If you’re a typist or gamer, you have undoubtedly heard of mechanical keyboards. These high-end peripherals have made a big comeback in recent years, and they’re well worth their hefty price tags. A mechanical keyboard’s switches are actuated by depressing a plastic keycap that covers a physical switch on the bottom of each key. They come in various styles, including linear, tactile, and clicky, each with a unique actuation feel.
- Better For Typing
There are many reasons why the mechanical keyboard is better than other keyboards for typing. They have more reliable switches that don’t get ghosted as quickly as membrane keyboards. And, if you’re a typist or programmer who types a lot, these advantages can make a big difference in your productivity. The best thing about mechanical keyboards is that they’re very customizable, so you can choose the switch type and keycaps that best suit your typing style. Some people prefer a soft or quiet keyboard with no clicks, while others want a louder switch that’s easier to hear over the sound of other people in the room.
Choosing a different switch type can help you become more comfortable typing on a keyboard, which is especially important for typists who tend to get tired easily. You can opt for a linear light switch or even a thick tactile switch with distinct feedback you can feel through your fingers. Gaming keyboards also often use mechanical switches since they match gamers’ needs well. These switches offer quick actuation and fast return and are heavy enough to prevent accidental presses. You can also opt for a switch that is programmable so that you can adjust it for game modes or other features.
Another great feature of mechanical keyboards is that they’re available in various sizes. Everything from full-sized, ten keyless keyboards to smaller ones like the TKL and 75% layouts. They’re also a great option for minimalist users who don’t need all the extra functionality of a full-sized keyboard.
One of the biggest benefits of mechanical keyboards is that they have a much longer lifespan than regular keyboards. Some mechanical switches can last up to 70 million keystrokes, compared to just 5 million for common membrane keyboards. Finally, mechanical keyboards have great ergonomics, making you less likely to strain your wrist or hand while typing. More comfortable typing can make a huge difference in your workflow, resulting in faster productivity.
- Better For Gaming
If you’re a gamer, you know how crucial your keyboard is for playing the games you love. Whether ducking and diving through a first-person shooter, wearing your W-key out exploring a vast open world or chatting furiously on Discord and Twitch, a good keyboard will help you get the most out of the experience. One of the biggest benefits of mechanical switches over other options is their extreme speed and responsiveness. This is thanks to their actuation time, which measures how quickly a key is registered on press. Many keyboards use membrane switches much slower than their mechanical counterparts. Despite this, you can still enjoy a great gaming experience using a membrane keyboard.
Aside from their extreme speed and responsiveness, mechanical switches have other advantages that make them better for gaming than membrane switches. These include:
- A more reliable connection (mechanical switches connect via a spring mechanism). When it comes to gaming, you need a keyboard that can be counted on. Mechanical switches are much more reliable than membrane switches and can withstand more pressure than other types of switches.
- A more comfortable grip and feel A gaming keyboard that feels as great as it looks is a must-have for any avid gamer and a great way to differentiate yourself from the crowd. For this reason, some companies offer ergonomic design features like palm rests, wrist cushions, dedicated macro keys, and media controls.
- A more customizable experience Unlike membrane keyboards, mechanical keyboards allow you to customize your switches and keycaps according to your preference. This makes them more versatile and a good choice for gamers who want to change their keyboards frequently.
- A quiet gaming environment Another benefit of mechanical switches is that they’re far quieter than membrane keys. They’re also easier to clean than rubber switches, which can collect dust and become hard to remove.
The Vulcan TKL Pro is a great example, with its new optical versions of Roccat’s proprietary Titan switches. This keyboard is incredibly quiet and doesn’t grate on the ears as you play, which can be a big plus for those who prefer to play alone.
- Better For Ergonomics
Consider a mechanical model if you’re looking for a keyboard that can accommodate different people with different needs. They have many options that non-mechanical models can’t match, including customization for switches and even specialized gaming keypads with 10 to 20 programmable keys. For starters, mechanical keyboards offer better ergonomics for typing than other keyboards. The main reason is the switches themselves, which are different. Instead of a simple spring-loaded switch, mechanical keyboards have a “stem” with two metal contacts that connect when the key is pressed down.
This is a big difference for a keyboard, and it is one of the reasons that many people love them. Typing on a mechanical keyboard is a lot more satisfying than a regular one, making typing faster. Another important aspect of mechanical keyboards is their ability to adjust to the user’s body as they use them throughout the day. This is important because a truly ergonomic keyboard or mouse can move with you as your body changes throughout the day, which other non-ergonomic devices can’t do.
Some mechanical keyboards have split keyboards that allow your shoulders to roll back and your upper back to relax while you type, preventing the pain known as supination from occurring in your wrists. Other keyboards have ortho-linear key layouts that don’t stretch your fingers as far as traditional key layouts, reducing strain on them and keeping you comfortable while typing. Other keyboard features you’ll want to look for include palm rests, designed to keep your hands in an ergonomic position while typing. These are especially helpful for people who suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome.
Finally, it’s important to ensure your keyboard is at a good height. This can be done by adjusting the position of your desk and chair or by using an adjustable workstation. It’s also important to ensure that your computer monitor is at an appropriate level for you, and you should avoid glare from the screen by keeping it low or filtering the light from the window. This will help prevent eye strain and reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders like neck and shoulder injuries.
The Bottom Lines
Finally, the best part about mechanical keys is that they are made of quality materials. Most mechanical keyboards have key switches rated for up to 50 million keystrokes, allowing them to last you for years before you need to replace them. In addition, you can usually find mechanical keys made of sustainable materials like PBT or ABS plastic that will hold up to wear and tear for decades. In the same way, you can often find keycaps and circuit boards that are long-lasting and sustainably manufactured.