If you’ve ever seen blank keycaps and thought that “Uh! No legends? What are they for?”, this article is here to solve the question. Of course, there are pros and cons of bank keycaps. For instance, they look pretty and neat, but they also look hard to use.
Therefore, to help you know more about them, we cover almost any essential aspect of blank keycaps in this one and only article. After that, you can go ahead and make a checklist to see if they are your thing. After deciding, there are our suggestions of where to get them and then guidance on installing a blank keyboard.
Hm…We think those are quite adequate, so have fun reading you keyboard-lover fellows.
What are blank keycaps?
We believe you get it right away after scrolling through the image above, right?
In one sentence, blank keycaps are completely empty on the surface. There are no printed characters, numbers, key functions, or whatsoever. And, if a keyboard is full of omitted legends, we call it a blank keyboard (not a mystical creature, ahem).
Without printed signs and symbols to guide you, your muscle memory will be your best and only ally for knowing a particular position, thus, being able to type.
Who should use blank keycaps?
People who prefer to use blank keycaps are
- Those who want to learn touch typing for speed and accuracy improvement.
- Those who are masters of touch typing and are looking for a unique aesthetic keyboard.
Let me break down the first type a little bit. Looking down and then looking up can slow down your typing speed. So, a blank keyboard is great to force you to learn the skill with muscle memory.
Regarding the second type, blank keycaps do create a unique impression. It’s aesthetic and cool and it’s also a good way to show off your skills. (We say that because we quite enjoy the admirable and curious eyes of other people when they look at our blank keyboards)
Pros and Cons of Using Blank Keycaps on a Keyboard
Let’s start with a quick comparison.
|Good side||Not-so-good side|
Pros of Blank keycaps
Now, it’s time to dive deep into the table above.
A lot of people agree that blank keycaps have a beautiful look. From colorful blank keycaps like the picture above to a full-white keyboard, they all share aesthetic appearances in people’s eyes.
Aside from the one-color-per-key keycaps, there are more awesome blank keycaps with mixed colors or with 3D miniatures inside. They all make things much more interesting.
Better Touch Typing Skills
Touch type requires you not to look at the keyboard, but instead, you will use your memory to type in the right position. This is undeniably faster than looking down to find the right character and then looking up to see what you should type next.
But, you can make a bunch of typos with this if your fingers are not skillful enough. So, a blank keyboard will force you to stop relying on your eyes. Gradually, you can type super fast but also can keep the mistakes to be minimum.
In this video, he explains why programmers need blank keycaps. Watch this if you need more convincing reasons about how the blank-but-not-plain keycaps enhance your typing skills.
People around you can not get what you type when there are no printed characters. We rely on muscle memory, not our visual memory, so the chance for them to remember the position and then make a guess about the characters’ whereabouts is super small.
Thus, keeping passwords and the like in your pockets is guaranteed for 99.99%.
No Worries About Legends Wearing Off
The problem with faded printed characters, numbers, etc when you use a mechanical keyboard for a long time is quite troublesome, especially with ABS keycaps. Thus, no legend means no wearing-off issue to begin with.
No legend also means that every touch will be really smooth. Touch on a printed keycap and a blank keycap and then you can see the difference.
Characters, printed symbols, or underlying signs bring more things to look at for your eyes. So, getting rid of them means fewer things to see. As a result, your PC setup and your working desk can have a more minimalist look, making it much cleaner.
Cons of Blank keycaps
After the pros, here are the problems.
It Takes Time To Learn
Obviously, no legends will lead to not knowing where to type. Therefore, you need to spend great effort on taming those blank keycaps as you are blind. Muscle memory takes time to build. The thing is, it may be easy for some people but super hard for others.
Professional Typing Experience Required
You cannot jump right into a blank keyboard before your level of touch typing is somewhere near a pro. Trust us. It feels difficult and annoying when you don’t know where it is. Finding the way with no direction can make a gentle person flip over his keyboard.
Difficulty Finding Special Characters
Function Keys Header On Keyboard
Even if you are a pro at touch type, there will be times that you forget some keys or you do not memorize the rarely-used keys’ positions, especially the hotkeys. Consequently, you either try each key to find out the right place or just skip using it.
It Takes Time To Realize Mistakes
Unlike keycaps having legends, you won’t know you have typed a password wrong until pressing ‘enter’. As a result, you need to delete everything and try again when you use blank keycaps.
Hard For Rebinding Keys For Games
For a pro gamer, you may need more than one keyboard layout for different purposes. Without the legends, how could you rely solely on muscle memory to extract the right key functions or key combinations? That has not been mentioned how you map a new layout in the first place.
Should you use blank keycaps?
You should use blank keycaps if you find yourself in these situations:
- You have the determination to be a master of touch type by using a blank keyboard.
- You are a professional typist and prefer the minimalist, aesthetics, and clean design of blank keycaps.
Tips for getting used to a blank keyboard
If you are not confident with your typing ability, we suggest you use stickers to cover the legends before changing them. After building up muscle memory, don’t move to a whole blank keyboard right away.
Instead, you should change each keycap one by one first, starting with the already-memorized key. By gradually replacing the keycap, you won’t get overwhelmed or anxious to the point of flipping your keyboard over. (We “don’t” say this based on experience!!!)
How do you install blank keycaps – Step By Step
If you choose to set up blank keycaps for your mechanical keyboards, here is how to do them smoothly.
Step 1: Take off the old keycaps
Before installing the new blank keycaps, you should remove the old keycaps from your keyboard. Check out this article to know the right steps.
Step 2: Group the blank keycaps by height and inclination
It should be in a description when you buy the keycap set. So, carefully put them into groups based on that. But, in the worst case, you need to rely on the keycap’s appearance to group them.
- Normally, the tallest ones will be in the Fn row.
- Keycaps with the steepest angle will be placed in the bottom row and ZXCV row.
- The shortest and flat keycaps will be put in the ASDF row.
- The remaining keycaps which are half-tall and flat will be in the QWERTY row.
Having a normal keyboard next to you for reference would be a great help.
Step 3: Put them on
Place the keycaps in the right position. Find the balance and then press down until you hear the ‘click’ sound. After that, move or sway them a little bit to check if they are successfully installed on your new blank keyboards.
Where to buy blank keycaps?
The world of keycaps is enormous. To help you not get lost in it, here we have an article about how to find the right keycaps for your mechanical keyboards.
If you also wonder about where to buy blank keycaps, we suggest you check out Amazon as they have nearly everything. Besides, take a look at the websites below for more choices.
Blank keycaps are a nice way to enjoy a beautiful keyboard setup or show off your typing skill. Of course, they are not easy to use so you should consider carefully all the aspects – the pros and cons of blank keycaps.
If you decide on taking the challenges, you should use our tips, guidance, and suggestions to train yourself the touch typing skill and then build a keyboard with blank modifier keycaps. Here it is, all the things we want to share with you about blank keycaps and whether you should use them. Hope they are helpful to you!
Are blank keycaps hard to use?
If you are not familiar with blind typing or touch typing, you will find it’s super difficult to use a keyboard with blank keycaps.
Why do some people prefer to use blank keycaps?
The main reason people prefer a blank keyboard is its visual aesthetics. Blank keycaps are reduced things to look at, which are the legends. Hence, the keyboard will have a cleaner and more beautiful appearance.
Where can I buy blank keycaps?
After checking the keycap’s sizes and types, you can get blank keycaps from Amazon or keyboard-specialized websites. Or, you can get beautiful handmade resin blank keycaps from us – Hirosart to level up the keyboard’s beauty.