Choosing the Right Keycap Profile
When choosing the perfect keycap set, an important customization option to consider is the keycap profile you intend on using. A keycap profile refers to the overall shape of the keycap on a row of given row, some keycaps are flat or some are rounded. Besides, each row of keys has different height to allow for a concave or sloped shape over the entire keycap set. There are few different types of keycap profile such as OEM, Cherry, DSA, XDA and SA.
Firstly, OEM is a sculpted keycap that can be found on most keyboard and the main ideas behind “sculpted” keycap sets are ergonomics and aesthetics. The sculpted keycap sets to be easier to type on since it is easier to feel where your fingers are on the board if the heights vary. Sculpted is usually preferred by most people as it is a best and most comfortable keycap profile.
Secondly, Cherry and OEM profile keycaps are very similar in design and sculpt. However, Cherry profile keycaps are designed with a popular layout and slightly shorter and are harder to come by when searching for custom keycaps. It is approximately half the height of OEM profile.
Thirdly, DSA is a non-sculpted uniform keycap with a spherical top. With DSA profile, you can expect pleasantly textured surfaces, slightly shorter profile for a flatter look across all row.
Fourthly, XDA is a uniform keycap across different row and designed with a medium height profile. XDA profile keysets usually feature unique legend fonts and have a special surface shape that is more like a spherical shape.
Fifthly, SA has a tall height profile with slightly spherical and angled top. In term of practicality, the high profile may be a bit more difficult to type on, but the SA profile provides a vintage look and unique sound with each keystroke that are responsible for its die-hard fans.
As with all aspects with customizing your mechanical keyboard, the “best” keycap profile for you is subjective and depends on your personal preference.