Looking for the different keycap profiles which you can use for gaming and typing? Then you have come to the right place; as we know, this quest can be a little tricky since there are many types of Keycap profiles available in the market today. Choosing a good set of keycaps is the most important aspect of a mechanical keyboard because it can provide a completely different user experience.
Make sure to check out these things when picking out a new keycap profile set. Firstly, consider the material of keycaps, their thickness, overall design and texture, and their profile to determine what would work best with your setup and purpose. If your mechanical keyboard features RGB lighting, you should choose a double-shot or pudding-styled keycap set to enable the light to shine through the keycaps.
We will explain more features and details in-depth later on but first, let’s go over the basics of these Keycap profiles that you will use for gaming or typing purposes.
What Are Keycap Profiles?
Nowadays, most keyboards come with various keycap profiles that are relatively inexpensive and mass-produced, making the keyboard drab and bland, except for very expensive mechanical keyboards. The keycaps are what you’ll be looking at and typing on for the rest of your keyboard’s life, so you have to carefully choose the right ones.
The keycap shape relates to the general form of the keycap; a few are smooth, while others are curved and come in a variety of designs. Several types have varying elevations for every line of keys to provide a curved or sloping form throughout the keycap group. By altering the form of your keycap profile, you can elevate the look and experience of your keypad to unprecedented heights.
The fact that the keycaps are carved or uniform is one of the most significant variances among keycap designs. The surface of a homogeneous keycap is flat and not inclined in any way. Sculpted keycaps, on the other hand, feature a small slant to aid with typing, so your fingertips shouldn’t have to reach as far.
Different Keycap Profiles And Their Comparison
1) Uniform/Flat vs. Sculpted Profiles
As you can see, the distinction between a uniform keycap profile and a sculpted or standard profile is significant and affects how you type or play games. Aside from sculpted and non-sculpted keycaps, keycap features are also characterized as “high profile” vs. “medium profile,” depending on their elevation. These keycaps all come under the medium profiles category.
When testing on the sculpted ones, we found that it makes typing more fluid, and the uniform keycap profile seems or appears a little superior to them when typed or used for gaming, and it’s pretty common to see a consistent, uniform profile on a keyboard fanatic with distinct and cool designs.
2) High vs. Medium Keycap Profiles
The Keyboards with high Keycap profiles are higher than those with a standard or medium profile. We found that SA and similar other high-profile features are hard to type on and require some practice in terms of usability. Although being a little more challenging to write on, the SA profile delivers a classic aesthetic and distinctive sound with each keystroke.
Low-profile keycap combinations are also available. However, they are considerably less common among custom mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. These are the “Chiclet” style keys seen on laptops.
3) Spherical vs. Cylindrical Keycap Profiles
The spherical or cylindrical Keycap profiles are specific shapes of the keycap’s surface that come into contact when you place your fingertips on it. Even though the shape affects the way keycaps appear but are not as important as the other components of the keyset. The “cutout” on the base of the keycap is the fundamental differentiation between the two versions.
The picture below demonstrates this. Even though the photographs depict the keycap profiles to the side, the SA profile has a curvature in all angles, while the DCS shape is straight. We found that the curve on the DCS keycap will only travel in one way if you turn it 90 degrees.
The flatness of the top/back border makes it simpler to prevent striking a lower rank keycap while pushing down a button, supporting a “flatter” writing style with the forearms lying on the tabletop, which is its biggest and most crucial distinction.
4) Doubleshot Keycap Profiles
Double shot keycap profiles are created using a more difficult production method that involves injection molding two different polymers. They are constructed like this so that the light may pass through the inscriptions. If your keyboards have unique key illumination, certain keycap types can be used on them so that the backlight illuminates the legends and makes them simpler to understand. PBT and ABS polymers are generally accessible for double-shot keycaps.
5) Pudding Keycaps Profile
Pudding keycap profiles are a great way to highlight the lights on your gaming keyboard. Rather than merely illuminating the inscriptions, the lighting can also flow around the edges of the keycaps. This results in some rather unique keyboard configurations. HyperX makes some of the best pudding keycaps, which are reasonably priced and would make a lovely upgrade for almost any mechanical keyboard.
There are a variety of other pudding keycaps accessible in various colors and manufacturers, so you can choose the one you like.
6) OEM Keycaps Profile
The OEM keycap profile is included with several pre-built mechanical keyboards; therefore, many users will be familiar with this medium profile. It is 11.9 mm tall and comes with slanted tips. These contoured keycaps are perfect for typing or gaming. These switches are mass-produced and widely used in mechanical keyboards from companies like Logitech, Corsair, and Razer.
The individual lines of a mechanical keyboard could well have a distinct general shape and height since such keycaps are not a standard arrangement. This Keycap profile also features cylindrical caps that adapt to the fingertips for further convenience when typing or playing games.
Since OEM keycaps are indeed the mainstream choice, they are inexpensive and accessible in various colors and styles.
7) Cherry Keycaps Profile
Cherry design keycap profiles are a lot similar to the OEM keycaps. However, they are 2.5 mm smaller and, therefore, never as readily accessible as OEM keycaps. The Cherry design has a beautiful combination that includes slanted tops, carved columns, and a lower 9.4 mm height, which offers correctness and quickness.
Every row is molded to differ from the next, allowing the users to understand every row individually. The keycap also incorporates cylindrical tips that embrace the finger for further convenience. These keycap profiles may scuff or interfere with the switching if the mechanical keyboard has LEDs at the bottom.
However, there is a simple solution to this, as we have found that the LED can be sandpapered or reshaped until it no longer interferes with the keycap.
How To Choose The Best keycap Profiles For Gaming and Typing
Choosing the right keycap profiles for your mechanical keyboard is one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make. Each profile has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s critical to pick the perfect one for your needs, whether for gaming or casual use.
1) Consider The Types Of Keycap Profile And Their Materials
The first step is to figure out what kind of keycap profile switches you want, as different switch types need different settings in order to deliver the best feeling. For example, Cherry Profile Keycaps are required for Cherry MX switches and their clones. ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) are the two most common materials used in keycap profiles.
You might be wondering what ABS and PBT are. They are, after all, two distinct forms of plastic with distinct properties. Both varieties of plastic have different textures, sounds, and appearances. Let’s talk a little more about these two materials so you will get a good idea and general feel of them.
- ABS vs. PBT Keycaps
ABS keycaps are the most affordable and widely used plastic for keycap profiles. These keycaps are mass-produced due to their ease of injection molding. PBT plastic is less prevalent than ABS, but it is usually of superior quality. PBT keycaps feel textured and are more durable than ABS keycaps, which feel smooth and develop a smooth gloss with time.
It is used over ABS because it is more durable and wears down less over time. However, there are also several very excellent ABS keycap profile sets available, and ultimately, it boils down to personal preference.
Some people prefer ABS’s smooth feel for gaming, as many people appreciate the sound that a good ABS keycap like GMK makes, while others prefer PBT’s textured feel for more casual typing use.
2) Checking the Keyboard Size
It’s critical to double-check that your keycap profile set is compatible with the layout and design of your keyboard before purchasing it. If you have a full-sized keyboard, get a keycap set with enough keys to cover the layout, including the number pad. Some keycap sets are only for 65 percent or tenkeyless layouts because larger layouts normally require more keys, which means they are more expensive.
3) ANSI vs ISO Layout
Another aspect you should consider is whether your keycap profile set is compatible with ANSI and ISO layouts. The size and shape of the enter key are the most noticeable differences. Most keycap sets will include the appropriate keycap sizes for both layout types, but make sure to double-check before you buy because if the right-hand enter key does not fit properly, it can be aggravating.
4) Choosing between Sculpted and Uniform Profile
Sculpted Keycap profiles are the most popular and well-known ones since they allow for more frequent typing and feel more comfortable. These keycaps are gently slanted and slightly inclined to aid users in achieving quick typing while maintaining a good grip. Cherry and OEM keycaps best represent sculpted profile keycaps.
Uniform keycaps are great for persons who type without lifting their hands and move their fingers swiftly across the keyboard. If you’re using them for casual purposes and typing, then these keycap profiles won’t disappoint you. In terms of design, Uniform Keycap profiles have a flat surface and are not angled.
This consistent profile is the most popular among those who want to use their keyboards for gaming, creativity, and invention. Uniform profile keycaps are best represented by DSA and XDA keycaps.
5) Standard Layout Keyboard for Keycap Profiles
Certain older keyboards have non-standard layouts, and the keycap profile sizes will differ from what comes with a new keycap set unless it’s made specifically for that keyboard type. To ensure that the keycaps are totally compatible, make sure your keyboard has a standard layout.
Another thing to watch out for is that the keycaps you order are for the language and nation layout you want (we have seen many people making this mistake). Some keycap sets have two languages printed on them for quick translation, which is a cool addition and looks attractive.
To conclude, we have discussed all the different keycap profiles that are available for mechanical keyboards in the market today. These include both sculpted and uniform profile keycaps. Changing and getting a new keycap set for our keyboard is always exciting and demanding, but with the correct information, it becomes simple. We hope we were able to assist you in determining which keycap profiles are best suited for your needs.