60 keyboards are pretty similar to custom-built PCs in which you can swap out any part of them. And just like custom-built desktop PCs, the chassis of a 60 mechanical keyboard plays a huge role. It not only affects how your keyboard looks but also how it performs.
60 mechanical keyboards were traditionally offered in plastic cases. However, with the increasing popularity of custom keyboards, different 60 keyboard cases can now also be found on the market. Common case materials include plastic, polycarbonate, aluminum, wood, and acrylic. Each of these has their own unique sound characteristics and feel.
In this article, we will be taking a look at the different types of 60 keyboard cases. We’ll talk about their physical attributes, benefits and how to choose your perfect keyboard case. Keep on scrolling to learn more.
A keyboard case is a customized physical casing built with keycaps on it. The keyboard case is what houses your keys. The keyboard is just a means of communicating with our computers. Suffice it to say that your keyboard case is as essential as your keyboard itself.
And what is a 60 keyboard case?
As we know, a keyboard has a lot of sizes. The most common keyboard sizes are Full-Sized (104 key), TKL (87 key), and 60% (68 key). Each size is unique with different features. There are other layouts too, some of the less common keyboard sizes are the 75%, 65%, and 40%. As the keyboard gets smaller, the number pad, home cluster, function row, arrow keys, and numbers are removed.
And a 60% keyboard is one that lacks a number pad, F keys, navigation key cluster, and arrow keys. The benefits of a small form factor outweigh the lack of functionality, especially for any minimalist who prefers a clean setup.
For those with limited desk space, the benefits of a small form factor outweigh the lack of functionality. Some gamers prefer 60 percent keyboards because the smaller size allows the user greater freedom to adjust the position of their keyboard.
So a 60 keyboard case is a great way to protect your keyboard from damage. It also makes it easy to transport your keyboard from one place to another. When choosing a 60 keyboard case, be sure to consider the size and weight of the case, as well as the type of closure. Cases with a zipper closure are generally more durable than those with a flap closure.
Material Types for 60 Keyboard Cases
Plastic 60 Keyboard Cases
Plastic 60 keyboard cases are commonly used for budget-priced keyboard builds as well as most prebuilt keyboards. They are usually made of ABS plastic and generally feel more flimsy compared to other case materials. They are also pretty lightweight, which further adds to the less premium feel.
However, not all plastic 60 keyboard cases are made cheaply. Some keyboards that are mostly made of plastic, such as the premium premade keyboards from gaming brands, can still feel pretty premium. This is usually thanks to good quality control, other materials inside the case that add to heft, such as the plate, and a good finish.
Plastic 60 keyboard cases usually do not have the best acoustics right out of the box. It is highly recommended, especially for custom keyboard builds, to modify these cases by adding case foam to reduce hollowness from the board. Most custom keyboard kits that use a plastic chassis, such as the KBDFans KBD67 Lite, already include dampening materials.
Overall, plastic 60 keyboard cases are certainly usable and can be improved with enough patience from the end-user. But with that said, there are plenty of other higher-end case materials.
Aluminum 60 Keyboard Cases
Aluminum 60 keyboard cases are another common option available, they tend to be heavier and sturdier. They are a great option for someone who wants a case that feels solid and stable. Generally, aluminum 60 keyboard cases are less flexible and more rigid than the plastic counterparts.
The quality of aluminum 60 keyboard cases can widely vary. The more upscale aluminum 60 keyboard cases tend to have better machining from the manufacturer, which allows for a more precise, clean case to be built. The better aluminum 60 keyboard cases also tend to be heavier as well.
The anodization/finish of the aluminum also determines the quality of the product. Anodization is the process of converting the outer metal surface into a more decorative, durable, and corrosion-resistant layer. This is typically done through an electrochemical process of placing the aluminum in an acid bath and passing an electrical current through the metal.
In general, a product that has been anodized more thoroughly, will last longer and have a much better finish afterward. The outer layer will disappear over time, so it’s better if the anodized layer is thicker.
Aluminum 60 keyboard cases are a great choice of material for a 60 keyboard case, but it would be in your best interest to make sure the quality of the metal is good. Or else it may make sense to go with the plastic option. Keep in mind that metal 60 keyboard cases are more conductive, and tend to be colder in the winter, so it may be uncomfortable to touch when the temperature is low.
Some of the most widely-used types of Aluminum are:
You can call the 6061 Aluminum a jack of all trades. 6061 aluminum is always in the market. It makes it a popular choice for producers. The 6061 aluminum is a better option for making 60 keyboard cases. It has excellent strength, highly anti-corrosive, high weldability and machinability. 6061 aluminum is preferred where strength and corrosion resistance is a much-needed factor. Their good surface finishing also makes them a better option for consumers.
This type is almost like the 6061 type. While this is almost like the 6061, it is more preferred for architectural uses. They are also for exterior and interior designs.
The 5052 has an excellent quality too. Just like the 6061, it has better finishing and corrosion resistance. The drawback of this type of Aluminum is that it is difficult to machine. A heat process can not treat this type of Aluminum.
Other types of aluminum such as 5053, 7075, 6053, can be used to make a keyboard case also, but it is not common.
Polycarbonate (PC) 60 Keyboard Cases
Polycarbonate is very similar to plastic. However, the quality of polycarbonate is significantly higher than plastic. Everything from the feel to the finish will be considerably more premium.
PC 60 keyboard cases are, however, pretty light, just like plastic. In order to compensate for its lack of heft, most keyboard manufacturers add weights at the back to make the keyboard heavier.
Unlike plastic 60 keyboard cases, PC 60 keyboard cases are typically more expensive to manufacture. They are tougher than ABS plastic and are more impact-resistant. They are, however, more prone to scratches.
When it comes to variety, PC 60 keyboard cases come in different designs and colors. Some are clear and frosted, while others have solid colors. Overall, PC 60 keyboard cases take all the best qualities of plastic 60 keyboard cases and make them even better.
Stainless Steel 60 keyboard cases
Steel 60 keyboard cases are much less common than aluminum, as they are much more difficult to produce and machine. Steel is generally much heavier than aluminum and is the most impact and bend-resistant of the case options you can buy. It is also rust resistant.
A stainless-steel 60 keyboard case will make the key presses feel stiff and less bouncy. This is a great option if you want a very tough, heavy case that can take a lot of abuse. Stainless steel 60 keyboard cases typically only come in different shades of silver/grey and are usually shiny and reflective.
Acrylic 60 Keyboard Cases
Acrylic 60 keyboard cases are less commonly used compared to the case materials that we have discussed. The reason for this is that they have a very specific use case, and that is to diffuse RGB.
Due to the characteristics of acrylic, these 60 keyboard cases tend to show off RGB better. If you are planning on adding RGB underglow to your keyboard, then acrylic 60 keyboard cases are your best bet.
These 60 keyboard cases generally come in two forms, stacked acrylic and frosted acrylic. Stacked acrylic is composed of different layers that are stacked on top of each other. They are commonly used for unorthodox layouts, such as the Arisu/Alice layout.
Frosted acrylic 60 keyboard cases, on the other hand, are more common. They are usually used for builds that have underglow. Some examples are the Frosted Acrylic Tofu.
Wood 60 Keyboard Case
Wood is arguably the least commonly used material in today’s custom and pre-built keyboards. It was pretty popular back when aluminum cases were starting to become more common, but as time went on it lost popularity among vendors because of how easy they are now able make wooden pieces look like glass with just some sanding down here or there—not too much unlike what you could do if wanted an odd piece made out wood instead!
Wooden 60 keyboard case making hasn’t completely died off yet though; if anything people who want unique items will find them through this route rather than buying one already manufactured by another company (though these can sometimes come at higher prices).
Different Mounting styles
Keyboards also have a wide variety of different mounting styles and configurations. Some of the keyboard mounting styles include tray mount, top mount, bottom mount, sandwich mount, plateless mount, integrated plate, and gasket mount.
Each style refers to a different way in which the PCB and plate are secured to the case. It also refers to how the switches are held in place as well.
As follows are each style of mounting:
Tray mount boards secure the PCB to the bottom housing on several screw-in pins.
Top Mount boards are among the most popular, securing the plate to the top housing of the keyboard.
As the inverse, bottom mount boards secure the plate to the bottom housing of the keyboard.
Screws go fully through the bottom housing, plate, and top housing of the keyboard, holding the plate like the middle of a sandwich.
An integrated plate means that the plate and top housing of the keyboard are produced as one piece. This gives the keyboard a very rigid and solid feel.
A gasket mount uses gasket material between the plate and keyboard housing on both top and bottom sides. This gives the board a slightly more cushioned feel since the plate isn’t in direct contact with the other metal components of the keyboard.
1. To Protect Your Keyboard From Dirt and Minor Spills
2. To Tune Down Keyboard Clicks
3. It Protects Your Keyboard From Wear and Tear
Which 60 Keyboard Case Material is the Best?
The best 60 keyboard case material will highly depend on your budget and needs. If you are looking for a premium keyboard, then PC and aluminum are great options. However, if you are building a budget-priced build, then it might be better to stick with plastic cases. And if you want a unique build, then wood and acrylic 60 keyboard cases are great options.
The best thing about the keyboard hobby is that you can tinker around with your keyboard and can swap out different materials that produce a different kind of feel or sound. It is highly encouraged for you to try out all the different case materials in the market to see what fits your use case the best.
In this post, you may get a comprehensive guide on 60 keyboard cases. Most importantly, you can make a better choice the next time you need a 60 keyboard case. There are many things to consider when picking out a 60 keyboard case that will work for you. You need to know what size keyboard you want, the material type, and which style of PCB/plate mounting you prefer.
Whether you prefer a plastic, aluminum, steel, acrylic, or wood base, none of the options are superior to another. It all comes down to your budget and personal preference.
We hope that this article helped you in choosing which 60 keyboard case is best for you.