Keycaps are a crucial part of the gaming experience and are the physical interface between you and your gaming computer. They allow you to type comfortably, accurately, and quickly. But with so many different types of keycaps available on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is the best for you. In this article, we will explore the different types of keycaps for mechanical keyboards and their features, so that you can make an educated decision about which one to buy. We will also discuss how to choose the best keycaps for your needs, and how to properly care for them. So, if you’re looking for a way to make your gaming experience even better, read on to learn more about keycaps and how to pick the best one for you.
Different Types of Keycaps For Mechanical Keyboards
If you want to have the best chance at choosing the highest quality keycaps, you have to be aware of the jargon that the techy guys use. So here are some of the different types of keycaps you’ll likely see on the market.
PBT Keycaps – PBT stands for polybutylene terephthalate. This is a thermoplastic polymer that is very resistant to heat, and as such makes for a durable and long-lasting keycap. It also has a texture on the surface of the keycap that allows for a better grip than other materials. It does not shine like ABS keycaps, and has a matte finish that is less slippery and easier to clean. PBT is most commonly used to make gaming keycaps because of its durability and other great qualities.
ABS Keycaps – ABS stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. This is a thermoplastic polymer that is used in many household goods and toys. It is cheap to produce and easy to work with, which makes it a popular choice for keycaps. However, it is less durable than PBT keycaps and can yellow over time.
Doubleshot Keycaps – Doubleshot keycaps are made by injecting plastic into metal moulds and then hardening the plastic to create a single piece. This allows for a higher level of detail on the keycap but is more expensive and time-consuming to produce.
Backlit Keycaps – Backlit keycaps are made with LED lights that are placed inside the cap itself. These allow for more customization, as you can choose the colour of the light, brightness level, and effects.
Let the record show that a lot of the keycaps that you see online will have many of these traits merged into one. That’s how you know they’re good quality. For example, it’s totally possible to have Keycaps made using PBT polymer, which has been Doubleshot moulded and is also backlight compatible.
How To Choose The Best Keycaps For You
If you’re looking to upgrade your keycaps, then you will want to first consider what you want out of them. For example, you may want a more ergonomic design, or you may want a more durable material to prevent yellowing. Next, you will want to decide what your budget is. Keycaps come in a range of prices, and many are quite expensive. So, if you have a limited budget, you will want to prioritise the features that are most important to you above all else.
If you have a little extra cash to spend, then you can get a more high-end keyboard with all the bells and whistles. You can take a look at keycap brand reviews to make sure you’re willing to part with your cash. Finally, you will want to consider what type of keyboard you have and whether or not the keycaps will fit. Most keyboards have standard keycaps, but this is not always the case. So, it’s important to do your research before making a purchase to make sure that the keycaps will work with your keyboard.
For instance, it’s common to think that membrane keyboards are the same as mechanical keyboards. While they both use mechanical keycaps, the switches on the bottom that are used to mount the keys may be different. Not to mention, removing the keys from a membrane keyboard is significantly harder than a mechanical keyboard.
But not all keycaps are made with functionality in mind. Various different decorative keycaps have been growing in popularity. Gamers and streamers have been adding the finishing touches to their setup with things like Kirby keycaps and other characters from their favourite video games and anime. If you spend countless hours at your computer there’s nothing wrong with taking some pride in how your keyboard looks!
How To Properly Care For Your Keycaps
Caring for your keycaps is important, and can extend the lifespan of your keyboard. There are several things you can do to extend the life of your keycaps, such as cleaning them and storing them correctly. To clean your keycaps, you can take a small amount of soap and water and wipe them down, or use a microfiber cloth.
Using a small amount of rubbing alcohol to kill germs is also a good idea if you want to keep things hygienic. To store your keycaps, you can use a small container, or store them in the bag they came in. Avoid storing them in a humid environment, as this can promote the growth of bacteria and mould which can damage the keycaps over time.
Finally, remove your keycaps with caution and care. Although they are made to be removed and replaced, hard or aggressive pressure applied to the keycap can cause damage to the mount. This will result in the keys being loose on the keyboard, lopsided or even sounding different to the rest. In order to get around this you can use a keycap removal tool which is sold at most computer retailers in the accessories section.