How do you store your keycaps? (& mini rant)

Being relatively new in this hobby, I was disheartened to find out how great the GMK trays of the past were for keeping your keycaps in shape for storage. However, the two GMK sets I have now came with the newly redesigned, crappy, worse-for-the-environment* potato(?) trays that have already started to rip apart, so I am now looking for alternatives.

I’d rather not store my keycaps just in a Ziplock bag, so I was wondering if anyone had any advice or suggestions for good ways to go about this. Any tips for plastic container sizes that accommodate most base kits and some novelties?

*yes I know they are technically better for the environment as a product but there’s no chance it’s a net positive if people are going out and getting more plastic to be shipped to their homes in addition to just receiving the keyset lol

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I recently received my first potato GMK trays, and I agree completely. The idea that they are a boon for the environment is ridiculous, if people have to seek out aftermarket trays.

GMK would help the environment more if they just produced a compact but sturdy tray. And the environmental disadvantages of plastic are helpful in this case - people want a tray that lasts as long as possible, and doesn’t degrade. They aren’t likely to be throwing their GMK caps / tray on a landfill, so it’s not going to add to pollution.

I hear of GBs and Drops for JTK plastic trays. You can find an example here:

This seems to be what people are doing to address the GMK tray issue.

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Completely agree. Thanks for the link, I’ve already requested the drop for them! Hoping to find something in the meantime to start storing my caps.

It’s so weird to see GMK take a step back in all aspects with this solution-- from environment, value, and durability perspectives. Meanwhile, I know SP has mentioned developing new trays so that they don’t come in plastic bags anymore, which seems like a step forward. I guess why i’m ranting is that I’m just so confused why this redesign came to be when it doesn’t seem to be a good solution by any metric.

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Yeah, it’s strange that they chose such a compromised solution, even as their business was expanding. Maybe they had to meet some local environmental requirement, or there was a subsidy for changing to ‘environmental’ packaging. One can only speculate.

If they had conceptualized their new packaging together with the keyboard community, maybe they would have come up with something better.

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I chuck my sets in zip log bags, label them with a sharpie and toss them in a large plastic tub.

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I do the same. The trays are a huge waste of space if you don’t have a lot of it.

Do y’all ever find scuffing/scratching to be an issue (at least for GMK)? That’s the biggest concern I have!

I’ve never had any issues

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I like trays for a more swift transaction between two sets.

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I think the best trays I’ve gotten have been from MaxKey for their SA sets. I’m not crazy about either version of GMK’s trays. The previous plastic versions that closed with those weird pegs were also a pain.

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I’m still on the ziplock bag gang!
Mostly because switching to another alternative might be a bit on the pricey side at the moment.

I know a lot of people like the Dixiemech Keycap/Switch Storage Bins https://dixiemech.store/products/keycap-switch-storage-bin.
cough, affiliate link: https://dixiemech.com/manofinterests.
Bad news is they sell out quickly whenever he restocks them. Get on the email list of you want to know when they’re back.

You could probably find similar products from office supply stores or Amazon.

These days, I think it’s either mason jars, ziplock bags, or small plastic storage containers/organizers for the best storage to space ratio.

The original GMK trays were always a bit too big and difficult to store for my set up, and their new trays…

Their new trays could best be defined by this review:

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Another thing is resell, a set without tray&box is worth 25-50$ less in my eyes.

definitely true about the resell thing, I’m especially mad at the quality of these trays because of this point. Mine already came cracked, and pieces have already started tearing off with no hard use.

I’m way too lazy to organize the sets back into the trays and could really care less how they look stored, I don’t think I’ve ever put a keyset back into the trays…

I did the plastic bag method with pbt blanks once. That was not fun to sort out when I went to put them back on a board.

thanks @Manofinterests! always enjoy your content. That Hineybush video literally sums up everything I’ve felt about this.

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I have limited space. Plastic ziplocks + plastic ikea boxes on bought off market keycaps, as I never pay extra for shipping in trays.

Also got the new GMK packaging that came with Froyo and I confirm it’s a joke and suckes.

I also bought new stuff like Dominkey SA, Epbt Gray on White and Biip 2048 topre. All the chinese brands improved their storage, are very nice and I keep using them.
MT3 Serika also came in nice foamy boxes that are nice to store and use. They seem to come from China and be easy to get by all manufacturers, as I received my 2048 Icono kit (topre) in a similar box as the smaller kits from MT3 Serika.

GMK 0 - Rest of keyboard manufacturers 1

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MT3 Susuwatari came in the best size/storage ratio. I will have to give Drop credit on that one.

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I’ve been using these document holders for larger sets after someone else here pointed them out.

I like these cause they’re thin, relatively small in size in terms of width/length and large enough to hold the average GMK base kit with everything face up.

That said, it’s not THAT much better than plastic bags admittingly; keys can still flip over if you jostle things enough, there’s little organization beyond that and they are somewhat expensive. Fortunately it seems these days keysets are coming in easier to store boxes(especially like the box Infinikey Hive and Kuro/Shrio came in)

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most of my keycaps are stored in Germany…because I have more sets in queue than at home
the ones I have home I just keep in the original box. would love to get some acrylic trays as I hate looking for caps when putting them on my board (ie, ziplocks)

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