OEM vs Cherry Profile: What’s Better Keycap Profile?

Author: Anirban Saha

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OEM and Cherry Profile keycaps are one of the top most looked after keycap profiles.

OEM and Cherry profile keycaps differ in height and contour. OEM profile, the taller of the two, provides a slightly steeper angle on keycap surfaces, allowing for easy typing, while Cherry profile offers a shorter, more uniform height design for a quicker response. Both profiles deliver distinct tactile experiences and aesthetics, with Cherry profile favoring minimalists and OEM profile catering to those seeking an OEM-style keyboard look with custom keycap sets.

Let’s dive deep into their differences to know which is better!

OEM vs Cherry

OEM vs Cherry Profile Keycaps

FeatureOEM Profile KeycapsCherry Profile Keycaps
HeightTaller overall compared to Cherry profile keycaps.Shorter overall compared to OEM profile keycaps.
Keycap RowsR1: Tallest row, used for Function keys and Number row.
R2: Row used for QWERTY row, slightly shorter than R1.
R3: Uniform height row used for A-Z keys, and commonly found on the home row.
R4: Slightly shorter than R3 and used for the modifier keys (Shift, Ctrl, Alt, etc.)R5: Optional row, often the shortest and used for the space bar row.
R1: Tallest row, used for Function keys and Number row.
R2: Row used for QWERTY row, slightly shorter than R1.
R3: Uniform height row used for A-Z keys, and commonly found on the home row.
R4: Slightly shorter than R2 (Kind of reverse profile) and used for the modifier keys (Shift, Ctrl, Alt, etc.).
Sculpted ProfileEach row has a different height and angle.Each row has a different height and angle, more angled compared to the OEM profile.
Touch-Typing ExperienceSlightly easier to touch-type due to the taller keys and smoother transition between rows.Offers a more precise and slightly faster touch-typing experience due to the low-profile and angled design.
Compatibility with Mechanical KeyboardsWider compatibility with a larger range of mechanical keyboards, especially with those using Cherry MX or compatible switches.Still compatible with most mechanical keyboards but may result in a different typing feel or sound.
Availability and Variety of Keycap SetsMore commonly found, more readily available, and often less expensive than Cherry profile keycaps.Not as common or widely available as OEM profile keycaps, and they may be more expensive. However, they often come in higher quality materials and more unique designs.
AestheticsTaller keycaps may give a more classic or traditional appearance.Low-profile design offers a sleek and modern look.

What are OEM profile Keycaps?

OEM profile keycaps are standard among popular mechanical keyboard brands. These keycaps aren’t sculpted with a uniform keycap set often found in prebuilt mechanical keyboards. 

Each row of these mechanical keyboards has a different design of keycaps. Their cylindrical top further offers comfort while typing or gaming. 

Gaining popularity among users in relevance to modern or older mechanical keyboards, the OEM profile is called the standard profile in the tech industry. 

They offer varieties in color and designs. Moreover, they are affordable and readily available.


  • They are easily available in the market
  • They offer a comfortable finger-fitting experience
  • They come with customizable features at an affordable price


  • They are manufactured with thin material making OEM keyboards fragile to use randomly.
  • They are not durable enough and a bit noisier to work.

What are Cherry Profile Keycaps?

Cherry profile keycaps are a type of keycaps for mechanical keyboards that are designed to mimic the shape and height of the original keycaps used on Cherry’s keyboard with Cherry MX switches.

They are characterized by a curved and slightly concave profile that provides a comfortable typing experience and reduces finger fatigue. Cherry profile keycaps are widely popular among mechanical keyboard enthusiasts, and they come in a variety of materials, finishes, and colors to suit different tastes and preferences.


  • They are comfortable keyboards for typing as well as gaming
  • They have unique rows of keycaps set
  • They are versatile and durable.
  • Less noisy


  • These are more expensive
  • The low keycap height is a cause of concern for some users.

Keycap Height

There is a negligible difference in keycap height between the Cherry profile and OEM which are slightly taller and easier to reach and press. 

Cherry profile keycaps are lower in height and considered as low profile keycaps. However, this difference between the two varies from the user’s preferences.

Material Comparison

OEM profile keycaps are generally made of thin ABS plastic. Even though big brands like Razer and HyperX sell OEM profile PBT keycaps, stock mechanical keyboards with OEM profile keycaps are made of ABS plastics.

Also Read: ABS vs PBT keycaps.

Cherry profile keycaps made with PBT plastics are sold by ePBT. However, GMK uses high-quality and thick ABS plastic to make Cherry profile keycaps.

To know whether GMK material is better than PBT, check GMK vs PBT keycaps comparison.


There are too many factors affecting the sound of a keyboard like a case material, plate material, the thickness of keycaps, the height of keycaps, and moreover whether the switches are lubed or not, and also the surface on which a keyboard is used.

Cherry profile keycaps due to their low height do not leave scope for noise to hit back. These keycaps are bassy and absorb clicky noise. Although there is not much of a difference with the ABS OEM profile keycaps which have a custom keycap set made of PBT. These have a higher quality that can affect the sound of a keyboard.

Comfort & Feel

Cherry profile keycaps are more comfortable if you are looking for a low profile keycap with a dim bass-filled sound. It is less noisy. If you prefer easily reaching taller keycaps with intense keycap sound while typing, you can pick on OEM profile keycaps. 

The choice of comfort simply depends upon your preference. OEM Keycaps have a dual inclination design over the rows of keycaps with the absence of roundness on their surface. Cherry profile keycaps have a single inclination angled upwards. These are ergonomic and of premium quality.


If you want an ergonomic and comfortable typing experience Cherry profile keycaps should be your choice. Nevertheless OEM profile ABS keycaps are also better for a consistent typing experience overall.


Cherry profile keycaps are better for gaming than OEM profile keycaps. They maintain harmony between comfort, accuracy, and speed. Other than productivity professionals Cherry profile keycaps are extremely popular with Esport gamers since these low-profile prioritize speed.


Cherry profile keycaps are far more expensive than the OEM profile keycaps which are cheaper options. Depending upon their feature (double shot) or their thickness these can come between $20 -$50 according to the manufacturing zone.

Cherry profile keycaps made by GMK or PBT generally come for around $80-$120. Prices may vary for exclusive keycaps.

Clone Cherry profile keycap sets can cost you around $30-$50. However, these do not guarantee quality.

Which is Better between OEM Profile and Cherry Profile Keycaps?

For Typing

Popular among users for their overall keycap height, OEM profile keycaps are classic standards of keycaps. Since they have comfortable sizes and are available easily for replacements, they are preferred by users at large. The change in height and shape of keycaps on each row provide the user a grip on them having a relaxed typing experience.

Cherry profile keycaps are less noisy and often preferred by users for their low profile keycap height while typing.

For Gaming

Cherry profile keycaps due to their low profile and excellent registered speed are loved by gamers. However both OEM and Cherry are reliable and incredible for the gaming experience.

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