Experience with Mechanical Keyboards
Simply speaking, it is all about satisfaction and enjoyment. I have used regular membrane keyboards for years. I originally started with Logitech keyboards, then switched to Microsoft keyboards, and finally Apple keyboards. So in my programming career, I have changed many keyboards and developed different tastes over the years. A couple of months ago, I decided to try something I had heard quite a lot in gaming channels also among programmers: Mechanical Keyboards. There are many channels on YouTube unboxing mechanical keyboards and explain how awesome it is to type with these keyboards. On a gloomy day after work with tired mind, I decided to buy a new keyboard. Mechanical keyboards are usually more expensive than a regular keyboard. Therefore, I had never thought to buy one before. They are usually around 100 dollars, and for me, it was expensive enough to avoid them from my buy list. Nevertheless, I bought one, and now I cannot go back. I am addicted to these keyboards, and other keyboards aside from mechanical ones are off my list. My MacBooks have chiclet style, low profile keyboards, and now I cannot think how I was able to use them. In fact, I feel nauseous when I use low-travel keys because my brain is thinking to press harder to the keys and expect some travel for the key presses, but my hands experience a different feeling. Therefore, my brain seems to be confused, and that causes me to feel nauseous.
If you are reading around, looking for information that can convince you to buy an expensive keyboard, then my recommendation is “Go for it.” There are many choices with Mechanical keyboards. So don’t make the same mistake I did. I originally bought a keyboard that has Cherry MX Red switches. Before I go any further, let me explain what choices you have. Cherry MX is a key switch manufacturer. Different keyboard brands are using them in their keyboards. These switches make the mechanical keyboards different from the others membrane keyboards. Unlike membrane keyboards, the mechanical keyboards have mechanical switches that, depending on the key switch type, has different force for actuation, sounds, and feedbacks. The following image shows a BLUE switch works:
There are other manufacturers similar to Cherry MX. Cherry MX has different key switches and some of them are RED, BLUE, BROWN, and BLACK. I think there is also CLEAN. One way to see which type you have is to check the switch color under the key cap:
If you see blue, then you are most likely using Cherry MX Blue switches. You will also experience a different feeling with each key switches, which will also be a distinguishing factor. Blue, for instance, are tactile, clicky, and louder than other. I am using Razer Brand, which has GREEN switches, which I think are manufactured by Razer, as well. They are Cherry MX BLUE equivalent but requires a little bit more force to reach the actuation level. The meaning of actuation is to register your key presses. RED, on the other hand, is less loud, more linear, and preferred by gamers. Since it is a personal preference, anyone can select any key switches. I like louder keyboards, and therefore, happy with my GREEN switches.
Studying your lesson before spending all of your dollars on a keyboard is important since you will want to get the best possible experience from your keyboard. The mechanical keyboards are getting cheaper and more popular. It might be a good time to choose and test one. Please be aware of that the mechanical keyboards are not a solution to anything. They are, at least for me, merely for satisfaction and good feeling purposes. They, however, may increase your WPM, but this also depends on the person and the type of keyboard you choose. What I recommend is to buy one of these to test different key switches for their amount of force required, sounds, and feeling:
If you have decided to buy one, then welcome to the gang…