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Protect Your Pin Collection With These Affordable Locking Backs

Metal Pin Backs
Photo: Eric Ravenscraft

Do you collect enamel pins? If so, you’ve probably noticed that the soft backs that usually come with them can be removed all too easily. Get these locking backs instead to keep them secure.

Pin collecting is a neat hobby that’s not terribly expensive, and gives you a lot of flexibility to express yourself. You can put pins on your bag, your jacket, or your purse. However, all of those places can get bumped around, caught on things, or left in places where your pins can get stolen. If you use the squishy rubber back that comes with most pins, it probably won’t take you long to feel the sting of a lost collectible.

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That’s why I bought this affordable pack of locking pin backs. For $9 (roughly the cost of one pin), you get 40 replacement backs that lock in place once you put them on. You can remove them by pulling on the disc at the top, but if you don’t, the backs will grip onto the pin shaft and not let go.

Photo: Eric Ravenscraft

This is a godsend when you’re out and about and someone wants to steal your Harry Potter house pin or your enamel D20. With loose backs, a sharp tug could pull it free. These locking backs keep them in place. Anyone who tries to swipe one of your pins will have to yank so hard you’ll definitely notice.

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They can also prevent accidental pin drops. Say your Clever Girl pin catches on a seat belt or a door jamb. With the usual pin backs, it could slip off and you might never notice. With a locking back, your pins will stay put unless it catches on something with a lot more force.

That last bit is the one downside I’ve come across! While on a plane recently, my laptop bag got caught on the fabric seat pocket in front of me as I left my seat. I didn’t notice until later that my Millennium Falcon pin had been ripped clean off. Not that the pin back detached, mind you. The stud and back were still attached, but the rest of the pin was severed from the stud entirely.

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On the one hand, it sucks that my pin is gone (but it’s cheap enough to buy a replacement). On the other, it’s a testament to how sturdy these pin backs are. If you manage to lose a pin from your bag with one of these babies attached, then you must’ve done something stupid like yank on your bag in a crowded airplane when you know exactly why your bag is stuck.


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About the author

Eric Ravenscraft

Freelance writer for The Inventory.