Mechanical keyboards are all the rage these days.
But should you actually buy one? Are they any good? Do they live up to the hype? Today, I’m going to explain the pros and cons of mechanical keyboards and help make your purchasing decision as easy as possible.
Advantages of mechanical keyboards
-More durable: From the first second you lay your fingers on a mechanical keyboard, you can tell it’s built to last. Mechanical keyboards are almost always more durable than traditional keyboards due to individual switches under each and every key as well as a higher standard of manufacturing – people who buy mechanical keyboards generally use them for extensive typing or gaming, so they demand higher levels of durability.
-More efficient typing: This advantage varies according to the user. However, most people type differently when using a mechanical keyboard. It might take some getting used to, and you might never get used to it. However, many people type more efficiently, more accurately, and more…faster on mechanical keyboards.
-Gaming and typing advantages: Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or an overworked author, some people need to use their keyboards more than others. Mechanical keyboards are especially popular with heavy typists and gamers. If you need a high APM in Starcraft, for example, then a mechanical keyboard might help.
-Satisfying click: The words “satisfying click” and “mechanical keyboard” go hand-in-hand. With one switch under each and every key, every key you press produces a satisfying click. The specific “click” sound you get varies according to your mechanical keyboard switch.
-Multiple switches available: Everybody’s preference is different when it comes to switches. Some switches – like the Cherry MX Brown – are built for typists, while others – like the Cherry MX Red – are more suited to gamers. You can’t switch out your switches on an existing keyboard, so make sure you choose correctly.
Disadvantages of mechanical keyboards
-Different manufacturers and different levels of quality: Just because mechanical keyboards promise to be more durable and responsive than traditional keyboards doesn’t mean that you can buy a mechanical keyboard for $20 and enjoy all of those benefits. There are different keyboard manufacturers with different levels of quality.
-Noisy: No matter which switch you buy, mechanical keyboards tend to be louder than regular keyboards. There are switches beneath each and every key. Switch sounds vary from soft “click” sounds to loud “click clack clack” sounds. Great description, right? Regardless of which switch you buy, it’s not a good idea to use a mechanical keyboard if you share a cubicle or office-space with easily-distracted people.
-Expensive: There are individual switches beneath each and every key on your mechanical keyboard. On a regular keyboard, there’s just one switch and each key activates that same switch with a different signal. For that reason alone, mechanical keyboards are way more difficult and expensive to manufacture, so you can expect to pay more for your mechanical keyboard.
The best way to test if mechanical keyboards are the right choice for you is to go to your local PC hardware store – or a Best Buy – and test drive a few keyboards. Or, if you’re too scared to leave the house, you can watch mechanical keyboard videos on YouTube to get some idea of how they sound and respond.
But take it from me: as someone who watched YouTube videos of mechanical keyboards before I purchased mine, it’s extremely difficult to get a “feel” for a mechanical keyboard from an online video. Wherever possible, try before you buy and you’re sure to be happy with your purchase.