Stepped vs. normal caps lock?

Hey everyone,
just a quick thread… Wondering on what there is to stepped caps lock. Is it to help your pinky orientate and/ or just for the looks or is there more to it? Super curios about your opinios on it and if you had experience with stepped caps lock or stepped mods/ keys in general.
What do you use and what do you prefer?

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I really like stepped mods.
Not really neccessary in my opinion, but they provide some kind of visual separation and tactile point of orientation.

My latest build with a stepped FN instead of a stepped capslock.

Or this one I made some time ago. With stepped capslock and a stepped right control to separate the cursor keys.


I guess it prevents to hit it by accident.
But now days it’s mainly for the look.

I had FN there when I had a 60/65% and the step made it kind of awkward to swiftly use it.

So in my my book,
Cap’s stepped
FN full

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Yeah seems to look clean with an extra bit of separation

I can see that. If I use caps lock now I usually just move my pinky a bit away from the A-key to hit it. With it being stepped I guess I’d have to move it a bit farther… But then again I hardly use it. The look is definitly nice
Thanks for the input!

Second picture is a really cool solution for an empty blocker.

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Stepped for me all the way, even if that key is being used for Ctrl or Fn. I’ve gotten so used to having that little bit of separation between A & that key I always find myself accidently hitting the Caps key with a full one. Also ngl, I highly prefer the look of stepped vs full on that key.

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Back in the day it also saved money on stabilizers.


This is mostly a historical concept used mostly, I think, by IBM on the Selectric typewriters:

While other companies, like Smith Corona tended not to have them:

From Smith Corona's website

These days, the choice to use stepped modifiers seems to me to be more of a matter of choice & aesthetics than anything particularly functional… Although some argue that the step does help with touch typing.


I map that position as Control all the time anyway, regardless of the keyboard I’m using. I picked the habit up from using an HHKB when I joined the community, and I never looked back since.

Even with that key being Control, whether it is for gaming, typing, or general use, I always prefer to use a stepped Caps key there (I don’t really care about the legend on the cap but think “Caps Lock” looks best there anyway). The aesthetic, in my opinion, is superior, and I don’t lose anything functionally, since PCBs are programmable and my fingers seem to be doing alright.

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Almost certainly sure it’s a matter of aesthetics, perhaps to even signal that it’s less “normie”. Just like how some might opt for a Tsangan bottom rather than a regular ANSI bottom row