What Are PBT Keycaps? Unlocking the Secrets of PBT Keycaps

  • Keycaps 101
  • Posted by: carson-rutz
  • Aug 14, 2023

Are you wondering between two keycaps, PBT keycaps and ABS keycaps? Want to understand more about "What are PBT keycaps?". We will unlock important secrets about PBT keycaps for you to choose carefully for your keyboard set.

What are PBT Keycaps?

Before diving deeper into PBT keycaps, let's learn about “What do PBT keycaps mean?

Polybutylene Terephthalate, commonly referred to as PBT, is a kind of thermoplastic polymer used in the creation of keycaps for mechanical keyboards. 

What are pbt keycaps?
what are pbt keycaps?

Manufacturers take thermoplastic PBT and melt it into a liquid, then pump it into a mold and cool it to create keycaps from the plastic. Due to PBT's better resilience to heat and chemicals, this technique is more time-consuming and costly for keycaps.

If you are curious about the best keycap materials, then read our post to better understand their manufacturing process.

Doubleshot pbt keycaps
doubleshot pbt keycaps

Durability is one of the primary characteristics of PBT keycaps. PBT is a strong, durable polymer that can survive constant, intensive use without soon wearing out. 

Additionally, PBT keycaps have a distinctive texture that appeals to many individuals. They have a slightly rough, matte surface that makes typing more comfortable and discourages perspiration and finger oils from clinging to the surface. 

The texture of pbt keycaps
the texture of pbt keycaps

Another characteristic of PBT keycaps is their resistance to key legends fading. Legends and patterns may be added to PBT keycaps using a variety of techniques, such as sublimation or dye-sublimation printing. 

PBT keycaps are compatible with a variety of switch types and keyboard layouts. They are available in various sizes and profiles to meet both common layouts and more specific possibilities.

Legends of pbt keycaps
legends of pbt keycaps

Therefore, PBT keycaps are perfect for keyboard users who spend a lot of time gaming and typing. They offer a top-notch typing experience and are preferred for their durability and shine resistance. 

If you want to have a better overview of keycaps, then this post will give you a closer look at them.

Are PBT keycaps good?

Are pbt keycaps good?
are pbt keycaps good?


PBT keycaps are renowned for their robustness and resistance to wear. Unlike other materials, PBT keycaps are known to maintain their texture and appearance over extended periods of use. They are less likely to get shiny or greasy over time.

Moreover, the robust nature of PBT makes them less susceptible to chipping, cracking, or breaking, ensuring they withstand wear and accidental impacts effectively.


PBT caps typically have a matte surface and uniform texture. With a more tactile and gripping feel, this can improve typing and lessen the chance of fingers passing off the keys.


The majority of PBT keycaps feature a matte or semi-matte appearance. They have a surface with a little rough texture, which over time lessens the visibility of fingerprints, smudges, and shine.

PBT keycaps are frequently offered in a variety of hues, including vivid and muted tones. PBT keycaps often have more uniform and steady color saturation.


Feel of pbt keycaps
feel of pbt keycaps

PBT keycaps seem substantial and durable because of their thickness. When pushed, they give a pleasing response and have a heavier weight. The textured surface offers a slight resistance to the fingers, allowing for better grip and reducing the chances of slipping during fast typing sessions.


Are you an office worker, annoyed with noisy sounds, and want to buy special keycaps that reduce noise? So watch the video and feel the sound of the HyperX White PBT keycaps to see if it's the best choice for you.

Those keycaps manufactured from PBT generate a subdued, less hollow sound. PBT material has a denser, more solid structure, which helps to dampen resonance and reverberation, producing a more pleasant typing sound. This is particularly appreciated in shared or quiet environments where noise levels need to be minimized.


PBT keycap sets for beginners typically cost between $20 and $40 and come in a limited palette of colors.

Sets in the middle category, which often have superior quality and design options and greater compatibility and diversity, can cost anywhere from $40 to $80

Keycaps made of premium or artisan PBT can cost anywhere from $80 to over $200 and have distinctive patterns or limited editions.

Are PBT keycaps worth it? Let's immediately check their advantages and disadvantages to give you the right answer.

Pros Cons
  • Durability and resistance to wear
  • Less likely to get shiny or oily appearance
  • Tactile and grippy feel
  • Superior heat resistance
  • Quiet and solid sound
  • Limited color vibrancy
  • Production difficulty 
  • High cost

For individuals who place a high value on sturdiness, texture, and customization possibilities in their keyboard configuration, PBT keycaps are worth the investment.

You should be a little aware of keycap compatibility for your keyboard layout before you buy. In addition, PBT keycaps are usually easy to clean, so you can clean them regularly to prevent dirt from accumulating.

PBT vs ABS keycaps: Quick Comparison

Discover the key differences between PBT and ABS keycaps in this quick and informative comparison. Explore the unique characteristics of each material and find the perfect fit for your mechanical keyboard.

PBT Keycaps ABS Keycaps
High-cost Low-cost
Matte and grainy Shiny and greasy
More durable and resistant to wear Less durable and shiny appearance
Rough Smooth
Thicker Thinner 
Muted and deeper sound Higher-pitched and more hollow sound
Long-lasting legends Wearing-off legends

Above are a few differences between PBT keycaps and ABS keycaps. If you want to learn more about each feature,  We have specifically analyzed the benefits and drawbacks of each keycap so that you can easily make the right choice for your needs.

Best PBT Keycaps

We will unveil the top contenders for the best PBT keycaps and elevate your mechanical keyboard experience below. Discover special features and prices to make the best choice for you.

PBT Keycaps Special Feature Price
Drop + The Lord of the Rings MT3 Elvish Keycaps

Drop + the lord of the rings mt3 elvish keycaps

  • Material: Dye-subbed PBT  
  • The number of keys: 51 keys
  • Profile: MT3 profile
Drop Astrolokeys Keycaps

Drop astrolokeys keycaps

  • Material: Doubleshot ABS
  • The number of keys: 104 keys
  • Profile: DSA profile
NP PBT Blank Keycaps

Np pbt blank keycaps

  • Material: PBT Material
  • The number of keys: 124 keys
  • Profile: NP Profile
Ducky Joker Seamless Double-Shot Keycaps

Ducky joker seamless double-shot keycaps

  • Material: Double Shot PBT
  • The number of keys: 108 keys
  • Profile: OEM profile
Keychron PBT Retro Keycap

Keychron pbt retro keycap

  • Material: PBT material
  • The number of keys: 104 keys
  • Profile: OEM profile
GKs XDA V2 Dye-Subbed PBT Matcha Keycap

Gks xda v2 dye-subbed pbt matcha keycap

  • Material: Dye-Subbed PBT
  • The number of keys: 124 keys
  • Profile: XDA V2 profile
LOOP Pudding V2 Doubleshot PBT Shine-Through Keycap

Loop pudding v2 doubleshot pbt shine-through keycap

  • Material: PBT plastic
  • The number of keys: 142 keys
  • Profile: OEM profile
IDOBAO MA Blue Cat PBT Dye-Subbed Keycap

Idobao ma blue cat pbt dye-subbed keycap

  • Material: Dye-Subbed PBT 
  • The number of keys: 142 keys
  • Profile: MA profile
XY Kitty Paw PBT Dip-Dyed Keycap

Xy kitty paw pbt dip-dyed keycap

  • Material: Dip-Dyed PBT 
  • The number of keys: 129 keys
  • Profile: Cherry profile
GKs XDA V2 Happy Planet Keycap
Gks xda v2 happy planet keycap
  • Material: PBT 
  • The number of keys: 132 keys
  • Profile: XDA V2 profile

If you want to delve deeper into the above keycaps, we have compiled and analyzed in more detail about Top 21 PBT keycap sets for you to choose right away.

Where to buy PBT Keycaps?

PBT keycaps are available from several offline and online stores. Here are several well-liked places to get PBT keycaps:

5.1. PBT Keycaps Group buys

On Reddit's forums and community websites, a lot of keycap fans plan collective purchases. You may get one-of-a-kind, limited-edition PBT keycap sets that might not be easily found elsewhere by taking part in these group purchases.

Pbt keycaps group buys
pbt keycaps group buys

5.2. MechanicalKeyboards.com

MechanicalKeyboards.com is a well-known online store that specializes in mechanical keyboards and accessories. You may explore and select from a variety of designs, colors, and profiles from a broad selection of PBT keycaps offered by different companies on their website.

Mechanical keyboard specialty stores
mechanical keyboard specialty stores

5.3. Aftermarket

People may purchase and sell used or new mechanical keyboard parts, including PBT keycap sets, on aftermarket marketplaces like Deskthority Marketplace and r/mechmarket on Reddit. These marketplaces provide PBT keycaps from various manufacturers, both new and pre-owned.

Aftermarket r/mechmarket on reddit
aftermarket r/mechmarket on reddit

5.4. Amazon

PBT keycaps are one of the many items available on the well-known online store Amazon. On Amazon, you can browse a variety of products from multiple vendors, read user reviews, and compare prices to make an informed decision.

Keycaps on amazon
keycaps on amazon

Make sure PBT keycaps are appropriate for your keyboard's layout and switch type before making a purchase. To locate the ideal configuration for your preferences, also take into account elements like keycap profile, color, and legends.


So, do you know “What are PBT keycaps”? PBT keycaps are a popular alternative for many keyboard fans since they improve both the aesthetics and the entire typing experience. It is time to upgrade your keyboard. 


What do PBT keycaps mean?

PBT keycaps are keycaps constructed of Polybutylene Terephthalate, a premium plastic substance renowned for its strength, resistance to wear, and sheen. Mechanical keyboards frequently utilize PBT keycaps.

Are PBT keycaps better than ABS?

Regarding endurance and shine resistance, PBT keycaps are frequently regarded as superior to ABS keycaps. Compared to ABS keycaps, PBT keycaps are less likely to shine or become yellow over time since PBT is a tougher and more durable substance.

Are PBT keycaps good for gaming?

The resilience and wear resistance of PBT keycaps make them suitable for use in gaming. They have a greater ability to survive heavy use and are less likely to shine or deteriorate with time. PBT keycaps also have a pleasing feel that might make you comfortable to hold during gaming sessions.

Are PBT keycaps good for typing?

PBT keycaps are usually regarded as excellent for typing. Their sturdiness and rough surface give typing a great tactile experience. The PBT keycaps' hardness can help make typing seem more steady and secure.

Are PBT keycaps loud?

The sound is clearer and sharper because the keycaps themselves don't vibrate as much since the material is thicker and stiffer.

Are double-shot PBT keycaps better?

Double-shot PBT keycaps are frequently regarded as superior to standard PBT keycaps. Legends are formed into double-shot keycaps using a different injection molding method. Legends are less likely to fade or lose their effectiveness over time.

Can you put PBT keycaps on the ABS keyboard?

It is feasible to install PBT keycaps on an ABS keyboard. Keyboards with ABS or other types of keycaps can employ PBT keycaps, provided that the keycap sizes and stem types are compatible.

How are PBT keycaps made? 

As mentioned above, PBT keycaps are made using the plastic injection molding method. Before launching into the market, they will be quality checked once more.