Exploring The World Of Keycaps: A Comprehensive Guide To Types Of Keycaps

Keycaps are an essential component of mechanical keyboards, serving as the tactile interface between users and their devices. Choosing the right keycaps can greatly enhance your typing experience, offering comfort, durability, and customization options. In this article, we will explore the different types of keycaps available for mechanical keyboards, based on various factors such as height, material, printing method, and unique designs.

Types Of Keycaps Based OnHeight

OEM Keycaps: OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) keycaps are the most commonly found keycaps, characterized by their cylindrical shape and a medium profile. They provide a comfortable typing experience for most users and are compatible with a wide range of mechanical switches.

SA Keycaps: SA (Spherical All) keycaps feature a high profile with a spherical top, offering a unique aesthetic and a taller feel. These keycaps are known for their vintage charm and are popular among enthusiasts who appreciate a retro look and a satisfying keypress.

Dsa Keycaps: DSA (Distributed Sculptured Architecture) keycaps have a uniform profile and a flat top surface. They provide a minimalist and modern look, making them a favorite choice for those who prefer a sleek and clean design.

Cherry Keycaps: Cherry keycaps are designed by Cherry, the renowned German manufacturer of mechanical switches. These keycaps are similar to OEM keycaps but often have a more refined texture and a slightly different shape, providing an alternative option for mechanical keyboard enthusiasts.

Choosing the right height of keycaps is crucial for an ergonomic typing experience. It is recommended to consider factors such as hand size, finger position, and personal preference when selecting keycap height. Trying out different heights can help determine the most comfortable option for each individual.

Types Of Keycaps Based OnMaterial

Abs Keycaps: ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) keycaps are commonly used and offer a smooth and shiny finish. They are relatively less expensive to produce and allow for vibrant colors and intricate designs. However, ABS keycaps are prone to wear and shine over time due to the oils and sweat from users’ fingers.

PBT Keycaps: PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) keycaps are highly regarded for their durability and resistance to wear and tear. They have a textured surface that provides a more satisfying feel during typing. PBT keycaps also have better resistance to discoloration and are less likely to develop a shiny appearance compared to ABS keycaps.

Choosing between ABS and PBT keycaps depends on individual preferences. ABS keycaps offer more customization options and a smoother feel, while PBT keycaps provide superior durability and a more tactile typing experience.

Types Of Keycaps Based on printing

Double-Shot Keycaps: Double-shot keycaps are made through a process where two layers of plastic are molded together. The legend (the letter or symbol on the keycap) is a separate layer, ensuring that it will never wear off. This printing method allows for more durable and long-lasting keycaps with vibrant legends.

Dye-Sublimation: Dye-sublimation involves dyeing the legends into the surface of the keycaps, resulting in permanent and fade-resistant printing. This method provides a more subtle and refined look, but it is limited in terms of color options and intricate designs.

Pad Print: Pad printing is a common method for mass-producing keycaps. It involves applying ink to the surface of the keycap using a silicone pad. While pad printing is cost-effective and allows for a wide range of colors, the legends may wear off over time with heavy use.

LaserEngraved: Laser engraving involves using a laser to etch the legends onto the surface of the keycaps. This method provides precise and permanent markings, ensuring that the legends won’t fade or wear off. Laser-engraved keycaps offer a clean and minimalist look, but customization options are limited compared to other printing methods.

Other Types OfKeycaps

Pudding Keycaps: Pudding keycaps are a unique type of keycaps that feature a translucent top and opaque sides. This design allows for enhanced RGB backlighting effects, creating a visually striking and vibrant keyboard appearance.

Artisan Keycaps: Artisan keycaps are handcrafted and often feature intricate designs, ranging from cute characters to elaborate sculptures. These keycaps are highly sought after by enthusiasts looking to add a touch of individuality and artistic flair to their mechanical keyboards.

GMK Keycaps: GMK (Group Buy Manufacturing) keycaps are known for their exceptional quality and attention to detail. These keycaps are produced through a limited-time group buy campaigns and are highly regarded for their thick, double-shot construction and vibrant colorways.

Custom Keycaps: Custom keycaps allow users to design and create their own unique keycap set. They offer the ultimate level of personalization, enabling users to choose specific colors, legends, and even artwork to create a keyboard that reflects their individual style and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Replace Keycaps: To replace keycaps, gently remove the existing keycaps by applying upward pressure or using a keycap puller. Then, align the new keycaps with the switches and press them firmly until they snap into place.

Do All Keycaps Fit On All Switches?

Most keycaps are designed to be compatible with the standard Cherry MX switch mount. However, it’s essential to check the compatibility of keycaps with specific switch types to ensure a proper fit.

Where To Buy Mechanical Keyboard Keycaps?

Mechanical keyboard keycaps can be purchased from various online retailers, such as mechanical keyboard specialty stores, electronics retailers, and artisan keycap makers. Popular online platforms for purchasing keycaps include websites like


Choosing the right keycaps for your mechanical keyboard is a significant decision that can greatly impact your typing experience and overall satisfaction. Considering factors such as keycap height, material, printing method, and unique designs can help you find the perfect keycaps that suit your preferences and enhance your keyboard aesthetics. Whether you opt for OEM keycaps, SA keycaps, PBT keycaps, or artisan keycaps, there is a wide range of options available to cater to different tastes and needs. So, explore the world of keycaps, experiment, and customize your mechanical keyboard to create a typing experience that is uniquely yours.