I Prefer PBT Keycaps Over ABS For My Gaming Keyboard – And I Have A Good Reason!

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If you’re particular about your Gaming Keyboards, you need to make the upgrade to PBT Keycaps immediately.

Story Highlight
  • The two most common types of keycaps are PBT and ABS keycaps.
  • ABS keycaps are manufacturers’ go-to choice for budget keyboards since ABS is a cheaper material.
  • ABS keycaps suffer on account of their poor feel, tactile feedback, unimpressive acoustic output, and long-term durability.
  • In contrast, PBT keycaps have far superior tactile and acoustic performance and wear out much slower, but these keycaps are slightly more expensive.

Welcome aboard! So you’ve finally landed yourself on one of the snazziest-looking RGB Gaming Keyboards that you’ve had your eyes on for quite a long time.

But hold on, what’s that? Are you not content with your RGB Keyboard’s visual appeal? Or maybe you’re just not satisfied with the color’s general dissipation within the keyboard itself.

Hold your horses because that’s where I step in. 

Did you know that the type of keycaps you choose for your keyboard can have a significant effect on your keyboard’s RGB output, practically speaking?

The Scarab A130 Pudding Keycaps do a great job at efficiently diffusing the keyboard's RGB lighting through their translucent design.
The Scarab A130 Pudding PBT Keycaps do a great job at efficiently diffusing the keyboard’s RGB lighting through their translucent design. (Image By Tech4Gamers)

I’m guessing not, so let’s dive into an in-depth explanation of the keycaps you should have some know-how about. 

Types Of Keycaps

Let’s cover the two most popular types of keycaps, i.e., PBT Keycaps vs ABS.

But aside from the strung-up full forms of the acronyms, there’s a lot to differentiate between them.

Why Are ABS Keycaps So Common?

To begin with, ABS keycaps are generally the most popular choice for manufacturers producing budget gaming keyboards.

That’s because ABS keycaps are cheap and easy to make, and they’re usually very reliable. 

Ugh. That's all that comes to my mind when I look at the stock ABS keycaps that Havit shipped the keyboard with. They're just plain awful.
Ugh. That’s all that comes to my mind when I look at the stock ABS keycaps that Havit shipped the keyboard with. They’re just plain awful. (Image By Tech4Gamers)

However, due to the relative weakness of ABS keycaps’ structural integrity, they do wear out much faster, comparatively speaking.

That causes the legend, or symbol of the key, to wear away, which also promotes a ‘shinier’ texture of the keycap.

This shinier texture degrades the feel of the keycap, leading to a loss of pleasure in typing, which, coupled with the contrastingly inferior acoustic feedback of ABS keycaps, paves the way for a subpar typing experience, collectively speaking.

Why Do Enthusiasts Always Root For PBS Keycaps?

On the other hand, PBT keycaps are also a polymer of plastic but far more robust and resistant to degradation caused by UV (Ultraviolet) light.

Making the switch from the stock ABS keycaps to the Scarab's PBT Pudding keycaps. Zero to hero.
Making the switch from the stock ABS keycaps to the Scarab’s PBT Pudding keycaps. Zero to hero. (Image By Tech4Gamers)

For the end user, this means that PBT keycaps will wear out much more slowly, and will retain their pleasing texture along with the vibrancy of their keycaps’ colors for a far longer time in comparison to ABS keycaps.

Not only that but when it comes to PBT keycaps vs ABS, PBTs are definitely at an advantage with regard to their acoustic and tactile feedback, which is why you’ll find that all keyboard enthusiasts are diehard fans of PBT keycaps.

Why I Hate ABS Keycaps

I remember the first gaming keyboard I bought. It was a 60% wireless RGB mechanical keyboard with Jixian brown switches from a popular entry-level brand called Havit.

Of course, I was greeted by ABS keycaps in white on a white keyboard.

The typing experience was suboptimal, from the RGB lighting’s diffusion to the tactile feel of the keycaps themselves, and let’s not forget that shiny/glossy texture of the keycaps.

Why I Personally Use PBT Keycaps

A few months later, I made the switch to the Redragon Scarab A130 Pudding Keycaps in black, which were essentially translucent double-shot PBT keycaps.

The result? Vastly improved aesthetics, sleek-looking contrasty effect of black keycaps on a white chassis, and enormously improved feel and texture of the keycaps themselves, and let’s not forget the highly improved acoustic feedback. 

The best part? These keycaps haven’t worn away at all and are going to retain their quality feel and texture for several more years to come, if not forever.

If that doesn’t convince you to switch your ABS keycaps out for PBT ones, I don’t know what will. 

But if you ask me, it’s a no-brainer. PBT keycaps win every single time, hands down.

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