There are some really cool custom mechanical keyboard USB cables out there, but how do you get ahold of one of them? Worry not, we will talk about where to buy them and the best cables out there!
What are the Best Custom USB Cables?
- Kraken Cable
- Honorable Mention: Clark Kable & Juju Cable
What Are Custom USB Cables?
Custom USB-C cables usually come in any colors that you want. They are made to order only from different companies, but it’s possible to get DIY cable kits to customize it yourself. They can come straight or coiled. The price can range anywhere from $30 to $60, depending on the materials that you choose. Typically, they are a paracorded cable with a heatshrink wrap around them.
Currently, many websites are closed for orders or out of stock, but typical time from order to your door will be about 2-4 weeks. You can absolutely make these yourself with some equipment that we’ll discuss further.
Different Parts of the Custom Cable
These have 2 connectors on each side like regular cables. One side will be USB-A, the part that plugs into your computer. The other side will be the part that connects to the keyboard, USB-C or micro-USB.
Around the cable is paracord. This can come in various sizes such as standard, 550 or jumbo. It can optionally be covered in tech flex that can also come in different colors. The Techflex improves the memory of the coil, so it will bounce back to its original position if pulled out slightly.
Surrounding the cable second is the heat shrink. This is the plastic material that covers the cable.
They can come straight or coiled. A coiled cable takes more labor and time to make. Because it’s coiled, it also uses a lot more cable to take up the same amount of space on your desktop.
But what is that metal thing that looks so cool?
This is called an aviator connector. To use this, you will need to have two custom cables. One that connects to your keyboard and then to the aviator head. And the other will have an aviator head on one side and connect to your computer on the other side.
The aviator connectors are optional. They primarily are there to look cool and add some flair to your set-up.
Another purpose they offer is if you have several different custom cable sleeves and want to change it up easily without reaching over too far. It also lets you switch out keyboards easily if you have multiple daily drivers.
There are different options if you have a coil. The aviator connector can be on the left of the cable or to the right of the cable.
Pricing and Ordering
Where do I go to order them?
There are many places to order custom USB cables. A quick search on Google or Reddit, and you’ll find many opinions on where to order.
Many people love Mechcables. They have an ordering form that is very hard to find. Make sure you email them first before ordering to make sure they’re taking orders.
Mechcables lets you include a picture of the cable that you want so they’ll know what colors to use.
Other places to order include Melgeek. They are in stock right now and make cables that range from $50-$60.
These cables come with a small aviator connector that is unlike others. It keeps the design very sleek and non-intrusive. Unlike Mechcables, you are unable to customize it with your own colors, but they have different colorways already made.
Currently, they offer 13 different custom-sleeved USB cables. I’ll list some of the colors down below:
- Classic black and grey
- Green and purple
- Skyblue and yellow
- Purple and blue
- Purple and pink
- White and green,
- Pink and brown
- White and purple
- Navy and red
- Teal and blue
- And so much more! Each product has their own colorways, so check them out.
Space Cables is a relatively new company that is gaining popularity fast. They are currently out of stock as well.
They offer magnetic USB-C tips, which is convenient for when you don’t want to manually insert the plug into your keyboard. Just swipe your connector near the general area and it’ll put itself into the hole. Haha.
They also offer high-end custom cables with LEMO Cable connectors, starting at $85. Currently, this option is NOT available.
Pricing for these cables start at around $25, but the price is not available currently. To order, look down below.
Kraken cables offers a variety of different colors and they include all of the different cable variations (USB-C, micro-mini, and mini-USB) and are a bit more on the affordable side when compared to the other companies on this list.
They only offer the straight cable type, so not coiled, but the they are high quality and quite aesethetic. You can find Kraken Cables through this link.
Other honorable mentions:
Clark Kable is in the UK but offer custom cables and DIY kits.
How do I order?
If you’re looking for a single cable without the aviator connector, the first thing to consider is the length of the cable.
How far is it from your keyboard to your computer? Would you like some extra room in case you decide to switch desks one day?
They come in sizes from 1ft to 16ft, with jumps of 1ft in between.
Websites will have colors to pick some, so make sure you look at the images for each custom cable maker.
They give you the ability to pick the Techflex color (which will cost about $5 more).
For a single cable, the head of the device will be the side that connects to the keyboard. This could be USB-C, mini-B, or Micro-USB. Make sure you get the correct one for your keyboard.
The other end, the host end, will be the side that connects to your computer. Usually, this is USB-A.
To add a coil, this will cost about $10 or more extra. There are different size options for the cable diameter.
The last option to select is what color heatshrink to use. This is a rubber/plastic that covers everything and keeps the connectors held together.
Remember to heck each website for images of colors for color selection!
Many manufacturers make DIY kits to allow yourself to put the cables together, coil them, and rep your self-made customized cables.
For example, 1UP Keyboards offers 2 different selections of DIY kits, one that involves soldering and one that doesn’t.
The no-solder version lets you pick a length (cost varying based on length), pick the type of connector, the heat shrink color, and techflex color. It starts at $12, but a 5ft cable with USB-A connector with clear Techflex will cost around $16. They have an instructional video as well as PDF guide on their website.
The solder version lets you pick both ends of the connector, heat shrink color, paracord color, and Techflex color. You’ll need the following materials to complete the product:
- Soldering iron
- Heat source such as hair dryer or heat gun
- Wire strippers
They have instructions on their website.
Space Cables offer DIY kits for the USB cable and for datable ones as well. They offer materials for different connects such as USB micro, USB-A 2.0 and 3.0, USB-B, and USB-C. Prices depend on what you pick but range from $3 to $13.
The DIY USB kit has just the cable itself with the connects, paracord, heat shrink, and cable. The detachable USB kit offers the choice to include an Aviator connector. Currently, these are both SOLD OUT.
Manufacturing and shipping time
Mechcables have a turnaround time of 2-3 weeks. This means that once they receive payment, they’ll ship the item out after 2-3 weeks. It will take some additional time to get your order at the doorstep depending on where you live.
Melgeek has a turnaround time of 4-7 days, it could take up to a week or more to get the product shipped out. Expect a few more days after that for shipping time.
Space Cables has a turnaround time of around 4 weeks, but because they are out of stock right now, it is hard to say.
Custom keyboard cables. Where to Buy! Reddit.com
Making your own custom USB cables GeekHack.org