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Soft Enamel vs. Hard Enamel: Which is Better?

Soft Enamel vs. Hard Enamel

An aesthetic and imaginative way of self-expression, enamel pins have become all the rage in the past few years. Previously and predominantly used for political events or worn by staff in the sales industry, enamel pins started to gain popularity when custom designs were introduced. Now, with limitless creativity and boundless possibilities, enamel pins are not confined to one genre or niche.

With the ability to surpass categorizations, the blatantly unrestricted inspiration, artistry, and inventiveness of these enamel pins has led to the comeback of it, and with a vigor no less. And since once can use their imagination however they wish to, these enamel pins can take the form and shape of anything that comes to mind.

Due to its sudden and still rising popularity, several businesses have popped up providing the service of shaping imagination into reality for those who want it. And this is exactly where we at Elegant Patches excel as well. We provide our beloved clientele and prospective customers, with a custom enamel pin service where you can tell us what you would like to have as your pin and we create and provide it for you.

Like any other patches or PVC products, enamel pins too have subcategories that give people more diversity. There are two main kinds of enamel pins: soft enamel pins and hard enamel pins. So, what is it that might cause a person to prefer one over the other?

Soft Enamel VS Hard Enamel Pins – The creative Process

The enamel pin themselves can be made out of steel, aluminum, copper brass, or iron, however that major difference between hard and soft enamel is the process that goes into making them and the finishing. Let's talk about the creative process of both kinds.

For soft enamel pin creation, the process consists of three important parts:

Electroplating or Dying the metal

In this process, you can either have your preferred mold plated with another metal like gold, platinum, or silver, or you can have it dyed with a color of your choice.


The next step consists of pouring the colored liquified enamel into the apertures of the metallic base. In soft enamel pins, all these holes are only partially filled which is why when you run your finger through the surface, you can feel the raised metal edges.


After enameling, the final stage of the process of making soft enamel pins comprises of leaving the pins into an oven to bake.

The construction of hard enamel pins goes as follows:

Filling the Enamel

Unlike soft enamel pins, each of the holes of the metallic structure gets overfilled with the colored enamel. Moreover, for hard enamel pins, the process of enameling takes place before electroplating the metal.


After the enamel is filled, it is then placed into an oven to bake. For hard enamel, the pins are baked every time enamel is poured into any of the cavities. For example, if the colored enamel is being poured 6 times, then the pin will be baked six individual times.


The overfilled and bakes enamel then gets polished down until it is on the level with the metal. Due to the polishing, the metal edges too get smoother and since both the enamel and metal are on level, you will not feel any edged popping up.


After polishing, if a client wants, they can have the pin electroplated. However, for hard enamel pins, the choice is restricted between metals like gold or silver.

Even though the distinction between hard and soft enamel pins is not that significant, in terms of the process of creation, the end result is as disparate as night and day. And like any other object with various subcategories, people tend to prefer one over the other when it comes to enamel pins as well.

Soft enamel vs hard enamel has sparked several online debates leading to many people writing full-blown articles comparing the tinies of inconsistencies or differences between hard and soft enamel.

Soft Enamel VS Hard Enamel – The Differences

When it comes to the soft enamel from the soft enamel vs hard enamel debate, the soft enamel pin comparatively shows more design flexibility. This means that these kinds of pins can work with any kind of design be it simple or complex. In addition to that, they are more receptible to colors than hard enamel pins. If you are not electroplating the metal, you can always have it dyed to your preferred color.

Due to the fact, the soft enamel pins are not polished, the protruded metal edges give the pin a clean and textured look which, to some people, can be really aesthetically pleasing. The enamel is always going to be where it is supposed to be and not mix with other colors.

Moreover, soft enamel pins tend to be a lot cheaper comparatively, and if you want to have a smoother feel, after all, you always have the option to add a layer of epoxy the even out the texture.

Hard enamel pins tend to instigate a perception of higher value due to their weight and quality, and that is probably justified as the process of making a hard enamel pin is more complicated and time-consuming. They also tend to cost more to produce which can be one of the contributing reasons towards its expensive value.

Regardless of what anyone might say, the hard enamel pins tend to be more elegant due to the lustrous finish because of the polishing. Along with that, they also tend to be more durable. Due to the several rounds of baking, the hard enamel pins tend to be super tough. Not that soft enamel pins are soft; they just tend to be more perceptible to scratches than hard enamel pins.

Regardless of the differences between hard and soft enamels, the fact remains that both of these are widely popular and will remain so, judging from the looks of it.

In Conclusion…

The major contributing factor for the rise of popularity of enamel pins is their easy affordability of them. Along with that, these are some of the very few items that are universally considered unisex, which has also accelerated the demands of consumers. Unlike patches or PVCs, the majority of the customers use enamel pins to display a fun side portraying their sense of humor or as a form of self-expression in terms of what they identify as creativity and aesthetic.