I recently purchased some Cerakey ceramic keycaps for my Ultimate Hacking Keyboard. When I mentioned the purchase on Mastodon, I got a few replies asking for a review, as multiple people had been considering the purchase. Here’s my review of the Cerakey ceramic keycaps.

Note: I have 3 cats. I tried to clean the keyboard up as much as possible before I took photos, but if you have cats, you know how that can go. I did my best.

The Look

Here’s how the keys look sans backlighting:

Keyboard halves connected, unlit
Keyboard split, unlit

I originally ordered the “Crazed” keycaps (pictured below), but after paying for them I was notified that there was an error between actual stock and what Shopify listed, so instead they sent me two sets, in Canal Blue and Water Blue. So I combined them, as seen above. The QR keys of the left half are Canal Blue, the right half is Water Blue.

I really like the crackled look of the Crazed keys, so I might order those in the future when they’re back in stock:

Crazed Cerakeys

One nice thing about ceramic keycaps isthe way they glow when backlit. If you don’t have a backlit keyboard, you’ll only be concerned with the sound and weight, which I’ll detail below. But if you have backlighting:

Keyboard halves connected, backlit
Side view of the Cerakeys lit
Comparison of shine-through PBTs and Cerakey legends

Unlike shine-through keycaps, the legends are actually harder to read when backlit. I’m a touch typist and never look at my keys, so it’s kind of a moot point for me. The only time I need to look at the keyboard is when I’m typing a number without my fingers on the home row (e.g. 2FA auth code when I’m also holding my phone). If you hunt and peck and have a backlit keyboard, you might want to think twice.

Seriously, the overall aesthetic of backlit ceramics is (to me) the coolest I’ve seen. This will depend on personal preference, and there are plenty of backlighting setups I’ve never tried, but:

Keyboard split, backlit

The keys have a shine to them. They look like a polished plastic. I guess they look like what you’d expect a laquered ceramic surface to look like. I find it pleasing, but again, it’s going to depend on personal preference.

If you like multi-colored keyboards, you’re going to drop some cash as Cerakey only sells full sets in one color. I would love it if you could combine colors to create a custom layout. I would also appreciate being able to get single custom keys, as the UHK has a very unique layout that no standard keycap set will cover. While I was customizing, I went ahead and ordered the 1.75U space bars that the UHK uses from Asymplex (h/t @BrokenFlows).

The Sound

My box white switches with ceramic keys have less click. At first blush, this is a con to me. I picked the box white switches for my UHK because they had what I found to be the perfect amount of clickiness with PBT keycaps. The ceramic keys remove most of the click, and replace it with a pretty bassy thock. I’m currently deciding whether that’s a compromise I’m willing to make, or whether I’m going to swap them out for blue switches (or go back to PBT keycaps).

To be fair, hit softly and one-at-a-time, they still click just fine. It’s just the thunder of rapid-fire typing that lacks the click I find so satisfying on my mechanical keyboards.

Here’s how the ceramic keycaps sound on my UHK with Box White switches:

"Cerakey on Box White"

Here’s how the original PBT keycaps sound:

"PBT on Box White"

Next to each other for comparison:

"Comparison on Box White"

And just for reference, here’s the Cerakey on a Cherry Blue switch:

"Cerakey on Cherry Blue"

And for comparison, PBT on Cherry Blue:

"PBT on Cherry Blue"


I would consider the loss of click a con, but that’s an entirely personal opinion. As described above, Cherry Blue switches actually sound pretty good. Basically like Box White switches with PBT keycaps.

The one thing that does bug me is there’s no discernible bump on the F and J keys, so I do have to look down to find the home row. I’m going to fix this with a home brew solution, eventually. Maybe a little epoxy and some Sugru. Most glues and resins won’t stick to the ceramic surface, so this is going to take a little work. I don’t have feeling in the tips of my fingers on my right hand (I don’t know why, this only happened in the last 10 years), so I need a big bump to be able to feel it. This is probably less of a problem for others, but in recent years it’s taken a little customization for me, even when there are ridges on the F and J.

The harder-to-read legends on backlit ceramic keys is a little bit of a bummer. As I said above, it doesn’t really affect me, but it might be something to note.

Neither Pro Nor Con

The keys are slippery. This is kind of a non-issue, it turns out. I thought the slick surface of the keys would affect my typing speed and error rate, but it really doesn’t. If anything I actually type a little faster on these, but it’s a negligible difference.

In Summary

I’m going to use these for a couple months and see if I miss the PBT keys at all. So far I don’t, and I love the look. I would like to get the Crazed version eventually, but I’ve spent enough money on keycaps for a while. I’ll eventually want to replace the modifier keys, but will have to find a custom solution for those.

I have to decide how important the click I was used to is. I’m finding the overall sound of these pretty pleasing after a few days with them. But my modifier keys and space bars are still PBT, so I hear the click after every word. This makes the difference obvious, but also gives me a certain amount of satisfaction that might tide me over.

I hope this helps answer some questions. I take no responsibility for your purchase, but now you have the benefit of my experience.

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