Are you tired of the standard keycaps that come with your keyboard? Do you want to add a personal touch to your typing experience? Look no further than custom keycaps. Keycaps are the individual pieces that cover the keys on a keyboard. They come in a variety of styles, colors, and materials, and can completely transform the look and feel of your keyboard.
Whether you’re a gamer, a typist, or just someone who wants to add some personality to their workspace, custom keycaps are a great way to do it. From artisan keycaps that are handcrafted and one-of-a-kind, to sets of keycaps that match a specific color scheme or theme, there’s something for everyone. And with the rise of mechanical keyboards, there’s never been a better time to explore the world of custom keycaps. So why settle for boring, standard keycaps when you can make your keyboard truly your own?
What Are Keycaps?
If you own a mechanical keyboard, you’re probably familiar with keycaps. Keycaps are the removable covers that sit on top of the switches on your keyboard. They come in different shapes, sizes, and materials, and can greatly impact the look and feel of your keyboard.
Keycaps can be made from a variety of materials, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The two most common materials used are ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate). ABS is the cheaper of the two and is often used in stock keycaps. It has a slightly softer feel and is more prone to wear and tear. PBT, on the other hand, is more durable and resistant to shine and fading. It also has a slightly rougher texture, which some people prefer.
Other less common materials include:
- POM (Polyoxymethylene): A high-performance plastic that is more rigid than ABS and has a smoother texture.
- PC (Polycarbonate): A transparent plastic that is often used for backlighting effects.
The profile of a keycap refers to its shape and height. There are several different profiles available, each with its own pros and cons. The most common profiles are:
- OEM: A slightly curved profile that is the most common on stock keycaps.
- Cherry: A more angular profile that is similar to the OEM profile but with a sharper angle.
- SA: A tall, cylindrical profile that is popular among enthusiasts.
- DSA: A flat profile with a spherical top that is often used for ortholinear keyboards.
Keycaps come in different sizes to fit different keys on your keyboard. The most common sizes are:
- 1U: The standard size for most keys on your keyboard.
- 1.25U: Used for Tab, Caps Lock, and Shift keys.
- 1.5U: Used for Backspace and Enter keys.
- 2U: Used for Spacebar keys.
In conclusion, keycaps are an important part of your mechanical keyboard and can greatly impact the look and feel of your typing experience. When choosing keycaps, consider the material, profile, and size that best fit your needs and preferences.
Types of Keycaps
When it comes to choosing keycaps for your mechanical keyboard, there are many different types to consider. Each type has its own unique characteristics that affect the feel and sound of your keyboard. In this section, we will explore the most common types of keycaps.
OEM keycaps are the most common type of keycaps and are typically included with most mechanical keyboards. They are characterized by a slightly curved top surface and a cylindrical stem. OEM keycaps have a medium height profile and are usually made of ABS or PBT plastic.
DSA keycaps are a low profile keycap that has a flat top surface and a cylindrical stem. They are known for their uniform height and shape, which makes them ideal for touch typists. DSA keycaps are made of PBT plastic and are available in a wide range of colors.
Cherry profile keycaps are named after the Cherry MX switches they were originally designed for. They have a curved top surface and a cylindrical stem. Cherry profile keycaps have a medium height profile and are available in both ABS and PBT plastic.
SA keycaps are known for their tall profile and sculpted shape. They have a curved top surface and a cylindrical stem. SA keycaps are typically made of ABS plastic and are available in a wide range of colors.
XDA keycaps are a low profile keycap that has a flat top surface and a cylindrical stem. They are similar to DSA keycaps but have a slightly larger surface area. XDA keycaps are made of PBT plastic and are available in a limited range of colors.
Custom keycaps are a great way to personalize your keyboard and make it truly unique. There are many types of custom keycaps available, including artisan keycaps, novelty keycaps, and custom printed keycaps. In this section, we will explore each of these types in more detail.
Artisan keycaps are handcrafted by individual artists and are often one-of-a-kind. These keycaps are made from a variety of materials, including resin, metal, and wood. They come in a wide range of designs, from cute animals to intricate designs inspired by video games and movies.
One of the benefits of artisan keycaps is that they are often made in small batches, so you can be sure that your keyboard will be truly unique. However, because they are handmade, they can be more expensive than other types of keycaps.
Novelty keycaps are another popular type of custom keycap. These keycaps are designed to be fun and playful, with designs that range from cute animals to pop culture references. They are often made from plastic and can be printed with a variety of designs.
One of the benefits of novelty keycaps is that they are often less expensive than artisan keycaps. They are also widely available, so you can find them for almost any keyboard layout.
Custom Printed Keycaps
Custom printed keycaps are a great way to add a personal touch to your keyboard. These keycaps are made by printing a design onto a blank keycap. The design can be anything from a simple pattern to a custom image or logo.
One of the benefits of custom printed keycaps is that they are often less expensive than artisan or novelty keycaps. They are also widely available, so you can find them for almost any keyboard layout.
In conclusion, custom keycaps are a great way to personalize your keyboard and make it truly unique. Whether you choose artisan keycaps, novelty keycaps, or custom printed keycaps, you can be sure that your keyboard will stand out from the crowd.
How to Choose Keycaps
When it comes to choosing keycaps for your mechanical keyboard, there are a few things you should consider to ensure compatibility, design, and price meet your needs.
Before purchasing keycaps, you need to ensure they are compatible with your keyboard. Here are some things to consider:
- Keyboard size: Full-size (104 keys), TKL (Ten-Key Less), 60% (Compact keyboards), and even Numpad only keyboards have different sized keys. You need to choose an appropriate keycap set that has all the keys you need.
- Switch type: Different switches have different stem sizes and shapes. You need to ensure the keycaps you choose fit the stem of your switches.
- Keycap profile: The keycap profile refers to the overall shape of the keycap. Different profiles have different heights and angles. You need to ensure the keycap profile matches your keyboard.
Keycaps come in a variety of designs, from simple and minimalistic to colorful and intricate. Here are some things to consider:
- Material: Keycaps can be made from a variety of materials, including ABS, PBT, and even metal. Each material has its own feel and durability.
- Color: Keycaps come in a variety of colors, from black and white to neon pink and green. Choose a color that matches your keyboard and personality.
- Print: Keycaps can be printed with various designs, including legends (letters and symbols) and graphics. Choose a print that suits your style and needs.
Keycaps can range in price from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. Here are some things to consider:
- Quality: Higher quality keycaps are generally more expensive. Things like material, thickness, profile, and design can affect the price.
- Brand: Some brands are more expensive than others. Choose a brand that fits your budget and needs.
- Group buys: Group buys can offer discounted prices for keycaps, but they also come with a longer wait time and potential risks.
By considering compatibility, design, and price, you can choose keycaps that meet your needs and preferences.
Remember, keycaps are a personal preference, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to consider factors such as typing feel, sound, and aesthetics when choosing keycaps.
When shopping for keycaps, be sure to pay attention to the keycap profile, material, and compatibility with your keyboard. Keep in mind that keycap quality can vary depending on factors such as color accuracy, keycap thickness, legend quality, and manufacturing tolerances.
Some popular keycap brands to consider include GMK, SA, DSA, and XDA. You can also find keycaps made from materials such as ABS, PBT, and even metal.