Different Types of Enamel Pin Backings

Different Types of Enamel Pin Backings

The three most common backings, also called "clutches," for enamel pins are rubber, metal/butterfly, and locking backs. In this article we explain the primary differences between them. If you're looking for some pin backs, you can check out our current selection here.

Butterfly, Military, or Metal Pin Backings

Metal Enamel Pin Backings

These are by far the most common type of pin backing, and have various names. We've seen them called butterfly backs, military backs, or just metal backs. These backings are generally secure, but can become looser as time goes on, so be sure to keep an eye on them and exchange your old backings for new ones if needed. 

Butterfly pin backings are generally available in either gold or silver. 

Rubber Pin Backings

Gold Rubber Enamel Pin Backs

Because of their comfortable texture, rubber pin backs are the most common backings for hat pins and pins that will be worn against the skin. Butterfly pin backs tend to poke the wearer, but rubber backs can hardly be felt. These backings are generally secure, but will stretch over time as they're removed and put back onto pins, so it's a good idea to exchange them for new ones if you notice they're pulling off of your pins too easily. 
Rubber pin backings are available in black, green, blue, pink, and orange.

Locking Pin Backs, a.k.a. 'Pinsurance'

Silver Locking Pin Backs

Locking pin backings, also referred to as 'button' backs, offer the best of both butterfly and rubber backs. They're made of strong metal that won't loosen over time, so these are the best form of 'pinsurance' you can buy for your most expensive and favorite pins. Locking pin backs are also very comfortable because of their smooth design, so these won't poke you like butterfly backs will.

The only downsides to these backs is that sometimes they're too difficult to get off! If you find yourself struggling to remove locking pin backs, use your shirt or a thin cloth to shield your fingers, squeeze hard, and twist the backings while you pull hard on them. If they're still not budging, check to make sure that the top disc isn't pulled out. If it is, just push down on the backing to reattach it. 

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1 comment

If things are difficult to open (locking pinbacks, jars, etc.) I like to use a rubber glove, like the ones used for washing dishes. It provides extra grip :)


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