Buying custom keycaps is a good idea to upgrade a gaming keyboard. But these custom keycaps are sometimes more expensive than your imagine. Today we are going to discuss why are keycaps so expensive. And how we can get good quality keycaps at a low price.
What is Custom Keycap?
Custom keycaps are the ones that you design yourself. You can buy any type of keycap from an online marketplace like Amazon, eBay, or AliExpress. They have a huge collection of different types of keycaps. Some of them are very popular, and some are not that famous.
For example, there are many people who use Cherry MX Brown switches, but they don’t know about other types of switches. So they just stick with the Cherry MX Brown switch. If you want to learn more about Cherry MX Switches, click here.
There are many factors that affect the cost of the keycaps. The first factor is the material used for making the keycaps. Most of the time, the higher-quality keycaps are made using ABS plastic. This kind of plastic is durable, and it has high resistance against scratches. It also doesn’t wear out easily. But this kind of plastic is quite expensive.
The second reason is the size of the keycaps. If you buy small-sized keycaps, you will be able to save money. But if you buy large-sized keycaps, you need to pay extra money because of their weight.
The third reason is the color of the keycaps. Most people prefer black-colored keycaps. Black-colored keycaps look better than other colors. But if you want to change the color of your keycaps, you need a special tool.
These tools are available only at the professional store. So buying a set of these tools may increase the cost of the keycaps.
Reasons why are keycaps so expensive?
So now let us see what all factors contribute to the cost of the keycap.
The most important thing is the material used for manufacturing the keycaps. There are two kinds of materials used for manufacturing the keycap. One is ABS Plastic, and the other is PC (Polycarbonate). Both of these materials are quite expensive. So if you want to make the keycaps with high-quality material, you need to spend more money on them.
If you want to reduce the cost of the key cap, you should choose the smallest possible size. Because bigger sizes of the keycaps mean heavier weights. So heavy keys cause the problem of fatigue. Also, big keys take more space. So you need to keep enough room for putting the keys.
If you want to change the colors of your keycaps, then you need to go to a professional store. That is because changing the color requires special tools. Only professionals can do this job. So if you want a new color, you need to purchase a whole set of tools. Then you need to wait for a few days until the keycap arrives. After receiving the keycaps, you need some expertise to change the color.
All-in-one keycaps color quality greatly affects the price of keycaps.
A lot of people think that the weight of the keycaps affects the price. But in reality, it does not matter how heavy the keycaps are. Because the weight depends on the size of the keycap. Bigger keys are heavier than smaller keys. And larger keys require more space. So if you want the lightest keycaps, you need the biggest keys.
ABS plastic is a good material for making keycaps, but it is not as strong as Polycarbonate. So when you press the key, it breaks easily. In the case of Polycarbonate, it is stronger than ABS plastic. So it lasts longer than ABS plastic. But it is very expensive.
Most of the time, you cannot find the keycaps that you like. You have to search for them online or offline. Offline stores usually sell keycaps at higher prices.
You can get different designs of the keycaps depending upon your choice. For example, there are round-shaped keycaps, square-shaped keycaps, etc. So you can choose any design according to your preference.
So what should we do to get low-cost keycaps?
There are several ways through which you can get the best-looking and cheap keycaps. Let us discuss them below:
1) Get the keycaps from the local market:
This method is the cheapest way to get the keycaps. But you must check whether the keycaps are genuine or fake. Fake keycaps are cheaper than real ones. They don’t last long. So they are not worth purchasing.
2) Buy the keycaps from the online stores:
The second option is buying the keycaps from the websites. These websites offer discounts on their products. They also provide free shipping services. So you can buy the keycaps without paying extra charges.
3) Buying the keycaps from reputed brands:
Another good option is buying keycaps from reputed brand names. If you buy them from branded companies, you will be sure about the quality of the product.
4) Buying the keycap sets:
Sometimes, you might want to buy a complete set of keycaps. This includes all the standard keyboards. It saves you time and money.
What makes keycaps so expensive
Now let us analyze why keycaps are so expensive. There are many factors that make them expensive. Let us discuss them one by one:
1) The tooling process:
To produce the keycaps, first, the molds are made. Then the moldings are taken out. Next, the injection molding machine prints the text on the moldings. Finally, the printing process takes place. All these processes take time and effort. So the keycaps become expensive.
2) The cost of materials:
The molds used to create the keycaps are expensive. Also, the ink used to print the text is costly.
3) The manufacturing costs:
In order to manufacture the keycaps, there is a huge investment required. Therefore, the production cost of the keycaps becomes high.
4) The distribution costs:
After the keycaps are manufactured, they are distributed to the customers. This adds up to the final cost of the keycaps.
5) The labor costs:
A lot of work goes into creating the keycaps. So the labor costs add up to the overall price of the keyboard.
6) The packaging costs:
The manufacturers need to package the keycaps in such a way that they remain safe during transportation. So the packaging costs are added to the final price of the keycaps.
Do keycaps really make a difference?
Yes! In fact, it does make a big difference. When you type with the help of the keys, your fingers touch the surface of the keycaps. As a result, the keycaps get dirty over time. And this increases the chances of getting an error message while typing.
If you want to avoid the issue of dirt on your keyboard, then you should purchase keycaps that are designed as per the latest trends.
How to clean the keycaps
Here is how you can clean the keycaps. You can use any cleaning solution available at home. You only have to follow the instructions given below:
- Wash the keycaps using a damp cloth. Make sure that the area around the keycaps is cleaned properly.
- Dry the keycaps completely.
- Use a dry cloth to remove the dust particles.
- What happens when you don’t clean the keycaps?
Let us understand what happens if you do not clean the keycaps. Over time, the dirt accumulates on the keycaps. This leads to a decrease in the accuracy of the keys.
This results in the following problems:
- Incorrect letters or symbols appear on the screen.
- Mistakes occur when you type.
- Your finger gets stuck between the keycaps due to the accumulation of dust.
So, you must ensure proper cleaning of the keycaps. Otherwise, your keyboard could face malfunctioning issues. Also, read How To Clean a Mechanical Keyboard.
Which types of keycaps are best for me?
There are different types of keycaps available in the market. Some of the popular ones include:
- Cherry MX
These keycaps are widely preferred by professional users because of their durability. They offer smooth operation. These features make them highly recommended.
What are the cheapest keycaps?
Cheap keycaps are those which come at lower prices. However, they may not be reliable. So, we recommend purchasing quality products instead.
Are PBT or ABS Keycaps better
PBT and ABS are two materials commonly used to produce keycaps. Both these materials are durable and strong. But the former material is more affordable than the latter one.
Keyboards are essential devices for every computer user. To keep your keyboard working smoothly, you need to buy the right kind of keycaps. If you do not know which one to go for, then you can always consult a certified technician. They will be able to help you out and guide you toward buying the right keycaps.
Keycaps play a major role in ensuring that the keyboard works smoothly. If you want to buy a new keyboard, then you should consider buying the keycaps along with it. It will save you money as well as time.