Keycaps are skins made out of various materials, the most common ones being plastic and metal. These are used as coverings over keyboard characters. Keycaps were originally used to show the functionality of each key on the keyboard or if any alphabet had corresponding numbers signified to it. Keyboards in their earlier days would be manufactured along with keycaps attached to the keys, the trend of manufacturing keycaps separately started not long ago to cater to different kinds of keyboards (as not all keyboards have the same key layout).
Keycaps originated sometime between the ‘70s and ‘80s. Back then, these were made out of plastic with the help of keyboard molds i.e. molten colored plastic was poured into key molds and the molded shape turned out to be colorful keycaps. Although these were pretty useful and colorful, the build was bulky and resulted in noisy typing. Also not to forget the molding version of keycap production cost a bomb. The initial versions of keycaps were rather delicate and short-lived, with technology modernizing the updated version of these molded keycaps were made more sturdy which fell out of trend quite soon. The latest versions of keycaps available in the market are far more easily produced with methods such as stamps and lasers, also helpful in creating a very versatile palette of both colors and designs, unlike their bright bulky ancestors.
There are multiple types of keycaps available in the market today. Keycaps produced lately are of two versions- the printed ones or the blank ones. As the name suggests, these keycaps do not have any text written on them. These are just blank textured keycaps which come in various colors to pick from. These blank keycaps are useful in their way, these are mostly used by people who are learning to build their typing speed. This kind of keycap generates a sense of touch feel, which gets registered in the memory, this helps in typing without looking at the keys. They come in multiple variants, the most common ones being anime keycaps, game-themed keycaps, multicolored keycaps, and custom-made ones. Blank or unprinted keycaps are mostly used for aesthetic purposes. Coming to the printed type of keycaps these are the ones that instruct the functionality of each key, old are sturdy stereotypical keycaps as I would like to call them. The plastic that usually goes into making these keycaps is Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)- usually used in the production of lego bricks, Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT)- usually used in the production of electrical appliances, and Polyoxymethylene (POM)- the kind of plastic usually used for molding purposes. These keycaps come in various shapes cylindrical, spherical and flat. Computer keyboards usually come in cylindrical and spherical shapes. Laptop keyboards are usually built with flat keys, hence flat keycaps.
Anime keycaps are the newer versions of modern keycaps, they come in both printed (with key functionalities printed on them) and blank versions. These have caught the rage of gamers. These come in wide color ranges with fancy anime characters printed on them catching the attention of quirk lovers.
Here are our top picks-
- XVX 108 Keycap Set –
Amazon Purchase Link ($19.79)
This 1.4mm thick keycap is sturdy and suitable for someone who operates the keyboard for longer durations. It is of a standard fit suitable to almost all keyboards, for more key size specifications you can check the product description. These keycaps add an amped-up factor to your gaming experience. It always comes with an 18-month warranty making it a safe purchase.
- Gliding 108 Keycap Set –
Amazon Purchase Link ($25.99)
This 1.4mm thick keycap is built for a more comfortable usage experience. It suits almost 90% of the keyboards available in the market. Comes in multiple color options to choose from.
- Benemate 4 Keycap Set –
Amazon Purchase Link ($16.99)
These keycaps are another best option for long-run usage. Standard-fit keycaps are suitable for Cherry MX keyboards. You can purchase multiple of them for a DIY keyboard revamp.
- Mugen 12 Keycap Set –
Amazon Purchase Link ($49.95)
These keycaps are built to accommodate the 12 function keys. Specially crafted for Cherry MX keyboards (also fit almost all gaming key switches). This brand also offers a 100% guarantee on its products, which makes it a sure-shot product to get your hands on.
- SDYZ 108 Keycap Set –
Amazon Purchase Link ($19.79)
This 1.4mm thick keycap is sturdy and suitable for someone who operates the keyboard for longer durations. It is of a standard fit suitable to almost all keyboards, for more key size specifications you can check the product description. These keycaps add an amped-up factor to your gaming experience. These sets come with a varied number of key options to choose from. It always comes with an 18-month warranty making it a safe purchase.
- CUSTOM 108 Keycap Set –
Amazon Purchase Link ($17.99)
Firstly these keycaps come with a 100% money-back guarantee. Unlike the standard keycaps, these are a little broader at the top, not sure if it fits your likeability of usage. Quality wise these are super sturdy and fade-proof. Surely a bang-on-the-buck product and nothing hurts when there is also a 100% money back.
- Mugen 17 Keycap Set –
Amazon Purchase Link ($44.95)
These keycaps are built to accommodate the 17 keys for the number pad. Specially crafted for Cherry MX keyboards (also fit almost all gaming key switches). This brand also offers a 100% guarantee on its products, which makes it a sure-shot product to get your hands on.
- TINTON LIFE 4 Keycap Set –
Amazon Purchase Link ($14.99)
These handmade keycaps come sturdy and handy. These come in sets of 4’s also making it an ideal gifting option. Featuring a Japanese Kimono, Mount Fiji, Sakura, and a Fortune Cat on each one of them. Japanese vibes are a sure shot cute enough pick.
- TS 4 Arrow Keycap Set –
Amazon Purchase Link ($18.98)
These are a set of 4 arrow keycaps crafted for all versions of MX key switches. These come in three different variants to choose from. These keycaps are waterproof as well.
10. Wwkeycaps 108 Keycap Set –
Amazon Purchase Link ($29.99)
These 1.4mm thick keycaps come in the widest range of styles to choose from, these Keycaps are a staple for every anime lover. This keycap set is a complete 108 keycap set, made out of high-quality plastics providing a sturdy build. Versatile and a perfect fit for all gaming and mechanical keyboards, these keycaps provide a very comfortable usage feel. My personal favorite.
Keycaps were mainly designed for gamers and users who are on their keyboards for a longer period.
- This makes the boring monochromatic key switches more lively and energetic to work on.
- Keycaps are made out of good quality plastics which can handle high usage and also last for a longer duration of time from their wear and tear.
- Also, keycaps make the maintenance of keyboards easy, as these handy detachable keycaps are easy to clean.
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