Whether you want to create a unique keyboard or simply want to jazz up an old favorite, replacing your keycaps is the first step on the way to personalizing your keyboard. However, if you've never bought keycaps before, it's simple to feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to buy keycaps. Don't fret about it! We'll […]
Where should you buy keycaps for your mechanical keyboard?
Whether you want to create a unique keyboard or simply want to jazz up an old favorite, replacing your keycaps is the first step on the way to personalizing your keyboard.
However, if you've never bought keycaps before, it's simple to feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to buy keycaps.
Don't fret about it! We'll give you a list of reputable websites that sell keycaps with a wide range of designs that will help you cut through the clutter.
Let’s start shopping now!
Types of Keycap Sellers
It's vital to distinguish between two types of keycap sellers before getting into the list. You can buy keycaps from mass-produced keycaps sellers or a group buy
Mass-produced keycaps sellers
This is the quickest way to buy keycaps. Indeed, browsing an online keycap store that offers in-stock keycaps almost springs to everyone's mind when they decide to buy keycaps on the first day
Through an online store, you can place an order with a variety of designs. As the keycaps are mass-produced and always available for sales, the vendor can ship them as quickly as possible to your doorstep. The mechanical keycaps will be often offered by these merchants at affordable prices.
The most popular keycap shop is Amazon, which we will discuss more in the next part.
We’ve already discussed everything about Group buys in another post. Please check What are keyboard group buys and how to join one if you’re a hunter for unique keycaps.
In terms of how it works, Group buys is quite different from online stores that offer mass-produced keycaps. Instead of offering in-stock keycaps, the vendors will only show you a working prototype or a 3D image of the item. Besides, there's no quick shipment that you'll have to wait months to get the keycaps you desired.
Typically, ordering items for group buys frequently results in a 9-month wait before receiving the finished product. But this long wait for keycaps lovers is usually worth it. The reason is that you can get the coolest and the most unique keycaps that other online stores do not have.
However, the price of keycaps ordered through Group buys is almost very expensive, ranging from $100-$200 and even higher depending on the design.
Top 10 websites to buy keycaps from
We're sure that Amazon is rated to be the best place to buy keycaps at cheap prices. This platform normally only offers keycap sets that are less expensive, like YMDK and SDYZ, but if you're ready to hunt a bit more, you can absolutely find other keycaps that are more expensive.
Although the selection is generally small, you can still get a stylish keyboard if you need a new set urgently. On Amazon, you can see cheap-made ABS keycaps or PBT keycaps, and pudding keycaps at a low price.
After all, if you want a straightforward and affordable upgrade, Amazon may be the first place that springs to your mind.
However, there are countless sellers offering keycaps on Amazon now. If you decide to place an order there, here’re best keycaps manufacturers that you should know will truly help you.
Banggood is fairly similar to Amazon in that they mostly sell the less expensive PBT sets. This website may be an ideal place for someone who already has flimsy ABS keycaps from the manufacturer and wants to replace them with affordable PBT keycaps.
Additionally, their variety is a little bit greater than Amazon's. There are a lot of different styles available.
If you are willing to pay more bucks to buy keycaps, check out the below website for more choices of better keycap sets.
The products offered by Novelkeys are renowned for being quite affordable.
With the awareness of design importance, Novelkeys always offers keycap sets that have excellent color schemes.
Moreover, you can count on their keycaps to last, whether they are part of the luxury options or the entry-level edition. Additionally, customers may be confident that they are receiving a high-quality product with manufacturer support thanks to their great customer service.
Drop provides a diverse range of keycap sets. They focus mainly on keycaps at the mid-range price (often $50-$100). On Drop, you can get in-stock PBT and ABS keycap with higher quality. Besides, there are also some keycap sets that need to be pre-ordered.
Don't be scared to go over Drop's products because they have a reliable collection of GMK, Mito as well as many brands available for sales. To explore their products, you must first register (this process just takes a few minutes)
Yet, this website is not actually the best option if you're seeking the trendiest sets or more customized keycaps.
MechanicalKeyboards truly offers a great variety of keycaps. The website offers a variety of brands, including GMK, Tai-hao, and Ducky.
We strongly recommend looking over their collection to discover what appeals to you. Similar to Drop, Mechanicalkeyboards concentrates primarily on mid-range keycap sets. Yet, they also offer a few keycaps that are more premium. If you're interested, you can also purchase rubber keycaps from this website.
Divinikey, founded in 2020, is a new online store focusing on custom keycaps. At Divinikey, you will be able to choose keycaps from various brands like ePBT, Akko and so on. The keycap set sold on Divinikey has mid-range prices with regular updates of new designs.
To provide the best customer experience, the DK team especially focuses on every step of sales from product design, sourcing, finishing, and customer service.
Besides, Divinikey has strengths in offering high-quality PBT keycaps. So, if you are looking for a PBT keycap set, we recommend you to visit this online store to have the best shopping experience.
If you want to find the newest and best group buys, Mechgroupbuys.com is the way to go. There should be a wide variety of fresh designs available from GMK and other suppliers.
In fact, Mechgroupbuys does not really offer the keycaps, but it will lead you to a site that will process your transaction. Simply said, Mechgroupbuys is a technique to keep track of all active group buys so that you don't have to visit 10 or more websites each time you hunt for unique keycaps.
A new keycap set will cost at least $100 and take at least nine months to arrive. On Mechgroupbuys, we recommend that you take some caution and investigate each vendor before making a purchase from them.
Similar to Mechgroupbuys in many ways, Keycaplendar is mainly concerned with group buys of keycaps. The keycaps that are available for the near future should all be accessible.
Since you are receiving the newest and most distinctive keycap designs, everything here will be pricey, but it makes complete sense. Just be cautious while vetting the vendor and perform a little study before making a purchase.
You may know that the mechmarket subreddit is where you can buy and sell keycap sets and aftermarket keyboards. You can get keycaps that have previously been through the group buy process from this forum, saving you the time-consuming six to nine-month wait.
However, the cost of keycaps from this forum will frequently be 2 or 3 times more expensive than it would have been if you had purchased ones through the initial group buy.
It does make sense, right? Indeed, the convenience always comes at a hefty cost, but if you need a unique set of keycaps right now, here is the place to go.
A set of keycaps which typically costs at least $300 and sometimes much more is sometimes unreasonable. But it's a trade-off you will have to face when getting keycaps you like in just a few days.
One thing special is that you may find a lot of rare artisan keycaps on /r/mechmarket. If you are interested in artisan keycaps, don’t miss out list of Best places to buy artisan keycaps.
This is the final fantastic resource for tracking group buys. Like Keycaplendar and Mechgroupbuys, Keycapsets.com focuses on checking at group buys and noting when they stop and start.
Every keycap set will indicate how many days are left in the group buy and point you in the direction of the entry page. Most keycaps are reachable through forums like geekhack, which often have the greatest looks.
Quick keycap shopping tips for beginners
- PBT is excellent for durability while ABS is excellent for color.
Although each kind of plastic supplier insists that theirs is the greatest, each offers its own advantages. ABS plastic is excellent at displaying vivid colors, it can shine with prolonged use. PBT is less colorful and more prone to warping than ABS, but it won't deteriorate in the same way.
- Although Doubleshot legends are typically preferable, Dye-sublimated legends can also be good too.
Because of the injection molding technique, Doubleshot keycaps frequently have sharper legends, while Dye-sublimated keycaps may frequently look fantastic at a lower price. Before making a purchase, search for close-ups of the legends.
- Bypass thin and laser-engraved keycaps unless you're only concerned with RGB.
The cheapest keycaps are often thin and have laser-etched legends with backlighting. These can be excellent for showcasing RGB; however, they are frequently constructed of cheap-made ABS material and are uncomfortable to type on.
- The thicker keycaps are much better.
Keycaps with thick walls (up to around 1.5mm) frequently feel more substantial and pleasant to type on.
- Sound and feel are affected by the keycap profile.
Before purchasing, don't forget to check typing sound tests (you can easily find videos on Youtube).
Shorter, cylindrical keycaps often produce a higher-pitched and quite louder typing sound than taller, spherical keycaps, such as those in the SA profile. Additionally, SA keycaps may give you a more fatiguing feel and have a learning curve.
If you are still unsure of which type of keycaps is the best, read this post: The Complete Guide to different types of keycaps: Materials, Profiles, Printing methods, and more
- Cheap keycaps aren't always bad, although they frequently have poor quality control.
There is an abundance of cheap keycaps on Amazon and other online shops. Although cheap-made item doesn't always equal awful, they are more prone to have poor quality control flaws, such as blurry or off-center legends. At this point, reading reviews and confirming the seller's return policy is the best way to go.
Here is a brief summary to help you choose the place to buy keycaps that work best with your needs.
Websites like Amazon or Banggood are great choices if you're searching for a straightforward update.
Drop and mechanicalkeyboards.com come highly recommended for midrange keycaps.
If you want to find group buys and other pricey keycap sets, mechgroupbuys, keycaplendar, and keycap sets are the best options.
If you prefer unique keycaps without wait months, then there is no better choice than an aftermarket seller on /r/mechmarket.
If you find out the place to buy, then don’t forget to read this post: Top 25 best keycaps to upgrade your keyboard to explore the best keycaps for you!