Keycap Manufacturer Review

It's been a little over a year since I got into the mechanical keyboard hobby. Not surprisingly I've used keycap sets from different manufacturers. Here's a brief, non-comprehensive review.

GMK

GMK manufactures ABS double-shot keycap sets in Cherry profile.

Pros:

  • top-notch quality
  • double-shot means legends will never fade

Cons:

  • often tend to be pricier than other options
  • for group buys, turnaround time is very long (often more than 6 months)
  • ABS plastic will shine over the time
    • from my experience the shine is noticeable with weeks of use

Verdict: My experience with GMK can be summarized in 3 stages: 1. I love GMK. GMK is the best. 2. I hate ABS shine. GMK never again. 3. I will buy GMK because of high quality.

EnjoyPBT (ePBT)

EnjoyPBT manufactures PBT dye-sub keycap sets in Cherry profile.

Pros:

  • PBT plastic doesn't shine (at least far better than ABS)
  • dye-sub will never fade too and offers better flexibility with legend design
  • often cheaper than GMK sets

Cons:

  • PBT plastic is harder to work with and space bar warp is a common problem
  • quality control is subpar
    • example 1: in one set some caps produce high-pitched noise if fully inserted
    • example 2: in another set the cross sections of 2.25U and 2.75U space bars are too wide to fit Durock stabilier (not an issue with other options)

Verdit: I have bought 2 ePBT sets so far. I had issues with both of them. Although it's cheaprer I would definitely avoid this manufacturer in the future.

KeyCreative

KeyCreative manufactures ABS keycaps too but they are most famous for their own KAT/KAM profiles in dye-sub PBT. Here we focus on KAT.

Pros:

  • in terms of height, KAT is the middle ground between Cherry and SA which offers great balance
  • cheaper than GMK per key
  • KAT is extra thick which offers arguably better acoustics
  • superb flexibility in terms of kit options since MOQ is based on number of keys instead of number of kits
    • for example, KAT Explosion offers 22 kits (in comparison, a typical GMK set offers 2-5 kits)
  • dye-sub doesn't fade

Cons:

  • KAT is relatively new so there's still quality concern (e.g. no reverse dyb-sub sets have been verified by buyers)
  • most custom cases are designed with Cherry profile in mind so there can be compatibility issues since KAT is thick
    • example: When I paired KAT Milkshake with Tofu 60 case, the keys in 4 corners scratch the case and sometimes get stuck and don't bounce back.

Verdict: I only have 1 KAT set so far and I love it. I have high hopes for it to become my default profile.

Infinikey

Infinikey manufactures PBT dye-sub keycap sets in Cherry profile. It's also a cheaper option compared to GMK. I have 1 set en route and will update this post once I have my hands on it.