In this article, we will discuss the different factors to consider when Find keycaps for your mechanical keyboard. We will also provide a few recommendations for some of the best keycaps on the market.
So, whether you’re a seasoned keyboard enthusiast or a newcomer on the quest for the perfect typing experience,
Here is a gateway to unlocking the world of keycaps and discovering the ones that fit your keyboard like a glove.
Let’s embark on this exciting journey and delve into the realm of keycaps that will transform your keyboard into a work of art.
To find keycaps that fit your keyboard, consider the following steps:
- Determine your keyboard’s layout
- Check stem compatibility
- Know the mounting method
- Verify keycap profile
- Research compatibility
- Explore trusted sources
By following these steps, you can find keycaps that fit your keyboard perfectly and enhance your typing experience with style.
How Keycaps Are Measured?
Keycaps are measured in units, where 1 unit is equal to the width of a standard alphanumeric key. For example, a 1.25u key is 1.25 units wide, which is slightly wider than a standard alphanumeric key. Spacebars are typically 6.25u wide, while the Enter key is typically 2.25u wide.
Here is a table of some common keycaps sizes:
It’s important to note that not all keyboards use the same keycap sizes. Some keyboards, such as those with non-standard layouts, may have different keycap sizes for certain keys. It’s always best to check the layout of your keyboard before buying keycaps.
You can measure the size of your keycaps using a ruler or a caliper. To measure the width of a keycap, simply measure the distance between the centers of two adjacent keycaps.
To measure the height of a keycap, simply measure the distance from the top of the keycap to the bottom of the keycap.
Once you know the size of your keycaps, you can use this information to find a set of keycaps that will fit your keyboard.
When buying keycaps, it’s important to make sure that the keycaps are the same size as your current keycaps. If the keycaps are too small or too large, they will not fit properly on your keyboard.
How do I know what type of keycap I have?
To determine the type of keycap you have, examine the keycap’s profile, stem type, and mounting method. Look for visual cues such as the shape, curvature, and height of the keycap, as well as the shape and design of the stem at the bottom.
Comparing these characteristics to common keycap profiles, stem types (such as Cherry MX or Alps), and mounting methods (plate-mounted or PCB-mounted) will help you identify the type of keycap you have.
1. Look at the profile.
Keycap profiles refer to the shape and height of the keycaps. There are many different profiles available, such as Cherry, OEM, SA, DSA, and MT3. Each profile has its own unique shape and height, which can affect the feel and sound of your keyboard.
To identify the profile of your keycaps, you can compare them to pictures of different profiles online. You can also measure the height of the keycaps using a ruler.
Here are some commonly found keycap profiles:
A. OEM Profile: The Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) profile is the most common and widely used keycap profile. It features a slightly curved top surface and a cylindrical shape. Many stock keyboards come with OEM-profile keycaps.
B. Cherry Profile: Developed by Cherry Corporation, the Cherry profile is known for its low height and gentle curve. It offers a comfortable typing experience and is popular among enthusiasts.
C. SA Profile: The Signature Plastics SA profile is characterized by its tall, sculpted shape. SA keycaps provide a vintage aesthetic and a unique feel when typing.
D. DSA Profile: The Deep Space Adventure (DSA) profile, also manufactured by Signature Plastics, features a flat, uniform top surface. DSA keycaps are often preferred for their compatibility with various keyboard layouts.
E. XDA Profile: Similar to the DSA profile, the XDA profile also offers a flat, uniform top surface. XDA keycaps are often appreciated for their sleek and minimalist design.
2. Check the material.
Keycaps are typically made from ABS or PBT plastic. ABS plastic is less expensive, but it is also more prone to wear and tear. PBT plastic is more durable and will last longer.
To identify the material of your keycaps, you can feel the keycaps. ABS keycaps will feel smooth and glossy, while PBT keycaps will feel rough and textured.
You can also look at the keycaps under a light. ABS keycaps will be a lighter color, while PBT keycaps will be a darker color.
3. Check the manufacturer.
Many manufacturers will list the type of keycaps on their website or in the product description. If you know the manufacturer of your keyboard, you can check their website to see what type of keycaps they use.
4. Stem Type:
The stem is the part of the keycap that connects it to the switch on your keyboard. There are two common stem types:
Cherry MX Stem: This is the most widely used stem type and is compatible with keyboards that use Cherry MX switches or their clones. The stem has a cross-like shape with two perpendicular slots.
Alps Stem: Alps stems are used in keyboards that utilize Alps switches. These stems have a rectangular or square shape with two or four small tabs.
To determine the stem type, you can inspect the bottom of your keycap and compare it to the descriptions and images of Cherry MX and Alps stems.
5. Mounting Method:
The mounting method refers to how the keycaps attach to the keyboard switches. The two primary mounting methods are:
Plate-mounted: In plate-mounted keyboards, the keycaps attach directly to a metal or plastic plate that holds the switches. These keycaps usually have small clips on the bottom that secure them to the plate.
PCB-mounted: In PCB-mounted keyboards, the keycaps attach to the printed circuit board (PCB) of the keyboard. These keycaps typically have additional stabilizers to ensure stability.
By carefully examining the shape, stem type, and mounting method of your existing keycaps, you can identify their type. This knowledge will be invaluable when searching for compatible keycaps that fit your keyboard perfectly.
Remember to refer to the manufacturer’s specifications or consult keyboard enthusiasts’ communities for further assistance if needed.
Don’t Forget To Watch this Video about Keycaps Comparison Guide
What size are my keycaps?
The size of your keycaps is determined by the width of the keycap. Keycaps are measured in units, where 1 unit is equal to the width of a standard alphanumeric key.
For example, a 1.25u key is 1.25 units wide, which is slightly wider than a standard alphanumeric key. Spacebars are typically 6.25u wide, while the Enter key is typically 2.25u wide.
It is important to note that not all keyboards use the same key sizes. Some keyboards, such as those made by Razer, Logitech, and Corsair, have non-standard bottom rows. This means that the keys on the bottom row are not the same size as the keys on other keyboards.
If you are buying keycaps for a keyboard with a non-standard bottom row, you will need to make sure that the keycaps you buy are the correct size. You can usually find this information on the manufacturer’s website or in the product description.
Do all keyboards have the same keycap size?
No, all keycaps are Not created equal. Keycaps come in a variety of colors, styles, Sizes and materials, so you can find the perfect set to match your personality and needs.
Some keycaps are made from high-quality materials that will last for years, while others are made from cheaper materials that will start to show wear and tear after a few months.
It’s important to choose keycaps that are made from a durable material, such as PBT plastic, if you want your keycaps to last.
Another important factor to consider when choosing keycaps is the profile. Keycap profiles refer to the shape and height of the keycaps. There are many different profiles available, so it’s important to choose a profile that you find comfortable to type on.
Is your Keyboard Standard Layout?
A standard keyboard layout is a keyboard layout that is used by most computers and laptops. It is also the most common keyboard layout used in the world. The standard keyboard layout has 104 keys, including the function keys, the number pad, and the navigation keys.
There are a few different standard keyboard layouts, but the most common one is the QWERTY layout. The QWERTY layout was designed to slow down typing speeds so that typewriters would not jam. However, the QWERTY layout is still the most popular keyboard layout today.
There are also a number of non-standard keyboard layouts, such as the Dvorak layout and the Colemak layout. These layouts are designed to be more efficient than the QWERTY layout, but they are not as widely used.
Is your Keyboard an Ergo Layout?
There are a few things you can look for to identify if your keyboard has an ergonomic layout.
- Split design: Ergonomic keyboards often have a split design, which means that the two halves of the keyboard are separated. This can help to reduce strain on your wrists and hands by allowing you to position the keyboard in a more natural way.
- Angled keys: Ergonomic keyboards often have angled keys, which can help to improve your typing posture. The angle of the keys can help to keep your wrists in a neutral position, which can reduce strain and pain.
- Qwertz layout: Some ergonomic keyboards use a Qwertz layout, which is a variation of the standard QWERTY layout. The Qwertz layout is designed to reduce finger travel and improve typing speed.
- Thumb clusters: Ergonomic keyboards often have thumb clusters, which are groups of keys that are located near the center of the keyboard. The thumb clusters can be used to access frequently used keys, such as the spacebar, without having to move your hands away from the home row.
If your keyboard has any of these features, it is likely that it has an ergonomic layout. However, the best way to determine if a keyboard is ergonomic is to try it out and see if it feels comfortable to use.
How To Find Keycaps That Fit Your Keyboard? 9 Factors
1. Identify your keyboard layout.
The first step is to identify the layout of your keyboard. There are two main types of keyboard layouts: ANSI and ISO. ANSI keyboards are the most common type of keyboard layout.
They have a standard enter key that is 1.25 units wide. ISO keyboards have a wider enter key that is 2 units wide.
2. Check keycap sizes.
Some keyboards have nonstandard keycap sizes. For example, some keyboards have a 75% layout, which means that they do not have the function keys or the numpad.
Other keyboards have a 60% layout, which means that they do not have the function keys, the numpad, or the arrow keys.
If your keyboard has nonstandard keycap sizes, you will need to find a keycap set that specifically supports your keyboard layout.
3. Inspect switches and their stem.
Keycaps come in two main types of stems: Cherry MX stems and Topre stems. Cherry MX stems are the most common type of stem. Topre stems are used on Topre keyboards.
If your keyboard uses Cherry MX switches, you can use any keycap set that has Cherry MX stems. If your keyboard uses Topre switches, you will need to find a keycap set that has Topre stems.
4. Row Profile.
Ensure kit coverage and keycap shape (row profile) across each row of keys. When you are looking at a keycap set, you will notice that there are different kits available.
The kits will include different keycaps for different rows of keys. For example, the base kit will include the keycaps for the alphas, the modifiers, and the spacebar.
The numpad kit will include the keycaps for the numpad. The extension kit will include the keycaps for the function keys, the arrow keys, and other special keys. Make sure that the kit you choose includes all of the keycaps that you need.
5. Check Detail on site.
Check site FAQs, product information, and group buy / pre-order timelines. When you are buying keycaps, it is important to check the site FAQs, product information, and group buy / pre-order timelines.
This will help you to understand the compatibility of the keycaps, the manufacturing process, and the shipping times.
6. Consider the material of the keycaps.
Keycaps are typically made from ABS plastic or PBT plastic. ABS plastic is the most common type of plastic. It is less expensive than PBT plastic, but it is also more prone to shine. PBT plastic is more expensive than ABS plastic, but it is also more durable and less prone to shine.
7. Consider the thickness of the keycaps.
Keycaps are typically available in two thicknesses: thin and thick. Thin keycaps are more common and they are less expensive. Thick keycaps are more durable and they provide a better typing experience.
8. Profile of the keycaps.
Keycap profiles refer to the shape of the keycaps. There are many different profiles available, such as Cherry profile, OEM profile, and SA profile. Cherry profile is the most common profile. OEM profile is a taller profile that is often used on gaming keyboards. SA profile is a very tall profile that is often used on custom keyboards.
9. Color of the keycaps.
Keycaps are available in a wide variety of colors. You can choose keycaps that match the color scheme of your keyboard or you can choose keycaps that are a different color for a more unique look.
Follow along with updates + tracking; inspect products when they arrive. Once you have placed your order, you will need to follow along with the updates and tracking information.
This will help you to track the progress of your order and to know when it is expected to arrive.
When your keycaps arrive, you should inspect them to make sure that they are in good condition.
Don’t forget to Watch Video About I Wish I Had Known This Before I Bought My First Custom Mechanical Keyboard.
What is a keycap profile, and which is right for you?
A keycap profile is the shape and height of a keycap. There are many different keycap profiles available, each with its own unique feel. Some of the most popular and Major keycap profiles include Cherry, SA, DSA, and XDA.
1. Cherry profile:
Cherry profile keycaps are the most common type of keycap profile. They are sculpted, with the top of each keycap being slightly taller than the bottom. This gives Cherry profile keycaps a comfortable feel, and they are often praised for their smooth typing experience.
2. SA profile
SA profile keycaps are taller than Cherry profile keycaps, and they have a spherical shape. This gives SA profile keycaps a unique feel that some people love. SA profile keycaps are also known for their deep sound signature.
3. DSA profile
DSA profile keycaps are uniform in height, with no sculpting. This makes DSA profile keycaps a good choice for people who want a consistent feel across all of the keys on their keyboard. DSA profile keycaps are also known for their low-profile design, which makes them a good choice for people who want a more compact keyboard.
4. XDA profile
XDA profile keycaps are also uniform in height, but they have a flatter profile than DSA profile keycaps. This makes XDA profile keycaps a good choice for people who want a very low-profile keyboard.
The best keycap profile for you is the one that feels the most comfortable to you. There is no right or wrong answer, and it is important to try out different keycap profiles to find the one that you like best.
Do All Keycaps Fit All Switches?
Not all keycaps fit all switches. The most common type of switch is the Cherry MX switch, and keycaps designed for Cherry MX switches will fit most other mechanical switches.
However, there are some switches that have different stems, such as Alps and Topre switches. Keycaps designed for Cherry MX switches will not fit these switches.
Some keycaps, such as SA profile keycaps, are sculpted, with the top of each keycap being slightly taller than the bottom. This gives SA profile keycaps a comfortable feel, but it also means that they will not fit on keyboards with flat keycaps.
Is it worth paying extra for high-end keycaps and name brands?
Yes, paying extra for high-end keycaps and name brands can be worth it if you value superior quality, durability, and aesthetics.
These keycaps often offer better materials, craftsmanship, and attention to detail, resulting in a more satisfying typing experience and a visually appealing keyboard.
Also, reputable brands tend to have a wider range of customization options and better customer support. However, the value is subjective, and budget-friendly options can still provide a satisfactory experience for many users.
Where can I buy custom keycaps?
There are many places where you can buy custom keycaps. Here are a few popular options:
- Amazon: Amazon is a great place to find a wide variety of keycaps at a variety of price points. You can find keycaps made from different materials, in different colors and designs, and with different profiles.
- eBay: eBay is another great place to find custom keycaps. You can often find good deals on keycaps on eBay, especially if you are willing to wait for a good auction.
- Group Buys: Group buys are a great way to get custom keycaps that are not available in stores. Group buys are typically organized by enthusiasts who want to produce a limited run of keycaps.
- Custom Keycap Makers: There are a number of custom keycap makers who will create keycaps to your specifications. This is a great option if you cannot find the perfect keycaps anywhere else.
Choosing keycaps for your mechanical keyboard can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By considering the factors we have discussed in this article, you can find the perfect set of keycaps to match your needs and budget.
Remember to consider the keycap profile, compatibility, and aesthetic appeal to ensure a perfect fit that suits your style and enhances your typing experience.
Whether you’re a gaming enthusiast, a professional typist, or simply someone who appreciates a personalized touch, the right keycaps can elevate your keyboard to new heights.
So don’t settle for less; take advantage of the expert tips provided and embark on your journey to find the perfect keycaps for your keyboard today!
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