Keycap profiles: Expert Guide-( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Whenever we are talking about mechanical keyboards, we discuss the mechanical switches often. However, you can also choose a custom keycap for your keyboard, and the keycaps are available in different profiles.

Keycaps are an essential part of a computer keyboard. The keycaps sit on the keyboard switches and are available in different types of shapes.

Hi, I am Anirban Saha, an Electronics Engineer. After 60 hours of researching different keycap profiles and reviewing them, I am able to prepare this helpful resource for you.

The keycaps can be classified into several profiles and are discussed below.

Types of keycap profiles

keycap profiles
Keycap ProfileHeightTop ShapeKeycap Profile DescriptionSculpted/Uniform Profile
1. KATShortFlatThese keycaps are a smooth type of keycap profile by KeyreativeUniform Profile
2. XDAMediumSpherical and FlatMedium height profile with spherical topUniform Profile
3. OEMShortAngledThe keycap profile you’ll find on most keyboards. Mass-produced, considered standard. Angled top.Sculpted Profile
4. CherryShortAngledVery similar to OEM profile, but shorter. Very popular layout.Sculpted Profile
5. NP ProfileMediumSpherical and FlatSimilar to XDA, the top is roundeduniform profile
6. DSAShortSpherical and FlatSlightly shorter profile with spherical top.Uniform Profile
7. Custom Keycaps(Artisan Keycaps)MediumDifferent types of custom shapeThese keycaps vary in terms of design and look unique as compared to the other keyboards.Uniform Profile
8. SATallSpherical and AngledTall height profile with a slightly spherical and angled top.Sculpted Profile

In this video, you will find the different keycap profiles explained in detail. You will get to know how the keycaps would look and feel in real life.

 👉If you want a long-lasting keycap for your mechanical keyboard, check here an awesome collection of keycaps at Amazon.

mechanical keycap profiles compared
jacobolus, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Now, let’s discuss in detail about the different keycap profiles.

1. KAT Keycaps

KAT profile keycap is also known as Keyreative All Touch. This keycap is a smooth type of keycap profile by Keyreative.

If you know about the SA profile keycaps, then the KAT keycaps are similar. However, you can consider that the KAT keycaps are a smoother and shorter version than the SA.

You will enjoy typing using the KAT profile as your fingers would smoothly glide on the keycaps.

This type of keycap has excellent typing experience. It is recommended for content creators, marketers, and people who need typing a lot.

In this video, find the review of the KAT keycaps. You will find the real experience you will get in this video.

 👉 Hey there! Check here an awesome collection of keycaps at Amazon.

2. XDA keycaps

The XDA keycaps are uniform across the rows. The uniform profile indicates that it would be great if you don’t lift your hands often when you type. You can quickly move your hands from one key to another on this keyboard.

The XDA keycaps are of medium height, which is good. This keycap profile is typically produced with PBT, which is higher quality than ABS and has dye-sublimated legends.

XDA profile keysets usually feature unique legend fonts. They have a special surface shape more like a rounded square than the usual spherical vs cylindrical concavity. It has a textured feel and a slightly flatter surface.

In this video, find the review and specifications of the XDA keycaps. You will find the real experience you will get from this keycap.

3. OEM Profile Keycaps

OEM profile keycaps are the most commonly seen keycaps available across the mechanical keyboards.

These OEM are great ones to consider if you would use for gaming or for typing.

In this video, find the review and specifications of the OEM keycap profile. From this video, you will get the real feel of the OEM profile keycaps.

4. Cherry Profile Keycaps

Cherry Profile keycaps are considered to be one of the best standards among the other keycaps. These are on a bit expensive side.

These are also typical keycap profiles like the OEM keycaps. You would commonly find these being used across the mechanical keyboards available.

These are very much similar to the OEM profile, but the height is shorter. The profile is sculpted, and if you look at the top of the keycap, you will find it is angled.

 👉 Hey there! Check here an awesome collection of keycaps at Amazon.

In this video, find the review and specifications of the Cherry keycap profile. From this video, you will get the real feel of the Cherry profile keycaps.

5. NP profile keycaps

NP profile keycaps are a type of keycaps by Kbdfans. These keycaps are flat so that you will have a uniform profile.

The edges of the NP profile keycaps are rounded, which gives a unique look. The height of the NP profile keycaps is medium, and this type of keycap is similar to the XDA type.

Some popular NP profile keycaps are NP Icecream, NP PBT Crayon, NP Panda, NP lollipop, etc.

In this video, find the review and specifications of the NP keycap profile. From this video, you will get the real feel of the NP profile keycaps.

6. DSA profile keycaps

If you like keycaps from Signature Plastics, then you will like the DSA profile keycaps.

They are made of very high-quality material and comes with a textured surface.

If I consider the height, the DSA keycaps are short with a spherical top. As it has a uniform profile, you will feel excellent, and you will be able to glide your fingers without lifting from one key to another.

The short and spherical top combination is a great blend to give you a perfectly balanced feel regarding typing on this keyboard. You will enjoy the typing sessions very much.

In this video, find the review and specifications of the DSA keycap profile. From this video, you will get the real feel of the DSA profile keycaps.

7. Custom Keycaps

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.

In short, custom keycaps are made for people who love to add creativity to their keyboards. The custom keycaps are beautiful and look refreshing.

This keycap breaks the general design, which we see as a keycap for a mechanical keyboard. You can even have a burger design, fish, sea, or anything you would like to have.

I love the ton of creative design these custom keycaps/ Artisan keycaps provide. You can even find some companies who will take your specific design requests into account, though this is harder to find.

For the Custom keycaps, you need to look into which material the keycaps are made of, ABS or PBT.

You can check this in detail comparison of PBT vs ABS keycaps in this article.

In this video, find in detail the custom keycaps. You will also get to learn how to make custom keycaps using resin. You will get the look and feel of the custom keycaps from this video.

8. DOM keycap profile

DOM keycap is used in Artisan keycaps(which are the custom keycap profile with great design).

An SA-height profile similar to a snow globe, with a rounded top to help magnify the inner contents. This keycap is a uniform profile-type keycap.

I like the rounded top of the DOM keycap very much, and I have no complaints about this type of keycap. These are keycaps for the people who like to impart creativity in keyboard keys.

 👉 Hey there! Check here an awesome collection of keycaps at Amazon.

In this video, find the review of the beautiful Dome profile keycap. From this video, you will get the real feel of the Dome profile keycaps. I really love the design this keycap has.

9. DSS keycap profile

DSS keycaps are from Signature Plastics.

This newer keycap profile re-introduced takes everything people love about their DSA profile and delivers it an excellent sculpted profile optimized for touch typing.

One of those features that keycaps carried over is the textured feel of DSA keycaps, clearly visible in the photo above.

DSS keycaps come with a sculpted profile, which gives a sleek look to your keyboard and is slightly shorter than the SA profile and closer to the OEM / Cherry profile keycap in terms of height.

In this video, find the review and specifications of the DSS keycap profile. From this video, you will get the real feel of the DSS keycap profile.

10. SA keycap profile

Signature Plastics makes the SA keycaps, and these types of keycaps are generally of a higher profile.

The shape is sculpted, so if you lift your hand during your typing session, it would be great to move from one key to another.

Moreover, with the spherical shape on the top, the SA keycap feels good to type.

The SA keycaps would be better if you have small hands as the keys are of high profile.

In this video, find the review and specifications of the SA keycap profile. From this video, you will get the real feel of the SA profile keycaps.

 👉 Hey there! Check here an awesome collection of keycaps at Amazon.

Does the different keycap profiles sound different?

To understand the audio profile about the keycap profiles in more detail, you can check this video below. This video will help you to get to know how the keycaps sound would be in real life.

https://youtu.be/AqiSaOFbl_Q

What are Uniform Profile Keycaps?

Uniform Profile keycaps are the keycaps that lay flat on the keyboard. You can quickly move your finger over your keyboard without lifting it.

E.g., DSA, XDA is the Uniform profile keycaps.

What are Sculpted Profile Keycaps?

Sculpted Profile keycaps are the types of keycaps that are tilted and are not flat.

E.g., Cherry and OEM keycaps are Sculpted profile keycaps.

Conclusion

As I have discussed in detail, here are the different keycap profiles available for mechanical keyboards. 

Writing all these profiles was very challenging initially. Still, after a lot of research, I was able to get to this detailed resource about the keycap profiles.

Being an Electronics Engineer and have experience in circuits. I have tried my best to provide comprehensive knowledge here. I hope you like it.