14+Types Enamel Pins Back | Buying Guide

Written by Robin Brown on March 21, 2021
Enamel Pin backs allow you to attach your enamel pin to your desired surface. Most of us are familiar with the traditional butterfly clutch.Don’t feel constrained by the butterfly clutch. There are many more back options to choose from.In this post, I will go over all the possible enamel pin back options and when you should use them.Let’s get started.

1.  Military or Butterfly Clutch

Military or Butterfly Clutch image
The military clutch is also known as the butterfly clutch, is the standard backing used on most pins.This backing style is simple to use and comes in the same plating option as the pin.

The pin is moderately secure and lightweight. The back is placed on the needle after it’s threaded through the fabric. The backing will keep the pin in place and prevent it from falling off.

2. PVC Clutch

PVC Clutch image
PVC clutches work like military clutches. Place them on the needle after you thread the needle, and it will keep your pin in place.

PVC clutches are lights, cheaper, and more durable than military clutches.One downside is that they are not as stylish or professional as military clutches.

3. Deluxe Clutch

Deluxe Clutch image
The deluxe clutch is very similar to the PVC and military clutch, except that it has a premium finish.
It comes with a polished, flathead finish. These look identical to the flathead locking back except it does not have a locking mechanism.

The finish matches the pin and is made for comfort to be worn for long periods.

4. Magnet Clutch

Magnet Clutch image
The magnet clutch is unique because it’s one of the few no puncture pin-backs. This makes it very popular because people want to avoid damaging the fabric that they are using.

The downside of the magnet clutch is that you can’t use it with thick fabrics.

5. Bar Magnet

Bar Magnet image
The bar magnet works like the standard magnet clutch, except there are two magnets. This is commonly used with larger horizontal pins.

Two magnets are placed on each side of the pin to keep it in place.

6.  Ball Locking Clutch

Ball Locking Clutch image
The ball locking backing is a premium backing that is often used on higher-end pins.

After inserting the pin into the needle, you will hear a click that indicates it’s locked in. To remove it, you must pull the ball at the top to unlock it and remove it.

The benefit of this pin is that it’s very secure and stylish. The downside is that it’s expensive and hard to use.

7. Flathead Locking Clutch

Flathead Locking Clutch image
The flathead locking clutch works exactly like the ball locking system. The main difference is that instead of a ball, the unlocking mechanism is a flat head.

It is a more secure option, but it is expensive and hard to use, like the ball locking clutch.

8. Button Clutch

The button clutch works like the butterfly clutch. The one exception is that the needle locks in place. To release the needle, you need to push the button down.

This is a more professional and high-class button clutch than the military clutch.

9. Safety Pin Clutch

Safety Pin Clutch image
This clutch uses a traditional safety pin to attach your pins. This is easy to use but is more expensive than other clutch options.

10. Screw Back

Screw Back image
The screw-back is one of the more secure ways of attaching pins to the fabric.

There is a hole at the center of the clutch. The needle is threaded, so to attach the back, you need to screw it in.

This backing option is not common, and sometimes hard to find a manufacturer that offers this option.

11. Bent Legs Clutch

The bent leg backing is a simple design that has two straight pins protruding out of the pin. The pins puncture the fabric, and when they are bent to secure the pin in place.

The disadvantage of this pin is that it causes two puncture marks on the fabric. Also, over time the legs can wear down and break off.

12. Stem Style or Stick Clutch

Stem Style or Stick Clutch image
The stem clutch has a very long pin that is inserted into the fabric vertically.

This pin requires two entry points. Its inserted into the front of the fabric and also exits the front. The cap is then added to secure the pin.

This style of backing is often worn by males who are dressed in a professional setting.

This is backing adds a unique style to a pin and also an extra level of security. The downside is that it is very large and requires two punctures to secure.

13. Tie Bar

Tie-bar image
The tie bar backing is also known as a tie clip. A tie bar backing is a traditional tie clip with a pin fastened to the front.

These are not common and are typically made for males that wear ties often.

14. Tie Tack

Tie Tack image
The tie tack backing is commonly used on ties, but it’s more versatile than a tie bar.

This style backing works precisely like a military clutch. The exception is that the tie tack has a short chain with a bar at the end.

15. Backings /Accessories

There are several other pin-baking options, but they also double as accessories.
The most common type of accessory backing is the keyring and keychain. As the name suggests, these are pins that are attached to a keyring and keychain.

These are popular because of the practicality and ease of use.

Other accessory backing options include keyfob, zipper pull, and thumbscrew keychains.

16. What are Locking Pin Backs?

Locking pin backs are pins that have a locking mechanism. Once the needle is inserted into the back, it will lock in place. The back can not be removed until the spring-loaded lock is released.

To release locking pin backs, you typically need to pull the top while also pushing the pin forward.

These are the most secure type of pin backing options on the market. They are also commonly on the expensive side and typically have matching plating at the pin.

17. Which is better: metal or rubber backings?

Your choice between metal or rubber backing depends on where the pin will be used and your budget.

Metal backings are more professional and stylish than rubber backings. They also are more secure because they can have internal mechanisms. Rubber backings are cheaper and more durable than metal backings, but they are less secure.

Metal backings offer more versatility and selections compared to rubber backings. There are only one or two rubber backings. In contrast, there are countless metal backings from the basic military, accessory backings, long pin backings, and much more.

18. Which pin back should I use?

The pin back you use will depend on the use of the pin and your budget.Rubber backs are ideal if you have a lower budget. They are also better for pins that will be placed in snug areas.

For example, if you place a pin on shoulder straps, hats, or around the waistband, you want to use rubber backings. Rubber backings are flexible and offer more comfort than metal backings.

Locking pins are ideal if you have a larger budget. They are also preferred for pins placed on items that move a lot or receive plenty of use.

The locking pins will give you the security to ensure the pin does not fall off.Magnet backings are a popular option for their ease of use and moderate prices.

They are also advertised for their comfort. Since they are flat and thin, they perform well in tight and confined areas.

Magnet backings are also ideal if you will be using your pins on expensive fabrics. They allow you to secure your pin without puncturing the material.


Don’t waste any more time trying to determine which backing you should use. In this post, you have everything you need to choose which backing best fits your needs. Now that you know what you need, don’t wait any longer to order your enamel pins.
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Article written by Robin Brown
Robin Brown is part of the content team at Vivipins where he develops resources to help customers start and grow their own businesses.
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