ABS Keycaps vs. PBT Keycaps: Which One Should You Choose Reading Exploring Different Profile Keycaps for Mechanical Keyboards 9 minutes Next Cleaning and Maintaining Your Keycaps

Exploring Different Profile Keycaps for Mechanical Keyboards

Mechanical keyboards are getting more and more attention and popularity. Due to its strong customizability, and the keycap profile is one of the key components that affect the overall feel and aesthetics of the mechanical keyboard, people replace the keycap most frequently, but there are still many enthusiasts who do not understand the keycap profile. In this article, we'll explore some of the most common mechanical keyboard keycap profiles.

profile keycaps hight


What is a Keycap Profile?

"Keycap Profile" refers to the specific shape and design of individual keycaps on a keyboard. Different keycap profiles determine the height, curvature, and overall structure of each key, contributing to the overall typing experience and aesthetics of the keyboard. Keycap profiles influence how your fingers interact with the keys and can impact typing comfort, speed, and accuracy, different keycap profiles can greatly affect the typing experience.

keycap profile

How Many Keycap Profiles Are There?

There are currently many keyboard keycap configurations, but there are roughly 10 most Popular Keycap Profiles for mechanical keyboards on the market. They are: OEM Profile, Cherry Profile, DSA Profile, SA Profile, XDA Profile, KAT Profile, MT3 Profile, ASA Profile, MDA Profile, and Artisan Keycaps.

Of course, there are many other keycap profiles, such as Choc Profile, JTK Profile, PGS Profile, Apple Profile, etc.

Cherry profile keycaps

1. OEM Profile Keycaps

An OEM Profile Keycap refers to a specific shape and design of a keycap used on mechanical keyboards. The term "OEM" stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, indicating that these keycaps are often found on keyboards produced by the original manufacturer or provided as stock keycaps when you purchase a keyboard.

The OEM profile is characterized by a slightly taller and more curved shape compared to some other keycap profiles like Cherry, DSA, SA, or XDA. The keycaps have a slightly concave top surface and often have a cylindrical or tapered shape towards the sides. These keycaps are designed to offer a comfortable and ergonomic typing experience, as the curved shape fits well with the natural curvature of your fingers.

OEM profile keycaps are one of the most common and widely used keycap profiles due to their comfortable design and compatibility with a wide range of keyboard layouts and switches. They are often included with pre-built mechanical keyboards and are also available for purchase separately in various materials and colors for those who want to customize their keyboard's appearance and feel.

2. Cherry Profile Keycaps

Cherry profile keycaps were popularized by Cherry, the company that created the first mechanical key switches.

Cherry Profile Keycaps compared to other keycaps, cherry keycaps have a relatively low profile with a slightly flatter top surface, cylindrical sides, and a more uniform row height. The low profile means the keycaps sit closer to the keyboard surface, providing a compact look and a relatively low typing angle, while the slight curvature of the flatter top surface matches the natural shape of the fingertips, a curvature that results in a more comfortable typing experience. The cylindrical shape of the sides rounds the edges of the keycaps and tapers towards the bottom, a design that helps with tactile feedback and key stability.

The Cherry profile is known for its clean and simple look, often preferred by typists who enjoy a slightly lower key height.

3. DSA Profile Keycaps

DSA (Distributed Structure Alphabet) profile keycaps have a unique design with a flat top and uniform height across all rows. Unlike other profiles, DSA keycaps are not sculpted, meaning each keycap has the same shape regardless of its position on the keyboard. This profile is popular among those who appreciate a uniform and retro aesthetic.

4. XDA Profile Keycaps

XDA profile keycaps are a type of keycap design used in mechanical keyboards. The name "XDA" does not have a specific origin or company associated with it, but rather refers to the shape and design of the keycaps themselves. XDA Profile Keycaps have gained popularity among keyboard enthusiasts for their unique characteristics.

The XDA profile keycaps differ from other profile keycaps in that they have a uniform height across all rows, and the top surface is flat without any curvature, only slightly cylindrical on the sides. And XDA's unique design endows the keyboard with a modern and simple appearance and a different typing experience.

5. SA Profile Keycaps

SA (Spherical All) profile keycaps are characterized by their extremely tall and spherical shape. These keycaps offer a distinctive look and are often associated with a vintage typewriter aesthetic. SA profile provides a comfortable typing experience but may not be preferred by those who prefer a lower key height.

Typing mechanical

6. MDA Profile Keycaps

MDA Profile Keycaps are a type of keycap design used in mechanical keyboards. The name "MDA" stands for "Medium-Height, Doubleshot, and Sculpted All Rows," which reflects the key features of this keycap profile.

MDA profile keycaps are somewhat similar to the SA profile keycaps but with a smaller spherical top. They aim to strike a balance between the tall and sculpted SA profile and the lower-profile options. MDA keycaps provide a unique feel and are often chosen for their distinctive look.

MDA profile vs. cherry profile keycaps

MDA profile keycaps have a medium height, somewhere between low and high-profile keycap designs. MDA profile keycaps feature a uniform engraving across all rows, with each keycap being a consistent shape. The top surface of the MDA profile keycaps are contoured to provide a concave shape to conform to the fingertips, improving typing comfort and accuracy.

7. KAT Profile Keycaps

KAT profile keycaps combine aspects of both SA and Cherry profiles. They have a taller and more pronounced sculpt compared to Cherry, but not as tall as SA. KAT keycaps provide a unique typing experience and are gaining popularity within the mechanical keyboard community.

8. MT3 Profile Keycaps

MT3 (Matt3o) Profil Keycaps are designed to replicate the feel of vintage keyboards. It features a tall, heavily sculpted design with a focus on ergonomic shaping. MT3 keycaps are known for their intricate sculpting and are favored by enthusiasts looking for a unique and tactile typing experience.

profile keycaps

9. ASA Profile Keycaps

ASA profile keycaps are the popular emerging profile keycaps in the past two years. The height of ASA Profile Keycaps is about 2mm higher than that of OEM profile keycaps, and 2mm lower than the height of SA. At the same time, the top of the keycap has a certain slope, which can make the typing process more comfortable.

10. Artisan Keycaps

Artisan Keycaps are often handmade or produced in small batches by skilled artisans, hence the name. They come in a wide variety of shapes, materials, colors, and designs, these keycaps are usually produced through processes like hand sculpting, molding, and painting, which can result in stunning and one-of-a-kind pieces of keyboard art.

11. Choc Profile Keycaps

Choc profile keycaps are specifically designed for low-profile mechanical switches, such as Kailh Choc switches. These keycaps have a shorter height and a unique cross-mount stem design to match the requirements of low-profile switches. Choc profile is ideal for compact and slim mechanical keyboards.

asa profile keycaps

12. JTK Profile Keycaps

JTK profile keycaps are similar to Cherry profile but are produced by a different manufacturer. They offer a high-quality alternative to Cherry keycaps and are known for their consistent production standards and compatibility with various mechanical keyboard layouts.

13. PGS Profile Keycaps

PGS (Profiled Keycap System) profile is a relatively new entrant, aiming to combine the advantages of different profiles. PGS keycaps are sculpted in a way that provides ergonomic comfort while maintaining a lower overall height. This profile is designed to offer a balanced typing experience for a wider range of users.

14. Apple Profile Keycaps

Apple profile keycaps are often associated with Apple's line of keyboards, featuring a low-profile design with a flat top and slightly curved sides. These keycaps are known for their minimalist and sleek appearance, as well as compatibility with certain Apple-style mechanical switches.


Choosing the right keycap profile for your mechanical keyboard can significantly impact your typing experience and overall satisfaction. The wide variety of profiles available caters to different preferences, aesthetics, and ergonomic needs. When choosing keycaps for your mechanical keyboard, consider factors such as profile, material, and compatibility.  Experimenting with different profiles can help you find the one that enhances your typing experience and complements your keyboard's overall look.

whatgeek profile keycaps

Article Directory

What is a Keycap Profile? How Many Keycap Profiles Are There? 1. OEM Profile Keycaps 2. Cherry Profile Keycaps 3. DSA Profile Keycaps 4. XDA Profile Keycaps 5. SA Profile Keycaps 6. MDA Profile Keycaps 7. KAT Profile Keycaps 8. MT3 Profile Keycaps 9. ASA Profile Keycaps 10. Artisan Keycaps 11. Choc Profile Keycaps 12. JTK Profile Keycaps 13. PGS Profile Keycaps 14. Apple Profile Keycaps Conclusion

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.