Artisan keycaps, widely available in online stores and marketplaces, are a fun way to personalize a keyboard and express your style.

These custom artisan keycaps are available in various designs, colors, shapes, and textures. Many gamers and keyboard enthusiasts spend money on artisan keycaps to make their keyboards feel unique and one-of-a-kind.

Here is a detailed guide for you to know about them and how to bring them down to your fingertips. Let’s start with some definitions of terms.

What are artisan keycaps?

Short answer: they’re works of art.

Long answer: artisan keycaps refer to key-unit caps that are hand-made with extreme expertise for one to decorate their keyboard setups. They may be found in a variety of online stores and marketplaces. 

Marbling artisan keycap

In addition, these keycaps are often limited and time-extensive to acquire for both creators and collectors.

What materials are used for these keycaps?

More than common, these custom artisan keycaps are made from plastic resin since this material is easy-to-mold yet durable.

Green Koi Artisan Keycap
Green koi artisan keycap by Hirosart

However, you can find artists that made them in a variety of materials, namely: clay, wood, metal, crystal, beads, and more. The sky is the limit, and it’s up to creators to mix-match these components for their unique artistic expressions.

Benefits of artisan keycaps – What makes them sought-after?

We’ve answered what are artisan keycaps, now, let’s explore why they’re so highly sought-after.

Aesthetically pleasing

This is undoubtedly the most significant benefit of such built-to-order keycaps artisan. They look great, period. 

Custom Pokemon artisan keycaps
Custom Pokemon artisan keycap | Hirosart

However, the satisfaction that stems from that is unmeasurable. You can find significant endorphins uplift just from looking at them, and they can improve your work tremendously as a result.

Speed typing

It might seem like a stretch, but these custom keysets can help with typing. The surface of said keycaps is instantly recognizable and can help the typer know where their hand is. 

Protective layer

As the cap key on top of each key, it can double as a protective measure for your mechanical keyboard. The keycaps might be an excellent option to lengthen your keyboard lifespan if you’re a heavy user.   

Drawbacks of artisan keycaps

You need to consider a few factors before adopting these custom keysets. 

Sizing complication

To begin with, the keycaps can be a touch tacky. However, until they’re installed on our keyboard, we can’t always determine how thick and chunky they’ll look. Because you choose the keycap, this is partly your fault.

Be aware that an enormous cap may appear odd and make typing difficult if it is too wide to fit correctly in your layout.

Budget-not-friendly

Another disadvantage is that these keycaps might be highly costly. They are handcrafted, with only a few units available, and are often produced to request. Of course, you get what you pay for, but it doesn’t make the payment any easier to swallow.

On the low end, custom artisan keycaps can cost as little as $20, while on the high end, they can cost as much as $100-$200. Depending on the quality and rarity, some are much more valuable.

That’s almost certainly more than the rest of your keyboard.

Are handmade keycaps worth buying?

The answer might vary due to your budget and intention. 

No one can put a price on having a piece of work that makes you happy. Moreover, these keycaps are collectible and can increase value as an investment.  

Keycap set made artisan
Keycap set made artisan

On the other hand, these supported caps can cost a fortune. Hence, if you don’t have money to spare, buying a custom keyset might not be good. 

How do you use artisan keycaps?

Simply put, you can just put them on your intended keys. If your artisan keys are very delicate, you might have to break your keyboard down safely before installing the keycap. 

Choosing the right keycaps for your setup

Here is a step-by-step guideline for finding the best artisan keycaps for your setups.

First, you need to measure your keyboard form. In other words, find out how many keycaps you will need to fill your full, tenkeyless, or 60% keyboard.

The next thing on the list is to profile your keyboard in terms of lightning. Of course, if you’re keyboard is backlit with RGB, pudding caps and double-shot caps will be your best choices here. Otherwise, single-shot keycaps should do their job.

Then, we’re going to shop for the keycaps in the preferred family. Interestingly, Cherry profiles are best for gaming and typing experiences, while OEM counterparts are the industry standard. Learn more about keycap profiles and how they benefit your usage in typing, gaming, and programming here.

In addition, you should also pay attention to keycap materials. Rule of thumb: 

  • ABS-made: Cheap. Abundant. Not durable. Fade quickly.
  • PBT-made: Pricey-er. Durable. Exclusive.  

Now, it’s time to find your next keycap venture at the following websites.

Where to buy Artisan Keycaps?

Are you looking for gorgeous, high-quality artisan keycaps to complement your setup? These suggestions may help you with that!

Reddit

Reddit is an excellent example of a community-based website where you can buy cap sets directly from the creators or resellers. Of course, be aware of scammers, but you should be safe.

Etsy

Etsy is another excellent resource. Again, you’ll discover that vendors on Etsy can be hit or miss. Although Etsy is a largely safe marketplace, there is always the possibility of being conned.

Before buying keycaps artisan style, use your best judgment to see if it’s worth the money. Check out the seller’s previous reviews or send them a message.

Amazon

The problem with artisan keycaps is that they’re hard to come by on well-known and industry-focused sites like Amazon. There are a few options, but there aren’t many.

Ebay

Due to its nature, you might turn to Ebay to find secondhand keycaps. But no one can deny that this can be an excellent alternative buying as well as sorting for limited caps versions.

Mechanicalkeyboards

This is an ideal website to window shop if you’re searching for a location to browse a lot of various fantastic designs.

These items are maintained in stock, which means they will be delivered quickly and at a reduced cost than other options.

Hirosart 

Our artisans take pride in their work and put an enormous amount of effort into each and every product. We have one mission–to provide quality handcrafted keycaps that take your typing experience to the next level while retaining the overall look of the keyboard.

18 best places to buy artisan keycaps

Custom keycaps buying tips

ABS for color display, PBT for durability

Color is better with ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), while longevity is greater with PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate). While each form of plastic has its supporters who think it is the finest, each has its own set of advantages. 

ABS plastic is superior for displaying brilliant colors, but it can shine over time. PBT does not wear out as quickly, but it is less colorful and more prone to warping.

Doubleshot is superior, and dye-sublimated is a price-friendly alternative

Before buying, look for close-ups of the legends. The best legends are usually Doubleshot. However, dye-sublimated tales can also be good.

Dye-sub keycaps with great engraved technique
Dye-sub keycaps with great engraved technique

Due to the injection molding technique, doubleshot keycaps frequently have crisper codes, while dye-sublimated keycaps can look terrific at a lower cost.

Demo for sound before purchasing

Before buying, take a look at typing tests and think about your preferences. The sound and feel of a keycap are affected by its shape. Shorter, cylindrical keycaps provide a lower-pitched and louder typing sound than taller, spherical keycaps. SA keycaps can be tiring and have a steep learning curve.

Resorting for a thicker keycap

As a rule of thumb, you should avoid thin, laser-engraved keycaps. There is an exception if you’re only interested in RGB. These can be great for showing off the coloring lit but are often made from low-quality ABS plastic and uncomfortable to type on. The cheapest keycaps are more than often thin and backlit with laser-etched legends.

The keycap should be thick as a result. Thick-walled keycaps often feel more solid under the finger and are great when typing (up to about 1.5mm).

Be worried about the pricing

Cheap keycap sets aren’t always poor, but they frequently lack quality control. Cheap keycaps abound on Amazon and other sites. Cheap doesn’t always imply poor quality, but they are more likely to have it.

Conclusion 

Hopefully, this post has explained not only what an artisan keycap is but also how it’s manufactured, what it does, and why you might want one or not.

They’re cool, look nice, and have a lot of fun to use. Are you in need of them? No. Should you invest in one? It’s entirely up to you!

Good luck with any decision you make. Be cautious while buying or trading keycaps on online discussion boards or marketplaces. Not everyone has the same sincerity as you. Purchases should be made with caution. Best luck!

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