When it comes to customizing mechanical keyboards, keycaps are one of the most popular ways to personalize the look and feel of your keyboard. However, with so many options available on the market, it can be difficult to know which type of keycap is right for you. In this article, we'll take a closer look at two popular types of keycaps: dye-sublimated (dye-sub) and doubleshot, and help you decide which one is best for your needs.
Dye-Sublimated Keycaps: Durability and Clarity
Dye-sublimation is a printing process that involves transferring dye onto a surface using heat. In the case of keycaps, dye-sublimation involves printing the legend (the letter or symbol on the keycap) onto the keycap using a dye-sublimation printer. One of the key benefits of dye-sublimated keycaps is their durability. Because the dye is absorbed into the surface of the keycap, it won't wear off over time or fade from exposure to sunlight. Dye-sublimation also allows for very fine detail in the legend, resulting in sharp and clear text or symbols on the keycaps.
However, there are some limitations to dye-sublimation. Because the dye is absorbed into the surface of the keycap, it's difficult to print multiple colors on a single keycap. This means that dye-sublimated keycaps are usually limited to single-color legends.
Doubleshot Keycaps: Versatility and Texture
Doubleshot keycaps, as the name suggests, are made by molding two layers of plastic together. The first layer is usually a translucent or opaque plastic, while the second layer is a different color of plastic that forms the legend. The two layers are molded together, creating a keycap with a clear legend that won't wear off or fade over time.
One of the benefits of doubleshot keycaps is their versatility. Because the legend is a separate layer of plastic, it's possible to create keycaps with multiple colors or even translucent legends. Doubleshot keycaps also tend to have a more "textured" feel than dye-sublimated keycaps, which some users prefer.
However, doubleshot keycaps can be more expensive to produce than dye-sublimated keycaps, and the process is more complicated. Additionally, some users find that the legend on doubleshot keycaps can be harder to read in certain lighting conditions, particularly when the legend is translucent.
Which Keycaps Should You Choose?
Ultimately, the choice between dye-sublimated and doubleshot keycaps comes down to personal preference. Both types of keycaps have their own unique properties and benefits, and it's up to you to decide which ones are most important for your needs.
If you're looking for durability and sharp, clear legends, dye-sublimated keycaps may be the best choice for you. On the other hand, if you want more versatility and a textured feel, doubleshot keycaps may be the way to go. Whatever you choose, custom keycaps are a great way to personalize your keyboard and make it truly your own.