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Apologies if this has been asked already; are these as durable as PBT keycaps? I have one mechanical keyboard - a Pok3r, and one of the reasons I bought it was the PBT keycaps. My research indicated that ABS will wear and create a slick feeling key over time, while PBT will maintain its texture. I hate the feeling of slick keys, and the PBT keys on my Pok3r are so far holding up well.
I miss having arrow keys and a numpad, and one of the layouts possible on the Red Scarf III looks ideal. It's the only keyboard where I've ever seen that layout offered, so I'd have to build it out. I'm trying to price one out, and am confused about the high cost of some ABS keycap sets. Don't get me wrong, this set looks awesome. Is PBT still the king when it comes to durability, or are these higher-end ABS sets comparable?
One of the main advantages here is that the keycaps are doubleshot, so even if they shine over time, the legends will still be there. Whereas PBT is usually dyes which will eventually wear off or dull.
GMK double shot abs are better than your average pbt keycaps.
Despite being made of ABS, GMK Keysets and overall other high quality ABS keysets feel far better than 90% of PBT keycaps available on the market. Most of the community is using ABS keycaps for a reason and not because they try to troll the world.
I for myself tested few pbt keysets from some manufacturers and they feel garbage, becuase they gather dirt and they have wrong (to rough) finish for long type sessions. The only PBT keycaps (from my experience) which are high quality and has really good finish are the stock HHKB (probably on realforce they are as good as on HHKB) and Model M. Its not just about PBT but about its quality. Durable garbage is still garbage ;)
GMK will get the same greasy feeling as any other ABS caps.
Everyone who has one keyboard and has browsed r/mk for 2 months will tell you PBT is better because they read its better and if they read it it must be true. Some PBT is horrible, some ABS is horrible. Its up to you to decide what you prefer to type on just like switches. #staywoke
I would agree with you, I am using the PBT caps that came with the K-Type and while I do like the caps they feel rough and they collect dirt like nobody's business.
If you don't like slick keys, you should probably skip GMK keys. I have a GMK Ocean Dolch keyset on my Novatouch and the subtle texture was gone in a few weeks on the most used keys. However, I find them still nice (contrary to original ABS keys on the Novatouch, which were terrible after they got greasy). I have another ABS keyset (SA Dasher), which has no texture at all, but I find it quite comfortable.
On the PBT end, my best keyset when it comes to feel and durability (but not look unfortunately) is the original Realforce keyset, which is PBT dyesub. The only key that has any noticeable wear after a year of heavy usage is the space bar. However, I also own Tai-Hao PBT double shot Miami keyset and I find it less convenient then GMK Ocean Dolch. Go figure...
There are trade-offs with both materials. ABS will get shiny faster. PBT is more prone to warping, so many PBT sets have some slight alignment issues (bowed shift key, twisted stems, etc). PBT will eventually shine too, just not as quickly as ABS. The double shot legends on GMK (and original Cherry double shots) are the highest quality you can get, they're sharp and consistent and will never wear away. The best legends on PBT caps are dye sublimated, which wont ever be as sharp or high-contrast as double shot. I personally don't think keycaps getting shiny is a big deal, it ads a bit of character to the board where you've used it most.