ABS Keycaps vs PBT Keycaps: Which to Choose?

ABS Keycaps vs PBT Keycaps: Which to Choose?

If you're into customizing your mechanical keyboard or just looking to upgrade, you may find yourself grappling with the decision between ABS and PBT keycaps. Don't worry; you're not alone! Choosing between ABS Keycaps and PBT keycaps can be a tough decision, especially if you're new to the world of mechanical keyboards. But fear not! In this blog post, we'll break down the differences between ABS and PBT keycaps to help you make an informed decision.

What are Keycaps?

Let's start with the basics. Keycaps are the little covers you press on your keyboard to type letters, numbers, and symbols. They come in different materials, and two popular options are ABS and PBT.

Before we dive into the comparison, let's understand what ABS Keycaps and PBT Keycaps actually are. ABS and PBT are two different materials used to make keycaps. Here's what each one means:

What are ABS Keycaps?

ABS stands for Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. Phew, that's a mouthful! But what does it mean? ABS keycaps are constructed using a specific kind of plastic. They are smooth to the touch and have a shiny finish. You might find them on many keyboards because they are widely used. These keycaps are smooth to the touch and have a shiny finish, making them look sleek and attractive.

What are PBT Keycaps?

PBT stands for Polybutylene Terephthalate. Another long name! PBT keycaps are also made from plastic but of a different kind. They have a textured feel and a more matte finish compared to ABS keycaps. They're known for being more durable and resistant to shine over time.

Difference Between ABS Keycaps vs PBT Keycaps

Now that we know the basics, let's compare ABS and PBT keycaps in various aspects:

1. Durability

When it comes to durability, PBT keycaps have the upper hand. Because they're made from tougher plastic, PBT keycaps are less likely to develop shine or wear out over time. This means they'll look and feel newer for longer, even with heavy use.

On the other hand, ABS keycaps are more prone to wear and tear. The smooth surface of ABS keycaps can become shiny and slippery over time, especially on frequently used keys like the spacebar and the WASD keys.

2. Texture and Feel

The texture of your keycaps can also affect your typing experience. ABS keycaps have a smooth, shiny finish that some people prefer for its sleek look and feel. However, others find it slippery, especially if their fingers tend to get sweaty during intense gaming sessions.

PBT keycaps, on the other hand, have a slightly rougher texture that provides more grip. Some people find this texture more comfortable for long typing sessions, as it can help prevent finger fatigue.

3. Sound

Believe it or not, the material of your keycaps can also affect the sound of your keyboard. ABS keycaps tend to produce a higher-pitched, "clacky" sound when you press them, which some people find satisfying.

PBT keycaps, on the other hand, produce a deeper, more muted sound that some users prefer, especially if they're typing in a quiet environment.

4. Customization

If you're into customizing your keyboard, ABS keycaps might be the way to go. They come in a wide range of colors and designs, allowing you to personalize your keyboard to match your style. PBT keycaps, while less customizable, still offer some options for those who want to change up their keyboard's look.

5. Price

When it comes to price, ABS keycaps are generally more affordable than PBT keycaps. This is because ABS is a cheaper material to produce, so keyboards with ABS keycaps tend to be more budget-friendly.

PBT keycaps, on the other hand, are usually more expensive due to the higher cost of the material and the manufacturing process. However, keep in mind that PBT keycaps are more durable, so you may end up saving money in the long run by not having to replace them as often.

Which Should You Choose?

So, should you buy ABS or PBT keycaps? Ultimately, it depends on your personal tastes and financial considerations.

  • If you prioritize durability and don't mind spending a bit more, PBT keycaps are the way to go. They'll last longer and provide a more consistent typing experience over time.
  • If you're on a tight budget or prefer the smooth feel of ABS keycaps, they can still be a good option, especially for casual users who don't spend hours typing or gaming every day.

In the end, both ABS and PBT keycaps have their pros and cons, so take some time to consider your own needs and preferences before making a decision. And remember, no matter which type of keycap you choose, the most important thing is that you're comfortable and happy with your keyboard.

Keychron stands out as a premier company offering top-notch keycaps, featuring both ABS and PBT materials. Renowned for their durability and aesthetic appeal, Keychron's keycaps enhance any keyboard setup, making them a favorite among enthusiasts seeking quality and style.

Back to blog