Soft enamel pins have raised metal edges that give them texture, are less expensive and offer more design flexibility. Whereas, Hard enamel pins are smooth and shiny, more durable, and take longer to make.
Soft enamel is one of the most popular types of pins having a raised and textured look and feel that many people enjoy. When creating a soft enamel pin, the enamel is laid in the recessed areas and put through ovens at a relatively low temperature. The enamel is added all at once in this backing method which results in the enamel drying all at once. This is what causes the raised feeling when you brush your finger over the soft enamel badge. This creates a dimensional look, meaning the paint is at a lower level than the metal borders surrounding each other.
When To Pick:
The only way to get an enamel badge with unique finishes such as black painted or painted any other custom color is to use soft enamel that is less scratch resistant. They are affordable especially if you order in bulk.
Hard enamel added over several times raising the enamel higher it is heated at a very high temperature to make them hard. The enamel that’s been overfilled and backed gets polished down, so it’s level with the plating. You can still see the metal plating, it’s just smooth so there are no raised edges.
When To Pick:
Hard enamel pins are much more durable and scratch-resistant due to being baked at a much higher temperature than soft enamel. Certain finishes such as gold and silver metal plating work much better on hard enamel. They look higher quality and that makes them popular.