Quilting Pins Vs. Sewing Pins? (Learn The Difference)

There are so many different types of crafting, especially when it comes to sewing. Did you know that each realm of sewing has its own set of tools? Some people are surprised to learn that not all pins are created equal when crafting. 

More importantly, you can’t use one tool for everything. When it comes to quilting and sewing pins, which one is best, and what is the difference between the two? 

Here is what we learned, as well as some of the best pins you can find on the market for your craft!

The Quilted Bear Quilting Pins (Budget Pick!)

For years, the Quilting Bear Quilting Pins have been a staple in any avid quilter’s pack. 

They are most recognizable by their brightly colored flower tips. These quilting pins are perfect for any sewing level because they help guide your project while also offering high-quality stability since the pins are made from stainless steel. 

The bright colors include yellow, green, blue, and red so that you can mark your project along the way. While the bright flower tips are cute to look at, they serve a whole different purpose!

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Because of their size, they offer grip to the end of the pin so that your pins won’t be moving while you work. All of this for just under $8 makes a great budget pick for quilting pins!

However, claims are one thing, and experiences are another! So, how do The Quilting Bear Quilting Pins stand up with the people who have used them? 

Here is the breakdown:


  • Great for organizing quilting rows
  • Perfect price point
  • Sharp and fine-pointed


  • Sticker labels are difficult to use
  • Flower detail feels cheap and can snap

Magic Pins Quilting Fine Pins

You may not recognize these pins by the name, but their classic bright blue tops are a sure giveaway! 

I remember seeing these pins in my mother’s sewing kit as a kid and the fact that they are still highly recommended to this day, days a lot about the product itself! 

The Magic Pins Quilting Fine Pins have ultra-cushioned pin tops so your hands won’t get stabbed or tired during long quilting sessions. 

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They come in one standard size of.5mm in diameter, but you can choose the pin type from fine to wide. I also love that these quilting pins are heat resistant so that you don’t have to worry about melting them when applying heat. 

At just $14 a pack, they are on the higher end of the scale but still won’t break the bank. How do others feel about them? 

Here’s the breakdown!


  • Great for those with arthritis
  • Bright color makes them easy to spot if dropped
  • They increase skill over time


  • Only come in a 50 pack
  • Not as sharp as expected
  • Not ideal for weighted fabrics

Singer Pearl-Headed Sewing Pins (Budget Pick!)

There are hundreds of different sewing pins on the market, and most of them feature brightly colored pin tops, except for these! 

This is one of the reasons why I love using the Singer Pearl-Headed Sewing Pins for my projects. The bright white pearl details at the top offer a little more class than the colored ones. 

I sometimes find that the bright colors can distract the color palette I may be working with. 

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At just $5.99, this 120 pin pack is the perfect budget pick for you! These pins are made from nickel, making them easier to bend into a project than steel pins, making them highly resilient to rust. 

Being produced by the trusted sewing Singer brand gives these pins some notoriety, but do crafters like them as much? 

Let’s find out!


  • High-quality and easy to use
  • Great price point
  • It can easily be re-used and repurposed


  • Pins dull quickly
  • Pins bent under very little pressure
  • Some pearls came detached when shipped

Grabbit Magnetic Sewing Pins

Out high-price point pic for sewing pins is the Grabbit Magnetic Sewing Pins which will cost you around $13.o0 for a 50 pack of pins.

However, it isn’t the pins that you are paying for. 

The most remarkable part of this product is that it comes with a dented base that is 100% magnetized, meaning that pins will stay in the center of the holder so they won’t shake or spill if bumped. 

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This is a great option for sewers with children or pets and worries about loose pins falling all over the floor. Also, since the base is magnetized, you can use it with any brand or style of a metal pin. 

This is great news since this pin set only comes with 50 pins which is much lower than other brands that offer a much larger set. Is the number of pins the only complaint buyers have?

Here is what I learned:


  • Base comes in a wide variety of colors
  • Easier to keep track of pins with this base as compared to a cushion base
  • High-quality pins make them easy to re-use project after project


  • Pins came dull and wouldn’t piece fabric
  • Pins seem larger than the standard size, which makes them difficult to use
  • Magnetic base can shatter if dropped

3 Main Differences Between Quilting & Sewing Pins:

There are a few differences between quilting and sewing pins, but the first thing to note is the size and length of the pins. 

Quilting pins tend to be much wider in diameter, whereas sewing pins are thinner at just 0.5mm in total diameter. This allows you to pin fabric that you plan to sew in place without creating any lasting damage.

Quilting pins are larger because they work with heavier fabrics to create a quilt. 

Not only are the fabrics used heavier, but they have multiple layers. If you tried using traditional sewing pins for this, the pins could easily snap.  

The next difference to note is the function of the pins themselves.

Sewing pins are meant to line up where you are going to sew. So, whether it is a hem or connecting two pieces of fabric, the sewing pins will hold them together even when using a sewing machine.

Quilting pins are meant to hold the project together and work as a marker for your project to keep track of pieces and layers.

The last major difference between sewing pins and quilting pins is how they react to heat. Sewing pins are made from nickel which can weaken when exposed to heat. 

However, since quilting pins are often made from tougher stainless steel, they can easily be ironed over as well and steam-treated without worrying about damage. This doesn’t mean that you can’t apply heat to sewing pins.

It just means that there is a higher risk of damage.

Can I Use A Quilting Pin For Sewing?

So, can quilting pins be used for sewing? They can, but not for all aspects of sewing.

The biggest difference between the two is the size, and the size of the pins plays a very specific role in crafting. Since quilting pins are larger in length and diameter, you won’t be able to run them easily under a sewing machine.

This can be a dangerous thing to do because of the size of the needles. Too much pressure can cause the quilting pins to snap under the power of a sewing machine. 

But, if you are looking to pin the fabric together on a form like dropping, you can swap one pin for the other without completely messing up your project. 

Quilting pins are larger, so you may be leaving sizable holes in the fabric that won’t be easy to fix.

Can Sewing Pins Be Used For Quilting?

Sewing pins are much easier to swap for different projects than quilting pins are. 

This is because they are smaller and are less likely to do any major damage to your project. So, yes, you can use sewing pins to hold together quilting projects. However, all projects are not created equal. 

If you use heavier fabrics to create a quilt, the smaller sewing pins may not hold the pieces together as smoothly as quilting pins can.

The other thing to remember is that when quilting, you are often layering multiple pieces of fabric together at a time. This is because quilts are meant to be heavy and warm, so layering is key when creating the best product. 

Since sewing pins are small and not as durable, you will have a more difficult time getting them to first pierce the fabric without bending. If you’ve managed to push a small sewing pin through the layers, chances are the grip won’t be strong enough to hold the project together, which can be disastrous to the process. 

So, when it comes to using pins, it is best to stick with the intended use to save you some money and heartache!

Are Quilting Pins Longer Than Sewing Pins?

Both quilting pins and sewing pins fall into the same category for crafting. 

They are both considered “straight pins” whose main function is to hold multiple pieces of fabric together to attach them. When it comes to size, are quilting pins longer? 

Yes, quilting pins are a little bit longer than sewing pins. A standard-sized quilting pin is around 2 inches long, while a standard sewing pin is just 1 1/2 inches.

Does that extra half-inch make a difference? It sure does!

Layering multiple fabrics together as you would with quilting means that you need that little extra length to keep the layers secure. 

You also have to remember the type of fabrics commonly used in quilting. Along with cotton and silk, most quilters use flannel and fleece, a very heavy type of fabric. 

Once you have several layers of flannel, the width can easily add up to over an inch. This is the main reason why quilting pins are longer to go through all the layers without bending or snapping.

Can You Iron Over Quilting & Sewing Pins?

How exactly do these pins hold up when heat is introduced? 

More specifically, can you safely iron over them? In the case of quilting pins, you can iron over them. They are made out of heat-resistant steel for a reason.

Anyone who has dabbled with quilting knows that to keep your seems straight and to make the pieces fit together perfectly, you will have to iron each piece flat before quilting them together. 

Remember, quilting needles have plastic tips that can melt if too much heat is applied. So be careful when ironing out those edges to avoid the plastic ends.

What about sewing pins? You can iron over sewing pins, but they have to be a certain kind, and you need to make sure you’re keeping the heat low. 

All sewers know that to make a hem perfectly, you must first iron it flat even before sewing it, meaning you will need to keep the pins in place while ironing them. Since they are made from nickel, you need to keep the heat on low and make sure not to iron over them too much. 

Also, since most sewing pins have a plastic or acrylic ball at the tip, you need to keep the heat away from that part. 

My advice? I suggest you purchase “flat sewing pins” if you plan to do heavy ironing. 

These pins do not have a plastic head, so you should worry less about melting them.

How Much Should You REALLY Pay For Quilting and Sewing Pins?

Quilting and sewing pins are on the low end when it comes to the price of crafting tools. 

You will rarely see a set of pins run higher than $15. Even with the $15 pins, there will always be an additive like a storage case or measuring strip. However, the standard set of pins works perfectly for any project. 

You can expect to spend anywhere from $3 to $9 for a simple set of quilting or sewing pins. Also, depending on the number of projects you work on, you won’t have to buy these pins often. 

I have sets of sewing pins that have been in my crafting box for over a decade. 

Once they start to rust or snap, it is time to replace them! However, since they are such a low-cost item, you shouldn’t have to worry about denting your wallet. 

Reference Links:

Top 15 Best Quilting Pins Reviews 2022

Sewing Pins – Knowing the Different Types

Picking the Perfect Pins for your Project