14+Types Enamel Pins Back | Buying Guide

Written by Robin Brown on March 21, 2021
Enamel pin backs serve as the means to attach your enamel pin securely to the surface of your choice. While the traditional butterfly clutch is widely recognized, there is a range of other back options available. In this post, I will provide an overview of various enamel pin back options and guide you on when to use them. Let's begin exploring these options.

1.  Military or Butterfly Clutch

Military or Butterfly Clutch image
The military clutch, also known as the butterfly clutch, is the commonly used standard backing for most pins. It is a straightforward and easy-to-use backing option that matches the plating of the pin.

This backing style offers a moderate level of security while keeping the pin lightweight. To attach the pin, the back is placed on the needle after it has been threaded through the fabric. Once in place, the backing prevents the pin from falling off and ensures it stays securely in position.

The military clutch is a popular choice due to its simplicity and effectiveness in keeping pins securely attached to various surfaces.

2. PVC Clutch

PVC Clutch image
PVC clutches function similarly to military clutches. After threading the needle, you can place the PVC clutch on it to secure your pin in place.

PVC clutches offer advantages such as being lightweight, cost-effective, and highly durable compared to military clutches. They are a practical choice for keeping your pin securely attached.

However, it's worth noting that PVC clutches may not have the same level of style or professionalism as military clutches. Depending on the aesthetic you're aiming for, you may prefer the look of military clutches for certain pins.

Ultimately, the choice between PVC clutches and military clutches depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the desired appearance of your enamel pin.

3. Deluxe Clutch

Deluxe Clutch image
The deluxe clutch is a backing option that shares similarities with both the PVC and military clutches. However, it offers a premium finish that distinguishes it from the others.

The deluxe clutch features a polished, flathead finish, which gives it a sophisticated appearance. It closely resembles the flathead locking back but does not include a locking mechanism.

This type of clutch is designed to match the overall aesthetic of the pin and provide a comfortable wearing experience, even for extended periods.

The deluxe clutch is an excellent choice if you seek a high-quality finish that complements your enamel pin while ensuring long-lasting comfort when wearing it.

4. Magnet Clutch

Magnet Clutch image
The magnet clutch stands out as a unique option among pin-backs due to its no-puncture design. This feature makes it highly popular, particularly among individuals who wish to avoid damaging the fabric they are attaching the pin to.

One of the key advantages of the magnet clutch is its ability to securely hold the pin without the need for puncturing the fabric. This is particularly beneficial for delicate or valuable materials that require extra care.

However, it's important to note that the magnet clutch may not be suitable for use with thick fabrics. The strength of the magnet may be hindered by the fabric's thickness, compromising its ability to securely hold the pin in place.

If you are wearing thinner fabrics or materials where puncturing is undesirable, the magnet clutch can provide a convenient and fabric-friendly alternative.

5. Bar Magnet

Bar Magnet image
The bar magnet clutch functions similarly to the standard magnet clutch, but with the addition of two magnets. This type of clutch is commonly used with larger horizontal pins.

To secure the pin, two magnets are positioned on each side of it. These magnets create a strong magnetic attraction, effectively holding the pin in place.

The bar magnet clutch is especially useful for larger pins that require additional support to remain securely attached. The presence of two magnets enhances the holding power and ensures the pin stays in position.

If you have larger horizontal pins that need reliable and secure fastening, the bar magnet clutch is a suitable choice to consider.

6.  Ball Locking Clutch

Ball Locking Clutch image
The ball locking backing is a premium backing option commonly utilized for higher-end pins. Its distinctive feature is a secure locking mechanism.

When inserting the pin into the needle, you will hear a satisfying click, indicating that it has been securely locked in place. To remove the pin, you need to pull the ball located at the top of the backing to unlock and release it.

The key advantage of the ball locking backing is its exceptional security and stylish appearance. It provides a reliable hold, ensuring that your pin remains securely attached.

However, it's worth noting that the ball locking backing is generally more expensive than other options and can be more challenging to use due to the locking mechanism.

If you prioritize both security and aesthetics and are willing to invest in a premium backing, the ball locking backing is an excellent choice for your enamel pin.

7. Flathead Locking Clutch

Flathead Locking Clutch image
The flathead locking clutch functions similarly to the ball locking system, with the main distinction being the shape of the unlocking mechanism. Instead of a ball, the flathead locking clutch utilizes a flat head for unlocking.

Like the ball locking clutch, the flathead locking clutch offers enhanced security for your enamel pins. Once the pin is inserted and locked into place, you can use the flat head to unlock and remove it.

However, it's important to note that both the flathead locking clutch and the ball locking clutch can be more expensive than other options. Additionally, they may require some practice to use effectively due to their specific unlocking mechanisms.

If you prioritize maximum security for your enamel pins and are willing to invest in a premium backing, the flathead locking clutch is a reliable option to consider.

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 known for its exceptional security when it comes to attaching pins to fabric.

This type of backing features a central hole where the needle is threaded. To attach the screw-back, you simply need to screw it into place.

It's worth noting that the screw-back is not as widely available as other options, and finding a manufacturer that offers this backing can sometimes be challenging.

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 features a long pin that is inserted vertically into the fabric. This type of backing requires two entry points: one at the front of the fabric and another at the front where the pin exits. To secure the pin, a cap is added.

The stem clutch is commonly worn by individuals in professional settings, particularly males. It adds a unique style to the pin and provides an extra level of security.

However, it's important to consider that the stem clutch is quite large in size and requires two punctures in the fabric to secure it properly.

Despite its unique style and added security, the stem clutch may not be suitable for all pin attachments due to its size and the requirement for two entry points.

13. Tie Bar

Tie-bar image
The tie bar backing, also referred to as a tie clip, is a traditional accessory designed specifically for securing ties. It consists of a clip with a pin fastened to the front.

This type of backing is less common compared to other enamel pin backings and is primarily intended for males who frequently wear ties. The tie bar backing adds a touch of sophistication and functionality to formal attire, keeping the tie in place and ensuring a polished look.

14. Tie Tack

Tie Tack image
The tie tack backing is a versatile option commonly used on ties, offering a distinct and stylish alternative to the traditional tie bar.

Similar to the military clutch, the tie tack backing functions by securing the pin through the fabric. However, the tie tack features a short chain with a bar at the end, adding a unique and decorative touch to the overall design.

This backing style allows for easy attachment and ensures that the tie stays in place throughout the day. It provides a classic and refined look suitable for formal occasions or adding a touch of elegance to everyday attire.

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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