Have you just entered the world of keyboards and wondered “What are GMK keycaps?“. In the world of mechanical keyboard enthusiasts, GMK keycaps are a premium and highly desired product. For fans of mechanical keyboards who value both aesthetics and functionality, GMK keycaps are a premium option. What are GMK keycaps? GMK keycaps are a […]
What are GMK keycaps and why are they so expensive?
Have you just entered the world of keyboards and wondered “What are GMK keycaps?“. In the world of mechanical keyboard enthusiasts, GMK keycaps are a premium and highly desired product. For fans of mechanical keyboards who value both aesthetics and functionality, GMK keycaps are a premium option.
What are GMK keycaps?
GMK keycaps are a high-end keycap set made by a German-based firm named GMK. The initials GMK stand for “Georg” (G), “Mozart” (M), and “Komptech” (K), the people and businesses responsible for the first creation of these keycaps.
Each GMK keycap is created utilizing a double-shot injection molding technique, which involves molding two distinct colored plastic components together. As a consequence of this technique, legends (letters and symbols) are created that will never fade or disappear, assuring durable and bright keycap designs.
GMK keycaps are well known for their superb craftsmanship, meticulous attention to detail and appealing color schemes. They come in a variety of styles to suit different likes and preferences, from traditional and simple to colorful and creative.
Additionally, they are a widely sought-after adherence for people looking to tweak and improve their mechanical keyboards since they provide a tactile and gratifying typing experience and are compatible with a number of keyboard layouts.
What makes GMK keycaps so pricey?
GMK keycaps are known for their premium quality, attention to detail, and meticulous craftsmanship, which contribute to their higher price point. There are 5 main factors that contribute to the pricing of GMK keycaps:
GMK keycaps are renowned for their exceptional quality and are highly sought after by enthusiasts in the custom keyboard community.
What sets GMK keycaps apart is the choice of material. While many prefer PBT keycaps over standard ABS ones due to their thickness and texture, GMK takes ABS keycaps to a whole new level. They use a premium thick ABS material that surpasses regular ABS keycaps in terms of texture and overall quality.
GMK’s ABS keycaps are crafted with a 20% increased thickness, making them highly textured and more appealing than even the top PBT double shot keycaps. This has helped shift the perception of ABS keycaps and establish GMK as a leader in the market.
The sturdy ABS plastic used by GMK not only minimizes flaws and warping but also offers a wide range of vibrant color options and superior acoustics, enhancing the overall typing experience. ABS keycaps allow for intricate color integration through double or triple shot processes, providing extensive customization possibilities.
- ABS vs PBT keycap: Which is better?
- What are the pros and cons of ABS Keycaps?
- Best PBT keycaps for your mechanical keyboard
GMK keycaps are produced using a complex and time-consuming double-shot molding process. This involves injecting two layers of plastic to create legends (characters) that are resistant to wear and fading. The intricate manufacturing process requires specialized equipment and skilled labor, which adds to the cost.
In terms of profile, GMK keycaps are exclusively built with the popular Cherry profile. The Cherry profile is distinctive since it is thicker and shorter than other typical keycap profiles. Therefore, before buying GMK keycaps, you should ensure that this profile works well with your keyboards and that you like the typing experience it offers.
Due to the comfortable feel generated from the Cherry profile in comparison to other profiles, the keycap size is perfect for typing and gaming. Additionally, it produces a pleasant acoustic sound during typing thanks to the thick plastic.
The most important thing that makes GMK keycaps different from other brands is that they officially hold the license from Cherry Company to create the authentic Cherry profile while others design their own tools to make imitations of the Cherry profile.
Limited Production Runs
GMK keycaps are often released in limited production runs or as part of group buys. This limited availability increases their desirability and exclusivity, contributing to their higher price.
GMK limited edition keycaps are not only offered in small quantities, but they are also available for a short period of time with a countdown. If you miss a deal, your only options are to wait for another one to come along or buy the keycaps from an aftermarket source (typically inflated pricing).
Anyone who comes late may still get limited keycaps they love through third parties; however, the price can increase by up to 50%. For instance, while the limited edition GMK keycaps have the price of $200 after launching, you may find them for up to $300 through third parties or the aftermarket.
Due to a limited time for ordering and a very innovative version of keycaps, GMK is able to set the price of its keycaps pretty much whatever they choose. Despite the hefty price, GMK limited edition keys are always sought-after among keycaps fans.
From classic colorways to vibrant and eye-catching themes, GMK offers a wide range of design options to cater to different tastes and preferences. The attention to detail in the legends, fonts, and color combinations results in keycap sets that are aesthetically pleasing and enhance the overall appearance of any keyboard.
GMK always prioritizes outstanding color reproduction throughout manufacture. You can quickly recognize that any of the GMK sets are made with attention to detail and skillful creation at the first glance. With vivid colors and careful craftsmanship, keyboard fans always hunt for them, especially limited versions.
Another factor that contributes to GMK’s premium price tag is their renowned brand reputation among avid mechanical keyboard enthusiasts. Often regarded as the pinnacle of keycap manufacturers, GMK has earned a dedicated following online, particularly on platforms like Reddit, where users passionately laud the exceptional quality and craftsmanship evident in all their keycap sets.
Founded in Germany in 1992 by Manfred Güntner, Jürgen Meinhardt, and Wolfgang Kredler, GMK electronic design GmBH boasts a long-standing legacy in electronics. Keycap production, while an iconic aspect of GMK, is just a small part of their extensive repertoire, which includes PCBs, keyboards, HMI control panels, IoT devices, and various other electronic equipment. This legacy of excellence and versatility contributes to GMK’s premium status in the mechanical keyboard world.
Drawbacks of GMK keycaps
While GMK keycaps are highly regarded in the mechanical keyboard community, there are a 5 potential drawbacks to consider:
The pricing of keycaps that GMK offers are sometimes extraordinarily high. Despite their absurd costs, they are still sought-after among custom keycaps fans.
Prices for GMK Keycaps range from $180 to $200, sometimes even exceeding the cost of your keyboard. These prices can be comparable with the price of hot-swappable mechanical keyboards from Keychron or Epomaker, which are priced at $100.
Moreover, due to factors like purchasing, GMK keycaps have to charge very high rates for its keycaps since the product you want is not accessible in your preferred marketplace. In essence, GMK keycaps are created somewhat more than their limited edition keycaps rather than being mass produced.
Your keycaps can be for sale on online forums without a fixed price. Following a discussion with the seller, a higher price is 50% or even up to 100% greater than the keycaps’ regular price presented to you. They are limited edition GMK keycaps, so of course, this will aggravate you.
Shiny and Greasy look after heavy usage
Keep in mind that no matter how pricey the GMK ABS keycaps are, you will still experience an unavoidable greasy shine after prolonged use. Even the best-made GMK keycaps will not be resistant to shine after heavy use.
The major downside of ABS keycaps is that they will get shiny and worn over time, and the lettering may also start to fade. If dye-sublimation printing is used, the lettering may even fade away altogether.
Shine often reduces the quality of GMK keycap sets, even if some people enjoy the appearance of worn-looking GMK keycaps. When acquiring GMK sets from the aftermarket, keep this in mind.
- How to deep clean your mechanical keyboard to avoid shiny keycaps?
- How Long Does a Mechanical Keyboard Last?
Long waiting time to get the keycaps
If you want to buy GMK keycaps, there is a high chance you will have to deal with the annoying long waiting time.
The production process at GMK is considerably different since we have to join a group to be notified when fresh stocks are available. Generally, you have to wait until every GMK keycap set achieves or surpasses the minimum order quantity (MOQ). At that time, production can’t even start.
Therefore, regardless of how quickly you take advantage of the group purchase, you will always have to wait for weeks or even months to acquire your favorite set of keycaps.
After all, this is the biggest concern you will get in the intensely competitive market for mechanical keyboards. There is no other way to get the greatest keycaps on the market but to be patient.
You may be aware that limited edition things always go with limited quantities, which means that they are typically hard to find.
That’s true when purchasing a GMK keycap set.
You can find all the keycap variations by searching on Google for “GMK Keycaps Set”. Yet, you can’t find the keycap styles and colors you like. In reality, you can’t order a GMK set with only one click. You must purchase them as part of a group buy or with interest checks since each new keycap set is released in a limited quantity.
To get the information GMK keycaps you desire, you should actively participate in the community or group.
After scouring the group or forums, you will probably discover your dream GMK keycaps. However, if you come late, you will be the loser in this game, especially when limited edition GMK keycaps are released.
Incompatibility with non-standard layouts
GMK keycaps are primarily designed for Cherry MX-style switches, which are the most common switch type. However, this means they may not be compatible with non-standard layouts or switches, limiting their versatility.
Are GMK keycaps worth the hefty price tag?
After all, GMK keycaps are just little colored pieces of plastic you add to your keyboard. Whether they are worth your money or not is totally up to your taste. They are an excellent choice for enthusiasts, professionals, and gamers aiming to enhance their keyboard setup. If you value craftsmanship, diverse color options, and a distinctive tactile experience, GMK keycaps are well worth their hefty price.
However, if you prioritize budget over premium features, there are more economical options available that still provide satisfying typing experiences. Ultimately, the decision to buy GMK keycaps should align with your specific preferences, budget, and commitment to keyboard customization.
Best GMK Keycaps
The best GMK keycaps are sold on the marketplace by hundreds of sellers associated with the GMK Keycaps. Even if we told you which GMK Keycaps were the greatest, it’s likely that you wouldn’t be able to get your hands on them due to their limited availability and hazy market release date.
As we advised above, don’t forget to be frequently active in the groups and forums to get the newest updates. The following is a list of the top 10 GMK Keycaps that you may love:
|GMK Keycap set||Features||Price|
|GMK Red Samurai
|GMK Sky Dolch
GMK vs PBT Keycaps
GMK and PBT keycaps stand out as the most sought-after choices due to their distinct attributes that cater to diverse preferences and needs.
When comparing GMK and PBT keycaps, several distinctive factors come into play, each catering to different preferences and priorities.
Beginning with durability, GMK keycaps may show signs of wear and shine over time due to the ABS material. PBT keycaps, on the other hand, are designed to withstand heavy usage without showing signs of wear or fading, making them an excellent investment for those seeking long-lasting keycaps.
The typing experience between the two differs noticeably. GMK keycaps provide a soft and comfortable typing experience while PBT keycaps have a more tactile and textured feel, particularly for those who prefer a more pronounced keypress.
One of GMK’s distinguishing features is its limited production runs, enhancing its collectible allure and create an exclusive aura around these keycaps. On the contrary, PBT keycaps, while not as limited, shine in their affordability, offering a wide range of options without compromising quality.
|GMK Keycaps||PBT Keycaps|
|Aesthetics and Customization||Wide range of colorways and themes||Slightly fewer customization options compared to GMK keycaps|
|Durability||Easier to wear and shine over time due to the ABS material||Highly durable and resistant to wear, discoloration, and shine|
|Feel||Softer and smoother typing feel||More tactile and textured feel|
|Sound||High-pitched and distinct sound||Deep and muted sound|
|Compatibility||Compatibility with Cherry MX-style Switches||Fit with Cherry MX-style Switches|
|Availability||Limited in production||Widely available|
|Price||Pricey||Usually more affordable|
Ultimately, GMK and PBT keycaps each hold a distinct allure. GMK keycaps entice with their aesthetics and customization potential, while PBT keycaps attract with durability, a textured feel, and lasting value. The choice between them hinges on individual preferences, financial considerations, and the desired typing encounter.
How do you know if GMK keycaps are compatible with my keyboard?
It’s critical to consider if GMK keycap sets are totally compatible with your available switches before purchasing them.
Provided they feature a Cherry stem, all GMK keycap sets are compatible with Cherry-type switches and their clones. This implies that every GMK set is totally compatible with all keyboard that has Cherry MX switches, including Kailh, Gateron, and other Cherry clones.
Since GMK uses genuine Cherry molds to create its switches, you won’t notice any inconsistencies in their quality. Therefore, their keycaps have a perfect fit and finish on authentic Cherry switches.
You’re out of luck, though, if your keyboard has exclusive key switches like the Logitech Romer G or Razer. These first-party switches will not be compatible with any GMK keycap set.
Therefore, you must adhere to keycap sets produced by either the same company that makes your switches or by other suppliers whose products have been tested for compatibility.
To do that, check out this post: Are Keycaps Universal? How to find keycaps that fit your mechanical.
Where to buy GMK keycap sets?
When it comes to purchasing GMK keycap sets, there are several reputable options available to enthusiasts and keyboard aficionados. Here are some stores that we have detailed and recommended for you.
Interest checks: In several keyboard enthusiast groups, including Reddit groups like r/mechmarket and GeekHack, users may measure enthusiasm for possible GMK keycap group buys by reading interest check posts.
An interest check (IC) refers to a survey that the creator or supplier gives to determine the level of interest. Feedback from target respondents is frequently gathered so that the finished product more precisely satisfies your objectives.
In order to receive details on the progress of the survey, you can frequently opt to provide your email address.
If you explore forums for mechanical keyboards, you could find some people doing an interest check. They are testing a sense of community in their keycap style and renderings with these postings. These artists will contact a manufacturer of their choosing to get a quote if they garner enough awareness.
You can browse the interest checks via kbdfans.
On online markets like r/mechmarket or other keyboard enthusiast communities, you could discover individual merchants offering GMK keycap sets for sale in the aftermarket.
On online markets like r/mechmarket or other keyboard enthusiast communities, you could discover individual merchants offering GMK keycap sets for sale in the aftermarket.
Occasionally, certain GMK keycap sets may be available on Amazon, though availability might be limited, and prices may vary.
A reputable online store with a focus on mechanical keyboards and associated accessories is MechanicalKeyboards.co. MechanicalKeyboards.co is the go-to website for mechanical keyboard aficionados wishing to buy GMK keycap sets because of its user-friendly interface and first-rate customer support.
Kono Store is another reputable retailer serving the mechanical keyboard market. They offer a wide range of eye-catching and varied complementary mechanical keyboard items, making it easy to find all you need for a keyboard there. In addition, they also have many special promotions for loyal customers and new customers.
NovelKeys works with keycap designers and regularly organizes group purchases for premium GMK keycap sets. The retailer is known for offering top-notch goods and helping the mechanical keyboard community.
Drop is an online platform that collaborates with several producers to set up group purchases for specialty goods like GMK keycap sets. Drop’s GMK keycap group buys are a popular choice for fans searching for exclusive keycap sets since they frequently feature distinctive hues and unique designs.
GMK keycaps are unquestionably amazing keycaps that can offer your mechanical keyboard a premium appearance, an unique feel, and exceptional durability.
Besides the standard keycaps, GMK also comes with a bunch of limited edition sets that are sought after and lured great attention when its name has just been leaked.
That’s the reason why custom keycap fans are willing to stay up all night, pay even more, and wait months to hunt GMK limited edition keycaps.
Ultimately, is such a high-end GMK keycap set word you money and time? The answer is totally up to you!
Thank you for reading! We hope you will make smart decisions and get your dream keycaps.
What does GMK stand for?
GMK stands for Günter, Meinhardt, and Kredler – the three Germans who established GMK.
Who makes GMK keycaps?
The GMK company, situated in Germany, is the manufacturer of GMK keycaps.
Are GMK Keycaps Worth the price?
It all depends on your taste and preference.
What Are GMK Keycaps Made Of?
GMK keycaps are made of thick ABS plastic that is 20% thicker than standard ABS.
Is GMK resistant to shine?
No. Regardless of how pricey they are, ABS keycaps remain ABS that still gets unavoidable shiny.
Do GMK keycaps come in different profiles?
No. GMK keycaps are exclusively built with a Cherry profile.
Are GMK keycaps good for gaming?
Yes. For gaming, GMK keycaps are top-notch choices. They are perfect for quick and precise keystrokes because of their superb build quality and smooth surface. Additionally, gamers can simply complete complicated key combinations thanks to the sculpted profiles and tactile feel of GMK keycaps.
Are GMK keycaps good for typing?
Yes. GMK keycaps are excellent for typing. They provide a dependable and amazing typing experience, making them a popular option among keyboard fans wanting both aesthetics and functionality, whether you are a writer, programmer, or someone who types regularly.