What are Double Shot Keycaps?


Jul 21 2021

In the world of mechanical keyboards, custom keycaps are all about self-expression and a rich typing experience. Since gamers and keyboard enthusiasts spend a considerable amount of time in front of their PCs, the quality, feel, and durability of keycaps significantly impacts their overall experience. One term that frequently appears while scouring for superior keycaps is "double shot," a manufacturing process that enhances longevity and aesthetic appeal. This article delves into the intricacies of double shot keycaps and why they are an excellent choice for keyboard lovers.


Double shot keycaps use a unique manufacturing process in which two separate pieces of plastic are intricately molded together. Typically, the main housing of the keycap constitutes one piece, while the legend (the character or symbol) on the keycap forms the second piece. This technique of joining two pieces results in a keycap with legends that are essentially a part of the plastic housing rather than being an external addition.

The key advantage of this double shot method is the ensured longevity of the keycap legends. The legends are molded as separate plastic pieces and hence, are not susceptible to fading over time. They are not merely etched or printed onto the keycap surface; instead, they form an integral part of the keycap itself, making them highly durable.


As explained above, double shot keycaps are composed of two layers, one for the legend and the other for the rest of the keycap– hence, the “double” in the name. Dye-sublimation, on the other hand, refers to the printing process used to transfer the legend onto the PBT material using a dye, heat, and pressure. However, this process is different from ordinary printing, where the ink would fade after just a few months of use.

Sublimation is the process of turning solid material directly into gas (without melting and becoming a liquid first). Once the dye turns into a gas, it is able to penetrate the plastic and change the color of the plastic on a molecular level. In other words, it permanently dyes the keycap. So, no matter how much the keycap is rubbed by your finger, the legends will still be visible. Since the ink has essentially become part of the keycap, there is no bump from the legends at the surface

Both double-shot keycaps and dye-sub keycaps are highly durable and fade-resistant. However, double-shot is slightly superior.


The alternative method to create legends on keycaps is to print them directly onto the surface (dye-sub do not fall into this category). This process, while cost-effective, comes with certain drawbacks. The foremost being that printed legends bear the risk of fading over time. Given that keycaps are subjected to constant usage, with fingers continuously rubbing against their surfaces, it is inevitable that printed legends will start to wear off after a period of time. The more frequently a key is used, the faster its legend will begin to show signs of wear.

Double shot keycaps, on the other hand, eliminate this issue entirely. Regardless of the frequency or duration of usage, the legends on double shot keycaps remain sharp, consistent, and never fade away. This is because the legend is not merely on the surface—it is a part of the keycap itself.


Despite the double shot method involving two separate pieces of plastic, the end result is a keycap with a uniformly smooth surface. Users cannot feel the junction where the two pieces meet or distinguish the legend from the keycap's main body. This ensures that the typing experience remains consistent, without any interruptions that could otherwise arise due to an uneven surface.


Another distinctive advantage of double shot keycaps lies in their compatibility with RGB backlighting. When double shot keycaps are manufactured using translucent plastic for the legend piece, they allow for the RGB lights to shine through the legend. This creates a stunning visual effect, significantly enhancing the aesthetics of your keyboard, especially in low-light conditions. Such a feature is impossible with merely printed legends, as they do not allow light to pass through.


If you're looking to upgrade your keyboard with keycaps that are not just aesthetically pleasing but also durable, consider adorning your board with keycaps that employ the double shot manufacturing process. From the Glorious keycap collection, the following keycaps are double shot:

  1. 1. ABS Doubleshot V2
  2. 2. Aura V2
  3. 3. Mechanical Keyboard Keycaps

Furthermore, the use of ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate) in these keycap sets offers additional advantages. ABS keycaps are lightweight and have a glossy finish, while PBT keycaps are denser, more durable, and resistant to shining over time.


Now that you're more informed about the durability and aesthetic benefits of double shot keycaps, it might be time to delve a bit deeper into other aspects of keycap selection. To aid you in this journey, check out our comprehensive guides on:

  1. 1. Understanding the different types of custom keycaps

  1. 2. What are keycap profiles? This guide gives you an overview of their build and materials. 

  2. 3. What are pudding keycaps? This is a guide on RGB in keycaps. 

  3. 4. Get a deeper understand of the difference between ABS and PBT

These guides will give you a broader perspective on keycap materials, further refining your knowledge to make an informed decision.

In conclusion, while the choice of keycaps may initially seem insignificant, it holds immense importance for a consistent and enjoyable typing or gaming experience. Double shot keycaps, with their unique manufacturing process, durability, and compatibility with RGB lighting, certainly rise as an attractive choice for both professional and personal use. Invest in them, and witness how they stand the test of time, maintaining their appeal and functionality years down the line.