With a plastic or aluminum head and a sharp metal point, pushpins are essential to any studio, classroom, or office. The humble pushpin, precursor of the thumbtack, was invented and patented in 1900 by Edwin Moore of Newark, New Jersey. Moore’s original pins were made of glass and steel, and he referred to his creation as a “pin with a handle.” After making and selling his invention for several years, Moore founded the Moore Push-Pin company in 1904. Today’s pushpins are useful for affixing studies, bits of inspiration, or memos to a corkboard or wall. But they can be great assistants for specialized projects, too. You can use them to stretch canvases, elevate canvases for drip paintings, or use them as mini grips to hold while tilting a wet canvas. They’re helpful for stained glass projects as well, holding pieces in position prior to soldering. Or use them to secure paper stencils over clay for neat transfers. The perfect pushpins await you in our list of favorites below.
1. Advantus Aluminum Head Push Pins
These pins with cast aluminum heads are a tougher alternative to common ones with plastic heads. Sure, they aren’t very attractive, but they can take a beating. Literally—you can take a hammer to these pins to anchor them into harder surfaces and the steel shafts will resist bending, and the heads won’t crack or fall off. Since they’re made of metal, you can also use them for projects that require heating. Finally, we like that they are available with 5/8-inch shanks, which is longer than most pins on the market. Sold in packs of 100.
2. Amazon Basics Clear Push Pins
With a clear plastic head and a steel point, these pins are great for a barely-there look. With 3/8-inch tips well sized for bulletin boards, these pushpins are great for office and home use. The plastic heads are sturdy, and the shafts are firmly embedded in the plastic to prevent breakage. You get 100 pins in a clear container that makes storage and organization easy.
3. Officemate Pushpins
With twice the number of pins at a price not far from the Amazon Basics option above, this pack delivers great value. The steel-tipped pins, in colors that go beyond run-of-the-mill primaries, will add a contemporary accent to bulletin and cork boards.
4. Midwest Products Grip Pins
These 50 sleek, U.S.-made pushpins are built for precision. Made with proportionally longer dimensions, these pins are especially useful to craftspeople and hobbyists looking to hold their work in place after gluing. Designed with a red cone-shaped head, this pin is kind to fingers and easy to spot when it is time to remove it.
5. U Brands Standard Wooden Push Pins
These pins are pretty distinct. They are available in a variety of wood finishes, like natural, walnut, and oak, and each is slightly textured. The rustic appearance can add character to projects and the pins look especially attractive against other wooden surfaces. Each is smooth and lightweight but strong enough to withstand pressure. Sold in 150- or 200-count jars.