Last Updated on September 18, 2023
If you’re a mechanical keyboard enthusiast, you understand the importance of keycaps. They are not just decorative but essential for a smooth typing experience. Finding the best keycap brands can be challenging with the plethora of options available. In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the top keycap manufacturers in the market today.
When it comes to keycaps, GMK stands tall as one of the best keycap manufacturers in the world. Based in Germany, GMK enjoys a stellar reputation within the keyboard community. They hold official approval from Cherry MX to create and sell Cherry Profile Original keycap sets.
GMK’s keycaps are renowned for their exceptional quality. Unlike many other manufacturers that use thick PBT plastic, GMK opts for highly solid, thick ABS plastic. The result is a keycap set that not only looks fantastic but also offers durability.
In addition to their standard offerings, GMK releases limited edition keycaps annually, eagerly awaited by custom mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. The unique and eye-catching patterns on GMK keycaps have inspired other brands to produce imitations.
Without a doubt, GMK is the go-to brand when it comes to purchasing keycap sets for your mechanical keyboard. If you want to dive deeper into GMK keycaps, check out our Deep Look into GMK Keycaps post.
Drop is a well-known manufacturer of mechanical keyboard components, including keycaps. They offer keycap sets in various profiles, such as Cherry, XDA, ASA, and DSA. What sets Drop apart is their consistent delivery of high-quality keycap sets made from both ABS and PBT plastics.
One of Drop’s unique selling points is their collaboration with renowned designers, resulting in keycap sets with innovative and distinctive designs. They also often collaborate with GMK to offer premium keycap sets.
EnjoyPBT is a Chinese-based brand that has made a name for itself by producing Cherry profile keycap clones. They have gained an excellent reputation in the keycap community, following closely behind GMK.
EnjoyPBT focuses on crafting Cherry profile keycap clones using thick and sturdy dye-sub PBT plastic. They also excel in creating multi-color sub legends in various languages and shine-through cuts for keys like Caps Lock.
If you’re in the market for a high-quality Cherry profile keycap set with premium PBT plastic, EnjoyPBT should be at the top of your list.
4. Signature Plastics
Signature Plastics started as a producer of two-shot molded plastic parts in 1973. Over the years, they have become the leading independent keycap supplier to the computer industry worldwide.
Signature Plastics specializes in crafting unique custom keycaps with durable graphics that are pad-printed. Their custom keycaps are available in a wide range of colors and two different materials: ABS and PBT.
With over 40 years of experience in producing custom keycaps, Signature Plastics is a reliable choice.
JTK is a well-known brand in the mechanical keyboard community, renowned for producing high-quality keycaps. Based in China and established in 2014, JTK keycaps are known for their vibrant colors, excellent build quality, and compatibility with various mechanical keyboard switches.
One of JTK’s standout features is their use of dye-sublimation printing, resulting in long-lasting and vivid colors that don’t fade over time. They also use thick PBT plastic, which is more durable than ABS plastic and resists developing shine. JTK keycaps feature a Cherry MX stem, ensuring compatibility with most mechanical keyboards.
JTK’s keycaps are known for their wide compatibility, fitting layouts like ANSI, ISO, and HHKB, and working with a range of switch types, including Cherry MX, Kailh, and Gateron. However, their pricing may be higher than some competitors, and users should verify compatibility with their specific keyboard models.
Some popular JTK keycap sets include the JTK Orange on Black, JTK Arctic, JTK Hyperfuse, and JTK Toxic.
Novelkeys is a renowned brand specializing in high-quality keycaps for mechanical keyboards. Their keycaps are known for their durability, customizability, and unique designs.
One of the key features of Novelkeys keycaps is their use of thick, high-quality plastic material, ensuring longevity and resistance to wear and tear. Novelkeys offers various profiles and sizes, including SA, DSA, and Cherry, allowing users to choose options that suit their preferences. Additionally, Novelkeys provides customization options, enabling users to select colors, materials, and legends for their keycaps.
Novelkeys keycaps are an excellent investment for keyboard enthusiasts, offering high quality and durability. However, they may be pricier than some other brands, and compatibility with certain keyboard models should be verified.
Popular Novelkeys keycap sets include the Novelkeys x GMK Metropolis and Novelkeys x KAT Milkshake, known for their unique designs.
7. Epomaker Akko
With support from Epomaker, the AKKO brand has gained recognition for producing premium keycap sets made of sturdy and thick PBT. They offer keycaps in various profiles, including ASA, Cherry, OEM, and DSA.
AKKO’s recent focus has been on launching boutique keyboards and keycap sets with unique designs. Their keycap sets are known for their high quality and have earned a positive reputation among keycap enthusiasts. What’s more, AKKO keycaps are often more budget-friendly than some other premium options.
If you’re seeking a quality keycap set at an affordable price, AKKO should be on your radar.
8. HK Gaming
HK Gaming not only manufactures mechanical keyboards but also offers premium keycap sets made from robust and durable PBT. Their keycaps are available in various profiles, including Cherry Profile, Keycaps Modifier, and OEM Profile, at extremely reasonable prices.
If you’re looking for a high-quality keycap set that won’t break the bank, HK Gaming is an excellent choice. They also offer a wide range of styles and colorways, giving you plenty of options to match your keyboard’s aesthetic.
According to reviewers, HK Gaming keycaps provide a smooth typing experience, making them a reliable choice for your daily use.
Mistel is renowned for its PBT double-shot keycaps, which are double-injected molded for enhanced durability. These keycaps offer stability, a rich tactile feel, and legends that won’t fade over time.
Each Mistel keycap is made using a unique two-shot molding method, ensuring they are highly resistant to friction, temperature, and solvents. Their premium, thick PBT double-shot keycaps also feature a beautiful and subtle typeface.
Mistel is a brand that offers some of the best keycap lines on the market, all while maintaining an attractive price point.
Ducky is a popular keycap brand recognized for producing high-quality keycaps that enhance the typing experience. With over a decade of experience, Ducky’s products are highly regarded by keyboard enthusiasts worldwide.
Ducky keycaps stand out with their high level of customization, offering a wide range of color options to create a keyboard that matches your style. They use premium materials, including PBT plastic, known for durability and resistance to wear and tear. Ducky’s attention to detail ensures clear and crisp legends on their keycaps, even in low light.
While Ducky keycaps offer excellent build quality, customization options, and compatibility, they may come at a higher price point than some competitors. Additionally, the range of customization options may be overwhelming for newcomers to keyboard customization.
Some popular Ducky keycap sets include the Ducky Cotton Candy SA, Ducky Afterglow SA, Ducky Azure SA, Ducky Horizon SA, and Ducky Helloween.
Momoka is a relatively new player in the keycap industry, founded in 2020. Despite their newcomer status, they have quickly gained attention for their fantastic keycap sets.
Momoka specializes in OEM profile PBT keycaps with all-sided full-color dye-sublimation and reverse dye-sublimation. Their keycaps offer exceptional durability and a wonderful typing experience, featuring premium PBT keycaps, dye-sublimated legends, and an anti-grease coating.
If you’re open to exploring a fresh brand for a unique keycap experience, Momoka is worth considering.
Varmilo, a Taiwanese company, specializes in high-quality mechanical keyboards and keycaps. The brand is known for exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail, making it one of the best keycap brands available.
Varmilo keycaps excel in build quality, using premium materials like high-quality plastics and PBT. This results in extremely durable keycaps that resist wear and tear. The keycaps also offer a smooth and consistent texture, enhancing the typing experience.
Customizability is a key feature of Varmilo keycaps, offering a wide variety of colors, designs, and materials for a personalized keyboard. Varmilo keycaps are compatible with most mechanical keyboard brands, making them a convenient choice for customization.
While Varmilo keycaps offer exceptional quality and customizability, they may be relatively expensive compared to some other brands. However, the investment is likely worthwhile for users seeking a unique and satisfying typing experience.
Popular Varmilo products include the Sakura Pink and Sea Melody keycap sets, known for their intricate designs, and a range of mechanical keyboards.
Gliging is another top keycap manufacturer known for producing Cherry profile keycaps that resemble the original GMK keycaps in design. However, Gliging keycaps are made of thick, sturdy PBT plastic.
One unique aspect of Gliging is their focus on creating keycaps that combine various Japanese styles on each keyboard. This attention to detail, combined with excellent quality, makes Gliging a standout choice for keycap enthusiasts.
If you’re looking for amazing keycaps with cool Japanese designs, Gliging is an excellent option.
Sumgsn offers a rare alternative to GMK keycaps, creating Cherry profile keycap sets using thick PBT plastic. These PBT materials are dye-sublimated for increased durability, all without the hefty price tag.
If you’re in search of an economical Cherry profile keycap set that delivers quality, Sumgsn is a brand worth considering.
Much like the other brands on our list, Terukir specializes in crafting quality keycap sets using premium PBT. What sets them apart is the addition of an anti-grease coating, significantly enhancing the keycaps’ durability and longevity.
Terukir employs cutting-edge dye-sublimation technology to prevent pattern degradation over time. They offer a wide range of high-quality keycap sets with trendy and unique designs.
As one of the top producers of PBT keycaps, Terukir has garnered popularity among keycap enthusiasts.
Tai-Hao is renowned for its high-quality, unique, attractive, and sparkling color keycaps. The brand’s name is derived from two Chinese characters, Tai and Hao, meaning excellence and absolute, respectively.
Tai-Hao keycaps often feature legends printed using the double-shot process, ensuring remarkable durability and long-lasting visibility. They offer both ABS and PBT keycaps, both of which provide an excellent typing experience.
Tai-Hao keycaps stand out with their amazing color schemes, particularly double-shot illuminated keycaps, which are rarely found in other brands.
Hyekit is a keycap company that creates a variety of keycap sets with various profiles, including Cherry Profile, OEM, and XDA. They produce excellent keycaps and offer them at a very reasonable price.
Hyekit keycaps are known for their exceptional durability and pleasant typing experience. They are also less likely to accumulate dirt, maintaining their appearance over time.
Unicomp specializes in manufacturing keyboards that pay homage to the classic IBM Model M. Their keyboards combine modern technology with vintage design cues inspired by the original Model M keyboards.
Unicomp’s keycaps are made from PBT polymer and feature two-tone white and grey buckling spring keys. The dye-sublimated legends enhance the traditional style and genuine feel. You can also customize keys in all-white or all-gray variations.
For those seeking a retro keycap set, Unicomp offers a nostalgic touch to your workspace.
Tokey is another brand that brings a cute and quirky vibe to keycap sets. They are well-known for creating inexpensive keycap sets of excellent quality with a unique and whimsical appearance.
Tokey produces a variety of keycap types with various profiles, including Cherry, OEM, and XDA. However, they are especially renowned for their high-quality XDA keycap sets.
YMDK is renowned for producing keycap sets made from high-quality PBT plastic. They offer keycap sets in various profiles, ensuring a high level of reliability and reasonable prices.
YMDK sets themselves apart with their trendy vintage patterns and a variety of original motifs. For example, the YMDK Carbon Miami keycap set is one of their most well-known offerings and likely one of their best-selling products.
HyperX is a prominent keycap brand offering a wide range of high-quality keycaps for mechanical keyboards. Known for premium keycaps made of high-grade materials, HyperX enhances the typing experience.
HyperX keycaps stand out with their durability, made from PBT material known for toughness and resistance to wear and tear. These keycaps can withstand heavy use and maintain their appearance over time.
Compatibility is another strength of HyperX keycaps, designed to fit various mechanical keyboards, including Cherry MX, Kailh, and Gateron. Users can easily customize their keyboards with HyperX keycaps without worrying about compatibility.
While HyperX keycaps offer excellent build quality, compatibility, and durability, they may come at a higher price point than some other brands. Some users may find installation challenging, especially if new to mechanical keyboards.
Notable HyperX products include the HyperX Pudding Keycaps, known for their translucent design that allows RGB lighting to shine through.
For those who appreciate cuteness in their keycaps, Geeksocial is an excellent choice. This brand is renowned for its creative and adorable keycap set designs, featuring a variety of animated graphics.
Geeksocial manufactures premium keycap sets from solid, thick PBT plastic. The quality of their keycap sets is excellent and reliable. Despite the high quality, Geeksocial offers their keycap sets at a very affordable price point.
23. Happy Balls
Happy Balls offers an intriguing option in the world of keycaps – blank keycap sets. These keycaps lack legends, making them a popular choice among enthusiasts who prefer a minimalist look.
Many keyboard enthusiasts appreciate the simplicity of blank keycaps, and Happy Balls is a sought-after brand in this regard. Their keycap sets are crafted from sturdy, thick PBT plastic, known for its reliability and durability.
Despite their high-quality products, Happy Balls offers keycap sets at incredibly affordable prices, earning them positive feedback from customers.
SDYZ is a brand that offers a limited number of keycap sets at incredibly low prices. However, each keycap set features a unique appearance with various animated, adorable Japanese characters.
SDYZ keycaps are made of high-quality PBT plastic, known for its durability. Despite the exceptional quality, SDYZ keycap sets are offered at exceptionally low costs, earning them positive feedback from customers.
In the world of mechanical keyboards, the importance of selecting the right keycaps cannot be overstated. Your choice of keycaps can profoundly impact both the aesthetics and the tactile experience of your keyboard. While a multitude of keycap brands flood the market, a few have risen to the forefront as standout options.
GMK stands as a prominent keycap brand, renowned for crafting thick ABS keycaps with iconic designs and colorways. Their commitment to quality and unique patterns has earned them a dedicated following.
EnjoyPBT, on the other hand, shines with its thick PBT keycaps that offer excellent texture and durability. These keycaps are favored by those seeking a premium typing experience.
Drop, previously known as Massdrop, has made a name for itself by collaborating with other companies and enthusiasts to create keycaps that appeal to a broad audience. Their unique designs and partnerships make them a go-to choice for customization.
Signature Plastics excels in producing a wide array of keycaps, including custom designs. They are known for their high-quality double-shot keycaps, which ensure legends that stand the test of time.
JTK offers colorful PBT keycaps at an affordable price point, making them accessible to a wide range of enthusiasts.
Novelkeys impresses with its diverse and creative keycap designs. Their commitment to uniqueness makes them a favorite among keyboard customizers.
AKKO is carving out a niche with retro-inspired designs and top-notch keycaps, gaining popularity among those who appreciate nostalgia and quality.
HK Gaming is a newer brand that is quickly gaining recognition for its stylish yet budget-friendly PBT keycaps.
Ducky, a well-established brand, offers a comprehensive range of keycap options for their renowned keyboards, making customization a breeze for their loyal customer base.
Varmilo, known for its high-quality PBT keycaps and unique designs, provides a premium experience for keyboard enthusiasts.
These brands represent just a fraction of the vibrant keycap market. Additional noteworthy names include Gliging, Sumgsn, Terukir, Tai Hao, Hyekit, Tokey, YMDK, HyperX, Geeksocial, Happy Balls, Momoka, and SDYZ, each offering its own distinctive style and quality.
Ultimately, the choice of the best keycap brand is a matter of personal preference and budget. Some brands may offer affordability, while others may provide exclusive designs and premium quality. Regardless of the brand you select, investing in high-quality keycaps is a surefire way to elevate the appearance and tactile experience of your mechanical keyboard to new heights.
What are keycaps, and why are they important for mechanical keyboards?
Keycaps are the individual covers for the keys on a mechanical keyboard. They play a crucial role in the typing experience by providing tactile feedback and visual identification of keys. Keycaps are important as they enhance both the aesthetics and functionality of a mechanical keyboard.
What factors should I consider when choosing the best keycap brand for my mechanical keyboard?
When selecting a keycap brand, consider factors such as keycap material (PBT or ABS), keycap profile (Cherry, SA, DSA, etc.), customization options, durability, compatibility with your keyboard, and your budget.
What is the difference between PBT and ABS keycaps?
PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) keycaps are known for their durability, resistance to wear and tear, and matte texture. ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) keycaps are smoother and can develop a shiny appearance over time. PBT is generally preferred by enthusiasts for its longevity.
Are keycap sets from different brands interchangeable?
Keycap sets from different brands may not always be interchangeable due to variations in keycap profiles, stem designs, and sizing. It’s essential to ensure compatibility with your specific keyboard before purchasing keycaps.
What are some popular keycap profiles offered by the best keycap brands?
Popular keycap profiles include Cherry, SA (Spherical All), DSA (Deep South Automotive), and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). Each profile has a unique shape and feel, catering to different typing preferences.
Do keycap brands offer keycap customization options?
Yes, many keycap brands offer customization options such as choosing keycap colors, legends (symbols or letters), and even unique designs. This allows users to create a personalized keyboard aesthetic.
Are there any budget-friendly keycap brands that still offer quality products?
Yes, some keycap brands, like AKKO, Gliging, and Sumgsn, offer quality keycaps at more budget-friendly prices. These brands are known for providing value without compromising on quality.
How do I install new keycaps on my mechanical keyboard?
Installing new keycaps typically involves gently pulling off the old keycaps using a keycap puller or your fingers and then pressing the new keycaps onto the switches. It’s important to ensure the keycaps are properly aligned and seated.
Can I mix and match keycaps from different sets to create a custom look for my keyboard?
Yes, you can mix and match keycaps from different sets to create a unique and customized appearance for your keyboard. Just ensure that the keycap sizes and profiles are compatible.
Are there any keycap brands known for their compatibility with a wide range of mechanical keyboards?
Yes, keycap brands like HyperX and Ducky are known for their compatibility with various mechanical keyboard brands and switches, making them versatile options for customization.
Do these keycap brands offer keycaps with backlight compatibility for RGB keyboards?
Many keycap brands offer keycaps with translucent legends or designs to allow RGB backlighting to shine through, enhancing the aesthetics of RGB mechanical keyboards.
Are there any keycap brands that focus on unique and artistic keycap designs?
Yes, some keycap brands collaborate with designers to produce keycaps with intricate and artistic designs. Brands like Drop and Novelkeys are known for offering unique and visually appealing keycap sets.
What are some keycap brands that prioritize keycap thickness and build quality?
Keycap brands like GMK, EnjoyPBT, and Varmilo are renowned for their commitment to keycap thickness and exceptional build quality, resulting in durable and long-lasting keycaps.
Are keycap brands from specific regions known for particular characteristics or styles?
Yes, some regions have keycap brands known for specific characteristics. For example, GMK, based in Germany, is famous for its Cherry profile keycaps, while EnjoyPBT, based in China, excels in producing high-quality Cherry profile keycap clones.
How can I ensure that the keycap brand I choose matches my typing preferences and needs?
To ensure the keycap brand aligns with your preferences and needs, consider reading reviews, exploring user feedback, and experimenting with different profiles and materials to find the ideal keycap set for your mechanical keyboard.
Kizaru is a fan, collector, and has a huge addiction to mechanical keyboards. Kizaru has a collection of dozens of mechanical keyboards that come in different sizes and use different switches. He also frequently contributes to various forums that discuss keyboards such as Reddit and GeekHack.