Customize PBT Keycaps: Everything You Need to Know

Welcome to the world of custom PBT keycaps, where the realm of mechanical keyboards gets a vibrant makeover.

These keycaps aren’t just functional; they’re a statement of style and personalization. If you’re new to the mechanical keyboard scene or a seasoned enthusiast, you’ve likely encountered the buzz surrounding PBT keycaps.

What makes them special, and why are they favored by many? Let’s delve into the universe of PBT keycaps to uncover the key to customization, durability, and the perfect typing experience.

Whether you’re a clacking connoisseur or just curious about keyboards, this guide will help you navigate the world of custom PBT keycaps.

Also Read:

Exploring the World of Cherry MX Keycaps

The 6 Best Keyboard for Fortnite: Top Gaming Mechanical Keyboards

Mastering Hurricane Tracking: NHC to Spaghetti Models and Beyond

Is PBT plastic expensive?

PBT is usually more expensive to source and produce, so for a lot of keyboards, you’ll either have to buy them separately or pay a markup. PBT is more rigid and brittle than ABS so it wears down less over time; this also makes it much more difficult to shape and produce.

How do I customise PBT keycaps?

Customizing PBT keycaps can be a fun and creative process. To customize PBT keycaps, you can follow these steps:

Acquire Blank Keycaps

Start with a set of blank PBT keycaps. You can often find these available for purchase.

Decide on Your Design

Determine the design or symbols you want on your keycaps. You can choose from various fonts, colors, and styles.

Use Keycap Stickers

Keycap stickers are adhesive labels designed to fit on keycaps. You can apply these stickers to create custom designs on your keycaps. These are relatively easy to find and come in various styles.


Dye-sublimation is a more advanced method that involves transferring your custom design onto the keycaps using a special dye-sublimation printer. This process is permanent and creates a high-quality finish.

Custom Keycap Sets

Some vendors offer custom keycap sets where you can select the colors, legends, and design for each keycap in the set. This is a more expensive option but allows for full customization.

Artisan Keycaps

Artisan keycaps are unique, hand-crafted keycaps often made by individual artists. You can find artisan keycaps in various styles and designs to give your keyboard a distinct look.

Spray Painting

If you have a steady hand and a creative spirit, you can try spray painting your keycaps. Ensure you use the right type of paint, mask off the areas you don’t want to paint, and apply even coats.

Laser Etching

Laser etching is a precise method for customizing keycaps. A laser is used to engrave your chosen design or symbols onto the keycaps. This method provides high-quality and long-lasting results.

Seek Professional Services

If you want a highly detailed or intricate design, you can look for professional services that specialize in customizing keycaps. They can provide more advanced customization options.

Remember to be patient and careful during the customization process. Take your time to ensure your keycaps look the way you want them to. Customizing PBT keycaps allows you to personalize your keyboard and make it truly unique.

Is PBT better than ABS?

ABS is a softer plastic and produces a milder, softer sound. PBT is harder and produces a more tactile sound. Neither is better; it’s up to preference, but there are a lot of fans of the sound a premium ABS keycap like GMK produces.

How much is a custom keycap?

Usually, a budget keycap set will be in the $20-30 range, while an upper-end keycap set can go for $100-400. Budget keycaps can get the job done well, but they may have small imperfections. Higher-end keycaps, such as GMK, will usually be thicker, come in more unique designs, and feel great to type on.

Does PBT yellow over time?

PBT (or “polybutylene terephthalate”) is one of the hardest and most durable keycap materials available. Unlike other materials, PBT does not turn yellow over time, and is extremely resistant to heat and chemicals.

Does PBT absorb water?

PBT also notes that although after 24 hours fibre-free PBT only absorbs 0.1% of water, this material is not suitable for hot–humid environments at temperatures above 52 °C.

Will PBT keycaps yellow?

PBT doesn’t get yellow.

Can you use alcohol on PBT keycaps?

Most plastics, including ABS and PBT, don’t dissolve in alcohols, but some coatings or plasticizers might. If you want to be safe, especially with caps, soapy water does the trick very well too, and won’t corrode at all.

Is it possible to make your own keycaps?

You can make your own set of keycaps with these silicone moulds and UV-curable resin. To keep it simple, all you really need is the keycap moulds, some UV resin, and a UV lamp for curing.

Is PBT a good material for keycaps?

PBT keycaps are considered to be superior since they are more durable and don’t develop a shiny look over time. That being said, there are some really nice ABS keycap sets available, and at the end of the day, it comes down to user preference.

Do PBT keycaps shine through?

The PBT manufacturing process requires thicker walls, and the plastic is inherently more heat and friction-proof. PBT keycaps have a defined texture, with the main benefit of being resistant to fading and shining.

Who makes the best custom keycaps?

  1. HK Gaming Dye Sublimation Keycaps.
  2. New Arrial XDA Lotus Keycaps.
  3. YMDK White Gray Black Keycaps.
  4. YMDK Doubleshot Rainbow Keycaps.
  5. YMDK Gray Beige YMD96 Keycaps.
  6. YMDK Carbon 108 Cherry Keycaps.
  7. YMDK DSA Retro Keycaps.
  8. Blank White Thick PBT Keycaps.
  9. HyperX Pudding PBT Doubleshot Keycaps.
  10. Matt30 Nerd DSA Keycaps.
  11. Drop + Matt30/DEV/TTY MT3 Keycaps.
  12. Hammerworks CRP Round 3 Keycaps.
  13. Drop + Mito XDA Canvas Keycaps.
  14. Drop DSA Astrolokeys Keycaps.
  15. Ducky Joker PBT Keycaps.
  16. Ducky Frozen Llama PBT Keycaps.
  17. Ducky Hardcap Horizon PBT Keycaps.
  18. Vortex Bi-Color Green Keycaps.
  19. GMK Red Samurai Custom Keycaps.
  20. Drop + Mito GMK Pulse Custom Keycaps.

What keycaps does Tfue use?

Tfue uses the Tai-Hao Rubber Gaming keycaps Neon blue for the keys: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Q, W, E, R, A, S, D, and F. Plus the original keycaps of the keys: Y, X, C, V, 7, 8, 9, and 0 are replaced by the Tai-Hao Rubber Gaming Neon Pink keycaps.

Are PBT keycaps quiet?

From my experience using PBT keycaps, I’ve found them to have a different sound when typing. They are usually slightly louder than ABS keycaps, but the sound is crisper and cleaner. Since the material is more rigid and thick, the keycaps themselves don’t vibrate as much, which makes for a more crisp sound.

Is PBT plastic durable?

PBT is resistant to solvents, shrinks very little during forming, is mechanically strong, heat-resistant up to 150 °C (or 200 °C with glass-fibre reinforcement) and can be treated with flame retardants to make it noncombustible. PBT is closely related to other thermoplastic polyesters.

Which keycap is the loudest?

The Blue switches are the loudest, but if you want a slightly quieter click, the Whites are an excellent option as well. The White switches are also slightly heavier, so if you type with a heavy hand, they can help protect you from bottoming out on each keystroke.

Why are custom keycaps expensive?

Keyboard keycaps can become very expensive due to the manufacturing quality of the keycaps, exclusive color selection, and limited availability. Most keycap sets are only sold one time; after that, the only way you can buy that same set is to pay the aftermarket price which can be very expensive.

What is the fastest keycap?

The OmniPoint switch has completely redefined what it means to be the fastest keyboard in the world. Aside from having the highest-ever actuation point at a mere 0.4mm, it also eliminates the limitations of debounce time, allowing its response time to be optimized to an inhuman 0.7ms.

Does acetone melt PBT?

No, the only true way to tell the difference between PBT and ABS is science. As mentioned, acetone will ‘melt’ ABS while PBT will be fine.

Is POM better than PBT?

POM slots nicely between ABS and PBT in that it offers durability comparable to PBT, lower friction, and higher rigidity.

Can you clean PBT keycaps with water?

To clean your keycaps and keyboard: Remove the keycaps from your keyboard. Place the keycaps into the container of warm soapy water and let them sit for 30 to 60 minutes. Make sure that the keycaps are completely submerged in the water.

Is PBT flammable?

PBT and PET are sensitive to hot water above 60 °C (140 °F). PBT and PET need UV protection if used outdoors, and most grades of these polyesters are flammable, although additives

can be used to improve both UV and flammability properties.

Can you machine PBT?

PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) is a thermoplastic polyester that is very similar to PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) but has slightly better impact resistance. As a semi-crystalline engineering thermoplastic, it has outstanding processing properties for molding, thermoforming, and machining.

Does PBT melt?

Because the melting point of DURANEX PBT is around 224°C, the appropriate resin temperature is from 250°C to 270°C. If the temperature exceeds 280°C, decomposition begins; therefore, a temperature around 270°C should be considered as the upper limit.

Can PBT be double-shot?

Double-shot keycaps can use a variety of materials such as ABS, PBT, and POM. Often this method is used for high-end ABS keycap sets. Double-shot is a more expensive technology, so the process is usually found on aftermarket keycaps or higher-end prebuilt keyboards such as the Drop ALT or CTRL.

Does white PBT turn yellow?

PBT doesn’t yellow at all.

Can you bake PBT keycaps?

Yes, absolutely, because you can buy some clay and a blank PBT DSA keyset (PBT won’t melt at the baking temperature of polymer clay) and begin to experiment almost right away. Just be prepared to spend a significant amount of time on every individual keycap.

Can I put keycaps in water?

Yes, you can wash or clean your keyboard with water.