What’s the Difference Between Hard & Soft Enamel?

August 2, 2017

What is Hard and Soft Enamel? 

We get asked almost daily, so we’re here to set the record straight:

Hard enameling: in any application of enamel, we start off with a base which is almost like a “bowl” for the liquid enamel. In hard enameling, this bowl is filled to the brim, then the extra is cleanly cut off, resulting in a completely flat surface that has a clean, cohesive reflection in direct light.

Soft enameling: in soft enameling, the bowl is not fully filled and a “valley” is allowed to form in the liquid enamel. This results in a hard surface that you can feel “dip” and then go up to the edges of the piece, as well as some interesting shadows and reflections. 

In terms of design, the two are the same; we can do the same colors, details and visual effects on either. The difference is how they feel and how shadowing or reflection alters their appearance. People choose one or the other based on aesthetic preference as some designs work better than others with either method. The free design that comes with each The/Studio order means you’ll get to see both before you decide.

You can try hard and soft enameling on lapel pins, cufflinks, challenge coins, tie bars and more.

What Are Hard Enamel Pins?
Hard enamel pins are made in a unique way. Hard enamel pins are made in a very high temperature and processed several times, which results in a smooth finish. In addition, with hard enamel pins, you will not feel any lines or borders within the pin itself. Hard enamel pins have a very polished look to them and they are extremely durable. Because hard enamel pins have such great quality, they are long-lasting and can be worn as many times as you would like. Hard enamel pins have a great look to them, meaning their colors stand out and are very impressive. With hard enamel pins, the colors on the pins are vibrant and have a smooth texture.

Key Components of Hard Enamel Pins:

  • Smooth, bright, and clear finish
  • Long lasting
  • Many coating options
  • Various color options

What Are Soft Enamel Pins?
Soft enamel pins are also made in a very high temperature; however, they are not processed as much as hard enamel pins. Because soft enamel pins are not processed as much, they are textured. With soft enamel pins, you will be able to feel its lines and borders, which many of our customers like. They have a rigid surface, which allows you to feel each detail that was made into the custom pin. Soft enamel pins have interesting shadows and reflections, resulting in great details.

Key Components of Soft Enamel Pins:

  • Textured finish
  • Affordable
  • Many coating options
  • Various color options

What is the Difference Between Hard Enamel Pins and Soft Enamel Pins?

The two main differences between hard enamel pins and soft enamel pins are durability and texture. Continue to read on to get a better understanding about the differences between the two.

• Hard enameling: The bowl is filled to the brim, then the excess is cleanly cut off, resulting in a flat surface that has a clean, cohesive reflection in direct light.

Hard enamel pins are filled with color to the edge of the metal and then they are polished, resulting in a flat and polished surface. In addition, hard enamel pins are more more durable and can withstand many different environments. Because they are more durable, they are scratch-resistant; however, they do not have the same textured finish like soft enamel pins.

• Soft enameling: The bowl is not fully filled and a “valley” is allowed to form in the liquid enamel. This results in a hard surface and you can feed the “dip” and go up to the edges of the piece, which has shadows and reflections.

Soft enamel pins are filled with color; however, the edges are raised as opposed to completely flat like hard enamel pins. Since soft enamel pins are not completely flat, they have more texture, which is more appealing to many people.

What’s the Difference Between Hard & Soft Enamel?