ABS vs PBT Keycaps: Clash Of Titans

Are you looking for new keycaps and confused between ABS or PBT and which keycap type will be best for you? Don’t worry today we are going to discuss ABS vs PBT keycaps

The keycap is a term used to describe the part of a keyboard that holds the keys down. There are two main types of keycaps: ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and PBT (polybutylene terephthalate). They both serve their purpose well, but they also come with pros and cons.

ABS keycaps are stronger and more durable than PBT ones. They are also cheaper and easier to produce. On the other hand, PBT keycaps are softer and more comfortable to type on. They are also less prone to cracking or breaking over time.

The most important thing to consider when choosing between these two materials is your budget. If you can afford only one set of keycaps, go for the cheapest option: ABS. However, if you have a bit more money to spend, then it would be wise to get yourself some PBT keycaps.

What are ABS Keycaps?

ABS keycaps were first introduced in the 1980s. They are made from acrylonitrile butadiene styrene plastic. It was originally developed as an alternative to rubber. The material has since become popular because of its durability and affordability. Learn, in-depth about ABS Keycaps.

It’s easy to see why this material is so widely used. It can withstand extreme temperatures, making it suitable for use in cars, planes, and even space rockets. This makes it ideal for keyboards.

In addition, ABS keycaps are resistant to wear and tear. They won’t crack or break easily. In fact, they’re often referred to as “bulletproof” because of how tough they are.

Sound test of ABS Keycaps.

What are PBT Keycaps?

PBT is another type of plastic commonly used in manufacturing keycaps. Unlike ABS, which is manufactured using chemical processes, PBT is produced through polymerization.

This means that it’s formed by combining monomers into long chains. These chains are then heated until they turn into solid polymers. After cooling off, the final product is ready to be molded into whatever shape you need.

While PBT is much harder to mold than ABS, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t as strong. It’s actually quite flexible and resilient.

Furthermore, it’s also more comfortable to type on than ABS. This is due to the fact that PBT is soft enough to allow your fingers to glide smoothly across the surface without any resistance.

However, there are downsides to using PBT. For starters, it’s expensive. You’ll pay around $1 per gram compared to about 50 cents for ABS.

ABS vs PBT Keycaps

Another downside is that PBT takes longer to manufacture. This means that you won’t find them at cheap prices. Learn, in-depth about PBT Keycaps.

The sound test for PBT keycaps sound like this.

What Are the Pros of Using ABS Keycaps?

There are many reasons why people choose to use ABS keycaps. Here are just a few of them:

  1. Durability: ABS is very sturdy and hardy. It can handle high temperatures and pressure. This makes it perfect for use in vehicles, airplanes, and space rockets.
  2. Affordability: One of the biggest advantages of using ABS keycaps is that they’re extremely affordable. You can buy them for as little as $0.05 each.
  3. Flexibility: Another advantage of ABS is that it’s very flexible. This allows you to create custom shapes for your keyboard.
  4. Comfort: As mentioned earlier, ABS is very comfortable to type on. This is thanks to its softness.
  5. Ease of installation: When installing ABS keycaps, you don’t have to worry about drilling holes. Simply snap them onto the PCB, and you’re done!

When it comes to choosing between ABS and PBT keycaps, the pros and cons are pretty similar. Both are great options, but you should take note of their differences before deciding what to do.

What Are the Cons of Using ABS Keycaps?

Despite all of the benefits that come with using ABS, there are still some disadvantages associated with it. Here is just a couple of them:

  1. Cost: While ABS is inexpensive, it’s not as cheap as PBT. You’ll pay anywhere from $0.10 to $0.20 per gram.
  2. Installation: There are certain aspects of ABS that make it difficult to install. For example, you may have to drill holes into your PCB. This adds time to the process and increases the chance of damaging your board.
  3. Weight: Unlike PBT, ABS is heavier. This means that it’s harder to move. Also, it requires more energy to lift.

Pros of Using PBT KeyCaps

You can find multiple reseasons to use PBT keycaps. And here, I am going to list a few of them:

  1. Durability: Like ABS, PBT is durable and strong. It can withstand extreme heat and pressure. This makes PBT perfect for use in computers and other electronic devices.
  2. Comfort: PBT is softer than ABS, meaning that it’s easier to type on. This makes it ideal if you’re looking for comfort while typing.
  3. Cost-effect: needs to worry about drilling holes or gluing anything together. All you have to do is simply snap them onto your PCB.
  4. Resistance to wear and tear: Because ABS is durable, it will last longer than other types of plastic. This means that you don’t have to replace them every year.

These are some important benefits of PBT keycaps that can help you to make a good idea about PBT vs ABS keycaps.

ABS vs PBT Keycaps

What Are the Cons of Using PBT Keycaps?

Like ABS, PBT has some drawbacks too. Here are just a handful of them:

  1. Price: Just like ABS, PBT is also expensive. You’ll be paying upwards of $0.30 per gram.
  2. Quality control: Since PBT is made out of plastic, it can break down over time. This means that it could crack or shatter.
  3. Weight: Like ABS, Pbt is heavier than most other materials. This makes it harder to move.

If you want to get the best quality keycaps possible, then you should definitely consider buying PBT ones. They’re much better than ABS because they’re stronger, lighter, and more durable. However, if you’re willing to spend a bit less money, then ABS is an excellent option too. Either way, both are good choices when it comes to picking up new keycaps.

ABS vs PBT Keycaps

SpecificationsABS KeycapsPBT Keycaps
PriceSlightly InexpensiveExpensive
DurabilityComparatively LowHighly Durable
FlexibilityFlexibleComparatively less Flexible
ABS vs PBT Keycaps

Guide For ABS VS PBT Keycaps

Now that we’ve gone over everything that you need to know about ABS versus PBT keycaps let’s talk about how to choose the right one for your needs.

How To Choose The Right Keycap Material. How Do I Know Which One Is Better?

The first thing that you need to think about when choosing a material is durability. If you’re going to be using these caps regularly, then you’ll probably want to go with something that won’t easily break down.


The durability of ABS vs. PBT keycaps depends on the quality of the material used. ABS keycaps tend to be made from lower grade materials which means they are weaker and more likely to crack or break over time. This doesn’t mean they aren’t worth it, though! ABS keycaps are still great if you want something cheap and easy to produce. If you want a high-quality product, then look at PBT keycaps instead.

One of the main differences between ABS and PBT is durability. While both materials are able to withstand quite a bit of pressure, PBT can handle higher levels of stress. So while ABS is certainly less expensive, it’s not necessarily a safer investment.


ABS is the clear choice when it comes to comfort. It’s soft enough that you can type comfortably without any pain or discomfort. On the other hand, PBT is firmer and can cause soreness after extended periods of usage.


Both options are fairly affordable, but PBT is cheaper than ABS.

I think the biggest advantage of PBT over ABS is that it’s more durable and easier to repair if you get a crack in it. It also has a higher melting point, which means it can be used for larger prints without getting too hot (though it will still need to be cooled down).

ABS is usually much less expensive, though. I’d suggest looking at both types before making your decision. If you’re going with one or the other, make sure you do some research into what kind of material each type is made out of. You’ll want to know what it’s made of so you don’t accidentally buy something that doesn’t work well with your printer.


Size matters. When deciding which type of cap to buy, remember that bigger isn’t always better. If you plan on using a lot of keys, then you might want to opt for something smaller so that you can fit more of them on your keyboard.


The texture of ABS keys will vary depending on what kind of plastic they’re made from. Some ABS keyboards come with a matte finish, but others have a glossy one.


The thickness of the ABS keycap is around 0.5mm, which makes it thicker than the PBT one. This means that the keys will feel slightly heavier, but they won’t be too uncomfortable to type on.


You’ll want to look at the warranty for each product. Some companies offer lifetime warranties, while others offer limited warranties. If you’re not sure what your warranty is worth, contact the manufacturer and ask them about their policy on returns and replacement parts.

As you can see, there are many benefits to using either ABS or PBT keycaps. Each one has its own unique pros and cons, so it’s important to pick the one that works best for you.

Noise: ABS vs PBT Keycaps

Although it does not matter too much, it is an important point to consider for deep research about ABS vs PBT keycaps. However, if you are using double-shot keycaps or single-shot keycaps, the keypress sound changes. And in the sense of ABS vs PBT keycaps, whether you are using double shot or single shot keycaps, PBT keycaps are a bit louder than ABS keycaps. Note this is a minor difference, and it can hardly affect your keyboard typing experience.

When it comes to choosing between the two, PBT offers a little more value in terms of price and durability. But, if you need a comfortable feel, then ABS is a clear choice.

That being said, if you’re not sure what kind of keycaps you should use, then you should absolutely check out our guide to the different types of keycaps available today. We cover everything from mechanical switches to RGB backlit models. Also, read Best Quiet Mechanical Keyboard.

Which Type of Keycap Should I Use?

The answer to this question depends on what kind of keyboard you want to build. If you’re planning on building a mechanical keyboard, then you definitely want to go with PBT. However, if you plan on using a budget keyboard, then ABS would be better suited for you.

If you’re unsure which one to pick, here are some things to consider:

Price: The price factor is important because you don’t want to spend too much money. If you choose PBT, then you won’t have to worry about replacing them often.

Quality: If you’re going to be using your keyboard for long periods of time, then you want to ensure that it lasts. Choose ABS if you want something that will last for years to come.

Functionality: If you want to use your keyboard for gaming purposes, then you want to get ABS. It has a higher resistance to wear and tear compared to PBT.

Ergonomics: The ergonomics of keyboard keycaps greatly matter, go for ergonomic keycaps, which are much more comfortable for you.

You now know everything you need to know about the two most popular types of plastics used to make keyboards. Now that you’ve learned about both, you can decide which one is best for you.

What are Keycap Profiles?

Keycap profiles refer to how the keys look. Some people prefer a specific style or design, and others may not care at all. When choosing keycaps, you’ll notice that there are three main kinds of profiles:
Flat: These are usually found on older keyboards. Flat keycaps are typically rectangular in shape.
Rounded: Rounded keycaps are rounder than flat keycaps. They tend to be thicker and wider.
Concave: These are similar to rounded keycaps except that they’re concave instead of round.
Some brands offer their own custom designs, but these are generally only available on high-end models.
There are dozens of different options when it comes to keycaps, so you can find what works best for you. Once you start looking around, you’ll see that you can easily find hundreds of different styles. With so many options, it can be difficult to narrow down your search.

What are Doubleshot Keycaps?

Doubleshot keycaps are the most common style of keycaps. A double shot keycap consists of two different pieces of plastic that are glued together. This gives the keycap a unique look where the top piece of plastic is translucent.
There are three main reasons why people prefer double-shot keycaps. First, they provide a better grip. Second, they allow light to pass through the legends making it easier to see. Third, they give off a nice glow.
They’re not as durable as single-shot keycaps, though. For instance, they tend to split apart easily. Also, they’re not very resistant to wear and tear since there’s no glue holding them together.

What are Single Shot Keycaps?

Single-shot keycaps are similar to doubleshot keycaps, except that they only consist of one layer of plastic. In addition to being cheaper, they are also easier to produce.

This type of keycap is great for low-end keyboards since it’s much cheaper and easy to produce. However, they aren’t as sturdy as double-shot keycaps. They may become damaged after prolonged usage.

How Do I Know Which Type Of Keycaps Are Right For Me?

Choosing the right kind of keycaps depends on how often you plan to use your keyboard. If you plan to use it frequently, then you should opt for PBT keycaps. They are soft and comfortable to type on. If you don’t plan to use your keyboard very often, then you should choose ABS keycaps. They are cheap and durable.

Are pom keycaps better than PBT?

Pom keycaps are made from plastic, whereas PBT keycaps are made from polybutylene terephthalate. The main difference between the two materials is that pom keycaps are cheaper, while PBT keycaps are stronger. However, both types of keycaps are durable.

Can you put PBT keycaps on the ABS keyboard?

Yes, you can put PBT keycaps onto any standard keyboard. The only thing you need to do is remove the plastic cover from the back of the keyboard and replace it with some clear tape. Then you can use the same method as normal.

Which is better: ABS or PBT keycap?

There’s nothing bad about using either ABS or PBR keycaps. Both are great choices. You just have to decide which one works best for you.

How long does a PBT keycap last

PBT keycaps last longer than ABS keycaps. This is because they are harder to scratch and damage. PBT keycaps are also more durable than ABS keycaps.

Which is better, ABS or PBT keycaps?

There’s nothing wrong with using either ABS or PBT keycaps. Both are great choices, but PBT is slightly better in terms of durability.

Why are PBT keycaps better than ABS keycaps?

PBT keycaps are softer and smoother than ABS keycaps. Therefore, they feel nicer to type on. Additionally, PBT keycaps are more durable than ABS keycaps. They won’t break down as quickly as ABS keycaps.

Do all keycaps fit all switches?

No, not all keycaps fit all switch types. Some switches require certain keycaps. There are four main categories of switches: buckling spring, linear, magnetic, and optical. Each category requires specific keycaps. You can find out what kind of switch you have by checking the label on the bottom of the keyboard.

What are Keyboard Profiles?

Keyboard profiles are a way of describing the characteristics of a keyboard. They can be used to make recommendations for keyboards or to help you choose between two similar models.
The most common use is to compare two different keyboards and determine which one has the best features. For example, you might want to know whether a mechanical keyboard is worth buying over a membrane one. Or perhaps you’re trying to decide between a wired and wireless model.
You can also use them to recommend a particular keyboard that fits your needs. Maybe you want a gaming keyboard, but you don’t like the idea of having wires hanging off of it. In this case, you could use a profile to suggest a wireless version instead.
Profiles can also be useful when you’re shopping for a new keyboard. If you see a keyboard that looks interesting but you aren’t sure how well it would perform, you can check out its profile to learn more about it.

What are GMK Keycaps Made Of?

GMK uses ABS keycaps to manufacture its unbeatable keyboard parts.

Conclusion: ABS vs PBT Keycaps

Both ABS and PBT are great options when it comes to choosing keycaps. Both are strong, lightweight, and durable. Whether you’re looking for a budget or high-end keyboard, either one will work just fine.

However, if you want a more durable set of keycaps, then you should opt for PBT. It’s stronger than ABS, and it doesn’t crack as easily.

If you want an affordable option, then ABS keycaps are perfect for you. They are cheaper to make and easier to use than PBT ones. However, if you want a good typing experience, then PBT is the best choice for you. Both options are great, so there really isn’t anything bad about either.

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