Mechanical keyboards are becoming increasingly popular among gamers, programmers, and writers alike. They offer a tactile and audible feedback when keys are pressed, which many people find satisfying and useful for typing quickly and accurately. In this article, we will discuss the various aspects of mechanical keyboards, including their history, construction, types, and benefits.
History of Mechanical Keyboards:
The first mechanical keyboard were developed in the 1970s by IBM. These keyboards used mechanical switches that provided a tactile and audible feedback when the keys were pressed. They were designed to be durable and long-lasting, as they were intended for use in high-traffic environments such as data centers.
Construction of Mechanical Keyboards:
Mechanical keyboards are constructed differently than traditional rubber-dome keyboards. They consist of a series of individual switches that are mounted on a printed circuit board (PCB). The switches themselves are comprised of several components, including a stem, a spring, and a metal contact plate.
When a key is pressed, the stem of the switch pushes down on the spring, which in turn compresses and pushes the metal contact plate down onto the PCB. This completes an electrical circuit and sends a signal to the computer, registering the keystroke.
Types of Mechanical Keyboards:
There are several types of mechanical keyboards, each with their own unique characteristics. Some of the most common types include:
Linear switches provide a smooth and consistent typing experience. They do not provide any tactile feedback or audible click when the key is pressed, which can be useful for typing quietly. Examples of linear switches include Cherry MX Red and Black switches.
Tactile switches provide a bump or click when the key is pressed, providing a tactile and audible feedback. This can be useful for typing quickly and accurately. Examples of tactile switches include Cherry MX Brown and Blue switches.
Clicky switches provide a loud, audible click when the key is pressed. This can be useful for typing quickly and accurately, as the user can hear and feel the key being pressed. Examples of clicky switches include Cherry MX Blue and Green switches.
Benefits of Mechanical Keyboards:
There are several benefits to using a mechanical keyboard over a traditional rubber-dome keyboard. Some of these benefits include:
Tactile and Audible Feedback:
Mechanical keyboards provide a tactile and audible feedback when keys are pressed, allowing users to type quickly and accurately.
Mechanical keyboards are designed to be durable and long-lasting, as they are constructed using high-quality materials and individual switches that can be easily replaced if necessary.
Mechanical keyboards are highly customizable, as users can choose from a wide range of switches, keycaps, and layouts to suit their individual preferences.
Mechanical keyboards are designed to be ergonomic and comfortable to use, with a variety of different layouts and designs available to suit different hand sizes and typing styles.
Mechanical keyboards offer a wide range of benefits over traditional rubber-dome keyboards, including tactile and audible feedback, durability, customizability, and comfort.
They are becoming increasingly popular among gamers, programmers, and writers alike, as they provide a satisfying and efficient typing experience. Whether you are looking for a quiet linear switch or a loud clicky switch, there is a mechanical keyboard out there that can meet your needs.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Mechanical Keyboard:
When choosing a mechanical keyboard, there are several factors that you should consider. These include:
As we discussed earlier, there are several types of switches available, each with their own unique characteristics. When choosing a mechanical keyboard, you should consider what type of switch will best suit your needs.
Keycaps are the physical buttons that you press when typing on a keyboard. They can be made from a variety of materials, including ABS plastic, PBT plastic, and various types of metal. The material that the keycaps are made from can affect the feel and sound of the keyboard.
Mechanical keyboards come in a variety of different layouts, including full-size, tenkeyless, and compact. You should consider what layout will best suit your needs and preferences.
Many mechanical keyboards come with backlighting, which can be useful for typing in low-light environments. You should consider whether you want backlighting and what type of lighting will best suit your needs.
Mechanical keyboards can range in price from around $50 to several hundred dollars. You should consider how much you are willing to spend on a keyboard and what features are most important to you.
Mechanical keyboards offer a wide range of benefits over traditional rubber-dome keyboards, including tactile and audible feedback, durability, customizability, and comfort. When choosing a mechanical keyboard, you should consider factors such as switch type, keycap material, layout, backlighting, and price. With so many options available, there is a mechanical keyboard out there that can meet your needs and preferences.
Maintenance and Cleaning of Mechanical Keyboards:
Mechanical keyboards require some maintenance and cleaning to ensure they continue to function properly. Here are some tips for maintaining and cleaning your mechanical keyboard:
Regularly clean your keyboard:
Dust and debris can accumulate between the keys of your keyboard, which can affect its performance. Use a can of compressed air to blow away any dust or debris that has accumulated between the keys.
Use a keycap puller:
Keycap pullers are designed to remove individual keycaps from your keyboard, which allows you to clean underneath them more thoroughly. Use a keycap puller to remove the keycaps from your keyboard and clean them with a soft cloth and some mild detergent.
Lubricate the switches:
Over time, the switches on your mechanical keyboard may start to feel stiff or scratchy. You can use a lubricant to help smooth out the switches and improve their performance.
Replace worn-out keycaps:
The keycaps on your keyboard can become worn out over time, which can affect their feel and appearance. Consider replacing any worn-out keycaps with new ones.
Store your keyboard properly:
When you are not using your mechanical keyboard, store it in a dry, cool place. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or moisture, as this can damage the switches and other components.
Mechanical keyboards are durable, customizable, and provide a satisfying typing experience. However, they do require some maintenance and cleaning to ensure they continue to function properly. By following the tips outlined above, you can help to prolong the life of your mechanical keyboard and keep it functioning at its best.
Mechanical keyboards offer a unique and satisfying typing experience that many people find appealing. They are durable, customizable, and provide tactile and audible feedback when keys are pressed. When choosing a mechanical keyboard, consider factors such as switch type, keycap material, layout, backlighting, and price. By properly maintaining and cleaning your mechanical keyboard, you can ensure that it continues to function properly and provide you with a satisfying typing experience for years to come.