For those looking to upgrade their keyboards, a new set of keycaps is the best way to go. Replacing old, flimsy keycaps with a sturdier, more visually striking set of keycaps is a great way to give your mechanical keyboard a unique look.
When making a selection, there are several things to consider: material, thickness, profile, and design.
Double-shot or pudding-style keycaps are the best choice for keyboards with RGB lighting, as light can pass through them.
Depending on the intended use, different types of keycaps may be more suitable for gaming, typing, or other purposes.
Knowing which keycap material will fit the best with your setup can help you make the best decision to maximize your keyboard’s looks and performance.
Why Should I Buy a New Set of Keycaps?
Mechanical keyboards may be costly, but they provide more than just aesthetics, like a longer lasting experience.
Through investing in a new keycap set, you can give any $50 keyboard a more expensive and interesting look by customizing the color and style of the keycaps.
Not only this, but the individual pieces of the keycaps are made to last; the legends won’t progressively wear down over time due to extensive use.
Additionally, users have the option to customize their keyboards by choosing a different Keycap profile designs, making it more comfortable and efficient for typing.
With so many choices, it can be hard to decide which keycap set would work best for your keyboard.
What Keycap Materials Are The Best?
When it comes to mechanical keyboard keycaps, there are typically two main material types: PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) and ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene).
Not sure what these plastics are? Let’s take a closer look, as they each have distinctive properties that affect the feel, sound, and look of the keycaps.
We’ll explain the key differences between the two, so you can determine the best option for you.
ABS vs. PBT Keycaps
When it comes to keycaps, the two most common materials are ABS and PBT. ABS is the most accessible and typically the least expensive, due to its simplicity to produce through injection molding.
PBT plastic is of higher quality than ABS, providing a textured feel and greater durability. Some enthusiasts gravitate towards the smooth feel of ABS, while others appreciate the rough feel of PBT. To learn more about the differences between ABS and PBT keycaps, please refer to our in-depth article. In the following table, we list the key distinctions between them:
|ABS Keycaps||PBT Keycaps|
|Usually Cheaper||More Expensive|
|Shiny and Greasy||Matte|
|Thinner||Louder when typing|
|Quieter when typing||Brittle|
|Wears Over Time||More Durable|
Read more: ABS vs PBT keycaps
Other Materials for Keycaps
It is important to note that there are more keycap designs, although they are uncommon and occasionally more expensive, such as artisan keycaps.
It might be challenging to locate and buy keycaps in designs like rubber and brass.
Typically, in order to purchase them, you must join a group buy.
How to Purchase Keycaps for RGB Backlit Keyboards
If your keyboard doesn’t have RGB lighting, you don’t have to be concerned with double-shot or pudding keycaps, as they are designed to allow backlighting to pass through.
On the other hand, if you do have RGB lighting, you should consider investing in one of these layouts. Single-shot keycaps are an ideal solution without RGB, and are often the best choice when it comes to keyboards made for hobbyists, which often don’t have RGB lighting.
Double shot keycaps are produced with a meticulous production process that requires two separate polymers to be injected molded together.
This method of producing double-shot caps allows light to be transmitted through the legends, which allows for the keycaps to be illuminated if the keyboard has illumination for each key. This feature makes it easier for the user to identify the legends.
Keycaps of this type are available in either PBT or ABS polymer, with many color options available, such as the double-shot PBT keycaps.
Read more: Double-shot vs Dyesub keycaps
Pudding keycaps are the ideal choice to make your mechanical keyboard stand out. Not only are they doubleshot, allowing the backlighting to shine through the legends, they also let light spill out from the sides.
When implemented, these keycaps can result in an amazing, visually striking configuration.
GMK also has some of the best pudding keycaps available, at a great price point. You can find a wide variety of pudding keycaps to choose from across multiple brands.
Considering upgrading your keyboard with a fresh set of keycaps? This is a great way to kickstart your journey into the wonderful world of mechanical keyboards. It won’t be long before you find yourself hoarding a collection of keycaps for all occasions. To help you get started, let’s break down the differences between various types of keycaps.