ABS vs PBT: A Time-Tested Debate

ABS vs PBT: A Time-Tested Debate


When it comes to mechanical keyboards, the type of keycaps you choose can make or break your experience. One of the most perennial debates in this community is the choice between ABS and PBT keycaps. In this article, we break down the differences and help you make an informed decision.

What are ABS and PBT Keycaps?

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) are the two most common materials used for keycaps.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Type Advantages Disadvantages
ABS Less expensive, more common, often comes in double-shot forms which make legends last longer. Can wear out and shine over time, generally considered to have a "cheaper" feel.
PBT Durable, resistant to shine, offers a textured feel that many users prefer. More expensive, less commonly available, legends might fade quicker unless dye-sublimated.

The Importance of Thickness

While material plays a significant role, the thickness of the keycap also affects both feel and sound. PBT keycaps are often thicker than ABS keycaps, which contributes to a different "thock" sound when typing.

Which One is Right for You?

Both ABS and PBT have their merits and drawbacks. Your choice should ultimately depend on your preference for feel, appearance, and durability.


The ABS vs PBT debate is one that might never see a universal consensus, but understanding the characteristics of each can help you make a choice that suits your typing or gaming needs best.

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