What Are the Types of KeyCaps of Computer Keyboards?

  • Post published:January 22, 2023
  • Post category:Keycaps
  • Post author:
  • Reading time:27 mins read

Welcome to our blog on the types of keycaps found on computer keyboards. Keycaps, also known as keyboard caps, are the plastic covers that sit on top of the switches on a keyboard. These caps protect the switches and also provide a surface for the user to press on to input characters and commands.

In this blog, we will take a closer look at the different types of keycaps available for computer keyboards and discuss the pros and cons of each.

From ABS to PBT, we will cover it all. So whether you’re a gamer looking for improved tactile feedback or a typist searching for a more comfortable typing experience, this blog has got you covered.

What Are the Types of KeyCaps of Computer Keyboards?

Major types of keycaps found on computer keyboards include ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) keycaps, PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) keycaps, POM (Polyoxymethylene) keycaps, and rubber keycaps. Each type has its own unique properties such as durability, texture and feel, and typing sound.

Keep reading to learn more about the different types of keycaps and find the perfect one for your keyboard.

Here we are going to talk about the keycaps and Their types too.

Starting From the bottom.

What are keycaps?

Keycaps are the plastic covers that sit on top of the switches on a computer keyboard. They protect the switches and provide a surface for the user to press on to input characters and commands.

Keycaps come in different shapes, sizes, and materials, and they can be replaced or customized to improve the look, feel, and functionality of a keyboard.

They are an important part of the overall keyboard design, and can have a significant impact on typing experience, durability and ergonomics

What Are the Types of KeyCaps of Computer Keyboards Ultimate Guide

How Should I Select the Right Keycaps for my Keyboard?

One of the most important considerations when purchasing a keyboard is the type of keycaps that will be used. Different types of keyboards require different types of keycaps, so it is important to select the correct set for your needs.

Selecting the right keycaps for your computer can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here is a guide to help you choose the best keycaps for your needs:

1.      Material:

The most common materials for keycaps are ABS, PBT, POM, and rubber. ABS keycaps are the most common and affordable, but they tend to wear out quickly and have a glossy finish.

PBT keycaps are more durable and have a rough texture, providing a better grip and typing experience. POM keycaps are known for their durability and resistance to wear and tear.

Rubber keycaps are made of silicone and provide a comfortable grip and quiet typing experience.

2.      Profile:

There are several keycap profiles to choose from, such as OEM, Cherry, and SA. The OEM profile is the most common and is found on most stock keyboards. The Cherry profile is slightly taller and provides a more comfortable typing experience. The SA profile is the tallest and provides the most tactile feedback.

3.      Keycap size:

The most common keycap size is known as 1u. This is the standard size for most keys on a keyboard. Some keyboard models have different sizes of keycaps, like a 1.5u keycap, check the size of the keycap that would fit properly on your keyboard.

4.      Color:

Keycaps come in a variety of colors, from classic black to vibrant RGB. Some keycap sets even have different legends, or the symbols printed on the keycaps, to choose from.

5.      Compatibility:

Make sure the keycaps you choose are compatible with your keyboard. Some keycaps are designed specifically for certain keyboard models or switch types, so be sure to check the compatibility before making a purchase.

6.      Personal preference:

Your personal preference is the most important factor in choosing the right keycaps. Think about what you want to achieve by replacing your keycaps. Is it for typing comfort, better aesthetics, or improved durability?

Overall, the keycaps you choose should be based on your personal preferences and the purpose you want to achieve by replacing them. Be sure to consider all of the factors listed above when making your selection.

Note: All keyboards require at least one keycap for the “Enter” key.

Where to find KeyCaps for Your keyboard?


What Are the Types of KeyCaps of Computer Keyboards?

Credit: switchandclick.com

1. Cherry Keycaps:

This type of keycap is most commonly used on gaming keyboards. Cherry keycap profiles are designed for durable, responsive performance.

This profile is slightly taller than OEM and provides a more comfortable typing experience. The keycaps have a curved shape that fits the natural shape of your fingers.

They are also available in a variety of colors and designs to perfectly match your keyboard.

2. DSA Keycaps:

DSA keycaps are the default keycap profile for many keyboard manufacturers. They are available in both standard and custom designs and come in lots of different colors and styles.

DSA keycaps have a uniform shape, which means that all the keycaps are the same height. They also have a shallow profile which makes them less tiring to type on for long hours

3. SA Keycaps:

SA keycaps are designed specifically for mechanical keyboards. They offer a more durable profile than Cherry or DSA keycaps, as well as improved responsiveness. They also come in a variety of colors and styles.

This is the tallest profile and provides the most tactile feedback. SA profile keycaps are sculpted, which means the rows have different heights, this design allows for the fingers to find the keys more easily.

4. XDA Keycaps:

XDA keycaps are designed for professional gamers and typists who need the best response times possible. They’re also available in a variety of colors and styles to perfectly match your motherboard, keyboard, and gaming rig.

XDA profile keycaps are similar to DSA profile keycaps but they are slightly taller and have a more angled shape.

5. OEM profile:

This profile is mainly used by computer companies that have their own branding and logo on the keycaps. These keycaps are usually made with high-quality plastic and a shiny finish.

This is the most common profile and is found on most stock keyboards. The keycaps have a slight curve to them and are shorter in height, making them easy to type on.

It’s worth noting that, besides the profile, the keycaps also come in different sizes, the most common being 1u size, which is the standard size for most keys on a keyboard.

While some keyboard models have different sizes of keycaps, like a 1.5u keycap, check the size of the keycap that would fit properly on your keyboard.

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What are the most common keycap materials?

The most common keycap materials are ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate), POM (Polyoxymethylene) and Rubber.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene):

These are the most common and affordable keycaps on the market. They are lightweight and easy to manufacture, which makes them the perfect choice for stock keyboards. However, they tend to wear out quickly and have a glossy finish.

PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate):

These keycaps are more durable and have a rough texture, providing a better grip and typing experience. PBT keycaps are more resistant to wear and tear, and they don’t develop a shine over time like ABS keycaps do. They are also more resistant to heat and chemicals. However, they are more expensive to manufacture and may produce a slightly louder sound when typing.

POM (Polyoxymethylene):

These keycaps are known for their durability and resistance to wear and tear. They are also resistant to heat and chemicals. POM keycaps provide a slightly softer feel than PBT keycaps, but they tend to be more expensive.

Rubber:

These keycaps are made of silicone and provide a comfortable grip and quiet typing experience. They are also water-resistant and easy to clean. However, they are not as durable as other keycap materials and can wear out quickly.

When choosing keycap materials, it’s important to consider factors such as durability, texture and feel, and typing sound. You should also consider the compatibility of the keycap material with your keyboard, as some keycaps are designed specifically for certain keyboard models or switch types.

According to my opinion, ABS keycaps are the most common and affordable, but they tend to wear out quickly and have a glossy finish.

PBT keycaps are more durable and have a rough texture, POM keycaps are known for their durability and resistance to wear and tear, and rubber keycaps are made of silicone and provide a comfortable grip and quiet typing experience.

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KEYCAP Types: DYE-SUB VS. DOUBLE-SHOT

There are two types of keycaps: dye-sub and double-shot. A dye-sub keycap is a single piece of plastic that is dyed to the desired color. A double-shot keycap is made up of two pieces of plastic that are shot at different angles to create the desired shape and color.

Dye-sub keycaps and double-shot keycaps are two different types of keycaps that are used in computer keyboards.

Dye-sub keycaps are created by using a dye-sublimation process where the keycap’s surface is heated, and the ink is fused into the plastic. The process creates a high-resolution, durable finish, but the keycap legend can fade over time.

Double-shot keycaps are created by injecting two different colored plastics into a mold, one for the keycap and one for the legend.

This process ensures that the legend will never fade, as it is a separate piece of plastic that is fused with the keycap. Double-shot keycaps are more durable and long-lasting, but they are also more expensive to manufacture.

DOUBLE-SHOT KEYCAPS

Double-shot keycaps are made up of two pieces of plastic that are glued together, and the dye is injected into the seams between the two pieces of plastic. This makes the double-shot keycaps more resistant to wear and tear, as well as provides a brighter color option

DYE-SUB PRINTING

Dye-sub keycaps are made of a single piece of plastic which is then cut into the desired shape and dyed a different color. This makes for a more expensive keycap, but it also means that the dye will not rub off and the color will stay consistent over time.


What is a keycap profile, and which is right for you?

A keycap profile is a physical characteristic of a keycap that affects how it feels when you press it down. There are three main types of keycap profiles: flat, domed, and shallow.

Flat profiles are the most common type and are designed to feel similar to the keys on a typewriter or keyboard from the 1970s and 1980s. They are usually square or rectangular in shape and have a low profile.

Credit: switchandclick.com

Domed profiles are similar to flat profiles but have a raised center that makes them more comfortable to press down. They also have a higher profile than flat profiles and are often used on keyboards with an elevated layout.

Shallow profiles are designed for people who have smaller hands or who want less pressure when typing. They are round or ovoid in shape and have a shallow depth compared to other profiles.

Each type of profile has its own advantages and disadvantages. Flat profiles are the most common and are generally cheaper than other profiles. They are also easier to install since they require less space on the keyboard board.


Is it worth paying extra for high-end keycaps and name brands?

If I Give you My Honest opinion about it. Its depend on the individual’s personal preference and priorities. High-end keycaps and name brands may offer better quality and durability, but they also come at a higher cost.

Some people may find the additional cost to be worth it for the improved feel and longevity of the keycaps, while others may not consider it to be necessary.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual to decide if they feel that the extra cost is worth it for the added benefits.

On the other side, if your keyboard is meant for occasional use rather than everyday typing, it may not be worth spending more on keycaps since they will likely wear out faster.

In the end, it’s important to remember that not all keyboards are built equally; some are designed for gaming or other intensive uses that may require higher-quality materials and construction.


How do mechanical keyboard keycaps change the typing experience?

Mechanical keyboard keycaps can change the typing experience in a few different ways. One way is by providing a different tactile feel when typing.

Different keycap materials, such as PBT or ABS plastic, have different textures and can provide a more or less grippy surface to type on.

Additionally, keycaps can affect the sound of typing, with some materials, such as PBT, being known for producing a more satisfying “thock” sound when typing.

Another way that keycaps can change the typing experience is through the use of different keycap profiles. Keycap profiles refer to the shape of the keycaps and how they are angled in relation to one another.

Different keycap profiles can affect the ergonomics of typing and how comfortable it is to type for long periods of time.

Some keycap profiles, such as sculpted keycaps, are designed to be more comfortable for the user, while other profiles, such as flat keycaps, may be less comfortable but are better suited for gaming or other activities that require quick and precise key presses.

Lastly, keycaps can also change the typing experience by allowing users to personalize the look of their keyboard. Some people like to use custom keycaps to match their personal style, or to make their keyboard stand out.

Overall, mechanical keyboard keycaps can change the typing experience by providing a different feel, sound, ergonomics, and look to the keyboard.


Are Custom Keycaps Worth It?

Custom keycaps are an interesting option for people who want to customize their keyboards. They can be expensive, but they can also be a lot of fun to work with.

There are a few different types of custom keycaps, and each one has its own benefits and drawbacks.

There are two main types of custom keycaps: dye-sublimated and laser-cut. Dye-sublimated keycaps use a dye that is spread on the keys as they are printed.

This means that the color will wear off over time, which is why they are usually only used on keyboards that will be used regularly.

Laser-cut keycaps use a laser to cut the keys out of a piece of plastic or metal. This means that the color won’t wear off, but it also means that they cannot be recycled or replaced if they get damaged or lost.

Laser-cut keycaps tend to be more expensive than dye-sublimated keycaps, but they’re also easier to repair if something goes wrong. Dye-sublimated keycaps don’t require any additional maintenance, but they do require special keys witches in order to work properly.

Overall, both types of custom keycaps have their advantages and disadvantages. If you’re looking for a unique way to customize your keyboard, either type of custom keycap may be the right choice for you.


How do I replace the keycaps of computer keyboard?

Replacing computer keycaps is an easy task with the right tools. There are three types of keycaps: standard, numeral, and function.

Standard keycaps are the most common type and come in a wide variety of colors and styles. Numeral keycaps are similar to standard keycaps but have numbers printed on them instead of letters.

Function key caps are unique in that they have dedicated keys for specific tasks such as volume control or web browsing shortcuts.

To replace computer keycaps,

  1. Remove the current keycaps: Most keycaps can be removed by gently prying them off with a keycap puller or a flathead screwdriver.
  2. Place the new keycaps in the correct position: Make sure to align the new keycaps with the stems on the keyboard switches.
  3. Push down the new keycaps: Use a small amount of force to push down the keycaps until they snap into place.
  4. Repeat the process for all keycaps: Repeat the process for all keycaps that you want to replace.
  5. Test the keyboard: Once you’ve replaced all the keycaps, test the keyboard to make sure all the keys are working properly.

Note: If you have a mechanical keyboard, you need to be more careful as the switches are delicate and can be damaged if not handled properly.


Where can I buy fully custom keycaps?

You can buy fully custom keycaps from anywhere you want. these are the available options from where you can buy.

  1. Amazon:

You can buy custom keycaps from Amazon.com. You can choose from a variety of materials and colors to personalize your keyboard.

2. eBay:

You can buy custom keycaps from eBay. You can find a wide range of materials, colors, and designs to choose from.

3. Physical Store:

You can also buy custom keycaps from a physical store. Some stores offer customization services, while others sell pre-made keycap sets.

Conclusion:

There are several types of keycaps that can be found on computer keyboards. These include ABS plastic, PBT plastic, and double-shot keycaps. Each material has its own unique properties and advantages, such as durability and feel.

Keep in mind that, keycaps can also come in different shapes and sizes, such as cylindrical, spherical, and sculpted.

Ultimately, the type of keycaps that you choose will depend on your personal preferences and needs. Whether you’re looking for a more durable option or a specific look or feel, there’s a keycap material and design out there for you.

FAQs:

What are the different types of keycaps for computer keyboards?

The most common types of keycaps for computer keyboards are ABS plastic, PBT plastic, and double-shot keycaps.

What are the advantages of ABS plastic keycaps?

ABS plastic keycaps are known for their durability and resistance to wear and tear. They are also relatively inexpensive and easy to produce.

What are the advantages of PBT plastic keycaps?

PBT plastic keycaps are known for their durability and resistance to wear and tear. They are also less prone to shine and are less slippery than ABS plastic keycaps.

What are the advantages of double-shot keycaps?

Double-shot keycaps are known for their durability and longevity. They are also resistant to fading and are more resistant to wear and tear than other keycap materials.

Are there different shapes of keycaps?

Yes, keycaps can come in different shapes, such as cylindrical, spherical, and sculpted, which can affect the feel and look of the keyboard.

Can I replace the keycaps on my keyboard?

Yes, most keycaps can be removed and replaced with new ones. However, it is important to ensure that the new keycaps are compatible with your keyboard.

Raisaleem

I am Rai Saleem (MSc. Computer Science). Worked with Different Tech StartUps. I have 4+ Years of Working Experience in the Computer Industry. On This platform, I share My Experience and Providing Solutions for Computer problems.

I Started This Journey From 2G internet with 30KB downloading Speed to This modern 5G World. Now Sharing My IT Experience With loving People Like You. I am addicted to This Drug of Computer Science since My Childhood When I Got my first core 2 duo Pc.