The Difference Between Hard and Soft Enamel Pins

If you have a collection of enamel pins, then you probably have a mixture of hard and soft enamel pins in your collection. While these pins can sometimes be similar in their appearance, they have distinct manufacturing processes. In today’s post, we’re going to take an in-depth look at the differences between these two materials.

No matter which style of pin you prefer, Overpowered has you covered! We’re currently selling hard and soft enamel Neopets pins and keychains that bring your favorite species to life. Browse our catalog and place your order today, and read on to learn more about enamel pins!

Soft Enamel

Let’s start by taking a look at soft enamel pins, as they’re the most common pin material you’ll find on the market. Soft enamel pins start with a detailed metal mold that is then filled with colored enamel. Designs with distinct color schemes require detailed metal molds that prevent the enamel colors from mixing after they’ve been added. The pin is then baked at a high temperature to harden the enamel, and sometimes an epoxy resin or other coating is applied in order to make the surface of the pin smoother.

Regardless of whether a coating is added at the end of the production process, soft enamel pins are known for being slightly bumpier than hard enamel pins due to the mold used in the process. As we’ll explain below, hard enamel pins generally have a flat, smooth texture due to standard polishing practices.

Hard Enamel

If it’s extreme durability you’re looking for, then a hard enamel pin is exactly what you need. Hard enamel pins begin with a metal mold that is filled with the design’s colors one at a time. Unlike soft enamel pins which are baked only once, the enamel in a hard enamel pin is baked at a high temperature after each color is added. Although this process adds time and money to the manufacturing costs, the end product is a beautiful and richly colored pin. Generally speaking, hard enamel pins will be much more detailed and crisp in their appearance than soft enamel pins, but many pin enthusiasts enjoy the texture of soft enamel pins just as much as the rich details of hard enamel pins.

Because the enamel is added one step at a time in the manufacturing process, the pin has to be polished and buffed until the surface is level. You can see in this video, for instance, that the surface of our Baby Shoryu hard enamel pin is incredibly detailed but also perfectly smooth. 

While soft enamel pins are not likely to bend or snap easily, hard enamel pins are virtually indestructible. They’ll survive drops and hits, making them the perfect addition to a backpack or purse.

We hope that this post has helped you better understand the difference between hard and soft enamel pins. If you’re ready to add more pins to your collection, then be sure to pick up some of our Neopets merch! We have everything from baby Neopets pins to rubber Neopets keychains, and each order comes with virtual Neopets prize codes.

You can see a detailed review and unboxing video of our pins here, and you can read more about our keychains in this blog post. Like and subscribe to our YouTube channel today!