What is the difference between soft enamel and hard enamel pins?
by Jason Day on Oct 12, 2022
What is the difference between soft enamel and hard enamel pins? Topone Custom Lapel Pins is here to explain!
If you have looked into making your own enamel pins, you have probably seen the terms "hard enamel" and "soft enamel". Many people have the same question: What’s the difference?
There is really no right or wrong answer when deciding between a soft enamel or a hard enamel challenge coin or pin. Most of the time, it all comes down to personal preference, but there are a few other factors to consider.
The biggest difference between hard and soft enamel is the finished texture. Hard enamel pins are flat and smooth, and soft enamel pins have raised metal edges. Both methods use the same metal molds, and both will have bright and vibrant colors. But there are also some special options that are exclusive to soft enamel.
While the design should be the same for both enamel styles, soft enamel tends to show more intricate details. This is because the raised ridges really give the final product a bit more definition.Surprisingly, soft enamel tends to cost less than hard enamel products. The main reason behind the cost difference is because it’s much more time-consuming and labor-intensive to achieve the smooth, polished look of a hard enamel product.
Soft enamel products are the most common option due to their faster turnaround times and unique details. However, if smooth and shiny is what you need, it might be best to opt for hard enamel.
Enamel pins must be baked in an oven to cure and harden the enamel. Unlike hard enamel pins, the soft enamel metal plating process is done before the enamel is filled in. This means that there are some metal finishes that can only be on soft enamel. If you want your pin to be rainbow plated, painted black, or painted any other custom color, then you'll need to use soft enamel.
Hard enamel pins are more durable and scratch-resistant compared to soft enamel. Many people choose hard enamel over soft enamel because of the clean, finished look. Many designs can work in both hard and soft enamel, so most of the time it comes down to personal preference. Hard enamel pins are first filled in with color, then the pin's face is ground down to be flat and smooth. The grinding and polishing makes them incompatible with certain metal finishes. If you want a standard gold or silver metal plating, then hard enamel might be a good choice for your design.
Find Your Perfect Enamel Product
A very important distinction between hard and soft is that certain metal finishes are only available with soft enamel. With soft enamel, your metal can be painted any custom color you'd like. The most popular color is black. If you want black metal with hard enamel, your only option is black nickel. Black nickel is actually a very dark gray color and is slightly shiny. If having your metal be a true, dark black is important to your design, then soft enamel is your best choice.
n the comparison of soft enamel vs hard enamel, it really comes down to looks, texture, and production times. If you like the smooth and shiny option, hard enamel is the way to go. For those who prefer a little more texture and a bit more detail, you might want to opt for soft enamel.
If you’re interested in our products, designs, or services, feel free to explore our website and contact us today for a free quote.