Mechanical keyboards: everything you need to know

Mechanical keyboards: everything you need to know

You’ve probably heard it already, but mechanical keyboards have Exploded in popularity over the past five years But it’s not as simple as just buying a mechanical keyboard there are tons and tons of different types I’m John Porter from [tech] radar and here’s everything you need to know if you’re thinking about buying a mechanical keyboard When it comes to keyboards there are two main [types] you have mechanical keyboards And then you have the more standard Rubber dome or Membrane Keyboards now the way they differ is in how the switches actually work a rubber double Membrane keyboard has a kind of a rubber Layer underneath each of the key switches and then pressing on the key and depresses this rubber and activates a switch Meanwhile the mechanical keyboard has a physical plastic switch underneath each of the keys Now in my opinion there are two main advantages to mechanical keyboards first is the fact that they last a lot longer than their competitors so whilst you might have to replace another keyboard like once every couple of years or so you can use a mechanical keyboard for years and years Second though which is the one that I think is the most important is they’re just a lot more Enjoyable to type on if you’re someone like me that types 2,000 words or so every single day and that really matters But equally if you spend a lot of time gaming on a keyboard that could be an equally important consideration Now when it comes to mechanical keyboards there are several different kinds Now the most popular kind of keyboard that people talk about when they’re talking about mechanical keyboards is ones that include Switches manufactured by Cherry and these are called Cherry MX. Switches now the three main types Cherry MX Switches are Cherry MX Blues Cherry MX Reds and Cherry MX Brown switches Blues are commonly thought of as being the tightest switch They’re the loudest and they have the most audible and tactile feedback you can get which makes them really good for type And you don’t have to push the switch right down to the bottom you can kind of push it down halfway it clicks and you Know that it’s registered Reds Meanwhile commonly thought of as being better gaming switches. There’s less tactile feedback It’s a much smoother switch So most the time you press the switch that goes way down And that’s really good if you’re playing games And that sort of stuff a brown is commonly thought of as a good half way switch, so it is Smooth in the same way that a red is but there’s a little bit of a tactile bump It’s not as big of a tactile bump as a blue, but it’s there Personally I prefer Browns, I think they’re a great kind of midpoint between typing and gaming but I think they work equally well for both of those uses and Then as for nice cherry switches you [have] [players] which [are] slightly stiffer brown switch you [have] greens which are a slightly stiffer blue Switch, and you have blacks which are a slightly stiffer red switch These are available in kind of more limited quantities for more specialist retailers Personally I actually use cherry Mx players on a daily basis some people find em a little bit too stiff But I really like that about them So the company that manufactures these switches is called Cherry and until recently They held a patent on the design of these switches that pattern recently expired So now what we’re seeing is imitation switches appearing on the market You’ve got imitation switches from [razer] which they use in their [own] keyboards [we’ve] also got imitation switches from Gator on and I think carl as well Then there are the kind of weirdo manufacturers like z leo and that sort of thing opinions on these switches are divided some people say that there are slightly lower quality than cherry switches whilst other people really like the variation that they offer So the other major kind of mechanical people’s which are called top Pro Switches now top prey only manufacturers one kind of switch, and it’s something of a weird Halfway midpoint between mechanical Switches and rubber dome switches They’re quite nice If you’ve kind of grown up using rubber dome key switches because it kind of has like a similar feel to those ones But again people are divided on them They’re a little bit more expensive than cherry switches Some people will see them as a kind of premium switch other people think that. It’s just a rubber dome that lasts slightly longer but of course it doesn’t just stop at Spending a horrific amount of money on a mechanical keyboard if you want to get really nerdy about it You can [fine] [tune] your experience in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways people replace switches people replace the Springs inside the switches for [the] most common modification people make is they Replace the key caps which sit on top of the switches [this] can be done for a number of reasons Mostly, it’s just because you can get kicad some different colors, and that’s kind of cool But also you can get key caps made out of more Durable plastic and with more durable lettering on the top so the lettering is less likely to wear away with use The main plastic types are [abs] and pbt Abs is the standard plastic that’s used on most boards and pbt of the more premium one feels slightly [grania] But it’s slightly more hard wearing and it’s likely to last longer So if you’re interested these are my personal keyboards we have an iBm model M buckling spring keyboard, which is manufactured in 1985 and is still going strong today. We have a desk keyboard for which I’ve bought with Terry Mx brown switches And I’ve then replaced the key caps with some new abs double [shell] key caps We have a polka three which I bought with Cherry Mx blue switches And I’ve replaced it with some pv t key gaps and finally we have my white box which I bought as part of a group vibe from [Master] ofcom and I bought that with Cherry Mx clear key caps and that is currently [the] board that I’m using on a daily basis in the office and The one here that is not owned by me personally is the Cooler Master Nova touch which is a top row board that’s [10] [keyless], and is currently rocking its stock caps The interesting thing to note with the Nova touch is that whilst normally key caps made for cherry switches aren’t compatible with top three switches The Nova touch actually has a little adapter inside each switch which allows you to use cherry sculptures So there we have a very short introduction to the world of mechanical keyboards, but if you’re after a more, in-depth look Then will shortly be making available a video on that very topic right here [but] if you have any more questions [about] mechanical keyboards then please let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to like and subscribe

100 thoughts to “Mechanical keyboards: everything you need to know”

  1. Ok so I have a question hopefully someone can give me a bit of advice. I am a Starcraft 2 player and I currently use a Razer Cynosa Pro keyboard and honestly it works perfectly fine as any decent mechanical keyboard. BUT I kinda feel maybe is a bit too large and sometimes my fingers cannot reach the desired hotkeys during gameplay. So I was wondering if there is a good mechanical keyboard you can recommend that might be smaller. Specially I have trouble reaching fast with my left hand between the F1 and F4 hotkeys. Like I can obviously do it but not as fast as I was used to when I used a laptop. Thanks in advance

  2. Mechanical switches have a contact point while membrane boards have two PCBs that have to be depressed all the way to close the circuit. Mechanical switches are a lot more responsive since their actuation distance is shorter but you still get a lot of full travel distance.

  3. im pretty sure that the consensus on cherry switches is that theyre mid-low quality. They have decent lifetime but are pretty scratchy and relatively unremarkable. Zealios tactiles, Gaeteron yellow, and Kailh Box Navy are all generally considered superior to the red brown and blue switches respectively. But its a matter of opinion and thats whats great about mech keys, that and being gorgeous and sounding great.

  4. I know everyone raves about cherry mx blues but I have to say I do love my razer orange switches in my blackwiddow chroma v2

  5. well,maybe somebody will love our mechanical keyboards…take a look?thanks a lot..

  6. I have an old mechanical keyboard from my former machine that was working on Win XP, and I can't find a driver update for using it on Win 7. Even the brand name is not written on the keyboard. Only the model KB-9966 is written underneath.

  7. Want clicky? -Buckling Springs or Alps skcm Blue
    Want tactile? -Topre or Alps skcm Orange
    Want linear? -Alps green or modded Alps

  8. I know its 2019 and this video was posted back in 2016, nonetheless, I just re-discovered my lost passion on back I the late 90s old school mechanical keyboards and how fun it once used to be. That being said, I honestly thought all those years (1996 to 2018) they disappeared. So thank you for the awesome educational video about these crazy Cherry Red MX insane keyboards. 🍒 am ready to buy me one!

  9. Currently use the Cherry MX blacks, would like to build a custom keyboard with the best switches available for typing, which would those be? Talking absolute best here.

  10. The gamers are young and they can be easly influenced by marketing
    strategies. The rich kid can afford the gimmick, the poor kid has to
    crate reasons to spend over the budget in order to have inexistent
    advantages in game.

  11. about the lifetime, pretty sure that membrane keyboard will last longer than the mechanical keyboard using cherryMX

  12. I've never heard of "carl" and "top pray" switches before! Also, who the hell said Zealios and Gaterons are lower quality than Cherry?

  13. Jesus, I HATE mechanical keyboards. We need more flat, low profile, S I L E N T, silver keyboards without disguising RGB colors. J

  14. Did you ever discover if the keyboard you evaluated had buffering, known as n-key rollover. I own an American mechanical keyboard that was a design used by IBM (buckling spring action). This keyboard only had 2 key rollover, which resulted in keyboard lockup, if you tried to use the keyboard while the system was booting. The lockup remedey, remove keyboard power temporarily.

  15. Why are Mechanical keyboards much softer than membrane ones,please help me my new Mechanical keyboard seems too soft (after using an old membrane keyboard) should I replace it (Amazon) or keep it….

  16. You forgot like the most expensive keycap plastic but fair enough since it is not much used. POM Plastic!

  17. Just love how many choices there are when it comes to this stuff. Can buy multiple boards and have different set ups. Change the boards out during the week like you do with shoes and clothes! lmfao. Thats what I tell myself to make it okay to buy all this different stuff :D.

  18. Hi Jon – given this (arguably best and very helpful mechanical keyboard overview!) video was a while back, would appreciate your current thoughts on your WhiteFox with Cherry MX Clear – are you still happy? I'm going to buy a WhiteFox before they're gone for good and am torn between Hako Clear and Hako Violet switches (Cherry MX CLear out of stock) options. Maybe time to do a 2019 update on latest/greatest Mech KBs?! With Thanks!

  19. I just bought a Cherry keyboard today, second hand from a computer shop because the new one that I bought from the same shop was a cheap rubbish membrane keyboard. You can tell the difference between mechanical and membrane keyboard just by feeling the weight. mechanical keyboard are solid and feels good to type on. Yeah some can be noisy but certainly does the job and last longer.

  20. So James Franco wakes up without brushing his hair and decides to teach us about mechanical keyboards. What a change for him! Good info though, thanks James.

  21. You only type 2000 words per day, rubber dome keyboards are better for faster and more typing, I type over 5000 words a day and I can confirm rubber dome keyboards are better than mechanical, it's also not as loud.

  22. I've literally never had a non-mechanical keyboard fail on me over the past 30 years. That argument is such a terrible pro-mechanical argument.

  23. atm i have a razer blackwidow chroma keyboard with green switches. when i typ i dont have like any issues, but when i play a verry tactical shooter like cs go, it lately realy feels like my movement is not registred correctly and it really starts to drive me mental! is it the keys??is it the keyboard that breaks down ?? is it my pc….. its driving me nuts!

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