The OEM keycaps are among the most common options besides the holy grail Cherry alternatives when it comes to keycap profiles. However, determining the best choice for your needs can be tricky.
In this post, we discuss keycap profiles, including Cherry vs OEM keycap profiles, their benefits, and drawbacks, and compare the two shapes to determine which is superior. So, if you’re considering getting a new keycap profile, read it all the way through. So, without further ado, let’s get this party started.
What are Keycap Profiles?
The keycap profile defines the height and inclination of the keycap set. These two aspects add to the comfort of typing and the aesthetic sense of mechanical keyboards by forming a separate style for each keycap type in each row.
There are various different profiles and forms of keycaps to choose from, as shown in the image above. There are many more profiles; they are just rare and difficult to locate.
We got you if you’re a visual learner and prefer learning with direct media! You can watch this 10-minute video and grasp the most common keycap styles on the market.
Many other types of keycap profiles have come and gone throughout the years, but there are currently five main keycap profiles on the market. Let’s have a look at some of them. Here are the main takeaways from the video.
OEM and Cherry keycap profiles are the most prevalent and popular keycap profiles. However, many people utilize these keycap profiles without even realizing it. That’s why I want to make sure that all keyboard enthusiasts know what they’re using and how well the profile suits their needs.
Getting a new set of keycaps for your keyboard is an exciting initial step for many individuals, and it’s the push they need to plunge into the mechanical keyboard rabbit hole. You’ll have a box of keycaps stored up for a rainy day before you realize it. We hope we were able to explain the differences between keycap kinds and assist you in selecting your first set of keycaps.
>> READ MORE about keycap profiles here.
Pros and Cons of OEM Keycap Profile
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturing, and it refers to the keycaps’ standard manufacturer quality. In pre-built mechanical keyboards, OEM’s sculpted keycap sets can be found. Let’s go through what makes them stand out and what are them Achille’s heels.
Pros of OEM Keycaps
There are 3 main pros when it comes to OEM key profile. Let’s go through them real quick.
The typical OEM keycap profile is taller than others in terms of height. Compared to other keycap profiles, the size of each row of keycaps is quite impressive, making it easier for you to reach and push the keycaps.
One of the benefits of using OEM keycaps on your keyboard is extremely common. Almost all keyboard manufacturers include OEM keycaps as standard, which makes replacing them in the event of a problem affordable and straightforward for those on a tight budget.
If you don’t have a replacement for your OEM profile keycaps, don’t worry; you can still find a variety of great OEM keycaps on the internet and in stores for a fraction of other keycaps. This is a tremendous advantage of using OEM keycaps.
Cons of OEM Keycaps
Everything has two sides – we’ll get to the wrong side of the OEM right now.
We don’t typically discuss keycap material. Even so, if you look at OEM keycaps on ordinary full-sized keyboards, you’ll discover that most of the keycaps are ABS plastic due to low costs. Unfortunately, this demonstrates that OEM keycaps are typically ABS plastic, which isn’t remarkably durable.
The sound of a keypress is usually determined by the switch utilized, but in the case of the keycap profile, the surface can also influence the sound. Unfortunately, the keycap sound on OEM keycaps is more clicky and direct, which isn’t ideal in a quiet and peaceful setting.
SA vs OEM Profile keycaps
We will boil down the differences between these two key families into digestible pieces. If you want to learn more in-depth about SA vs OEM profiles, we have an article for you.
As OEM is more common to find, it is much cheaper than a full-body SA set. Indeed, an entire 140-key SA board might get you a hundred dollar lighter at minimum.
Winner: It’s a tie, depending on your preferences.
Both SA and OEM are sculpted profiles, producing excellent hand navigation through the key surface. However, the OEM is leaning into inclination why the SA is spherical.
Hence, which one is better can only determine by the users.
OEM is almost the standard for keycap production of every manufacturer. SA, however, is limited to specific houses.
No winner onsite.
SA is the tallest keycap on the market, peaking at 16.5mm in height; in contrast, OEM, while also a medium-to-high profile, only reaches 11.9mm.
On most keyboards, OEM is the standard keycap profile. It’s mass-produced and accepted as standard with a straight angled top. Whereas with the SA profile keyset, the top is slightly round and curved top.
OEM is much closer to Cherry in sounding. And who can forget the unique thocc sound that the SA keyset produces? Let’s hear them in action for easy comparison:
OEM vs Cherry Profile keycaps
We can’t stress this enough; like everything else with mechanical keyboards, they are based on your tastes. As a result, deciding which keycap profiles are better than the other is challenging for our evaluation of Cherry vs OEM.
Before purchasing either the Cherry or the OEM, all you have to do is put several factors into perspective, such as comfort, feel, and sound. Catch the in-depth comparison for Cherry vs OEM profile keycaps right here.
OEMs provide you with something that’s already well-known and found in many keyboards. Cherry sets, on the other hand, have a lot of quality but are tough to find. That is preferable to stick with the tried and true. On the other hand, Cherry is well worth the effort if you can get your hands on them.
Recommended OEM Profile Keycaps Sets for you
5.1. YMDK Double Shot Dyed PBT Shine Carbon
The YMDK Double Shot Dyed PBT Shine Carbon is one choice to consider if you want one of the highest quality OEM profile keycaps and one of the best-selling keycap sets. This is a high-quality keycap set constructed of thick, strong PBT plastic that will last a long time.
The YMDK Double Shot Dyed PBT Shine Carbon has an excellent design with carbon colors, including a white, gray, and orange blend, giving your keyboard a classic retro feel. This keycap set is available on Amazon for a meager price.
5.2. Sumgsn Halloween Keycaps
Sumgsn Halloween Keycaps are a high-quality OEM profile keycap set constructed of PBT plastic that is exceptionally thick and strong. Because this keycap set has a Halloween motif, it’s ideal for those who like your keyboard to have a little frightening aspect.
Sumgsn Halloween Keycaps include a design that mixes white and black keycaps with numerous animations linked to Halloween on the black surface of the keycaps, giving your keyboard a truly distinctive look. This keycap set is available on Amazon.
5.3. Happy Balls PBT Keycaps
Happy Balls PBT Keycaps is a popular OEM profile keycap set in the mechanical keyboard custom community because it offers a unique look for an RGB keyboard. This is a high-quality keycap set constructed of thick, strong PBT plastic that will last a long time.
With a combination of white and slightly bluish-gray keycaps, Happy Balls PBT Keycaps have a unique design. Every word, number, and symbol on this keycap set is an engraving made from the interior of the keycaps, which will flash brightly if your keyboard’s LED or RGB lights are turned on. Once again, you can turn to Amazon to find this beauty.
5.4. IDOBAO Matcha Keycaps Green Cute PBT Keycaps
IDOBAO Matcha Keycaps Green Cute PBT Keycaps are high-quality OEM profile keycaps with many applications. This is a stylish and high-quality keycap set constructed of PBT plastic, thick and durable.
IDOBAO Matcha Keycaps Green Cute PBT Keycaps feature a Matcha-themed design that combines tea-green keycaps with slightly greenish-white keycaps. This OEM keycap profile is ideal for those desiring a new look. Several keycaps with animated images related to matcha-themed color are available. This keycap set is available on Amazon.
We hope you learned a lot from this post and will put what you’ve learned to good use in finding the ideal keycap profile for you. You’d likely prefer OEM keycaps because of their abundant availability. The next step would customize those purchases with OEM artisan keycaps, and we have the most extensive collection from pop culture to internet niches inspired right here for you.
Have fun with your keyboarding adventure!