Last Updated on January 24, 2023 by bilal
If you are looking into making your custom enamel pins, you must have come across the terms “soft enamel pins” and “hard enamel pins” and must have wondered about the difference between soft enamel pins vs hard enamel pins. Before you finalize the design, colour scheme, and artwork, the most important decision is to select between soft vs. hard enamel pins. The main difference is that soft enamel pins have somewhat raised metal edges that provide a certain texture and offer more design flexibility. On the other hand, hard enamel pins are shiny and smooth, take longer to be manufactured, and are durable.
Soft Enamel Pins vs Hard Enamel Pins
The main difference between soft enamel pins and hard enamel pins has many dissimilarities that will be discussed in detail in this segment. So let us get started.
Soft Enamel Pins
Soft enamel pins are among the most famous types of pins, with a raised textured feel and look that appeals to many people. Enamel pins must go through baking in the oven to harden and cure the enamel.
Unlike hard enamel pins, soft enamel pins’ metal plating process is completed before the enamel is put in, meaning that the last-minute metal finishing can only be applied to soft enamel pins.
If you want your pin to be painted black, rainbow plated, or any other custom colour, you need to go for soft enamel pins.
Hard Enamel Pins
Hard enamel pins are long-lasting and scratch-resistant in comparison to soft enamel pins. Many people like hard enamel pins and choose them over soft enamel pins because they have a clean finishing look.
Various designs look great with both soft enamel pins and hard enamel pins, so the choice comes down to your own preferences. Hard enamel pins are at first filled with colours, and then the pace of the pin is ground or pushed down to make it smooth or flat.
The polishing and grinding process makes the pin incompatible with some specific metal finishing. If you like to go with standard silver or gold plating, then hard enamel pins will suit your enamel pin design.
The Production Process OF Soft Enamel Pins
Once the pins’ plating is good to go, there are three steps to complete a soft enamel pin.
Dying Or Electroplating The Plating
It is a process of putting an outer layer of any metal like silver or gold to the base of the pin that is in zin or an iron alloy. The plating process also can be done by any colour dying at this stage.
The next step involves putting the liquefied colour in the cavity of the enamel of a metal base. Enamel cavities in soft enamel pins are only partially filled. That is why you can feel and notice the raised edges of a soft enamel pin.
The pin finally faces the baking process to set the enamel in place.
The Production Process OF Hard Enamel Pins
The order and number of steps in the production of hard enamel pins are different from soft enamel pins.
Enamel Filling Process
Every hard enamel pin cavity is overfilled with enamel, unlike soft enamel pins. The enamel filling process takes place before the electroplating.
The next step of producing hard enamel pins involves baking in which the colour of the enamel is put. If the enamel pin has five different colours, it will be baked for the same number.
The enamel that has been filled and baked then goes through the polishing process to level with plating. If you observe, you can see the metal plating is smooth and soft with no raised edges.
The process of electroplating will build a thin metal veneer on the exposed zin or iron edges of the hard enamel pin. You only have a choice of gold and silver metal.
Soft vs. hard enamel pins have a difference in design flexibility, and soft enamel pins allow more room for designing than hard enamel pins. The reason is that soft enamel pins don’t have to go through polishing.
Apart from that, soft enamel pins allow any plating colour to have a huge range of options for your custom soft enamel pin. In contrast, hard enamel pins are not versatile and allow gold and silver colours for plating.
The Cost OF The Production OF Enamel Pins
Although hard enamel pins allow limited design options, quality-wise, they are the perfect enamel pins. The extra baking process of hard enamel pins takes a lot of effort, time, and manual labour. This is the main reason behind the high cost of hard enamel pins.
The extra time for production ultimately translates into an increased price for buyers and pin designers. When you are creating a luxury item, cost should not be taken as a deciding factor; instead, you should prioritize high quality.
The Elegance OF An End Product
Hard enamel pins give a unique and elegant finishing look that highlights superior quality, extra effort, and labour. Although the raised edges appeal to a soft enamel pin, you cannot experience the same sheen and smoothness of hard enamel pins. So for beauty, elegance and high-quality hard enamel pins are the best choice.