When looking at new keycaps, it can quickly get confusing. There are a lot of technical terms, and you need to research to understand what to look for.
To make the process easier we’re here to help you understand what double shot keycap means. We’ll also look at how they are made, how you can tell it’s a double shot keycap, and the different types of double shot keycaps.
Let’s start with the basics and look at a quick definition:
What Are Double Shot Keycaps? [Quick answer]
Double shot keycaps are made of two separate layers of plastic, one for the legend and one for the keycap housing. The plastic is “shot” or injected and then molded together during manufacturing. This makes the legends very sharp, and they won’t fade over time.
How Can You Tell It’s a Double Shot Keycap?
The easiest way to check if it’s a double shot keycap is to use a keycap puller and look underneath it. If you see more than one color under the keycap, then it’s a double shot keycap!
How Are They Made?
Double shot keycaps are made from two layers of plastic. The first layer is usually modeled after the text on the keycap, known as the legend. Keycap manufacturers have different molds for different legends. Once the legend has been molded, the second layer, which is the keycap housing, is molded. The two layers are then molded together, creating the double shot keycap.
Pros and Cons of Double Shot Keycaps
|The legends have excellent contrast||Limited color options since double shot keycaps are often only available in 2-tone colors|
|Durable, and the legends won’t scratch off||More expansive than keycaps with other printing processes|
|It has a satisfying sound|
5 Different Types
Double shot keycaps can come in many different kinds of plastics and designs. Let’s have a look at the most popular options:
ABS double shot keycaps
ABS, also known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, is a type of plastic found in many keycaps. ABS keycaps have a smooth feel and are often cheaper than their PBT counterparts.
The biggest drawback of ABS keycaps is that they tend to get shiny when they wear down. However, some gamers like the glossy look, and with double shot ABS you don’t have to worry about the legend fading away since the legends have been injection molded into the keycap.
PBT double shot keycaps
Another common type of plastic in double shot keycaps is called PBT, which stands for Polybutylene Terephthalate. PBT keycaps have a more of a matte finish compared to ABS keycaps. They will cost a bit more, but it’s one of the most durable materials you could get for your keycaps.
Pudding keycaps are great for when you want to show off your RGB backlighting. PPudding keycaps have transparent sides so that the lights can shine through the sides of the keys. They are usually made of PBT plastic and will allow the max amount of RGB backlighting to shine through.
PETG double shot keycaps
PETG is a bit more uncommon material for keycaps, but with the advancement of 3D printing, you’ll find more and more PETG double shot keycaps. PETG stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate and is known for its strength and toughness.
POM Double Shot Keycaps
POM, short for polyoxymethylene, is another material sometimes found in high-end double shot keycaps. It’s known for its rigidity and its resistance to chemicals, abrasion, and heat.
Are They Expensive?
No, double shot keycaps are not expensive, but the more complex manufacturing process makes them more costly than pad printed and dye sub keycaps. However, the extra cost of double shot keycaps is often worth it since they tend to last longer and have higher quality.
Can I Get a Custom Set of Double Shot Keycaps?
Yes, you can get a custom set of double shot keycaps. If you can’t find any keycap sets of double shot keycaps up to your taste, look at group buys to find more customized keycaps.
ABS VS PBT
The two most common plastic you’ll find in the keycaps are either ABS or PBT. PBT and ABS double shot keycaps are both durable, and the legends won’t fade over time.
PBT keycaps are usually thicker and have a more matte finish. On the other hand, ABS keycaps will get shiny over time which PBT keycaps won’t. ABS double shot keycaps are cheaper and have a slightly smoother surface. Check out our full keycap guide for a more in-depth look at different keycap materials.
Why Should You Choose Double Shot PBT keycaps?
There are many reasons to choose a Double Shot PBT keycap for your keyboard:
Double shot PBT keycaps will not wear down as quickly as other types of keycaps, such as single-molding keycaps. The legends won’t fade over time, and the sturdy PBT plastic will last a long time.
Double shot PBT keycaps will feel great! They have a pleasant but slightly rough texture and have a satisfying sound. You’ll also feel that it’s a durable material made to last.
Even if there isn’t as many double shot PBT keycaps as there are dye shot PBT keycaps, there are still many cool designs to choose from. You can find everything from discreet white keycaps for office use to colorful keycaps with custom legends.
Are double shot PBT keycaps good?
Yes, double shot PBT keycaps are one of the best keycaps on the market since they are durable and won’t get shiny over time. They are slightly more costly than pad printed keycaps but have much higher quality.
Do double shot keycaps sound better?
Yes, thick double shot keycaps have a much more satisfying sound than thinner and cheaper keycaps. However, plate material, keycap material, and switches will also impact the keycap’s sound.
Are all double shot keycaps shine through?
Although most double shot keycaps have a transparent top layer, some models come with two solid pieces of plastic molded together.
Why are double shot keycaps better?
Double shot keycaps are more durable than most other types of keycaps. They won’t get shiny over time, and the legend will never fade or rub off.
What are keycap profiles?
Keycap profiles are what describe the overall shape of the keycap. For example, some are spherical, while other keycap profiles are flat. Double shot keycaps are available in many different keycap profiles, and you need to select a keycap profile that suits your needs and writing style.
When buying mechanical keyboards, it’s not only important to choose the right switch and the best keycap material. It’s also important to consider the process by which the keycaps are made. Getting a good pair of thick PBT double shot keycaps will often significantly affect how your keyboard feels.
Double shot keycaps will also make your keyboard last longer, and you never have to worry about the legends fading or rubbing off. The biggest downside of double shot keycaps is the higher price, so if you’re on a tight budget, you might want to consider dye sub keycaps, which you can read more about here. However, if you’re looking for the best of the best, then double shot keycaps are the way to go!