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Types of Tacks: Why Are There So Many?

Have you ever gone down the aisle of an office supply store and wondered why there are so many different types of tacks? It seems simple enough - you have a cork sheet, you have something to hang, and you tack it up. So why the need for all the different types of tacks?

Different tacks and pins serve different purposes. It’s important to know what to use, and what not to use, when pinning something to your board in order to avoid damage. If using the correct type of pin, NATURAL and COLORED boards both have the ability to hide pin holes by expanding after the pin is removed from the board.

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Thumb Tacks

A thumb tack point is normally ¼” long. Since they lay flat on the board, they can be more difficult than other tacks to remove. Thumb tacks are a good way to hang your papers without drawing much attention.

Map Pins

Like thumb tacks, the point of map pins are usually ¼” long. These consist of a round ball grip at the end, making it easier to hold and pull out of the cork. Map pins come in a variety of different colors, which is helpful for their use in showing different points on a map.

Push Pins

Push pins are the “traditional” looking tacks. These are normally ⅜” long, but can come in a variety of different lengths. These tacks are somewhat stronger than other tacks and can be pushed into other surfaces than cork such as fiberboard, soft plywood, and plywood.


T-pins are commonly used for pinning patterns and model building. They can also be helpful when sewing since they hold fabric together nicely./p>

Finishing Nails & Hammers

Finishing nails should not be used unless they are meant to be a permanent part of your cork board. If removed, the nail may make a permanent hole. If you intend to place the finishing nail in permanently, be sure to take caution with your hammer. Use small and gentle taps to avoid leaving a hammer mark and damaging your corkboard sheet.


Staples are often misconstrued as pin alternatives. Typically staples can be used for the same purpose as pins or tacks; but must be taken out with care when removing. If a staple is ripped out of a cork board, you run the risk of pulling out a chunk of the board, leaving an obvious blemish on the board.

Inspect Your Pins!

Pins that have burrs or bent over points will pull off cork when they are removed, which will cause holes to be more obvious. Snagging on vinyl or fabric-covered boards will cause the material to run, leaving unappealing ripples in the material. For best results, make sure you are using the correct tack for your job to avoid damage.