There is a thing called a keycap puller and it’s used especially for mechanical keyboards. You may have already known a lot about it or you may not. So, how about finding out its functionality to see if it is a must-have item for you?

Talk about the mechanical keyboards. They are not at the price to change into a new one immediately when minor breaks happen. Things like wearing-off keycaps or unresponsive switches happen frequently. And, repurchasing a new keyboard when those happens is not budget-wise nor do we say, feasible.

It’s when a keycap puller comes in handy. And, we may need it for other purposes besides fixing our keyboards. Let’s get to know the keycap puller, the reasons you need it, a DIY recipe, and also a carefully-picked list of the best keycap pullers currently.

Jump right into them now!

What is a keycap puller?

Using A Keycap Puller-Keycap Pullers
Using A Keycap Puller

It’s a small tool to take out the keycaps from your keyboard. A keycap puller can be metal or plastic. Thanks to its convenience, keyboard enthusiasts prefer this little guy over their fingers when they need to perform mechanical keyboard modifications.

Do you need a keycap puller?

Here is the list of reasons why you may need to pull out the keycaps:

  • You want to clean the keyboards thoroughly, both outside and inside.
  • You spill water over your keyboard, so you need to check under the keycaps. (If you meet this problem, we have here a guide on fixing your keyboard to save yourself from buying a new one)
  • You want to change into other keycaps because the old ones are broken or simply look boring.
  • You want to replace the mechanical switches.
  • You want to mod the switches such as lubing or filming.

Trust us when we tell you a keyboard pro usually has a mechanical keyboard puller in their toolbox. The key reason is that it’s way safer than your hands when pulling out a keycap. 

With your fingers, there are certain chances that you accidentally break the keycap or do harm to the beneath switches.

What’s more? The job is taken care of way faster and way easier in comparison. That’s why we think you should have one keycap remover in your keyboard’s kit.

Main types of keycap pullers

Right now, there are two main types of keycap pullers – wired keycap pullers and plastic ring keycap removers. We will discover each one immediately.

What is a wired keycap puller?

WASD Wired Keycap Puller-Keycap Pullers
WASD Wired Keycap Puller

The wired keycap puller consists of two metal wires that attach to a plastic handle. Its prices vary between $2 and $10.

What is a Plastic ring keycap puller?

Plastic Ring Keycap Puller-Keycap Pullers
Plastic Ring Keycap Puller

There are two legs that stick to a big ring. The material is plastic so it’s very cheap or even comes as a bonus when you purchase a mechanical keyboard.

Wired keycap puller vs Plastic keycap puller: Which one is better?

Wired keycap puller Plastic keycap puller
Pros Able to touch the bottom without opening up the edges too much May cause scratches

 when the thick legs force their way to the bottom

Cons 5 or 10 times more expensive Very cheap or even free

After considering the pros and cons, we agree that addingthat the adding money for a wired keycap puller is not expensive at all. You don’t want your expensive keycaps or switches to meet any problems, right?

How to make A DIY Keycap Puller Out of Two Paper Clips

A DIY Keycap Puller
A DIY Keycap Puller (Source: Tim Burr)

If you choose to make alternations to your mechanical keyboards by yourself, can we safely assume you are a handy person? So, how does making your own keycap puller sound? A keycap puller is just two pieces of metal that can grasp both sides of a keycap anyway. So, with some easy-to-find materials, you can make one fast.

The below DIY recipe may be helpful for anyone who cannot get a mechanical keyboard puller right away when they need to pull out a few keycaps.

Step 1: Gather The Material

What you need:

  • 3 paper clips or 3 metal wires that are around 3.8 inches or 9.5 cm
  • A plier
  • A ruler (it’s for better measurement)

Step 2: Straighten Your Paper Clips

Pull the paper clip outward to make it as straight as a wire. Use a plier to make sure the corner can be flattened well. Skip this step if you use wires.

Straighten Paper Clips (Source: Tim Burr)

Step 3: Bend The Arms

Divide the paper clips/ wires into 3 parts by using the ruler (we will only mention them as ‘wires’ after this) The middle part should be about 1 inch or 1.2 cm and the other two must have equal lengths. Then, bend them at a 90-degree angle to have an angular U shape. These are the arms that hold the keycaps. Make two of it.

Bend The Arms 90 Degrees (Source: Tim Burr)

Step 4: Bend The Pegs

From the two sides, you bend them at a 90-degree angle to make pegs. Make sure you use only the plier’s tip so the pegs’ length won’t be more than 0.3 inches or 0.5 cm. And, you should do the same for the other U-shape wire.

Bend The Pegs 90 Degrees (Source: Tim Burr)

Step 5: Perform The Twist

Use the remained wire to secure the two arms together. Fold it several times and make sure things are put together tightly.

Tight Them Together (Source: Tim Burr)

That’s it! Now, you have a handmade keycap remover ready to perform the tasks. Try it!

Here we borrow the visual instruction for a DIY keycap puller from Bilotfanime. The difference is in steps 3 and 4. He does not use a wire but makes small hooks to connect the two pieces together. It’s also a cool idea, so we really want to show you.

Best Keycap Pullers to buy

In case you want a professional tool, especially if you want to customize the whole keyboard, here are the best keycap pullers in the market.

Qisan Keycap Puller

Qisan Keycap Puller-Keycap Pullers
Qisan Keycap Puller
Special Features:

  • Long enough to hold 3 keycaps at a time
  • Compatible with most mechanical keyboards
Pros:

  • Nice grip and easy to use
  • Won’t cause scratches to the keycaps
  • Good price
Cons:

  • Doesn’t work on keys with stabilizers

A very good keycap remover in the market, as both the ability and durability is awesome. Qisan keycap puller can take out the keycaps easily without harming them. Moreover, you can alternate the wires so the puller can fit any keycap size, from the ‘A’ to the’ enter’ key. The wires are also long enough so you can pull out 3 keycaps in one go before taking them out for the next keycaps, making the process 3x speed.

Griarrac Mechanical Keyboard O Ring Switch Dampener

Griarrac Mechanical Keyboard O Ring Switch Dampener-Keycap Pullers
Griarrac Mechanical Keyboard O Ring Switch Dampener
Special Features:

  • Comes as a set with O-rings, a cleaning cloth, a dust brush, a mini bag, and a keycap remover
  • A two-head keycap puller
Pros:

  • Able to perform multiple tasks besides removing keycaps
  • Can use for regular size and irregular size
  • Reasonable price
Cons:

  • The plastic head is quite stiff

The best keycap puller that cannot be missed out on is the Griarrac mechanical keyboard o ring switch dampener. It comes as a set so you can clean the keyboard, dampen the switches, and take out the keycaps without the need to buy more. The mechanical keyboard puller has two heads so you can alternate between them for any keycap appearance. The O-rings are of transparent silicone, which means the set is friendly to the RGB backlit keyboards.

SYIDINZN Keycap Puller

SYIDINZN Keycap Puller-Keycap Pullers
SYIDINZN Keycap Puller
Special Features:

  • A combination of keycap remover and switch puller
  • An anti-slip design
Pros:

  • Don’t need to purchase another switch puller
  • Can be used for most mechanical switches, from Cherry-MX style to Torpe switches.
  • Super easy and firm to use
Cons:

  • Can be bent when pulling out a surface-mounted switches

The most convenient and best keycap puller for us will be the SYIDINZN keycap puller. We really like the tool as it has a switch-remover head. Both heads are of high quality, and the grip is designed to prevent slipping off your fingers. Like other wired keycap pullers, it causes no scratches to the keycap surface. On top of that, it’s flexible to use with many different keycap types. A true queen to us!

Zonon Keyboard Cleaner Tools

Zonon Keyboard Cleaner Tools-Keycap Pullers
Zonon Keyboard Cleaner Tools
Special Features:

  • A toolkit combining a dustpan, a keycap – switches remover, and dampening O-rings
Pros:

  • No need to buy more keyboard tools
  • Simple and durable
  • Cause no harm to keycaps
Cons:

  • Doesn’t work on large-size keycaps
  • Hard to pull out tight switches

Zonon Keyboard Cleaner Tools are suitable for people who begin to care about their mechanical keyboards. The Zonon keycap-switch remover is a flexible tool just like the SYIDINZN keycap puller. You will always need to remove the keycap before being able to pull out the switches. Hence, it’s more convenient to switch between two heads than between two pullers. Apart from that, it inherits the pros of a wired keycap puller so your keycap’s surface won’t get scratched.

Velocifire Keycap Puller

Velocifire Keycap Puller-Keycap Pullers
Velocifire Keycap Puller
Special Features:

  • Durable stainless steel
  • Having a round handle
  • Include a keycap stem adjusting tool
Pros:

  • Can be used for most mechanical keycaps
  • Can hold three keycaps at once
  • Can move the keycaps very fast
Cons:

  • The stem adjusting tool is not useful

What we like about Velocifire keycap puller is its round grip. The design makes it comfortable to remove the keycaps, and moreover, we can speed up the process by taking three keycaps in one go. The stainless steel allows the tool to last for a long time and the wires are adjustable for other keycaps’ sizes, except the spacebar. However, even though they market the product as a multifunctional mechanical keyboard puller, the add-in stem adjustment is too big to use.

Ortarco Keycap Puller

Ortarco Keycap Puller-Keycap Pullers
Ortarco Keycap Puller
Special Features:

  • A multifunction tool
  • Go with a brush
Pros:

  • Can take out tough keycap or switches
  • Cheap
Cons:

  • Does not work with ‘enter’ keycap

We are kind of blabbering about how a two-head remover is an ultimate tool for keyboard lovers so we won’t mention any more.  But yes, the Ortarco keycap puller is a convenient tool that you don’t have to buy an extra switch remover. Moreover, it comes with a brush so the convenience is like, triple. In addition, the tool is quite strong so stuck keycaps won’t be a problem. That is why no other puller can take Ortaco’s place on the best keycap puller list.

How to use a keycap puller – Keycap Pulling Tips

We believe the best way to prolong the lifespan of any mechanical keyboard is by performing periodically deep cleaning. That is when a keycap remover comes into help. But, before we show you how to use a keycap puller, we suggest you check out this guidance on keyboard deep cleaning.

Now, let’s turn to our keycap puller manual.

  • The first step that you should not forget is plugging out the keyboard cord or turning it off.
  • Then, open the wires a little bit so they can be placed on the two sides of the keycap.
  • Move the wires down to the bottom.
  • Sway the keycap puller so it can attach to the opposite corners of the keycap.
  • Pull it out of the keyboard.

After you get familiar with the action, you can pull two or three keycaps at a time.

If you want to watch the steps for a better understanding, we recommend therecommend you the video below.

Conclusion

We believe a keycap puller will aid you very well in the mission of protecting or renovating your mechanical keyboard. And, we hope that this article has covered anything you need, from the two puller types to how to use them. If you also think of getting one, don’t forget to go through the best keycap puller list one more time to pick out the most suitable one for your keyboard.

FAQs 

What is the best keycap puller to buy?

We think the best keycap puller is the SYIDINZN. It can be used for both keycaps and switches and both sides are trustworthy for the deed.

Do you really need a keycap puller?

You can pull out the keycap by hand but it has a high chance of causing problems. So, a specialized tool is still way better.

Are wire keycap pullers better than plastic ones?

Yes, they are. They do not scratch the keycap like how the plastic ring keycap pullers do.

Do plastic keycap pullers cause damage to keycaps?

It depends on the type. To be clearer, the plastic ring keycap puller can make some scratches on the surface while the wired keycap won’t cause any damage.

Posted by: Amy Golden
I work as a freelance blogger in Seattle, Washington. I've been freelancing full-time for 5 years. I'm interested in anime, resin art, and mechanical keyboards.