How Do Locking Pin Backs Work?

There are many different types of pin backs on the market, each with advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to locking pin backs, some people find them tricky to work out, but once you know the trick, you’ll find they are a really useful back to work with.

With that in mind, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on the workings of custom pin locking pin backs and answered all your questions about them. Let’s get into it!

So, How Does a Locking Pin Back Actually Work?

A locking pinback definitely comes across as a sophisticated piece of mechanics, but while it’s a practical and secure lock, it’s actually not half as complicated as you might think. In fact, underneath the tough exterior, the pinback is a simple ball and spring lock that work together to apply tension to the stem of the badge, which – in turn – keeps it in place.

Within the pinback is a spring directly underneath the top disc, and sitting underneath that is a ball. When the stem of the badge is inserted into the back, the ball is moved towards the side and rolls with the stem as it goes deeper into the lock. When fully inserted, the ball sits within an indentation of the stem of the badge, and any attempts to remove the back incorrectly will result in the ball being pushed even more into the stem, making the attempt futile.

How To Put On Locking Pin Backs

Remove the Standard Back

If you’ve decided to use a locking pinback on your badge, then the chances are you’ll have some swapping to do. That’s because most badges don’t have a locking back as standard. So, the first step in securing your new back is to remove the original one.

Place the Pin on the Garment

Whether your pin badge is to show off how much of a car aficionado you are or to celebrate your favorite rock music across the years, there’s one universal step to wearing your badge – attaching it to your intended garment. Badges can be secured to clothes, shoes, backpacks, hats, belts – anything you like.

Push the Back On

With the pinback removed and the badge tentatively attached to your garment, now is the time to put the back on. Take your locking pinback and hold it in your finger and thumb so that you will push down on the lower lip of the back. Gently place and then push the back onto the stem of the badge until you hear a click.

Double Check For Security

The last thing you want is for your brand-new enamel pin to fall off, so double-check it is secure by giving it a little tug. This way, you won’t have to worry that it will fall off while you’re out and about wearing it around town.


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How To Remove Locking Pin Backs

Lift the Top Disc of the Back

The locking pinback has a small disc at the top of the mechanism. To remove the back, simply lift this disc carefully, which should disengage the lock and allow you to remove the back.

Other Common Types of Pin Backs

Butterfly Clutch

This relatively secure option uses two small bits of metal that loosely resemble butterfly wings to grip onto the stem of the badge and hold it securely in place.

Rubber Clutch

A back that often comes with pin badges as standard, the rubber material for these backs makes them secure as it grips the back effectively.

Safety Pin

Mainly used on larger badges, the benefit of this back is the safety aspect, and it’s a good choice if a child will wear the badge. Safety first!


While a magnet seems like the best option, it’s also the one most likely to be knocked out of place on your clothing and no longer secure the badge.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Type of Locking Pin Back?

The most secure badge back is a metal locking pinback with a sophisticated spring and ball mechanism. If you’re looking for a secure option guaranteed to keep your badge in place, this is the one you should go for.

Final Thoughts

Locking pinbacks are a valuable and effective way to keep your badges secured to your clothing or accessories. Browse The/Studio’s extensive collection of pins and lapel pins and update your wardrobe today!



Get started with your design today!

Why wait? Select your options, share your artwork, and we’ll get you started on your custom products.


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