The best thing about mechanical keyboards is how you don’t have to commit to one aesthetic. Tired of your plain-looking mechanical keyboard? Switch things up by adding a bit of bling to zhng your keyboard! You don’t have to spend too much or take apart the entire thing. All you have to do is remove the keycaps with a keycap puller and voila! Your keyboard will now have a whole new look. Break free from the mundane and customise your mechanical keyboard to your heart’s content! Read on to check out the different types of keycaps we absolutely love!
Things to consider when buying different types of keycaps
Sound and feel
As a mechanical keyboard enthusiast, one of the first things to consider is the sound you’d like to hear as you type away endlessly. Wanting something quieter or with a deeper tone determines the types of material you should keep in mind when buying keycaps.
Most keycap sets should have more than enough for you to fit all the keys. But just in case, you should always check your keyboard layout to determine how many keys you’ll need. Common layouts include full-sized, tenkeyless (80%), 75%, 65%, 60% and 40%.
Not looking for a complete rehaul? You can also opt for novelty keycaps that are purely for decorative purposes, or super chio artisan keycaps that are usually on the pricier end. Most people usually only switch out a handful of keycaps for the novelty or artisan types to add a subtle zhng to their keyboards.
SA vs DSA vs Cherry vs XDA
Different types of keycap profiles will give your mechanical keyboard a different feel. The profile of a keycap refers to its overall shape. Keycaps mainly differ in height. They could be flat, angled or have a spherical indentation at the top. Remember to remove your keycaps with a keycap puller so you won’t accidentally damage them!
|Keycap profile type||Height||Shape of keycap top||Sculpted/Uniform profile|
|Cherry||Shorter than OEM profile keycaps||Angled||Sculpted|
|DSA||Shortest among other profiles||Spherical indentation||Uniform across keyboard|
|XDA||Medium||Spherical indentation||Uniform across keyboard|
|SA||Taller than other keycap profiles||Angled with spherical indentation||Sculpted|
Which keycap is best for typing?
Keycaps are usually made from one of two types of plastic. There is no one type that is best for typing as it depends on the feel and sound you prefer. Many keycaps are made with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or more commonly referred to as ABS. This material is widely used for keycaps as they’re the cheapest, so you can expect that they could be thinner too. Typing with these keycaps tends to be quieter than with PBT ones.
You can easily identify them when you see that the keycaps have a glossy finish and are smooth to the touch. The downside is that your keycap may feel greasy over time and change in colour. Those pristine, white keycaps may gradually develop a yellow tint. Try to keep your keycaps away from direct sunlight to prevent this from happening!
Pros: Cheaper, glossy finish with smooth feel, quieter typing
Cons: Less durable, greasy feel over time, potential discolouration
The other type of plastic used for keycaps is polybutylene terephthalate, which is also known as PBT. This material is not as common but they’re quickly gaining popularity as they tend to be of better quality.
PBT keycaps have a more textured feel and a matte finish. Thanks to the material, PBT keycaps end up being more durable too. The thickness of these keycaps coupled with its quality makes it more expensive, but the end result is worth it! Typing with these PBT keycaps may be louder but the sound is also deeper, which most people refer to as “thock”. The thockier the keys, the deeper the pitch.
Pros: More durable, matte finish and textured feel
Cons: More expensive, louder typing
Best ABS Keycaps
1. AULA White Keycap Set
The best minimalist keycaps are those plain white ones like the AULA White Keycaps (available on AULA Flagship Store). These are simple and pleasing to the eye, and are great for newbie mechanical keyboard enthusiasts who aren’t that adventurous yet.
2. ENJOYPBT Green&White Keycap Set
Looking to inject a bit of colour to your mechanical keyboard? These ENJOYPBT Green&White Keycaps (available on kbdfans Singapore Store) are great to revamp your keyboard! Facing the computer screen for prolonged periods of time can strain your eyes, so the green keycaps in this set could help take away some of that strain!
3. GMK Jamon Keycap Set
Revamping your mechanical keyboard to fit your red-themed aesthetic? These GMK Jamon Keycaps (available on ColorGamer.sg) are perfect for that! We love this set because of its varying shades of red and how it has some white keycaps to give your mechanical keyboard some contrast.
4. GMK Red Samurai Keycap Set
ABS keycaps may be made with a cheaper type of plastic, but they can still look classy and cool. These GMK Red Samurai Keycaps (available on ColorGamer.sg) are the perfect example of that! This set of keycaps is crafted with a higher quality ABS plastic that feels just as great, if not better, than the PBT type of keycaps. Your friends will definitely be drooling over this beautiful GMK Red Samurais!
5. Transparent Keycaps
Are you into the barebones kind of feel where you can see through your keyboard components? These Transparent Keycaps (available on lovoski3.sg) are the right ones for you! Remove those solid-coloured keycaps for these and you’ll be able to see your key switches in their entirety. These are awesome when you have coloured housings on those key switches. This also means that these keycaps are perfect for switch testers. Time to get on board with experimenting with different key switches with these Transparent Keycaps (available on lovoski3.sg)!
6. Aifei Socks Keycap Set
The SA profile on the Aifei Socks Keycap Set (available on ColorGamer.sg) don’t get enough credit for the feel and look it provides. We especially love this keycap set because it includes three different colours for you to freely zhng your mechanical keyboard.
7. NERV Novelty Keycap
Novelty keycaps can’t get any cuter than these from nervous.sg! The Hamburger Keycap and Donut Keycap (both available on nervous.sg) may seem a little impractical and slightly over the top, but hey, we did mention that novelty keycaps are purely for decorative purposes. Switching out one of your keycaps for this is more than enough to zhng your mechanical keyboard. You don’t want to go overboard, but we’re not gonna stop you either!
8. Forest Keycap Set
Keep your mechanical keyboard clean and green with this Forest Keycap Set (available on yonqiu.sg). This keycap set gives off some low-key tropical vibes that we oh-so-love! Although this keycap set is made with ABS, high quality is assured since they’re double shot keycaps. This means that each keycap comprises two layers of plastic, thus making the usually thinner ABS keycaps thicker and thockier!
9. Novelty PSP Gaming Keycaps
You don’t need a PlayStation console to indulge in your favourite video games with these Novelty PSP Gaming Keycaps (available on pengchenli.sg)! Switch out your direction keys for these keycaps to have the best gaming experience! We recommend getting some clicky key switches to simulate that intense spamming of buttons as you play games on the regular consoles!
10. Backlit Mahjong Keycaps
Huat away with these cool Backlit Mahjong Keycaps (available on Muffin Life Shop)! These ABS keycaps are bound to remind you of mahjong as you type. Perhaps it can help you get rid of your incessant thoughts of playing mahjong, and you’ll finally be able to concentrate on your work. Guess you’ll only find out after giving these a go! While you’re at it, why don’t you spoil yourself with these mahjong gifts!
Best PBT Keycaps
11. Tecware PBT Pudding Keycaps
Want to proudly show the RGB lighting with your mechanical keyboard? You need to get the Tecware PBT Pudding Keycaps (available on Tecware Singapore) to have the best lighting! As the name suggests, the pudding type of keycaps features a solid-coloured top with a see-through base for light to pass through. Pudding keycaps are great for those who love the RGB lighting aesthetic. Getting this type of keycaps also offers a beautiful contrast between the colour of your keyboard case and the keycap itself.
12. RK Carbon Keycap Set
Have you heard of Royal Kludge? They offer some of the best budget mechanical keyboards and tons of wallet-friendly keycap sets! The RK Carbon Keycap Set (available on RK ROYAL KLUDGE Official Store.SG) is another one of their best and affordable PBT keycaps that features side-printed lettering. With so much empty space at the top, you have free reign over its design. Leave it as it is, paste some cute stickers, or maybe even craft your own novelty keycap by sticking on some mini figurines!
13. Corsair Pro Keycap Set
Maybe instead of getting a themed set, why not purchase a few keycap sets of different colours to create your own theme? The Corsair Pro Keycap Set (available on Corsair Official Store) comes in six different colours. We suggest getting the Arctic White or Onyx Black, and a contrasting colour set to build your preferred theme. These PBT keycaps are the best for those who have one too many mechanical keyboards. Purchase several sets so you can switch things up and revamp your keyboards with all the different colours!
14. Retro PBT Keycap Set
The retro vibes are superb on this Retro PBT Keycap Set (available on Spacekeys – Mechanical Keyboard). There are four different colours available in this set that gives you seemingly endless ways to customise and zhng your mechanical keyboard. Even the white keycaps are of a creamier tone and this makes the keyboard feel more vintage and retro! The Windows key features a really old version of the logo, but it’s clearly not as outdated as it seems!
15. Milk-Themed Keycap Set
Moo-ve over because it’s time to zhng your keyboard with the Milk-Themed Keycaps (available on PXL SG). These are the best PBT keycaps for those who’ve had enough of their vibrant keycaps and just want something simple. The milk theme on this keycap set extends to the colour as well, where it’s a creamier white with a subtle tint. There are also extremely cute novelty keycaps that feature a cow, a cup of bubble tea, a carton of milk, and more! How adorbs!
16. Squid Game Keycaps
We can’t guarantee that you’ll become the next millionaire with these Squid Game Keycaps (available on jqinlin.sg), but you can best bet that these PBT keycaps are great to type with! Cement your memories watching the popular TV series with these types of adorable keycaps and don’t forget to secure your fan status with some of these Netflix-inspired costumes!
17. Mount Fuji Artisan Keycap
We may not be able to fly to Japan but we’re sure this Mount Fuji Artisan Keycap (available on Spacekeys – Mechanical Keyboard) will help keep those travel blues away! These handmade artisan keycaps are crafted with resin, so you can be certain that these keycaps are absolutely one-of-a-kind. If you ever find yourself struggling to choose how to zhng your mechanical keyboard, we suggest that you go with this Mount Fuji Artisan Keycap or the Coral Aquarium Artisan Keycap (both available on Spacekeys – Mechanical Keyboard).
18. Sushi Keycap Set
Love your fish snuggled up on a bed of rice? We hope these Sushi Keycaps (available on ColorGamer.sg) can help keep your cravings at bay! This type of PBT keycaps is the best for those who prefer something fairly minimalistic. The blue and pink letterings melds into the theme, and we can’t forget the adorable salmon sushi keycaps!
19. Jujutsu Kaisen PBT Keycaps
Are you really the greatest anime fan if you don’t have these Jujutsu Kaisen PBT Keycaps (available on lovelybylyn.sg)? This dark fantasy anime was awarded Anime of the Year in 2021, so we totally understand why you’re obsessed with these keycaps! But if you’re already looking for another show to watch, here are some of the best anime series your otaku friends will approve of!
20. Cat Paw Artisan Keycap
You’ll always be close to your fur babies with these adorable Cat Paw Artisan Keycaps (available on NYP LIFE HOUSE)! These silicone types of keycaps come in several different designs, so you’re bound to find one that looks just like your furry friend! We’re in love with this type of keycaps because of how they’re so squishy. It’s almost as if our feline pets are right with us!
21. Japanese Characters Keycap Set
These Japanese Characters Keycaps (available on Spacekeys – Mechanical Keyboard) are all the rage among keyboard enthusiasts because of how they look so simple and minimalistic. What makes it one of the best types of keycaps is also largely due to how they’re made with PBT. If you’re going for a Japanese Muji aesthetic then these keycaps are the ones for you!
Type away on the best ABS and PBT keycaps
It doesn’t matter if you’re an amateur or veteran when it comes to mechanical keyboards and the different types of keycaps. We all need a little help in this keyboard community, so if you’re a beginner, you need to check out this beginner’s guide to building your custom mechanical keyboard! You should also try out something pre-assembled with these best mechanical keyboards!