When shopping for a new mechanical keyboard, there are a few important features to consider. With so many options available, it can be hard to decide which one is best for you. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what you should look for in a mechanical keyboard so you can make an informed decision when purchasing one.
What Are The Different Types Of Mechanical Keyboards?
Mechanical keyboards are a great choice for gamers and typists alike, thanks to their increased accuracy, precision, and speed. There are several types of mechanical keyboards available, each featuring their own distinct set of characteristics. The most common types of mechanical keyboards are membrane, rubber dome, scissor switch, mechanical switch, and optical switch.
Membrane keyboards feature a rubber sheet with raised bumps that when pressed send a signal to the computer. They are quiet and cost-effective, but lack the tactile feedback offered by other types of keyboards.
Rubber dome keyboards utilize a rubber dome under each keycap to provide tactile feedback. They offer a more budget-friendly option than mechanical keyboards and tend to be quieter.
Scissor switch keyboards feature two plastic pieces under each keycap connected by a scissor mechanism. This mechanism provides a tactile feel, low noise output, and durability, making it a great option for gamers or typists who need a reliable keyboard.
Mechanical switch keyboards feature individual switches under each keycap. This allows for greater accuracy and responsiveness as well as customizable features like backlighting, macro keys, and media controls.
Optical switch keyboards feature an infrared LED paired with an optical sensor below each keycap. This allows for near-instantaneous key presses as the LED illuminates when the key is pressed and sends a signal to the computer.
How Do I Choose The Right Switch For My Keyboard?
When choosing a mechanical keyboard, one of the most important decisions you have to make is the type of switch that you’d like to use. Different switches offer different levels of feedback, responsiveness, and noise levels, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for before committing to a purchase.
The most common type of switch is the linear switch, which offers a smooth feel with no tactile feedback. Linear switches are great for typing because they provide a consistent amount of force throughout the entire keystroke, making them good for gaming as well.
Tactile switches are another popular option. These switches provide tactile feedback when pressed and are often louder than linear switches. They’re great for people who enjoy the feeling of “bumping” a key as they type and require less effort to press down.
Clicky switches are similar to tactile switches in that they provide feedback when pressed, but they are even louder than tactile switches and can be distracting for people around you. However, clicky switches provide an excellent response time, making them great for gaming.
Finally, there are hybrid switches that combine the features of both linear and tactile/clicky switches. They provide some tactile feedback but are quieter than clicky switches and require less force to press down.
Choosing the right switch for your mechanical keyboard ultimately comes down to personal preference. It’s important to experiment with different switches to find the one that best suits your needs and preferences.
What Are Some Popular Keycap Materials?
When it comes to mechanical keyboards, the keycap material is one of the most important factors to consider. Keycaps are what you type on and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Different materials offer different feels and levels of durability, so it’s important to know what your options are. Some of the most popular keycap materials for mechanical keyboards include ABS plastic, PBT plastic, and doubleshot PBT plastic.
ABS plastic is one of the more affordable keycap materials on the market and offers a smooth typing experience. However, these keycaps are prone to shine over time and may require frequent cleaning to look their best. PBT plastic is more durable than ABS and is also oil-resistant, so it won’t wear down as quickly. Doubleshot PBT plastic is the most expensive option but provides the most durability and shine resistance of all the keycap materials. Additionally, doubleshot PBT plastic has a very smooth feel when typing.
No matter what material you choose for your mechanical keyboard, make sure to research what each material offers before making a decision. This will ensure that you have the best typing experience possible.
How Do I Clean My Mechanical Keyboard?
Cleaning your mechanical keyboard is a must for ensuring its longevity and optimal performance. Depending on the type of switch and keycap material, there are several different cleaning techniques you should follow to keep your mechanical keyboard looking and functioning like new.
For keyboards with Cherry MX switches, first turn the keyboard off and unplug it from the computer. Then, use a compressed air canister or vacuum cleaner to remove any dust and debris from in between the keys and from the top of the keyboard. If you notice any dirt buildup, you may use a slightly damp cloth or cotton swab with some mild soap or rubbing alcohol to wipe down the surfaces of the mechanical keyboard. However, it’s important to avoid getting any liquids inside the switches or any crevices of the keyboard as this may cause damage.
If your mechanical keyboard has keycaps with a soft finish such as PBT or doubleshot ABS plastic, you can use a damp cloth with a mild soap or alcohol solution to wipe them down. It’s best to not use any abrasive cleaning agents or brushes on these types of keycaps as they may damage the surface. Once you’ve wiped down the keys, make sure they are completely dry before putting them back onto the keyboard.
If your mechanical keyboard has keycaps with a glossy finish such as those made of ABS plastic, then using a damp cloth with a mild soap or alcohol solution is not recommended. Instead, you should use a lint-free cloth dampened with only water to gently wipe away any dirt or residue on the keys.
Overall, keeping your mechanical keyboard clean is essential to ensuring its longevity and smooth performance. Taking the time to properly clean and maintain your keyboard will go a long way in making sure it works like new for many years to come.
Are There Any Other Accessories I Should Consider?
When shopping for a mechanical keyboard, you may want to consider some other accessories that can make your keyboard even more comfortable and functional.
One useful accessory is a wrist rest. These add comfort to your typing experience, especially if you spend a lot of time typing on your mechanical keyboard. They come in various shapes, sizes, and materials, so you can find one that fits your needs.
Another accessory you might want to look into are custom keycaps. Custom keycaps give you the opportunity to customize your keyboard with unique designs or colorways. They can also help keep your mechanical keyboard clean, as some of them are made from materials that are easier to wipe down than regular keycaps.
Finally, some people like to add O-rings to their mechanical keyboards. O-rings are small silicone rings that are placed between the switch and the keycap, reducing the sound and travel distance of each keypress. If you want a quieter typing experience, this is definitely an accessory worth considering.
No matter which accessories you decide to add to your mechanical keyboard, you’re sure to have a more personalized typing experience!