Custom Keycaps: What They Are & Where to Find Them

Custom Keycaps: What They Are & Where to Find Them by Das Keyboard
Photo from yakitori77 via photopin cc

Mechanical keyboards are popular for many reasons, like their long-lasting durability or their effect on productivity.

And another reason people love them is because they can be easy to customize.

Where you can’t usually choose anything other than a color or shape with mainstream keyboards, a lot of enthusiasts will either build a mechanical keyboard from the ground up, or order one pre-made and customize it to their liking.

One of the easiest ways to do this is with custom keycaps.

 

What? Custom Keycaps Are a Thing?

Yes, they’re actually a thing. They’re sought by mechanical keyboard aficionados who want to make their device extra-special.

Custom keycaps are manufactured keycaps made for mechanical keyboards according to the customer’s or company’s design. Many companies make custom keycaps, including the ones who manufacture the keys for other places keys are typically needing to be customized, like on bank ATM machines.

When you’re looking for custom keycaps, you’ll find lots of different options available (who would’ve thought?). For example, keys can be made out of either ABS or PBT plastics, and symbols can be put on the keys with any method from printing to laser-etching to double-shotting (a type of molding that tends to keep the lettering from wearing out faster, but is harder to find because it’s not a common type of production anymore).

Then, of course, on top of those options, you can choose from a variety of colors, symbols, and even shapes. Yes, shapes, like skulls or Darth Vader:

Custom Keycaps: What They Are & Where to Find Them by Das Keyboard
Photo from reaper user on GeekHack.org forums

You can even find some companies who will take your specific design requests into account, though this is harder to find. Also, most companies currently only make keycaps for Cherry MX switches, but depending on the company, you might be able to get caps made for other types of switches.

Basically, custom keycaps are way more awesome than people realize.

 

Where You Can Get Some…

If you’re the kind of person who did a massive happy dance when your mechanical keyboard arrived in the mail, you should consider buying custom keycaps to turn that dance into a full-out performance.

Fortunately, there are a lot of places to buy custom keycaps. The following is a list of some of the most popular places online to order your caps.

Pimp My Keyboard
TechKeys
Signature Plastics
KeyPop
Clack Factory (highly sought-after custom keycaps made by user Click Clack on GeekHack.com’s forums)

You’ll want to make sure you look into what each site offers, because as mentioned above, there are lots of different types of keycaps and not all companies make what you could be looking for. If you can’t find answers to your questions on their site, we highly suggest you contact them directly.

 

Have you put any custom keycaps on your Das Keyboard or other mechanical? Tell us what they look like in the comments below (or better yet, send us a picture).

18 Comments


  1. I ordered a new set of PBT caps for my Das Keyboard v2 from Signature Plastics, but was disappointed to find the new spacebar did not fit. The stabilizers on the Das were too short, even though the spacebar I ordered was supposedly a normal 6.2x key.

    Is the Das Keyboard spacebar stabilizer proprietary? Are there manufacturers that produce replacements?


  2. Have a custom keyboard KeyFere, very popular, support a variety of office software.


  3. Have a custom keyboard KeyFere, very popular, support a
    variety of office software.


  4. It is great!


  5. I’m surprised they didn’t care to mention the warning on this page!

    Check here, near the bottom you can sign a big “We strongly discourage anyone from attempting to remove the space bar, return key, and other large-sized keys”:
    http://www.daskeyboard.com/blog/mechanical-keyboard-guide/?PageSpeed=noscript

    I’ve never tried, but you can find several guides out there on how to carefully remove those keys. I’m not sure it’s easy to find a replacement though, apparently it’s proprietary. I don’t understand the purpose of this page since a Das Keyboard is obviously not meant to be customized (or then only a few keys, but I don’t see the point either).


  6. Where can I get the Darth Vader!? Anyone know? I’ve been all over looking


  7. is it possible to make a multi color button ?


  8. Most likely yes, it may be lower quality/more expensive as they they are less common and harder to create



  9. just swapped out the keys on my das. thanks for the non standard key sizes guys, didn’t make this an annoying task in the least~


  10. I’ve read a couple of reviews that the keycaps from WASD are 100% compatible with DAS. They also have this page http://www.wasdkeyboards.com/keycap-compatibility that shows the compatibility. I have the Professional S and I’m gonna order some keycaps from WASD and will write again and post some pictures when I receive them.


  11. I have a big question. Is there any practical advantage to custom, or metal keycaps. I’m trying to figure out of the heavier weight allows them to press down quicker. That’s truely what I’m interested in.


  12. how did the keys turn out? how similar are they to the ones that came with the keyboard originally?


  13. A year late but I don’t think the weight would help, it would be so minimal that you wouldn’t notice the difference


  14. But what if I don’t want to put 3rd party keycaps on my das keyboard? Why das keyboard’s company doesn’t produce custom keycaps?

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