GOLEM keyboard project

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My keycap purchase history

Just like looking for the ultimate switch, finding the best keycaps may become a long and expensive journey.

While almost all of this is about personal preference, there are some very practical considerations worth contemplating about before placing an order (height, homing bumps vs. deep dish).

KeysetSourcePrice (+shipping)Quality / Usability
blank DSAAliexpress$3/20pcs3
blank XDA, 60 keysAliexpress$23.61
black laser etched DSA, 87 keysKPrepublic$32.94
colorful DSAAliexpress$13.513
Big Bang MDA, 101 keysKBDfans$54.95
Maxkeys SA, 135 keysAliexpress$66.28 (+$5.37)4
Gentleman Cherry XD64, 118 keysKPRepublic$32.72 (+$1.38)3

Kailh Low profile, 50 keysKailh Store$10 (+$3)?
KAT Monochrome WoBMykeyboard.eu€61 (+€12)? GB

Blank black DSAs, 60 PBT keys (3*$3)

This was the cheapest option to get started with my prototype build. I've ordered in three different batches to spare on shipping.

Surprisingly, they turned out to be very good to type on. I ended up using these for almost a year.

Colorful blank DSAs, 37 keys ($13.51)

Just to pimp up my blank black DSA prototype. I didn't really use these.

Blank XDA, 60 PBT keys ($23.6)

This turned out as a total disaster to type on. Another uniform profile, but after the DSA the edges were too sharp and the top surface too large.

Laser etched DSA, 87 PBT keys from KPrepublic ($32.9)

A very nice set. The surface is more silky compared to my earlier blank ones. I didn't really use these because of the MDA set arriving at the same time.

Big Bang MDA, 101 ABS keys ($55)

My all-time favorite. At last a set with homing bumps. Relatively low profile, nice to the touch and my first non-uniform sculpted set.

Maxkeys SA, 135 keys ($66.28+$5.37)

I wanted to try my hands on a doubleshot SA set, and this Maxkeys set was a bargain for this price. The caps are beautiful, the quality is excellent. However, this profile is really high and not ideal for typing. I couldn't get used to it. Also, it comes with deep dish F-J keys which I find inferior compared to homing bumps.

The wobble isn't just disturbing, it also makes the set vulnerable. After I used these for 1-2 weeks I've noticed the characteristic whitening parts at the stems. They were not cracked but very much on the way to crack. (Only larger modifiers (1.5-2u) with one stem were affected.)

Gentleman Cherry XD64, 118 keys ($32.72+$1.38)

Beautiful black on dark grey PBT caps in Cherry profile. However, after the MDA I didn't want to go back to anything cylindrical like Cherry/OEM.

Kailh Low profile keycaps, 50 keys ($10+$3)

I've ordered low profile switches along with the basic flat caps. I got two sets of caps instead... Well, I wanted to try a low profile build, but these caps are quite spartan.

KAT Monochrome from mykeyboard.eu (€61+€12)

It turned out I prefer lower sculpted sets with homing bumps. MT3 looks closer to SA, but KAT profile seems promising, so I jumped in my first group buy. Now I only have to wait a few months...

KAT Monochrome Hiragana (WoB) (€34.99) + KAT Monochrome Ortho WoB (Icons) (€26.00).