Last Updated on March 20, 2023
When it comes to mechanical keyboards, enthusiasts are always on the lookout for ways to improve their typing experience. One popular upgrade is changing the keycaps, which can enhance the feel and look of the keyboard. Cherry and OEM are two of the most common keycap profiles in the market, and many users wonder which one is better. In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at the differences between Cherry vs OEM keycaps and help you decide which one is the right choice for your keyboard.
What are Keycap Profiles?
Before we dive into the differences between Cherry and OEM keycaps, let’s first understand what keycap profiles are. A keycap profile refers to the shape and size of the keycap, which can significantly impact the feel and typing experience of the keyboard. Different keycap profiles have different shapes, heights, and angles, which can affect the way your fingers interact with the keyboard.
What are Cherry Profile Keycaps?
|Profile||Cherry profile is a high-profile keycap profile with a curved shape and a tall height.|
|Material||Cherry profile keycaps are made of ABS plastic, PBT plastic, or doubleshot PBT.|
|Texture||The texture of Cherry profile keycaps varies depending on the material used. ABS keycaps are smooth, while PBT keycaps have a slightly rough texture.|
|Legends||Cherry profile keycaps feature legends or symbols on the top of each keycap that indicate the function of each key.|
|Design||Cherry profile keycaps are designed to be ergonomic and comfortable for extended use.|
|Sound||The sound produced by Cherry profile keycaps varies depending on the material used. PBT keycaps produce a lower-pitched sound than ABS keycaps.|
|Feel||Cherry profile keycaps have a comfortable, curved shape that provides a satisfying typing experience.|
|Compatibility||Cherry profile keycaps are compatible with Cherry MX switches and other mechanical keyboard switches that use the Cherry MX stem.|
|Availability||Cherry profile keycaps are widely available from a variety of online retailers and custom keycap makers.|
|Price||Cherry profile keycaps vary in price depending on the material used and the design, but typically cost between $30 and $100 USD for a full set.|
Cherry Profile Keycaps are a type of keycap profile for mechanical keyboards. They were first introduced by the German company Cherry Corporation in the 1980s and have since become a popular choice for keyboard enthusiasts due to their ergonomic shape and high-profile design. Cherry profile keycaps are designed to be comfortable and efficient for extended typing sessions, making them ideal for users who spend a lot of time typing.
Cherry profile keycaps are typically made of either ABS or PBT plastic, although some manufacturers also offer double-shot PBT keycaps. ABS keycaps have a smooth texture, while PBT keycaps have a slightly rougher texture. Double-shot PBT keycaps are considered to be the highest quality due to their durability and resistance to wear and tear.
Cherry profile keycaps are designed with legends or symbols on the top of each keycap that indicate the function of each key. The legends are usually printed using a process called dye-sublimation, which produces high-quality, long-lasting legends that are resistant to fading and wear.
Cherry profile keycaps are designed to produce a satisfying typing experience. They have a curved shape that conforms to the natural shape of the fingers and hands, making them comfortable to use for extended periods of time. The high-profile design of Cherry profile keycaps also provides a tactile and responsive feel that many users find satisfying.
Cherry profile keycaps are compatible with Cherry MX switches and other mechanical keyboard switches that use the Cherry MX stem. They are widely available from a variety of online retailers and custom keycap makers, and come in a wide range of colors, materials, and designs to suit any user’s preferences.
Overall, Cherry Profile Keycaps are a high-quality and popular choice for mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. Their ergonomic design, comfortable feel, and compatibility with Cherry MX switches make them a great choice for anyone looking to enhance their typing experience.
What are OEM Profile Keycaps?
|Profile||OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)|
|Material||ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) plastic or PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) plastic|
|Texture||Smooth or textured surface|
|Legends||Dye-sublimated or laser-etched|
|Design||OEM profile is a cylindrical shape, with a taller height compared to Cherry profile|
|Sound||Higher pitched sound compared to Cherry profile|
|Feel||Slightly taller and more concave shape compared to Cherry profile, which can provide better typing experience|
|Compatibility||Compatible with most mechanical keyboards|
|Availability||Widely available from various manufacturers|
|Price||Relatively affordable compared to other premium keycap sets|
OEM Profile Keycaps are a popular keycap profile for mechanical keyboards. As the name suggests, they are a standard profile that is typically included by the manufacturer of the keyboard, or provided as a default option by keycap manufacturers. OEM keycaps have a cylindrical shape with a taller height compared to the Cherry profile, which is the other popular keycap profile. The cylindrical shape of OEM keycaps makes them slightly taller and more concave, providing a better typing experience for some users.
OEM Profile Keycaps are typically made of either ABS or PBT plastic. ABS plastic is more commonly used and is known for being lightweight and easy to mold. PBT plastic is a more durable and heat-resistant material, but it is also more expensive. OEM keycaps may also have a smooth or textured surface, depending on the manufacturer and the specific design.
The legends on OEM Profile Keycaps are typically either dye-sublimated or laser-etched. Dye-sublimation is a process where the legends are printed onto the keycaps and then infused into the plastic through heat and pressure, resulting in a durable and long-lasting design. Laser-etching is a process where the legends are engraved onto the keycaps with a laser, resulting in a more precise and clean design.
In terms of sound, OEM Profile Keycaps have a higher pitched sound compared to the Cherry profile. This is due to the taller and more cylindrical shape of the keycaps, which creates a different sound when they are pressed. The feel of OEM keycaps is also slightly different from Cherry keycaps, due to the taller and more concave shape. This can provide a better typing experience for some users, as it allows for a more comfortable and natural typing position.
OEM Profile Keycaps are compatible with most mechanical keyboards, as they are a standard profile that is widely used and recognized by manufacturers. They are also widely available from various manufacturers, and are relatively affordable compared to other premium keycap sets. The availability and affordability of OEM keycaps make them a popular choice for users who are looking to customize their keyboard without breaking the bank.
In conclusion, OEM Profile Keycaps are a standard keycap profile that is widely used and recognized by mechanical keyboard manufacturers. They have a cylindrical shape with a taller height compared to the Cherry profile, and are typically made of either ABS or PBT plastic. OEM keycaps may have a smooth or textured surface, and the legends are typically either dye-sublimated or laser-etched. They have a higher pitched sound compared to the Cherry profile, and the slightly taller and more concave shape can provide a better typing experience for some users. OEM Profile Keycaps are compatible with most mechanical keyboards, and are widely available and relatively affordable compared to other premium keycap sets.
Comparison of Cherry Profile Keycaps and OEM Profile Keycaps
|Characteristic||Cherry Profile Keycaps||OEM Profile Keycaps|
|Profile||Cherry Profile keycaps have a distinctive curved shape, with a higher profile and a wider top surface.||OEM profile keycaps have a more standard shape with a lower profile and a narrower top surface.|
|Material||Cherry Profile keycaps are typically made of higher quality ABS or PBT plastic, which makes them more durable and resistant to wear and tear.||OEM profile keycaps can be made of various materials, including ABS or PBT plastic, but the quality may vary.|
|Texture||Cherry Profile keycaps often have a smooth or lightly textured surface, which can provide a comfortable feel while typing.||OEM profile keycaps may have a smoother or rougher surface depending on the material used.|
|Legends||Cherry Profile keycaps usually have laser-etched legends, which are more durable and resistant to fading over time.||OEM profile keycaps may have pad printed or laser-etched legends, with varying levels of durability.|
|Design||Cherry Profile keycaps come in a variety of colors and designs, including custom designs created by enthusiasts.||OEM profile keycaps may be more limited in their design options.|
|Sound and Feel||Cherry Profile keycaps provide a distinct typing feel and sound, with a deeper and more satisfying “thock” sound.||OEM profile keycaps may feel and sound different depending on the material and design.|
|Compatibility||Cherry Profile keycaps are compatible with Cherry MX switches and clones, as well as many other switches with a similar stem design.||OEM profile keycaps are generally compatible with a wider range of switches, including Cherry MX switches and clones.|
|Availability||Cherry Profile keycaps are often produced in limited runs and may be harder to find, especially in certain colorways or designs.||OEM profile keycaps are more widely available and can be found from a variety of vendors.|
|Price||Cherry Profile keycaps are generally more expensive than OEM profile keycaps, due to the higher quality materials and more intricate design.||OEM profile keycaps are often more affordable, but the price can vary depending on the materials and design.|
- Profile: Cherry profile keycaps have a lower profile and a slight curve compared to OEM profile keycaps, which have a higher profile and a more pronounced curve. Cherry profile keycaps are preferred by users who want a more streamlined look, while OEM profile keycaps offer more sculpted shapes for better typing comfort.
- Material: Both Cherry and OEM profile keycaps can be made from a variety of materials, including ABS plastic, PBT plastic, and even more exotic materials like metal or wood. ABS plastic keycaps are the most common and affordable, but they can develop shine over time. PBT plastic keycaps are more durable and resistant to shine, but they can be more expensive.
- Texture: Texture is an important consideration when it comes to keycaps. Cherry profile keycaps tend to have a smoother texture, while OEM profile keycaps can be more textured or even have a rubberized coating. This can impact the grip and feel of the keycaps, making them more or less slippery depending on the texture.
- Legends: Keycap legends refer to the symbols or letters printed on the keycaps. Both Cherry and OEM profile keycaps can have legends that are either double-shot, dye-sublimated, or laser-etched. Double-shot keycaps are the most durable as the legends are molded into the keycaps themselves, while dye-sublimated and laser-etched keycaps can wear off over time.
- Design: Keycaps can come in a wide range of designs, from simple and understated to flashy and colorful. Cherry profile keycaps are often favored by users who want a more minimalist look, while OEM profile keycaps can come in a wider variety of colors and designs.
- Sound and feel: The sound and feel of keycaps can vary depending on their material, texture, and profile. Cherry profile keycaps tend to produce a lower-pitched sound and feel more solid due to their lower profile. OEM profile keycaps can produce a higher-pitched sound and offer more tactile feedback due to their higher profile and sculpted shapes.
- Compatibility: It’s important to make sure that your keycaps are compatible with your keyboard. Cherry profile keycaps are compatible with keyboards that use Cherry MX switches, while OEM profile keycaps are more versatile and can be used with a wider range of switches.
- Availability and price: Cherry profile keycaps are more commonly available, and can be found at a variety of price points depending on the material and design. OEM profile keycaps can be harder to find, but can be more affordable than Cherry profile keycaps.
In summary, when choosing between Cherry profile and OEM profile keycaps, it’s important to consider factors such as profile, material, texture, legends, design, sound, feel, compatibility, availability, and price. Ultimately, the best keycaps for you will depend on your personal preferences and typing style.
Which Keycap Profile is Better? Cherry Profile or OEM Profile?
When faced with the decision of selecting between Cherry Profile Keycaps or OEM Profile Keycaps, it is important to note that there are a multitude of factors that differentiate these two keycap profiles. In fact, the dissimilarities between the two are quite significant and should be taken into consideration when making a final decision. It is essential to understand that there is no definitive answer as to which keycap profile is superior, as it ultimately depends on the preferences of the individual user. However, there are a number of key aspects that should be carefully evaluated when deliberating between OEM and Cherry Profile Keycaps.
When it comes to comparing prices of different keycaps sets in the market, it’s worth noting that OEM profile keycaps are quite affordable considering the materials and designs used. One can easily find an array of OEM keycap sets that range from $12 to $80. However, the situation is quite different with Cherry profile keycaps. It’s not easy to find them in your favorite marketplaces since they are quite rare items in today’s world.
If you are interested in buying Cherry profile keycaps, you may have to spend a significant amount of money. For instance, GMK manufactures Cherry profile keycaps that can cost anywhere between $110 to $220. This is a high price to pay for just a keycaps set. Nonetheless, these prices are justifiable given the rarity and uniqueness of Cherry profile keycaps. On the other hand, you can also find fake Cherry keycap sets that sell for $30 to $50. However, the quality and comfort that come with these fake sets are quite different from the genuine ones.
The reason why Cherry Profile Keycaps are pricier than OEM profile keycaps is because they require special licenses and permits from the Cherry Company to manufacture original Cherry Keycaps. Furthermore, the tools used to manufacture these keycaps are solely owned by the licensees and permit holders. Therefore, only a few producers manufacture Cherry profile keycaps, making them rare and expensive. On the other hand, OEM profile keycaps can be produced by anyone, which makes them cheap and abundant in the market.
When it comes to comparing the cherry and OEM profiles of keyboard keycaps, the most noticeable distinction is the height difference. Specifically, cherry keycaps are typically 1mm shorter than their OEM counterparts. This difference in height can have a significant impact on the overall feel of the keyboard, particularly in terms of typing or gaming experience.
The cherry profile’s shorter keycaps enable users to type or game more accurately and comfortably since each key is easily within reach and finger switching becomes effortless. Additionally, the cherry profile’s chisel-like shape on the keycaps’ surface provides a solid grip for the fingers, contributing to an overall improved tactile experience while typing or gaming.
When it comes to the design of keycaps, one of the main differences between the Cherry and OEM profiles lies in their respective heights. Specifically, Cherry profile keycaps have a lower profile compared to OEM profile keycaps. This difference in height can have a significant impact on the typing experience for users.
In particular, the shorter profile of Cherry keycaps can lead to increased accuracy and comfort when typing. This is because the lower profile allows users to more easily and naturally reach each key without having to strain their fingers or hands. This can be especially important for those who spend a lot of time typing, such as writers, programmers, or gamers.
On the other hand, the higher design of OEM profile keycaps can have the opposite effect. While the taller keycaps may offer a more distinctive and visually appealing appearance, they can also impact accuracy and comfort when using them. This is because users may have to adjust their typing style to accommodate the increased height, which can lead to more errors or discomfort over time.
Additionally, there are differences in the design and texture of Cherry and OEM profile keycaps. Cherry profile keycaps typically feature a unique texture and engraving on the surface of the keycaps, which can provide a more comfortable and tactile typing experience. In contrast, OEM keycaps may have a smoother and more slippery texture, which may not be as comfortable or easy to type on for some users.
Overall, the design differences between Cherry and OEM profile keycaps can have a significant impact on the typing experience for users. While both types of keycaps have their own advantages and disadvantages, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of each individual user.
The availability of OEM profile keycaps in the market is remarkably abundant as numerous companies manufacture these profile keycaps. Currently, OEM profile keycaps are considered the standard keycaps on mechanical keyboards that are available in the market. It is worth noting that when you purchase a mechanical keyboard, a free OEM profile keycap is included with your switch, which is a convenient benefit.
You can easily find these OEM profile keycaps from a multitude of brands that manufacture mechanical keyboards such as Logitech, HyperX, Razer, Steelseries, Redragon, Durgod, and many others. Therefore, the availability of OEM profile keycaps is widespread and not limited to certain brands or models of mechanical keyboards.
It is important to note that you need not worry about the quality of OEM profiled keycaps. You can easily obtain OEM double-shot PBT profile keycaps for less than $30, which are of excellent quality, durability, and are comfortable to use for both typing and gaming purposes. For instance, YMDK 96 84 ANSI ISO Keyset OEM Profile, YMDK 108 104 PBT Double Shot, and Happy Balls PBT Keycaps are excellent examples of such keycaps that offer great value for money.
However, unlike OEM profile keycaps, Cherry profile keycaps are not as easily available in the marketplace. The most sought-after Cherry keycaps are those made by GMK, which are known for their high quality and are made from high-quality ABS plastic material. If you desire to purchase Cherry profile keycaps, you may encounter difficulties finding them, especially those made by GMK.
Nevertheless, if you are willing to spend a little extra, you can purchase Cherry Profile keycaps from GMK by visiting the mechanicalkeyboards.com website, which has several limited edition variants priced between $120 to $220. By doing so, you can own a set of high-quality keycaps that are sure to enhance your typing and gaming experience.
When it comes to keycaps for keyboards, there are two main types of plastic materials that are commonly used – ABS and PBT plastic. The two profiles that are most popular among keyboard enthusiasts are Cherry Profile and OEM Profile, each with its own unique characteristics. If you happen to come across OEM profile keycaps with ABS material that are of poor quality, you might experience a slippery texture that can make your fingers oily. However, if you are looking for a more comfortable and enjoyable typing experience, we strongly recommend purchasing OEM profile PBT keycaps. These keycaps are known for their high quality, thickness, and overall comfort.
Luckily, there are several reputable brands that produce OEM profile keycaps made of thick PBT plastic with reliable quality, including Razer, HyperX, and YMDK. In addition to OEM profile keycaps, there are also Cherry profile keycaps to consider. Of all the brands that produce Cherry profile keycaps, GMK and ePBT are widely considered to be the best in the market.
GMK’s Cherry profile keycaps are made of high quality ABS plastic, which is well-known for its solid build quality and thickness. When it comes to comfort, the texture of GMK’s Cherry profile keycaps is incredibly satisfying to use for typing. On the other hand, ePBT produces Cherry profile keycaps with high quality PBT plastic. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to get your hands on these particular keycaps, as they are often sold through special communities and require participation in group purchases. Despite this obstacle, many keyboard enthusiasts find the quality of ePBT’s Cherry profile keycaps to be worth the effort and investment.
When it comes to sound, the cherry profile stands out from the oem profile due to its lower height, which results in a smaller room for sound reflection, ultimately leading to a bassy typing sound. However, the cherry profile isn’t the only factor that influences the keyboard’s sound, as other factors like the stabilizer’s modification or lubrication, casing thickness and material, dampening foam, plate material, switch lubrication, switch type, and keycap thickness also play a crucial role.
In terms of comparing cherry and oem profile solely based on sound, it can be quite challenging to come up with a definitive conclusion since several factors can significantly impact the sound quality. These factors may include the type of switches used, the keyboard’s overall design, the thickness of the keyboard body, and various other factors that may come into play.
Comfort & Feel
When it comes to comparing the comfort and feel of cherry and OEM profile keycaps, it’s worth noting that this can be quite subjective, as there’s no definitive factor that can decisively determine which is better. From my own experience using various types of keycaps on my keyboard, I’ve found that OEM profile keycaps tend to feel the most familiar and comfortable to the hands. In fact, this is why OEM profile keycaps are often used as the default keycaps on pre-built keyboards.
That being said, after using cherry profile keycaps for a few months and becoming accustomed to their low profile design, I found that typing became a much more enjoyable and precise experience. The shorter keycaps require less lifting of the hand to type, and the sculpted design reduces the need to stretch one’s fingers too far when typing or playing games. I would highly recommend trying both keycap profiles to see which one suits you best.
It’s worth noting that the mechanical keyboard community as a whole seems to prefer cherry profile keycaps over OEM profile keycaps. In my own experience, I have found that I too greatly prefer the cherry profile keycaps. So, if you’re looking for a comfortable and enjoyable typing experience, I would suggest giving cherry profile keycaps a try.
In conclusion, choosing between cherry and OEM profile keycaps ultimately comes down to personal preference and typing style. Cherry keycaps offer a classic, comfortable feel with a slightly curved surface that helps guide your fingers to the correct keys. OEM keycaps, on the other hand, have a more pronounced sculpting that can help with touch typing and provide a more ergonomic typing experience.
When deciding between the two, consider the type of keyboard you have and what kind of feel you want to achieve. Cherry keycaps tend to work better with older, more traditional keyboards, while OEM keycaps are often found on newer, more modern keyboards. Additionally, think about your typing style and whether a more sculpted or flatter keycap surface will better suit your needs.
Ultimately, both cherry and OEM profile keycaps are great options for anyone looking to upgrade their keyboard’s look and feel. Whichever you choose, take the time to find high-quality keycaps that will last and enhance your typing experience.
What are Cherry keycaps and OEM keycaps?
Cherry keycaps and OEM keycaps are two different types of keycaps used on mechanical keyboards. Cherry keycaps are made by the German company Cherry, while OEM keycaps are made by the Original Equipment Manufacturer.
What is the difference between Cherry and OEM profile keycaps?
The main difference between Cherry and OEM profile keycaps is their shape and height. Cherry profile keycaps have a more curved shape and are shorter, while OEM profile keycaps have a flatter shape and are taller.
Which profile is taller: Cherry or OEM?
The OEM profile is taller than the Cherry profile.
What are the benefits of Cherry profile keycaps?
The benefits of Cherry profile keycaps include a low profile design that allows for a comfortable and natural typing experience, as well as improved durability and compatibility with a wide range of keyboards.
What are the benefits of OEM profile keycaps?
The benefits of OEM profile keycaps include a higher profile design that provides a more traditional typing experience, as well as improved stability and compatibility with specific keyboard models.
Which profile offers better typing comfort?
The profile that offers better typing comfort is subjective and depends on personal preference. Some users may find Cherry profile keycaps more comfortable due to their low profile design, while others may prefer the higher profile of OEM keycaps.
Which profile is more popular among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts?
It depends on personal preference, but Cherry and OEM are both popular profiles among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts.
Are Cherry profile keycaps more expensive than OEM profile keycaps?
It varies depending on the brand and quality, but generally, Cherry profile keycaps tend to be more expensive than OEM profile keycaps.
Can Cherry and OEM keycaps be mixed and matched?
Yes, Cherry and OEM keycaps can be mixed and matched, as long as they are compatible with the same switch type and stem size.
Can Cherry and OEM keycaps be used interchangeably on any mechanical keyboard?
Cherry and OEM keycaps may not be interchangeable on all mechanical keyboards as compatibility depends on the stem type and switch design.
Which is better between Cherry or OEM Keycap profile for Gaming?
The better keycap profile for gaming between Cherry and OEM is subjective and depends on personal preference, but Cherry profile keycaps are often favored for their sculpted design and uniform height.
Which is better between Cherry or OEM Keycap profile for Typing?
The choice between Cherry and OEM keycap profiles for typing is subjective and depends on personal preference.
Which is Cheaper between Cherry or OEM profile?
Generally, the Cherry profile is slightly more expensive than the OEM profile.
Why Cherry Profile so Popular?
The Cherry profile is popular because it offers a comfortable typing experience with its slightly curved design, and it has been around for a long time, making it a standard in the mechanical keyboard community.
Why The Original Cherry Profile Keycap is so Rare and Expensive?
The original Cherry profile keycaps are rare and expensive because they were produced in limited quantities and are highly sought after by keyboard enthusiasts. Additionally, some of the original molds for these keycaps were lost or destroyed, making them even rarer.
Which is easier to find between Cherry profile or OEM Profile?
It’s difficult to say which keyboard profile is easier to find in general, as availability can vary depending on the retailer and location. However, Cherry profile is generally more popular among enthusiasts and may have more options available from specialty keyboard shops. OEM profile, on the other hand, is more commonly found on pre-built keyboards from mainstream manufacturers.
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.