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Best thumbtacks

Which thumbtacks are best?

Thumbtacks, also known as push pins, are an essential organizational tool for any office or home. They consist of a head with a sharp tip, also known as the body. Thumbtacks are flat on top, while push pins have spheres, cylinders or other shapes for heads. You can use them to attach papers to bulletin boards, mark places on a map or hang calendars on walls. Thumbtacks used to be made only of metal and were circular, but today, many varieties come in other materials, colors, shapes and designs. If you’re looking for classic thumbtacks that are functional and affordable, then the Charles Leonard thumbtacks 100-Pack is your top choice. 

What to know before you buy thumbtacks

Head design

The thumbtack head should be both functional and pleasing to the eye. Wide round heads in a disc shape are the most common and easiest to press into bulletin boards and walls. There are also balls and cylinders, which need more pressure to push but are easier to pull out than disc-shaped heads. Some thumbtacks serve a decorative purpose and come in novelty shapes like hearts, flowers and stars. Some even come in holiday themes. One safety issue to think about is that disc-shaped heads come in both domed and flat varieties. If you drop a flat-head thumbtack to the floor, it will usually land with its point sticking straight upward. Dome heads tend to land on their sides, so they are not dangerous for those walking around fallen thumbtacks.


Plastic, wood, and metal are the most common materials for thumbtack heads. The sharp tips are often tin, steel, brass and iron. Your preference will usually depend on how sturdy you need the thumbtacks to be and your preference. If you want to use thumbtacks outside, choose materials that can withstand exposure to the elements, such as stainless steel and brass or rust-resistant nickel-plated metals. Avoid plastic, wood and metals that rust when using thumbtacks outdoors.


While plain metal thumbtacks are all one color, plastic ones come in a rainbow that can help you color-code items. They also help bring a pop of color to a drab bulletin board. You might also just want to decorate your desk or space with your favorite color. Some thumbtacks are clear for a less conspicuous look.

What to look for in quality thumbtacks

Push pin hooks

You can use a push pin with a hook attached to the head when you want to hang something. Sold in a variety of colors and materials, these thumbtacks make hanging picture frames and other items easy and fun. Look for thumbtacks with clothespins attached to hold photos as well.

Decorative tacks

Flowers, leaves, mushrooms, butterflies, owls and smiley faces are just some of the fun designs you will find on decorative thumbtacks. They come in many materials such as cloth, wood, plastic and metal. You can celebrate holidays such as Halloween and Christmas by switching to festive thumbtacks for the season. There are also artistic thumbtacks with interesting beads, shapes and colors to brighten your home or office.

Special boxes

Thumbtacks often come in large plastic containers that hold hundreds of them. You can find containers with colorful lids to spice up your office space. Some come in plastic tackle boxes to keep colors and styles organized. These make for a great display on a desk, turning something as ordinary as thumbtacks into something exciting and artistic.

How much you can expect to spend on thumbtacks

Thumbtacks cost between $5-$40, depending on the brand, style and how many are included in the pack.

Thumbtacks FAQ

Can you buy packs of all one-color thumbtacks?

A. Yes. Although multi-colored packs are also available, you can find packs with only one color if desired for organization or style.

Will a thumbtack leave a noticeable hole in a wall?

A. Yes. Although the hole will be very small, you will be able to see it when you remove the thumbtack from the wall. This is true of any space where you place a thumbtack, including bulletin and cork boards.

What are the best thumbtacks to buy?

Top thumbtacks

Charles Leonard thumbtacks 100-Pack

What you need to know: These classic metal thumbtacks have smooth, solid heads.

What you’ll love: Nickel-plated, these strong thumbtacks have 5/16-inch sharpened steel pins and ⅜-inch heads. They penetrate a variety of materials easily.

What you should consider: These thumbtacks get the job done but are not colorful or decorative.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top thumbtacks for money

Yalis Color thumbtacks 600-Count

What you need to know: These standard size thumbtacks are approximately 1-inch with plastic heads and steel needle points.

What you’ll love: This tackle box of twelve different color thumbtacks keeps them organized. Choose from solid and translucent versions of red, yellow, blue and green, and clear, black, white and translucent purple varieties. With 600 total in the case, you will have plenty of pins.

What you should consider: The large number of thumbtacks might be excessive.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Decorative Owl Thumbtacks

What you need to know: This set of 50 adorable owl thumbtacks will bring some personality to your space.

What you’ll love: The thumbtacks are 0.5-inches long by 0.78-inches wide with wooden heads and metal nails. You will receive 10 of each of the five cute owls in various colors, including pink, blue, brown, red and yellow. They make a great gift for students and teachers.

What you should consider: They may look cute, but they are not for children because of the sharp points.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Lorianne Palinkas  writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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