One of things we hear the most from people who are just starting out collecting pins is that they had no idea how many different pin types there are. When we think of a pin, we don’t realize that there are so many options to choose from!
You may have stumbled upon the different types and wondered...which is best? We’re a fan of many pins (seriously...give us allll the pins), so what may work well for someone, may be different than what may work well for others!
The best advice we can give is to experiment with a variety of pins! You may find that you gravitate more towards interactive pins, or you may find that LED pins are more your style. Read on to check out some of the most popular options!
Hard Enamel Pins
The beauty of hard enamel pins is that they allow for a wide range of colors and are super durable. They are made with die-struck metal by being heated and then polished, to ensure a smooth surface. They’re finished by either being hand painted or hand filled.
Soft Enamel Pins
Soft enamel pins also allow for a wide range of colors, just like hard enamel pins. The main difference between soft enamel pins and hard enamel pins is that the lines of metal on soft enamel pins are slightly raised, which gives the pins a different texture. You may also hear soft enamel pins being referred to as “embossed pins”.
These pins can be so much fun, because not only do they provide a great way to interact with your pin, but they can be reflective and expressive of your personality! They can serve as great reminders and inspiration on a daily basis, too. Spinner pins are some of the most popular pins that we carry, and are always a hit (check out this Gray Muse pin for an example)!
Unlike hard and soft enamel pins, cloisonné pins are limited in the colors they come in (although they do feature very vivid colors). They are jewelry-like pins that are made with die-struck metal and glass enamel by being baked in a kiln at an extremely high temperature prior to being polished and finished.
Die Struck Pins
The only difference between die struck pins and cloisonné, hard enamel, and soft enamel pins, is that die struck pins do not have any color. They are just metal pins. They can come in many interesting shapes and designs.
Screen Printed Pins
Screen printed pins often have many small and intricate details that can’t be produced by any of the other methods listed above, because there isn’t a need to separate the colors by the metals. There is also a wider range of colors offered, and you can typically use gradients and even photos with screen printed pins.
LED pins (which can also be referred to as blinker pins) light up when activated, so they definitely provide a bright experience. Some even blink, so they’re sure to be an attention grabber. Unlike other pins, the one downside to LED pins is that they require frequent replacement of batteries.
You may have seen these pins before but didn’t know the name for them. Similar to a hologram, these pins have two or more pictures that can change when tilted in a certain direction, providing hidden messages, photos, or objects!
Sliding pins are made up of two or three pieces that are arranged in two levels to provide a 3D effect. A lot of times you will find sliding pins to reflect different activities such as sewing on a sewing machine, playing a guitar, a picture coming out of a camera, etc.
You’ve probably seen the ever popular bobbleheads, but have you ever seen a bobble pin? Similar to a bobblehead, a bobble pin has a piece that moves freely on the pin creating a wobbling effect.
Dangler pins have a piece or a component of the pin that is attached to the main pin which allows it to hang freely below the original pin. It’s essentially a pin that has a piece dangling from it
Did you know there were this many different pin types? If not, maybe it will inspire you to explore some of the ones you’ve been missing! Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!