Author Topic: Where in the World To get Quality Keycaps?  (Read 528 times)

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Offline HotRoderX

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Where in the World To get Quality Keycaps?
« on: Sat, 12 August 2017, 20:07:06 »
I know kinda about group buys. I currently am in one on massdrop thought thats not shipping tell next year. I know about Taihao. Where else can one buy caps that don't take months and months  to get? I did find these

https://pimpmykeyboard.com/dsa-sublimated-keycap-sets/

which I find pretty interesting. I think might work price isn't to bad but would want to know if anyone had any experience with them. I am kinda looking for thick PBT caps. I am looking to replace the ones on my Pok3r since it had a case change and I just want something more personalized then the whites. I will also most likely want to get some new caps for my Tada 68 when that gets here. I have a build going to be doing soon that I gotta get caps for.. Those I am looking for something specific thought. I try to post later about that. Where do you guys get quality caps? I did check ebay and found some things but wasn't 100% sure about ebay quality and what not. I am guessing there pretty much all the same thing? I know I here names thrown around like GMK and am not sure if thats a company or a style of cap or what. I am still really new to all this! Thanks guys ahead of time.

Offline raxander

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Re: Where in the World To get Quality Keycaps?
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 12 August 2017, 20:51:59 »
It boils down to a few distinct characteristics that will make a cap "quality" to you:
  • material - ABS or PBT are common.  Both are "quality".  ABS will start to shine sooner.  PBT will take much longer to develop a shine.  POM is more rare.  There are other difference, but you can google "PBT vs. ABS and you'll find lots of threads comparing them.
  • thickness -- most people like caps thicker.  1.5mm is considered "thick", 1mm is considered "thin"
  • profile -- there are many profiles.  Here's a great thread on it: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=68550
  • legend technique -- legends can be laser etched, dye sublimated, or doubleshot (2 layers of plastic).  Doubleshot is typically preferred for ABS but is more difficult for PBT so dyesub is "good".
  • color -- this is personal preference of course, there are no "good" colors really.  But there are more color choices with ABS doubleshot than with PBT dyesub (because the legends must be darker than the rest of the key)

Keycaps have very different sound, based on material, thickness, and profile.  That can also be a differentiating factor for people.

There's a thread on geekhack with links to some vendor sites:  https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=45672.0.  Some of them are now defunct but several are still operating.  I have purchased caps from geekkeys.com and Originative.co with good success.  I've also purchased on /r/mechmarket keysets from past groupbuys and I think that's a great option, though the coveted colorways tend to sell for higher than the groupbuy price.  imsto.cn has very good pbt caps in cherry profile.

GMK is a company that has Cherry profile molds.  You typically don't buy directly from them, but rather through groupbuys, or some vendors stock particular colorways.  You can buy GMK Honeywell or GMK Dolch on Originative.co right now.  Or as mentioned above, you find a lot on /r/mechmarket.

Hope that helps!
« Last Edit: Sat, 12 August 2017, 21:43:29 by raxander »

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Where in the World To get Quality Keycaps?
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 12 August 2017, 21:00:36 »
If you want thick PBT I recommend and personally use the side print leopold caps (I bought my original set from widebasket on ebay, but a member here was selling a navy blue set, or you could buy a new leopold keyboard with them, I recommend the FC980M, silent red if you can find it.).

Also enjoyPBT you can check out kbdfans on aliexpress they seem to have quite a few sets I think they were in stock didn't actually try to buy them. But I like the orange russian set personally.

But like I've said in most every other keycap quality thread so much depends on personal preference.

There are also many other threads asking nearly the same question searching and reading can go a long way in helping make a decision without actually having to spend money on something you might not like, you can also find many photos of many different types of caps posted all around.

Offline HotRoderX

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Re: Where in the World To get Quality Keycaps?
« Reply #3 on: Sun, 13 August 2017, 21:06:38 »
Thanks guys for the answers and help! I appreciate it. I kinda forgot about the search feature! I honestly think in some way's I am over thinking this. Cause I like the keycaps on my vortex Race3 enough that not sure I need to change them. I like the profile and the quality they seem nice and sturdy and feel good to type on. I also really like the legends!

As strange as this sounds I also like Tai-Hao caps a good deal thought know there not the end all be all for quality. There still nice caps to type on!.

I still want to look thought the information cause part of the fun of this is going thought! and playing around with the different caps and keys.

But once again thanks for the answers!

Offline raxander

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Re: Where in the World To get Quality Keycaps?
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 13 August 2017, 22:00:01 »
Yeah the Race 3 stock keycaps get good reviews, which is convenient because the non-standard layout would be hard to find caps for.

Online Giorgio

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Re: Where in the World To get Quality Keycaps?
« Reply #5 on: Thu, 17 August 2017, 16:25:32 »
On originativeco you can find many available gmk sets, right now.

https://originative.co