Where is the coffee!?

Surprisingly Solid Budget SA-Profile Key Caps

samain

Once upon a time I found myself on mechanical keyboard subreddits looking at the builds of like-minded, overly obsessed keyboard enthusiasts. It goes without saying that any hobby has its costs, and mechanical keyboards are no different. Enthusiasts can expect to pay a premium for a keyboard with a unique layout, feature set, or build quality. And yet another premium could be paid for key caps of comparable quality... because you can't possible put a cheap set of caps on your very expensive, high-end board!

But today I'm much more practical. I do enjoy a unique layout, but I have some pretty basic requirements of any mechanical keyboard I'll buy today and budget is high up on the list. High-end key cap sets are priced as such because of the quality of materials and the number of keys in the set. That is - these sets should cover every edge-case keyboard layout that it reasonably can, which causes the number of keys that need to be included in the set to skyrocket.

And that's just the standard Cherry or OEM profile. Start getting into more unique profiles which take a bit more material to make, such as SA, and the price can reach unfathomable numbers quickly... even for a hobby.

saover

Enter: the Doomhammer SA Profile PBT Keycap Set. At a whopping $19.99, these are easily the lowest-cost SA Profile key caps I've seen. The set comes with your standard 104 keys, assuming a standard layout full-sized keyboard, and comes in a single color. At these prices, you can order multiple colors and make your own custom colorway. Or if you're a bit more daring, you can set up a dye project as these PBT plastic key caps should withstand the heat of boiling water without issue.

sadark

To take these up a notch, the keycaps are semi-translucent so they make a great key cap set for your backlit keyboards. Some reviews indicate that the backlights shine through the edges of the plastic (implying a thin piece of plastic) but I haven't encountered anything offensive.

sadark

SA Profile key caps are generally quite a bit taller than standard MX-compatible key caps. It's definitely noticeable, but doesn't impact the typing experience in any negative way (in my opinion). If you're going to use these keycaps with split 60% keyboards (such as the pictured Mistel Barocco), you may run into issues with the non-standard keys such as the space bar in this case. The height different is not noticeable when typing (or rather, is hard to miss but doesn't negatively impact anything).

sadark

Ultimately, these hit an excellent price point. Just low enough of a price where I felt comfortable ordering them and hating them (i.e. accepting the risk with ordering something inexpensive). Luckily I found them to be pretty comfortable and haven't run into any of the downfalls mentioned on the listing's Amazon reviews.

All in all, I'm quite happy with them and would easily order more colors should they come available.