Author Topic: Why are GMK keycaps so expensive?  (Read 8392 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Skiemen

  • Thread Starter
  • Posts: 1
Why are GMK keycaps so expensive?
« on: Mon, 04 November 2019, 06:40:54 »
Hey everyone,

Are gmk keycaps extra durable and doesn't shine?
I'm thinking of buying gmk keycaps since they look really nice but idk if it'll be worth buying. I just want to know if the material is better than abs. (Or do some gmk keycaps use abs?)
 Im confused...
But  I want to buy keycaps too is there any online retailers when I can buy keycaps.
Any suggestions?

Offline yui

  • Posts: 204
  • Location: 127.0.0.1 (in azerty)
Re: Why are GMK keycaps so expensive?
« Reply #1 on: Mon, 04 November 2019, 07:11:58 »
as far as i know all gmk keycaps are thick double shot abs, meaning that it will takes you centuries to wear them down but they will polish at you type and get a shine, also they might yellow with time and sun (will take a fair bit of time) some other manufacturers use pbt (like old ibms) they will shine less and are unaffected by yellowing but those are rarer and die sub will not be as sharp or last as long so really it is a choose you poison kind of thing.
vi vi vi - the roman number of the beast (Plan9 fortune)

Offline Findecanor

  • Posts: 4488
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Low Social Media Credit Score
Re: Why are GMK keycaps so expensive?
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 04 November 2019, 07:35:54 »
- Most kits are manufactured in limited quantities for the enthusiast community. A large customer, buying keycaps to put on mass-produced keyboards would probably get a lower price per kit.
- Made in Germany, not China

Old ABS plastic yellowed more easily because it contained brominated flame retardants. Modern ABS plastics don't yellow as easily. But you would have to ask GMK.
"I'm sorry, a rain drop literally pushed "Submit" on this retarded touchscreen phone"

Offline ideus

  • * Exalted Elder
  • Posts: 7661
  • Location: In the middle of nowhere.
  • Björkö.
Re: Why are GMK keycaps so expensive?
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 04 November 2019, 07:55:27 »
This question arises from time to time. Specially, when someone becomes interested in mechanical keyboards for the first time.

The cost of making double shot molding plastic parts is high. It was the preferred method for high quality key caps in the 80s. Other methods to print key cap legends were developed, mainly for cost reduction, like pad printing and laser imprinting. Dye sub infilled applies to PBT but it never becomes popular for mainstream keyboard due to its tendency for warping and because it does not represent a significant cost saving when compared with double shot molding, at high production volume.

Nowadays, the mechanical keyboard community has access to high cost options for keycap making. That includes double shot molding where GMK is the market leader. Its key caps are the best double shot molded ones available second to none. Some other vendors have started to compete with GMK offering Cherry replicas with partial success. Chinese manufacturers also offer PBT double shot key caps at lower cost.

In this context GMK is a German manufacturer that should work from a high wage paying Country making high cost plastic key caps; thus, the final product is as expensive as it could be. The pricing of GMK key caps is not due to market elasticity, but, it is related with its local Finances.

As any niche product GMK key caps are not for all. People that prefer the PBT's texture and its longer longevity compared with ABS have other options now, ePBT, Hammer's, or even the cheap Chinese options. It is a matter of preferences.

GMK inherit (bought) the Cherry original double shot molds, that means that its caps are rightfully an authentic vintage keyboard component re-born. You can always buy any other cap, but with few exceptions, GMK would be the real stuff. Even its tendency to shine is part of that retro feeling. There is nothing close to be typing on caps that you shined by yourself from being new.

The only reason for buying GMK key caps is that you want to type on a piece of technology history. If your concerns are more related with durability (you don't like the shine), or cost, stay away from any GMK stuff.

Offline Polymer

  • Posts: 1351
Re: Why are GMK keycaps so expensive?
« Reply #4 on: Tue, 05 November 2019, 00:10:44 »
That's not the only reason...They're top quality keycaps and generally better than most things you can get out there...and yes, you can now find quality near that of GMK for less money..but I'm assuming people are buying a GMK design that they enjoy...and you're not really seeing the mass produced keycaps set filling that demand because there just aren't enough buyers to hit the right scale for them..

Offline Sup

  • Posts: 825
    • Supkbd
Re: Why are GMK keycaps so expensive?
« Reply #5 on: Tue, 05 November 2019, 10:46:11 »
Also Quality control is super high quality. When key caps are made there is always a person standing at the machine. Also key caps aren't made once they are made multiple times because some have flaws and have to be remade also adding to the costs. There is a reason GMK has very nice sharp lettering with out any defects.

People have to remember location.Quality control,quantity,Exotic non standard colors add up to the prices of GMK. People cough *Reddit* should do some research before talking **** about GMK.
Https://Supkbd.nl

Filco Zero -  NOS Yellow Alps | Canoe R1 Gateron Red | AEK II JP Cream dampend |Filco Majestouch 2 Tex case Gateron Yellow | HHKB Pro 1 2003 Rev AO Serial 000171 | HHKB Pro 1 2003 Rev A1s|DZ60 OG Panda's with Fei spring and stem. | Sentraq S65_Plus OG Invyr Panda's | A17 Gateron Black TX 65G 3204 | Lubrigrante Wildcard Cherry MX silent blacks 3204 58.5G Springs |
Coming soon Rukia.

Rest in peace Billy

Offline rora

  • Posts: 42
  • Location: USA
    • Summitcables
Re: Why are GMK keycaps so expensive?
« Reply #6 on: Tue, 05 November 2019, 11:50:17 »
Wasn't there a thread like this awhile ago? and a gmk rep replied to it explaining it.

I actually think GMK is reasonably priced for what it is.
Heavensward


Matrix 8x V2.0 Blue | Matrix 8x V2.0 Tiffany Blue | LZ SE MP | TGR Jane V2 Blue Grey | TGR Jane V2 Pink | TGR Jane V2 CE | Keycult No2, Rev1 | Keycult No2, Rev1 | TGR 910 CE | TGRxSinga Unikorn | Orion V3 | Xeno | Mira SE | Kmac Happy | Kyuu | QXP | LZ CLS H | Poly Singa | TXCP | E6V2 FE

Offline dgneo

  • Supervillain
  • * Curator
  • Posts: 2071
Re: Why are GMK keycaps so expensive?
« Reply #7 on: Tue, 05 November 2019, 11:53:21 »
Wasn't there a thread like this awhile ago? and a gmk rep replied to it explaining it.

I actually think GMK is reasonably priced for what it is.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=102466 - Thread

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=102466.msg2812365#msg2812365 - GMK Andy's reply

14KT Gold Slum Computer Wizard

Offline Puddsy

  • nice
  • * Elated Elder
  • Posts: 11323
  • "Do you shovel to survive, or survive to shovel?"
Re: Why are GMK keycaps so expensive?
« Reply #8 on: Tue, 05 November 2019, 20:04:23 »
Wasn't there a thread like this awhile ago? and a gmk rep replied to it explaining it.

I actually think GMK is reasonably priced for what it is.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=102466 - Thread

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=102466.msg2812365#msg2812365 - GMK Andy's reply

i was gonna say, is it this time of year again?
QFR | MJ2 TKL | "Bulgogiboard" (Keycon 104) | TGR Alice | Qlavier Ti/Acryl Alice

"Everything is worse, but in a barely perceptible and indefinable way" -dollartacos

Offline ideus

  • * Exalted Elder
  • Posts: 7661
  • Location: In the middle of nowhere.
  • Björkö.
Re: Why are GMK keycaps so expensive?
« Reply #9 on: Tue, 05 November 2019, 22:26:12 »
Wasn't there a thread like this awhile ago? and a gmk rep replied to it explaining it.

I actually think GMK is reasonably priced for what it is.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=102466 - Thread

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=102466.msg2812365#msg2812365 - GMK Andy's reply

i was gonna say, is it this time of year again?
The OP is new to GH (Only one post count). Frustration of new comers surge as they see something nice and found it to be expensive for a commodity. We all know that most MKB stuff is not a commodity by any means. While utilitarian a MKB is a collectors item, that just happen to be used and not just for display. No offense for those of you that just want your KB for the last.

Offline Sintpinty

  • Carbon Based Life Form
  • Posts: 1392
  • Location: A can of beans in the cupboard
  • The sun god and destroyer of worlds
    • My promotion link
Re: Why are GMK keycaps so expensive?
« Reply #10 on: Tue, 12 November 2019, 11:49:10 »
GMK keycaps are so expensive because they are extremely high quality. GMK keycaps are kinda textured and are not like OEMs which are made cheaply, do not feel good and end up feeling worse than the prebuilt already is.

Offline Ckeeb

  • Posts: 28
Re: Why are GMK keycaps so expensive?
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 25 November 2019, 08:04:50 »
Wasn't there a thread like this awhile ago? and a gmk rep replied to it explaining it.

I actually think GMK is reasonably priced for what it is.

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=102466 - Thread

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=102466.msg2812365#msg2812365 - GMK Andy's reply


hmm, thank you for digging it out

Offline Hows_the_YES!

  • Posts: 4
Re: Why are GMK keycaps so expensive?
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 21 December 2019, 20:40:32 »
because they are the best!  :p