If you use your computer for several hours a day, whether for gaming or work, one of the things you’ll interact with all the time is a keyboard.
Many computer users don’t care much about the as long as the keys work, then it’s fine. But in the past few years, the mechanical keyboard has been gaining popularity.
Each key has its own switch, typically activated by a spring. While mechanical keyboards aren’t really “new” technology, this computer peripheral has evolved in the past few years. There are many variations of switches. Some mechanical keyboards only have 61 keys while some are full-sized.
Sure, it’s popular and everyone is raving about it. But should you also jump into the trend and buy one for yourself? It all comes down to preference. But here are some compelling reasons to get a mechanical keyboard:
Better Typing Experience
Any avid user of mechanical keyboards will tell you that they provide a better typing experience than other types. One reason is the switch. In general, there are three types of switches: linear, tactile, and clicky.
A linear switch gives a smooth linear feel when pressing a key. The switch simply goes up and down, hence “linear.” A tactile switch is different in that there’s a bump in the middle of a keypress. This bump tells you that your key has been registered. A clicky switch also has a bump in the middle of key travel and comes with a “click” sound. Think of the typical “click” in old-school videos of people typing in huge computers.
Each type of switch provides a unique user experience. If you’re a typist, these switches will give the feeling that you’re typing with a purpose and not just banging your fingers on your keyboard. If you’re a gamer, the sound of these switches (particularly the tactile and clicky ones) will add a certain appeal and satisfaction to your gaming experience.
Less Hand Strain When Typing
With mechanical keyboards, you don’t need to press all the way for your keys to register. The force you need to press each key only goes around 40 to 60 grams. This force minimizes biomechanical loads to forearm tendons and muscles. As a result, you’ll feel less fatigue even when you’re typing for hours.
Although, some people may argue that mechanical keyboards can cause strain since they’re mostly high profile or tall. But this problem can easily be addressed through proper ergonomics. For instance, if you find that your mechanical keyboard is too tall for your liking, you can use a wrist rest or adjust your chair height to avoid straining your wrist.
Durable and Last Longer than Other Keyboards
Mechanical keyboards are generally heavier than other types of keyboards, such as membrane keyboards and chiclet keyboards (like those found in most laptops). This weight makes them durable and less prone to breakage even with aggressive typing, especially during gaming.
They also have a longer life span. Most have a 30 to 100 million-keypress lifespan. Also, the parts of most mechanical keyboards can be disassembled. So, they’re easy to fix if necessary.
Unlike other keyboards, mechanical keyboards can be customized to your liking. This customization includes the lighting of your keyboard, layout, number of keys, keycaps, and height.
Among all these elements, the keycaps are the most customizable and can be changed even after purchase. You can buy a set of keycaps online in different colors and styles. Most are made through a dual-step molding process using industrial injection molding, which makes them durable.
Community and Feeling of Belongingness
As mentioned earlier, mechanical keyboards gained quite a huge popularity in recent years. As a result, there’s a huge online mechanical keyboard community filled with enthusiasts, users, and creators. Getting a mechanical keyboard will not only improve your typing experience, but you also get to meet fellow geeks online as well.
If you do end up buying a mechanical keyboard, you’ll have people to reach out to if you have any questions as a novice user. You can even take it up a notch and learn to build your own mechanical keyboard.
The only downside of mechanical keyboards is that they’re pricey. The more affordable ones are under $100. If you get something customized, you’ll have to spend even more. But all the perks of being a mechanical keyboard user can make up for the price.
We think it’s always worth spending money on tools you use everyday. Cheap versions are usually easy to break and not ergonomic. Your health and comfort should be your priority, right?