Mechanical keyboards first became popular around 2011 and are quite common now, especially among gamers who love being able to customize them. But are they worth paying $100+ for? That’s the question we wanted to pose to owners of mechanical keyboards, with the goal of hopefully helping people who are considering getting a mechanical keyboard make an educated purchasing decision. Here is the query we put out:
Looking to hear from people who have brought a mechanical keyboard and whether it was worth the money for them. Who would you recommend a mechanical keyboard to, if anyone? All comments welcome.
Each of the responses below provide some good comments on what’s good (or bad) about mechanical keyboards, and also usually mention the name/model of the keyboard they use (all of these if not the vast majority will be available on amazon.com or mechanicalkeyboards.com).
I purchased Philips Momentum Wired Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (SPK8601B) last year because I love to play games online during free time. And I think it's totally worth it because it speeds up your typing and improves the accuracy. Due to the spring beneath each key, the keys are easy to press. Now my fingers get less tired when playing games online.
*Bottom Line:* Mechanical keyboards are totally worth it for gamers like me
--William Taylor, VelvetJobs
I bought my first ever mechanical keyboard last year - the Fnatic miniSTREAK with Cherry MX Silent Red Keys. It's honestly changed my life. I love typing now! The difference in satisfaction between this keyboard and a flat, spongy laptop board is crazy. It's sort of like listening to music on crappy old free headphones, and studio-level audiophile headphones. My typing speed took a bit of a jump upwards, too!
The only downside is the noise. Even with these silent keys each keystroke is pretty loud. You need to be careful not to annoy anyone you're on a call with, or working in the same room as.
Bottom line - 100% worth it. I'd highly recommend a mechanical keyboard to anyone who needs to type a lot. Especially if you (think) you don't enjoy typing!
--Craig Anderson, Appliance Analysts
I bought a WASD Code mechanical keyboard for while I'm working remotely during the covid-19 pandemic.
Was it worth it? This thing is beautiful to type on but one small problem. My twin 1 year old boys can hear the smashing of the keys in the next room. Mechanical keyboards are a lot noisier than conventional keyboards however you can buy silicone rings which are placed underneath the keys to dampen the noise. I'll be investing in some of these!
--Alex Wise, helpimhavingtwins.com
I switched to a mechanical keyboard just recently, and I absolutely love how it's changed the way I work. I'll never go back to using a membrane keyboard ever again.
The* tactile feel *of the keys are incredible. And because they have little gaps in between, it gave me the confirmation that I'm really hitting the right keys. I've had significantly *less typos* and I've been *typing faster *than I did. Like the popular claims, my WPM indeed increased when I used a mechanical keyboard.
The design is much *more comfortable to use *as well. Having slightly elevated keys contribute to the *speed* too. Plus, the clicking sound is satisfying to me. While it can be annoying for some, but it's really not that loud. It actually provides audible confirmation.
I currently use the DAS Keyboard X50Q RGB, which I picked out after reading tons of reviews. My business requires me to do a lot of typing, and I do enjoy gaming in my free time.
As a product analyst, *I recommend mechanical keyboards *to anyone who does a lot of typing for their work, and anyone who likes a faster response time whenever they're gaming. A normal membrane keyboard may be sufficient, but a mechanical keyboard will up your game a hundredfold.
--Willie Greer, The Product Analyst
I used a regular keyboard in the office as I am aware of the noise a mechanical one makes.
At home, it's a different story. I have a mechanical keyboard hooked up as it allows me to type so much faster and hence be more productive. When we were allowed into offices I used to save the majority of typing work for when I was at home - emails, client proposals, memos etc as I could complete the tasks 20%+ faster.
I've had my current mechanical keyboard for 5 years and it is still going strong. I've replaced my office keyboard 3 times since I last bought a mechanical one.
Although my gaming days are mostly behind me, when I do dabble the mechanical keyboards are so much more responsive and adaptable to games than standard keyboards.
--Ethan Taub, Billry
Are mechanical keyboards worth getting: Oh Absolutely YES !! Especially the ones with Cherry MX Blue switches. That clickety-click sound is simply music. It’s like a soothing lullaby putting you to sleep - pure music. Once you hear the sound and experience the tactile feedback, you won’t mind loosening your purse strings for these.
--Ali Rizvi, Dream Superhero
I've been using a mechanical keyboard for years, but not many people know the difference between the ordinary keyboard you get on your laptop or as a package with a PC bundle. For me, it was the engineering behind the keyboard that makes it more enjoyable to use. The build quality makes the difference even from the appearance compared to standard keyboards. The internal workings are of high quality too, this also means that from time to time you need to service this. No, it's not like a car service, for me it's just a quick wipe across the face of the keyboard and a little tap when turned upside down to make sure there are no bits of dirt or dust stuck between the keys, this of course can be performed on all keyboards. However, when you've paid a little over $120 for a keyboard to help you get the work done right, you don't want to neglect it.
--Michael Lowe, carpassionate.com
It has been two years since I started using mechanical keyboards and to be honest, my experience has been the most astounding. Although mechanical keyboards have disadvantages like being noisy and quite exorbitant, I highly recommend them. One of the features making mechanical keyboards stand out from the rest is their excellent tactile sensation. These keyboards are engineered with high-end technology to give a pleasant-to-touch feeling.
From my experience, too, I can say that mechanical keyboards are very durable compared to ordinary keyboards.
I would recommend a mechanical keyboard to anyone who wants to feel the beauty of a more tactile sensation keyboard and also those who want to type quickly with less effort. If I have to be specific then I would recommend mechanical keyboards to gamers and typists. Logitech is my favorite brand for mechanical keyboards.
--Michael Specter, Webeeky
I saw you were putting an article together around mechanical keyboards.
I've never used a mechanical keyboard, but purchased my first one last year after a few work colleagues had recommended them. I went for the Razer BlackWidow Ultimate Mechanical Gaming Keyboard and paid about $70.
I must admit it has been awesome. I work from home a lot and also blog part time so it gets a lot of use. The biggest advantage is the response of the keys. They don't require a lot of force but have a satisfying sensation when pressed. I also find that i don't make as many typo's as with my other bluetooth keyboards. The biggest disadvantage is how loud they can be, but you get accustomed to it.
I recently gave my fiance my keyboard as she's also started working from home and after 15mins she was converted!
Safe to say i'll always be buying a mechanical keyboard from here on in.
--Chris Repetowski, The Games Guy
For me, the choice to buy a mechanical keyboard comes down to two things: Durability and responsiveness. Mechanical keyboards are built to last, and while I've absolutely destroyed other keyboards in the past with keys popping off left and right, I've yet to have a similar issue with a mechanical keyboard. The worst thing I can say is that some of the cheaper models have rubbed off the letters on the keys, as well as some of the paint, making the backlighting shine through in an obnoxious way. But this isn't an issue with more expensive keyboards.
In terms of feedback, this is where I feel mechanical keyboards really shine. There's just enough resistance to require a firm keystroke when pressing down, and the key makes a satisfying, mechanical thunk when it registers. That feedback, to me, makes monotonous typing more enjoyable because it's more responsive. It is however very loud, and if you need a quiet workplace or you have family at home who don't like the sound of keys clacking, you may not be able to get away with it.
Right now I'm using a Das Keyboard 4 Professional model. I have zero complaints with it and will likely buy a newer model when this one finally wears itself out.
--Dan Bailey, WikiLawn Lawn Care
To answer your question bluntly, mechanical keyboards are definitely worth it. A lot of people are put off by the loud noise that mechanical keyboards make but they aren’t loud enough to make it annoying.
What makes mechanical keyboards so good is that they’re usually easier to type with and most of them are ergonomically designed to make your hands fingers comfortable with typing. Which is why I recommend people who type a lot or spend most of their time on a computer to use mechanical keyboards.
I also recommend that gamers use mechanical keyboards as well. Asides from being very comfortable, mechanical keyboards are more durable and their keys are replaceable so gamers don’t have to worry about spamming key buttons away.
As for the mechanical keyboard that I’m using, I personally use the Redragon K552-RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. It's very durable and its backlights allow me to play even when the lights are off.
--Kenny Trinh, Netbooknews
Are mechanical keyboards worth getting?: One hundred percent! I was on the fence on buying a mechanical keyboard for years and got one to work from home. I'm not lying when I say the speed at which you can type increases a significant amount! This may also sound a bit strange to some people but you don't realise how good it can feel to type using one. I paid £72.98 for my keyboard and can honest saying I'd still be over the moon if it cost me double that.
I'd recommend mechanical keyboards first and foremost, to PC gamers. Any who has a job that involves a lot of writing for emails, spreadsheets will also definitely enjoy a mechanical keyboard. One negative I will mention, that most people already know of, is how loud they are. Don't bring a mechanical keyboard into your office and expect your colleagues to be happy about it!
--Brandon Wilkes, The Big Phone Store
I purchased a mechanical keyboard last year, my first, and so far I am loving it. As an avid blogger, who goes through creative bursts hence the hitting of the keys, the sturdy feel and build quality of the keyboard really come to the fore. Neat hacks like volume control help save time. The sound that every keystroke makes takes you back to the days of yore when writers brought worlds alive on the typewriter.
*Who should buy the mechanical keyboard?*
Programmers that love to type in a jiffy, Gamers (aside from perhaps FPS games, it fits the bill) and anyone who spends a lot of time at data entry or writing. mechanical keyboards are relatively more comfortable and your fingers and palms would thank you for it!
--Abhishek Joshi, Dog with Blog
While I love mechanical keyboards I understand that not everyone does, and they occupy a very specific niche.
If a large part of your work involves writing, in one form or another, then you want the best typing experience you can get.
Mechanical keyboards make a reassuring clack-clack sound, and the audible feedback reassures you that you’ve hit the key correctly. A slip of the finger isn’t found later, you can literally hear the missed keystroke.
From a more emotive point of view, I enjoy the sound, and can gauge how productive I am by the rhythm of the clacks. I know that isn’t strictly true, but it’s the feeling you get.
I’ve used lots of mechanical keyboards, and the main thing for me is a solid sensation of the key travel and stop, and the audible cue the key has been pressed correctly.
The bad side of a mechanical keyboard, in these times where many are working from home, is that they are loud. Family members may not appreciate the sound of you typing, especially if they are trying to sleep. Realistically they aren’t that loud, but they do seem loud enough to annoy family members.
--Morgan Taylor, LetMeBank
I. Love. Mechanical keyboards. I’m saying that as I type on one now. And yes, it’s absolutely worth the money.
At a very basic level, your everyday computer user won’t care all that much on the finer specifics of their keyboard, as long as it types. When a majority of people use laptops and tablets for on-the-go computing, keyboards aren't really at the top of the priorities list. And yet, when people use a mechanical keyboard for the first time, it’s hard to go back.
It’s a tactile satisfaction, like popping a sheet of bubble wrap. And when you get to typing with one, you begin to realize that laptops and membrane keyboards lack not just the satisfying feeling, but also lack the comfortability that comes with a mechanical keyboard.
As far as price points go, mechanical keyboards can start really cheap. But like all good things worth collecting or customizing, the prices can definitely skyrocket. I’d recommend mechanical keyboards to EVERYONE, but with the fair warning that it’s easy to get sucked into the culture that surrounds it.
I’d also recommend everyone do their homework on finding what works best for them and what the lingo surrounding keyboards are, since those can be a huge factor in finding the perfect keyboard for your unique preferences. You’ll want the right switches for the feel, the right keycaps for aesthetic effect, the right case for comfort, etc., etc.
As for myself: I use a Vortex Gear Tab75. It checked off a lot of boxes for me:
- Has alternative Mac system keys and can used in a Mac configuration easily
- Works with Bluetooth, meaning I don’t have to use a wire if I don’t want to and I can move it wherever
- Has USB-C, which is really nice if the batteries (two AAs) die and I need to plug it in
- It has a fairly okay price ($129, which isn’t the most budget-friendly option, but a lot cheaper than many)
I got it from mechanicalkeyboards.com, which on top of selling some really quality keyboards, has some very easy-to-follow guides on explaining jargon and differences to someone new to it.
--Joe Staples, joeisastaple.com
Yes! Indeed they are worth the money. Not only will most typists improve their productivity through faster typing with fewer errors, but there is also a sense of accomplishment and joy one receives from typing on a mechanical keyboard due to the tactile feel and audio clicky-clack that they produce.
If you have been working on a computer for 10-15 years, you may have used them long ago before keyboards moved to the cheap, disposable membrane variety. As you may be aware already, membrane keyboards do not last long, so the money you may save in an initial purchase will not outweigh the savings you receive when you purchase a mechanical keyboard that will last anywhere from 20-100 million keystrokes, which is potentially decades.
There are many models, layouts and brands, all of which have their pros and cons, but nearly all mechanical keyboards are leaps and bounds better than your average membrane keyboard.
--David Dubrino, Das Keyboard
Talking about the mechanical keyboard, I am totally loving it. As I am a heavy keyboard user (writing blogs), it is easy to type on a mechanical keyboard. Moreover, the sound of the mechanical keyboard helped me in maintaining concentration while typing. Since I have a sitting job, I don't really need to carry it with me, so the weight of the mechanical keyboard doesn't bother me. Mechanical keyboards are heavy. Also, I didn't have any budget issues, so I bought a mechanical keyboard. For me, the mechanical keyboard really works and I have no significant complaints.
If someone asked me if they should use a mechanical keyboard or membrane keyboard, I would first ask their purpose. If you are a heavy user like typing blogs, writing books, coding or for gaming, go for a mechanical keyboard. The keys of the mechanical keyboard have an individual mechanism that has the least response time and also it is easy to clean. If you are someone who gets irritated because of the keyboard sound, go for a membrane keyboard. The membrane keyboard is less noisy when compared with a mechanical keyboard.
If you have budget constraints and you really don't care about the typing experience and all you need is just a keyboard, you can go for membrane keyboard instead of mechanical keyboard. Basically, mechanical keyboards are for those who are heavy keyboard users and want a keyboard that is durable, easy to clean and customizable. You can also get RGB lighting on your mechanical keyboard.
The membrane keyboard is a decent keyboard with less noise, less price, no customization and hard to clean. The membrane keyboard is for any regular keyboard user while the mechanical keyboard is for heavy users.
In a nutshell:
Pros of mechanical Keyboard:
Easy to clean
Cons of Mechanical Keyboard:
Heavy in weight
Who should use Mechanical Keyboard:
Other heavy Keyboard users
--Jayant Gosain, The Tech Toys
I've looked at different types of keyboards when looking to buy my first and noticed that mechanical keyboards were very popular.
At first it didn't have an impact on me what kind of keyboard I would use to write. Now, I enjoy writing just for the sheer noise this keyboard makes! Reminds me of an old typewriter when I'm getting stuck into an email. I think mechanical keyboards are built far better than the ordinary, the keys are of good size and you can position your hands comfortably in the right position in order to get the most out of it and increase your typing speed. I paid over $50 for my keyboard, and at the time I thought I'm going crazy, nonetheless I'm happy with my purchase!
--Andrew Roderick, Credit Repair Companies
100% without a doubt I would tell anyone who types a lot that they should get a mechanical keyboard. We have them for our people and they are really good on the hands, wrists, forearms, and fingers. Because they are easier to push down than traditional keyboards they also help our transcriptionists type faster, so it's a win win if you want speed and to feel good at the end of the day. We use Logitech mechanical keyboards in our offices.
--Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing
I had the Das Keyboard 4 Professional with Cherry switches since my MacBook Pro had the dreaded butterfly keyboard, and a few of the keys were showing issues (repeated presses, not registering a press, etc). Before picking a mechanical keyboard, I had researched the various options for awhile, because I have this skill that not many people have called procrastination which allows me to thoroughly accomplish any tasks that aren't on my todo list.
I'll admit that the primary reason I went with a mechanical animal was the draw toward the analog-ness of it. Additionally, after fighting the butterfly keys on my MBP for so long, I think I had trauma related to anything that had a shallow keypress to it, so I was looking for something that had at least a foot and a half of throw behind each key.
I went with the Das, because it had solid reviews and a good price point.
So, why am I talking about the Das in past tense? Well, now I'm using the non-number pad version of Apple's Bluetooth keyboard. I used the Das for about a year or so, but there were two downsides that made me ditch it: First, it was, like seemingly all mechanical keyboards, quite the space hog and took way too much desk space. Second, if I was ever using it while on a call, people thought I was being destroyed by a massive hail storm, because, well, those keys are loud!
All in all, using a mechanical keyboard was not a turning point in my life. The Das was fine, it did its job well and, if I closed my eyes while typing, I could believe I was in the secretaries pool in Mad Men hammering away on an SC&P typewriter. I'm just as fine using my Apple BT keyboard.
The bottom line: My MBP's butterfly keyboard was a nightmare. I decided to travel to the otherside of the keyboard world and go on a mechanical adventure. It was fun, but I probably won't do it again.
I work in the transcription industry and my team's productivity quadrupled after purchasing mechanical keyboards. The only caveat I had before the purchase is that mechanical keyboards emit a louder sound on keypress which is not ideal for an audio-centric transcription business. However, by purchasing the Corsair MX silent mechanical keyboard, that problem was laid to rest. Now we enjoy every keypress and the increased typing speed.
--Khurram Suhrwardy, Caption Easy
Mechanical keyboards are great if you spend a lot of time typing on your computer.
They do a handful of things better than membrane keyboards. For example, *they last longer*. Mechanical keyboards have a life of roughly 50 million keystrokes, compared to the 10 million you'd get from a membrane keyboard. That might not seem like a huge difference, but it means less money spent on keyboards if you're typing a lot.
*Mechanical keyboard also let you type faster. *Sometimes, the membrane keyboards don't register keystrokes well. If you're a fast typist, you could end up with a situation where random letters get missed as you're typing.
*They also offer a high N-key rollover, *which is the number of keys you can press down at once and still get it to register. This is something that's huge for the gaming community, as some games require a high N-key rollover.
The downsides to mechanical keyboards is they tend to cost more. And they're noisy. If you're in a situation where you need to keep relatively quiet, you'll probably be better off with a membrane keyboard.
--Justin Grau, Best ELD Devices
As a Software Engineer, Marketer, and avid PC Gamer, I pay a lot of attention to my computer space. I got one because I have wrist problems from sports. I noticed that after spending all day typing my wrists would hurt and my hands would be sore. I tried various things (supplements, different mouses) to alleviate the issues, but found little success. I eventually tried a mechanical keyboard after a recommendation from a friend and it made a big difference and now I have very little wrist or hand issues. I use an entry-level mechanical keyboard, the Eagletec KG010 Mechanical.
I recommend a mechanical keyboard to any working professional who uses a computer 4 or more hours a day, avid gamers, and anyone with hand or wrist pain.
Mechanical keyboards are more sensitive and provide more feedback (to your fingers) than typical keyboards. They increase your finger precision and are more sensitive so you don’t have to press as hard. Not only do they help make you more productive, but there are also ergonomic benefits because it is easier on your hands and wrists.
Katie, mechanical keyboards are often overlooked, but using one has helped improve my quality of life. It’s very surprising to see how the small switch helped reduce pain and help me enjoy the things I love doing more.
--Colin Ma, PC Game Haven
I recommend people to stay away from mechanical keyboards and purchase membrane keyboards instead. They are cheaper and have less noise when used. However, mechanical keyboards are best for journalists and writers who frequently press keys to produce their outputs because they are more durable. For others, I recommend investing in membrane keyboards.
--Darrin Giglio, pvteyes.com
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