One of the reasons to have a mechanical keyboard is because you are able to customize it. I’m not talking about super-professional or skillful customization, which is not available for everyone. Using custom keycaps, all of you are able to decorate or facelift a mechanical keyboard as you wish.
Why should you do customized through keycaps?
At first, mechanical keyboards are more expensive than regular membrane keyboards; and they are very durable. A decent mechanical keyboard can last for years. With year-by-year usage, the fonts on the keycaps could be faded or wear. And an economic method to refresh your mechanical keyboard is to buy a set of new keycaps. It’s much cheaper than buying a new mechanical keyboard. A set of ABS/PBT keycaps mostly ranges from 10-30 dollars.
The second reason is the beautiful and colorful keycaps will cheer you up. The unending work and typing sometimes annoy us. Our mood is up and down. If you can decorate your keyboard with your favorite cartoon characters, interesting symbols or any unique design, it will help us to adjust our condition in some ways.
Buying custom keycaps, you will be surprised by the multitudinous types. And it’s better to know some basic information about custom keycaps and mechanical keyboards, which help you choose the right and proper keycaps.
According to the layouts of your mechanical keyboards, you can determine how many custom keycaps you need or you want. Of course, the cost will be varied.
Full-Size Layout = 108/104 Keys
TKL Layout = 87/78 Keys
Super-Compact Layout = 61 Keys
You can replace all the keycaps with colorful custom keycaps, or you can just replace a few keycaps, such as WASD or ESC. It’s time to show your personalities and tastes.
Basically, the shapes of the keycaps determine the keyboard profiles. The main types are high profile and low profile, which is defined by the height of the keycaps. Most membrane keyboards belong to low profile. The shapes of the keycaps can be flat and chiclet.
For mechanical keyboards, the high profile is common; but recently, there has been launched some low profile mechanical keyboards. Low profile mechanical keyboards are applied with low profile mechanical switches, and relatively expensive. If you have a low profile mechanical keyboard, it could be hard to find custom keycaps. The right image has listed all common keycap profiles. You can check out which type your keycaps belong to. If you are not sure about the profile of your mechanical keyboard, you’d better check it with the vendor.
Image from Reddit
You may have noticed that the two mechanical keyboards have slight differences. The left keycaps are embedded in the mechanical keyboard, and the right keycaps are floating on the mechanical keyboard. But this little difference wouldn’t make a big difference in custom keycaps.
Keycap Compatibility and Size
When you determine which keycaps you’d like to customize, you need to check out which row they are belonging to. Some functional keycaps have different sizes from letter keycaps. Most custom keycap vendors will provide all these detail information, or you can consult them before you place the orders. That’s because the layouts would affect the keycap’s sizes, especially for some compact layout mechanical keyboards; and different brand keyboards have slight differences in keycap sizes.
Normal keycap materials have ABS and PBT. ABS keycaps are cheaper than PBT keycaps. PBT keycaps are more popular because it’s more durable and better typing-feel. However, coming to custom keycaps, the materials of custom artisan keycaps are varied. Besides ABS and PBT, there are resin, metal, wood, and more. Some artists will choose their preferred materials to design and produce custom keycaps. The diverse materials also increase the interestingness and design sense.
Have you noticed if your keycaps are shine through or not? The premise is your mechanical keyboard has a backlight. According to our surveys, over half of our customers prefer keycaps with shine through. It’s a very personalized choice. If your mechanical keyboard has a single backlight, you can choose colorful custom keycaps with shine through, which performance is like to have an RGB backlight. With shine through keycaps, you are easy to read and type in a dim lighting condition.
Fonts & Symbols
The fonts can be on the front or on the side of keycaps. For custom keycaps, the font on the keycap is not a must. Custom keycaps are featured with popular and interesting symbols, characters, or images. You can choose some custom keycaps with unique designs. There is no letters or symbols on the keycaps. Mostly, decoration function plays a more important role than practical function.
But if you just want colorful keycaps with fonts, the Mac mechanical keyboard has different symbols from Windows mechanical keyboard. Make sure every detail before the order is placed.