Polishing Keycaps

Thought this subject deserves a permathread.

21kb keysets are comparable to CRP and ePBT but have two issues:

  1. Sharp Edges - Fingers will often catch on left and right edges of each keycap as fingers move left and right, and bottom edges as fingers move up rows. With CRP and ePBT, edges are smooth and rounded so it’s not a problem. With 21kb, edges were sharp enough to be annoying in-use.
  2. Less Smooth Texture - 21kb keycap texture is just not as smooth as ePBT nor CRP.

From left to right: CRP, 21kb stock, 21kb polished, ePBT

To address edge issue, I wet polished (water) the 3 edges (left, right, bottom) using 1800 grit micro-mesh.

To address texture issue, I wet polished (water) the top surface using 6000, 8000, and 16000 12000 grit micro-mesh strips. It doesn’t take long if you do more than one at a time.

After polishing with 6000 grit, finish with just 8000 grit felt similar to ePBT feel. Additional polish with 16000 12000 grit brought it to CRP level of smoothness. YMMV.

UPDATE: Forgot to share the most important finding which is that dye-sub keycaps can be polished without damaging legends. Up to a point, I’m sure…


What about shining keycaps? Has anybody found a good way to do that, especially PBT?

Would probably be a similar process to what you have on top. Great job! :+1:


I haven’t tried restoring shining keycap to original matte condition but, off hand, I think the task will be very difficult because keycap wear varies between keys. What may work better is tumbling keycaps with shotgun pellets.

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Great post, I hate sharp edges on keycaps, I however like gritty feeling.

The polished edges are definitly visible, looking forward to trying this on my keycaps in the future.

How good? You’ll need a handkerchief good.

We might have to talk about polishing MT3.

The bottom row of the ABS keycaps can get stuck on some boards. The bottom edge hangs on the case. I hear people are manually sanding down their keycaps.

Happens with me on an MK870.

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