What Are Double Shot Keycaps: The Double-Molded Keycap Structure
When we are in the market looking for our next set of keycaps, one term keeps on coming again and again, that term is “Double Shot”. Most high-quality premium keycaps have got Double Shot PBT keycaps into their name. What does this double shot mean here? Let’s find out today with the help of this blog.
First of all, Since you are here, it’s not hard to assume you know what a keycap is? But if you are new to the hobby and would like to learn from the basic level, Keycaps are the actual keys on a mechanical keyboard that we press while using the keyboard. Your entire keyboard is composed of keycaps which are placed above the mechanical switches. Usually in Mechanical Keyboards, the Keycaps are easily replaceable and users replace them for the sake of personalization and to give a unique touch to their keyboards.
When you go into the market(Online or Offline), you will see there are plenty, and we seriously mean ‘Plenty’ here, You will see plenty of keycaps available in different profiles, materials(ABS/PBT), artistic designer looks, novelty premium keycaps, etc to choose from. We have done an entire blog on the topic of different types of keycaps, you can check it out here. But some basic information to understand this blog better. Mainly the keycaps in the market are available in two different material options, ABS(Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and PBT(Polybutylene terephthalate). Here the ABS ones are cheaper, shiny, and usually catch oil easily, while the PBT ones are more premium, have a rich matte textured finish, feel more durable, and are usually oil-resistant. PBT Keycaps are considered to be of better quality and also give a better feel when pressed although they are slightly on the pricier side compared to ABS keycaps. The alphabet, numeric, or symbol printed on top of the keycaps are called legends.
Double Shot actually refers to one of the methods to print the legends on the keycaps. It is found in both ABS and PBT keycaps. There are two common methods usually used while manufacturing the keycaps, one is simple printing, and the other is the Double Shot Method. Simple printing of legends onto a keycap is usually not safe as legends tend to fade off with time. Double Shot Keycaps on the other hand are much more durable.
Understanding the Double Shot Methods Of Keycap Manufacturing:-
Unlike normal printing of legends, in the Double Shot method, two layers of plastic are molded into each other. There is actually no printing required in this method. Typically the main keycap housing is one piece and the legend required here is on a separate one. Both of these layers are then molded together in a way that the legends come out onto the top. In a double shot keycap, the legends just never fade off the keycap since they are on a separate piece of plastic. Don’t get us wrong here, the Legends don’t bevel in or out of a Double-Shot keycap, the surface of the keycaps is uniform and feels smooth to touch. The molding of two plastic pieces here is usually done on the inner side of the keycaps, that’s why in Double Shot Keycaps you can notice two tones of colors in the inner side(Provided that the manufacturer used two different colors of plastic pieces while molding).
Benefits of Double Shot Keycaps:-
>The legends will just never fade off.
>The legends are always crisp and sharp.
>Since the legends are created by molding between two plastic pieces, it is possible to achieve transparent Legends in Double Shot keycaps. They allow for the RGB backlight of the keyboard to come through. In a normal printing method, transparent legends are not possible.
>Double Shot keycaps are usually more durable since they are crafted using two pieces of keycap material.
>In a normal printing method, legends have to be of a darker color than that of the keycaps, while on a Double Shot keycap we can have any color for legends irrespective of the light or dark color tone of the keycap.
Cons Of Double Shot Keycaps:-
>Pricey. Double Shot keycaps use two plastic molds hence are a bit pricier than normally printed keycaps.
>Only Simple legend printing is possible. In double-shot keycaps, we are limited with options of two color options. While you can create an entire rainbow on a single letter in Dye-Sublime printed keycaps.
>Since there are two different layers of plastic being used here in order to create a double shot keycap, the double shot keycaps are on the heavier side.
Well, we have a hope that with the help of this blog we were able to help you understand Double Shot Keycaps better. It is basically a technique where two different pieces of plastic are molded together to create the legends onto them. They offer impressive durability, the legends will just never fade off for you. The market is full of Double Shot keycaps available in both ABS and PBT materials. You can choose between them based on your use case(RGB keyboards will benefit from transparent legends on a Double Shot Keycap), and your personal preferences. We at Mechkeys have a huge list of Keycaps including Double Shot, Artistic, Novelty, etc, be sure to check out our collection of Keycaps here.