pins – A Complete Guide)
1) Wear it carefully
Strong magnets are used along with the pins to make it as difficult as possible to separate during everyday activities. However, this means they have the potential to affect small electrical devices such as pacemakers. If your loved one plans to wear a pin and they have a pacemaker or similar device, make sure the pin is not magnetic.
Magnetic pins can also harm young children and pets, so you should be careful to keep them within easy reach. If left unnoticed and untreated, it can cause serious damage to the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, we discourage people who wear magnetic pins around children and pets (e.g., teachers, caregivers, veterinary assistants, etc.).
2) Professional appearance
Magnetic strips, favored by companies for making name tags and other uniform pins, lay the fabric completely flat. It also won’t damage it by creating holes, which makes it perfect for suits or expensive outfits you have to wear. This is best suited for office jobs rather than retail professionals, who will have more movement that could cause the magnets to fall off.
3) Magnets are expensive
If you get magnetic backing, the price goes up and that’s because the materials these magnets are made of are very expensive. They need to be strong enough for the bond to last throughout the day with regular movement, which means it needs to be very strong. Adding a magnetic back to your pins will add $0.50 to over $3.00 to the overall price, depending on where you buy it from and how many pins you purchase.
4) Easier for people with limited mobility
For people with dexterity issues, magnetic backing is much easier because there are no tiny buttons to mess with. There are many types of magnetic clasps, but if you or the person you’re buying them for has trouble moving their fingers, a single bar magnet is best. The surface area is larger, which makes operation easier.
5) It can be evicted
Magnetic backing is best for pins that are not associated with a lot of sweeping or sudden movements (e.g. lifting, pulling, quick movements, etc.). While the pin backing will stay in place all day long, if left alone, it is relatively easy to break the magnetic connection between the pin and the backing if it is pried loose by thicker material or brushed against something that pulls on the pin.
6）Bulk ordering confusion
If you order a large quantity of pins with magnetic backings, be prepared as they can be difficult to untie. The front and back sides of the 100+ magnetized strips will stick to each other, making it difficult to separate them. Bulk magnetic pins are not as straightforward to store long-term as clutch pins.
(Another related post: Enamel Pin Backs: All You Need to Know)
2. Other types of pin backing
In addition to magnetic, there are at least a dozen popular types of pin backing, each with its own drawbacks and advantages. Rather than discuss each one individually, we’ll break down the top three most popular ones. This should give you a better idea of which is more useful in a particular situation.
1) Safety pin
This is most commonly seen on button pins, but you can also see them on enamel pins with employee names and team pins at retailers. This clasp is basically a safety pin attachment, ideal for thicker materials and environments that require vigorous movement. While they can be untied, they pass through the fabric twice, making it harder for them to come off accidentally or unnoticed.
Clutches are the most commonly used and almost all enamel lapel pins you see in the mall or online have a basic clutch back. Some are lockable, but those are for more expensive items to prevent them from being lost. Clutch backings can be made of metal, hard plastic, or rubber, and depending on the size of the pin, they can have one or two prongs.
Pins with a locking mechanism within the backing are mostly found on high-end jewelry. They are small, delicate, and designed to stay in place until the lock is permanently released. This makes it perfect for matching military uniforms or fashion items with specific outfits.
(Another related post: Enamel Pin Back Buying Guide)
3. Which one is more suitable for your pins?
Magnetic backing is great for looking stylish and professional, while pin backing is more secure if you plan on doing a lot of strenuous exercise.
How to display pins with magnetic or other backings? Many factors determine the appearance of the pins. Supporting choice is one of them. The clutch and safety pin backing may have an unexpected bunching effect on the fabric or fall less straight depending on where it’s secured, but the magnetic pins adjust easily.
How your pins appear on clothing and in handbags or cases will be affected by the fastening mechanism. The main materials used for pin backing are metal, magnetic, hard plastic, and rubber. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
So, which one should you use, magnetic backstitching or traditional backstitching? The answer will depend on where you are wearing them, why, how many you will order, and what materials are involved. Whether you’re making them for staff, a fundraiser, or as accessories for a stylish look, there are some factors to consider.
1)How much do you order
If you’re ordering a large quantity, keep in mind that magnetic pins are much more expensive and the cost adds up quickly, so you might be paying $700 for a few hundred pins instead of $200 or $300.
2) Materials used
Magnetic pins are reliable for most shirts or slim-fit blazers, but they don’t go well through multiple or thick layers (e.g. winter coats, some knitwear, denim, etc.) so you’ll need to choose the right material backing. Thin clothing such as silk, cotton, or polyester can keep the magnets secure.
3) Where and why do you wear them
Name tags for team building activities that require a lot of movement and do not require safety pin support because they are simple, less expensive, and A clutch or magnetic device better keeps the safety pin in place.
4) Save your activity pins
There are many types of cases that help people easily bring their passwords to events to buy, trade, and sell. They are designed primarily to keep the pins safe and easy to use, so the most popular are book formats with foam or plastic “pages” with the pins attached. Magnetic pins may require a blank page between the pins you use to prevent the magnets from sticking to each other and pulling the pins out of place.
5) Mobile storage
You can purchase hard or soft suitcases from most pin stores and retailers.
(Another related post: Enamel Pin Backing Cards：A Full Guide)
4. How to convert the back of a pin into a magnetic pin
If you find that one of your current pins might work better for you with a magnetic backing, it’s not difficult to switch. All you need is a metal cutter, some strong adhesive glue, a magnetic backing strip, and maybe a sander. Just follow these steps.
- Use a metal cutter to remove any prongs (if it’s still sticking out a little you can sand it down smoothly)
- Attach the new metal backing strip using strong glue designed for this purpose
- Wow! You’ve converted your first pin!
Display your pins: If you want to display your pins in your home or office, there are several ways to do this, including framed pin displays. Magnetic pins can be made using a box with metal strips for each row of pins, or you can use cardboard instead of heavy foam to pad the frame, which holds the magnetic elements in place.
(Another related post: How to Design Backer Cards for Custom Pins)
That’s it for this guide summarizing the differences between magnetic backing and traditional pin backing and how you can choose the right backing for your enamel pins. If you are still wondering which backing to choose, you may want to read this article before making your decision.