Cherry vs OEM: Which Better?

On profile keycaps between Cherry Profil and OEM Profile are the most common types of profiles we find on the market today. OEM profile is usually more widely used in mechanical keyboards sold today.

Cherry profile and OEM Profile have very similar designs and shapes. But the cherry profile keycaps are slightly shorter evenly across each keycap while the OEM Profile keycaps are a bit taller and some are a bit short. Cherry profile keycaps are quite difficult to obtain while OEM profile keycaps are quite easy to obtain and are usually used as the default keycaps on prebuilt mechanical keyboards and are probably the most used by mechanical keyboard users.

OEM profile keycaps are very affordable and easy to find. In contrast to Cherry profile keycaps which are rarely found, and produced by only a few manufacturers and have very high prices, such as keycaps sets with Cherry Profile from GMK for example which sell for $175 to $200.

This is a factor that makes keycaps with OEM profiles more widely used, because they are very easy to obtain and very affordable prices. While Cherry Profile is not easy to get. Why is Cherry Profile so rare and expensive compared to Keycaps OEM Profile?

What are Cherry Profile Keycaps?

What are Cherry Profile Keycaps?
What are Cherry Profile Keycaps?

One of the well-known manufacturers of keycaps with the best Cherry profile is GMK. Keycaps with genuine Cherry profiles have a shorter profile compared to OEM keycaps. Keycaps with Cherry profiles are sold very expensive because they have a unitary design, sculptural textures on each key, precise carvings, with the best quality and thick plastic as if they are able to support your every finger while typing, this is the hallmark of genuine Cherry profile keycaps. which can increase your comfort while typing.

Besides GMK, you can also find Cherry keycaps profiles on Cherry’s mechanical keyboards, namely Cherry G80 and Cherry G81, both keyboards are the first mechanical keyboards to use keycaps with Cherry profiles. Both the G80 and G81 keyboards are two very pleasant keyboards to type on, because they have a special texture on each surface of their keycaps so they are very comfortable to use for typing.

In certain cases Cherry profile keycaps are not compatible with certain types of switches such as mechanical keyboards that have LEDs under the switches, which will cause Cherry keycaps to damage the LEDs due to impact and friction. So most users prefer to use switches that do not have LEDs under the switch.

Apart from GMK you can also find production of Cherry profile keycaps from ePBT manufacturers but this is a hard product to find. You have to join the community and take part in group purchases which can take months. For Cherry profile keycaps from GMK now easier to obtain, you can visit the mechanicalkeyboards.com website.

What are OEM Profile Keycaps? 

What are OEM Profile Keycaps? 
What are OEM Profile Keycaps? 

OEM profile keycaps you can find quite a lot in the production of mechanical keyboards that are sold in the market today. You can find them on mechanical keyboards from Razer, Corsair, Steelseries, Logitech.

OEM profile keycaps have a higher profile compared to Cherry profile keycaps. When implemented on a mechanical keyboard the OEM profile Keycaps have a different design and height in each row. OEM profile keycaps have a cylinder above the surface of their keycaps, making them comfortable enough for typing or gaming.

OEM profile keycaps have become the eligibility standard for keycaps to be used on mechanical keyboards. OEM profile keycaps are mass produced at very affordable prices and very easy to get. The designs available for OEM profile Keycaps are very diverse with various color combinations as well. You can find OEM profile keycaps from brands like SDYZ, YMDK, and almost all mechanical keyboard brands produce OEM profile keycaps sets that are sold separately.

Which is Better: Cherry Profile or OEM?

PropertiesOEMCherry
CommonalityWidely availableMuch exclusive
HeightOnly below SA in heightGenuinely in the lower height profile
Material MadeABS/PBTABS/PBT
FeelSimilar to membrane keyboardsComfortable, upper class registered keys.
BuiltSlick texture that is a little uncomfortable to the touchA one-of-a-kind design with a unique texture and engraving on the surface of the keycaps
SoundCrisp, echo-yMuted
Price$20-$50$80-$120
Which is Better: Cherry Profile or OEM?
Which is Better: Cherry Profile or OEM?
Which is Better: Cherry Profile or OEM?

When choosing between Cherry Profile Keycaps or OEM Profile Keycaps, there are several aspects that set these two keycaps profiles apart overall. This is a very significant difference between OEM Profile Keycaps and Cherry Profile Keycaps. There is no better keycaps profile, because it all comes down to user preferences. Here’s what you should pay attention to when considering choosing OEM or CHERRY:

Price Comparison

OEM profile keycaps on the market today are quite affordable based on the materials and designs used. You can find OEM keycaps sets for anywhere from $12 to $80. As for Cherry prole keycaps, it’s not easy to find in your favorite marketplaces, because cherry profile keycaps are rare items in today’s world.

You can buy Cherry profile keycaps manufactured by GMK for prices ranging from $110 to $220, which is a very high price for just a Keycaps Set. But this has happened so far. You can also find fake Cherry keycap sets that sell for $30 to $50, of course this is very different in terms of quality and comfort.

Cherry Profile Keycaps have a higher price than OEM profile keycaps, because Cherry Profile Keycaps must have special licenses and permits that must be paid to Cherry Company to manufacture original Cherry Keycaps. The tools used to manufacture are only owned by licensees and permits, so few produce profile cherry keycaps. Meanwhile, OEM prol keycaps can be produced by anyone, so they are cheap, and there are a lot of OEM keycaps on the market.

Keycap Height

The most dominant difference between the cherry and the oem profile is the height of the keycaps. Cherry will generally be about 1mm shorter than OEM profile keycaps. With the cherry’s short profile, you’ll easily get a more precise typing or gaming experience because each keycaps feels very easy to reach and finger switching is very easy. This is also because of the cherry profile which has a chisel on the surface of the keycaps so that the grip provided is very good on your fingers.

Design

For the design difference between Cherry and OEM profile keycaps is in the difference in their keycaps height. Cherry has a shorter profile compared to OEM. Shorter keycaps profile increases accuracy and comfort when typing. While OEM profile keycaps have a higher design than cherry profile keycaps, this can also affect accuracy and comfort when using them.

For design, A Cherry profile keycaps has a unique design with a special texture and engraving on the surface of the keycaps which is very comfortable for typing. While you will find many OEM keycaps with a slippery texture and a bit uncomfortable to the touch.

Availability

OEM profile keycaps are very abundant in the market because many companies produce these profile keycaps. As I said, this is the standard keycaps on mechanical keyboards currently available. When you buy a mechanical keyboard, you get a free OEM profile keycap on your switch. You can find these from many brands of mechanical keyboards such as Logitech, HyperX, Razer, Steelseries, Red Dragon, Durog and others.

You don’t have to be afraid of the quality of OEM profiled keycaps, you can also find OEM double shot PBT profile keycaps for under $30 which are of excellent quality and durability, and are comfortable for typing or playing games. For example, such as YMDK 96 84 ANSI ISO Keyset OEM Profile, YMDK 108 104 PBT Double Shot, and Happy Balls PBT Keycaps.

Meanwhile, Cherry profile keycaps are very difficult to find in the marketplace, unlike OEM profile keycaps that are widely available everywhere. For Cherry profile keycaps, the most sought after are Cherry keycaps made by GMK which are of very high quality with high quality ABS plastic material. If you don’t want to join the group purchase, you can purchase Cherry Profle keycaps from GMK by visiting the mechanicalkeyboards.com website which has several limited edition variants priced at $120 to $220.

Material

Keycaps Cherry Profile and OEM Profile are generally made of 2 types of plastic materials, namely ABS and PBT plastic. For OEM profile keycaps with ABS material that are of poor quality with a slippery texture that can stick oil on your fingers, we strongly recommend that you buy OEM profile PBT keycaps that are of very high quality, thick, and very comfortable to use for typing. You can find OEM profile keycaps made by Razer, HyperX, YMDK which are made of thick PBT plastic with reliable quality.

As for Cherry profile keycaps, the best are only produced by GMK and ePBT. Cherry profile keycaps made by GMK are made of high quality ABS plastic which is very well known for its solid build quality and thick with a texture that is very comfortable to use for typing.

While ePBT produces Cherry profile keycaps with high quality PBT plastic, unfortunately it is not easy to get these cherry profile keycaps made by ePBT, you have to join a lot of special communities and buy them by joining the group purchase.

Sound

Because the cherry profile which has a lower height compared to the oem profile makes the room for sound reflection become smaller, resulting in a bassy typing sound. There are also other factors that influence such as modified or unmodified stabilizer, unlubricated stabilizer, casing thickness, casing material, whether to use dampening foam inside the keyboard casing, plate material, switches that have been lubricated or not, type of switches, and also the thickness of the keycaps themselves.

However, try watching the video below which uses the same keyboard but with cherry testing and oem profile keycaps:

Uses the same keyboard but with cherry testing and oem profile keycaps

For sound, it will be very difficult to compare between cherry and oem profile because there is no definite thing that can make a significant difference. This is also coupled with several factors such as the switches used, the overall keyboard design, the thickness of the keyboard body, and many more.

Comfort & Feel

Comparison of comfort and feel between cherry and oem profile may be very subjective because there is no definite factor that can decide which is better. Of the many types of keycaps that I have used on my keyboard, I feel that OEM profile keycaps are the most familiar to our hands because of that OEM profile keycaps are very widely used as default keycaps on prebuilt keyboards.

However, after I tried cherry profile keycaps for a few months and got used to using these low profile keycaps it really became enjoyable and typing felt very precise. Shorter keycaps mean you don’t have to lift your hand as much to type and the sculpted design means you don’t have to stretch your fingers too far when typing or playing games. I highly recommend trying both keycap profiles, but based on the opinion of the mechanical keyboard community everywhere, the cherry profile is the most preferred including myself really liking the cherry profile keycaps.

FAQs

Which is better between Cherry or OEM Keycap profile for Gaming?

For gaming use, Cherry and OEM keycap profiles are very reliable. In addition to having a profile that is not much different, these two keycap profiles are very good for playing games. Keycaps with Cherry Profile have always been a favorite for gaming because they have a lower profile than OEM Profile keycaps.

Which is better between Cherry or OEM Keycap profile for Typing?

For typing or programming, using the Cherry profile keycap is the best choice. The original keycap set with Cherry Profile like GMK’s products is a very reliable keycap set for typing.

GMK and ePBT are manufacturers of Cherry Profile Original Keycap Sets that are known for their excellent quality and are great for typing or programming. Most people will choose the original Cherry Profile keycap for typing or programming because it can provide a much better typing experience than the OEM Profile keycap.

Which is Cheaper between Cherry or OEM profile?

For the price, OEM Profile keycaps are cheaper and more affordable than Cherry Profile Keycaps. This is due to the abundant availability of keycaps with OEM profiles in the market. While Keycap with Cherry Profile is very rare to find and usually sold at a very expensive price.

Why Cherry Profile so Popular?

Cherry profiles are very popular in many mechanical keyboard communities because of their excellent quality and durability. Besides having very good quality, Keycap with Cherry Profile is very reliable for typing.

The Original Cherry Profile keycaps from GMK is one of the most popular because it has a very unique design and motif and is made with very thick and high quality ABS plastic. Original keycaps with Cherry Profile are very rare to find, so they always become hits when Cherry Profile producers release their products, such as Cherry Profile Keycap products from GMK.

Why The Original Cherry Profile Keycap is so Rare and Expensive?

To produce the original Cherry Profile keycap set, the company must have a special permit and license from the Cherry MX company which is the patent holder of the Cherry Profile Keycap.

There are only 2 Cherry Profile keycap manufacturers that have the official license and permit to produce cherry profile keycaps, namely GMK and ePBT. Both of these companies are officially licensed and use the original Cherry Profile keycap generator from Cherry MX. Due to the small number of cherry profile keycap producers, cherry profile keycaps are quite rare and are sold at very high prices.

Which is easier to find between Cherry profile or OEM Profile?

For product availability, OEM profile keycaps are easier to obtain than Cherry Profile keycaps. Keycap OEM profiles become the standard keycap set on every pre-built mechanical keyboard currently available.

There are no special rules regarding licenses or official permits for the manufacture of keycap OEM profiles, so there are many manufacturers of keycap OEM profiles and their products are very easy to find everywhere at very affordable prices like YMDK for example.

Conclusion: Cherry vs OEM: Which Better?

When talking about comparing Cherry Profile Keycaps and OEM Profile Keycaps. So there are many factors that must be used as a basis for reference. There is no specific research which keycaps are better and more feasible to use.

We prefer to talk about price comparison where Cherry Profile Keycaps are very expensive and hard to find, while OEM profile keycaps are very affordable and very easy to find.

The materials used in the Cherry profile keycaps and OEM profile keycaps are both ABS and PBT plastic. For product quality, it depends on the manufacturer that makes it. We can find Cherry Profile keycaps from GMK which have very good keycaps, and for Keycaps from OEM Profil you can find very high quality PBT double shot OEM profile keycaps as well.

The bottom line is that there is nothing better than Cherry Profile Keycaps or OEM Profile Keycaps. But I think the availability and affordable price is what people are looking for nowadays, OEM profile keycaps are very familiar to many people and have a lot of availability at very affordable prices, this makes people prefer OEM profile keycaps over Cherry Profil keycaps.

Author

  • Kizaru

    Hi! I’m Kizaru. I grew up addicted to different Gadget & Computer Accessories. I began working as an IT Support Supervisor in Hospitality company years ago and realized my passion for Computer & Gadget Accessories. Digiva.net is a place for me to share my different findings and experiences about Computer & Gadget Accessories. For more information, Check Out My About Me Page!

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