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You can browse and design your custom Smith & Warren products with VisualBadge and request a quote. We will assign your quote request to an authorized dealer who can provide pricing and assist you with placing an order.

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What is a Badge Attachment?

Answers to your questions about badge attachments.

Published On: 04/20/2023
Badge being pinned on image

When personalizing your custom badge, you will need to select an attachment. The first question most people ask is, "What is a badge attachment?". Simply stated, the "attachment" is how the badge will be affixed to a uniform shirt or a hat or into a wallet, credential case, or belt clip holder. How you display your badge will strongly influence your chosen attachment method. In this article, we will explain each type of attachment and provide guidance so you can select the appropriate attachment style for your new badge.

Types of Popular Badge Attachments:

Pin & Safety Catch:

The pin & safety catch is the most popular choice for shirt badges and for use with a belt clip holder. Your uniform shirt likely includes a "badge tab" on the left chest. The badge tab is a piece of material sewn to your shirt to hold the badge. It typically will have eyelets designed for use with a pin & safety catch attachment. Your belt clip holder will have cutouts inside of it for use with a pin & safety catch as well. The Pin & Safety catch consists of 3 main parts: The pin, the joint, and the catch. The joint allows the pin to swing open while the catch secures it in the closed position, ensuring the badge will not inadvertently come off.

Safety catch attachment

Wallet Clip:

The wallet clip is a popular choice for securing badges in a wallet or credential case. A wallet clip is a metal slide that is soldered to the back of the badge. The wallet clip attachment is not a belt clip, nor should it be used with a leather belt clip. If wearing a badge on your belt, you should use a Pin & Safety Catch attachment in combination with a recessed leather belt clip holder.

Wallet Clip

Clutch Back:

The clutch back attachment comprises one or more short pins with butterfly clutches. This attachment is popular for affixing insignia, collar brass, nameplates, and lapel pins to a uniform or other article of clothing. Clutch backs are also ideal for attaching a badge to a uniform shirt that does not have eyelets to hold a badge with a pin & safety catch.

Clutch Back Attachment

Screw Back:

The screw-back attachment is the predominant attachment for affixing your badge to a hat. Uniform hats typically include an eyelet hole in the front center of the cap specifically for a screw attachment. The screw is secured to the hat with a nut. At the base of the screw, there is a barbed washer that prevents the badge from spinning. Long screw backs are also available to attach a badge to a wooden plaque for display. For hats with two eyelets, we can provide two screws as well.

Screw Attachment

Glue in leather:

Referred to as a permanent mount, or glue-in leather, this is the ideal attachment for a flat badge that will only be used in a custom-cut credential case, wallet, belt clip, or neck chain holder. This attachment method provides the lowest profile of any option when using the badge in a leather accessory or wallet. You must purchase the badge and leather accessory together when choosing this option. Once the badge is completed, it is professionally mounted into the chosen leather accessory at the factory. This attachment method will extend the useful life of the badge and the leather accessory.

Glue in Leather


The lug attachment is popular in the mid-Atlantic region but is rarely used outside that geographic area. The lugs attachment consists of 2 posts with holes affixed to the back of the badge. A large safety pin is inserted through the holes in the post to secure the badge to the uniform. Use of this attachment requires uniform shirts/coats designed to accept it.


Acrylic Pocket Clip:

The acrylic pocket clip is a unique attachment method used to display your badge and a nameplate on a suit/coat pocket. The badge and nameplate adhere to the front surface of the clear acrylic plate. The acrylic pocket clip is available with A U-bend fold to go over the pocket or flat with two magnets to attach to a shirt. The acrylic pocket clip is a popular option for public safety professionals who need to wear a badge on their chest when not in uniform. When ordering this option, it is important to specify whether you need the version with a U-bend fold or flat with magnets.  If not specified, we provide the U-bend version.

Acrylic holder

No Attachment:

A badge with no attachment is an option for individuals who plan to mount the badge on a plaque or attach the badge with adhesive inside a wallet or carrying case. 

No Attachment

For most uniformed public safety professionals, the pin & safety catch is the most common and versatile attachment for uniform wear. It is also a popular attachment option to hold the badge in a belt clip holder when not in uniform. The wallet clip or glue-in leather options are also popular with professionals who will keep their badge in a credential case or wallet.

It is essential to consider how you will use your badge to determine the best attachment.  Considering your specific situation will ensure that your badge attachment suits your needs. If you have any questions about the right attachment for your situation, contact us at any time.  Our experienced team is standing by to assist you.

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