Nowadays, you have many options when you’re shopping for a new keyboard to work or to play games. Laptops come with chiclet keyboards, and you can also buy external models. However, mechanical keyboards have some advantages, which’ll explore in this article.
Does the mechanical keyboard last longer?
Mechanical keyboards tend to last longer than other types of keyboards given their robust key mechanisms. In general, they withstand 5 to 10 times more key presses than membrane keyboards and could be used for decade without experiencing serious performance issues.
How long do mechanical keyboards usually last?
There are two ways to answer this question.
Mechanical keyboards often last up to 10 years. However, their longevity also depends on the usage frequency. Most models are designed to withstand between 30 and 70 million key presses.
Other types of keyboards can only handle around 5 million key presses, which is a huge difference.
Why do mechanical keyboards last so long?
The answer lies in keyboard’s material and design.
In a membrane keyboard, there’s a dome of silicon rubber on top of a little plastic “bubble” button. When the key is pushed, a metal coating on the button’s underside completes the circuit. The rubber dome and button are flexed as the key stem strikes them
Now let’s see how mechanical keyboards work.
To complete a circuit, mechanical switches employ a leaf spring to make contact with a piece of gold-plated metal. Although they’re made of strong plastic, this isn’t the most critical aspect.
To enable the leaf spring to complete its circuit after pressing the key, the stem literally “moves out of the way.” While pressing the key down firmly might cause the leaf spring to absorb some energy, it is always limited by how much energy is created by this friction and how much is returned when you lift your finger off the key.
This difference in material and design is what allows mechanical keyboards to endure up to 70 million presses.
Are mechanical keyboards really better?
Mechanical keyboards are better in terms durability because they use a different mechanism. However, some users say that they put more strain on the fingers. In addition, some people might not prefer the large keys and the relatively loud sound associated with the key presses.
Here are a few advantages of mechanical keyboards:
No wearing out sensation
Mechanical keys are less likely to fail. Even after many years of use, typing on a mechanical keyboard still feels fresh. Keys don’t clatter or get stuck, and the keys aren’t that loud (if you buy from a good brand).
More options and a better experience
When it comes to customizing a mechanical switch, there are many more alternatives than with a rubber dome. The actuation point of certain switches may be seen, while other switches provide extra audible feedback.
This means that there are various switch types, each of which has its own set of features. You can buy switches specifically for your purposes: writing professionally or gaming.
Stability on your desk
Mechanical keyboards are heavier than other types of keyboards, which makes them more stable on your desk. That way, they won’t eventually slide upward or downward due to the pressure of your hands.
Anti-ghosting on a keyboard is the possibility to register multiple keys simultaneously. A mechanical keyboard features 104 anti-ghosting keys, which is more than double the number of anti-ghosting keys on a membrane keyboard.
How often should you replace your mechanical keyboard?
If you type a lot on your mechanical keyboard, after the two-year mark you’ll notice it’ll start to chatter. At that time, you can either buy a new keyboard or just replace the most worn out keys.
How to know when your keyboard needs to be replaced?
There are a few primary signs indicating that your keyboard needs to be replaced. The first one is pretty obvious: physical issues. As an example, you can sense the key caps wearing off on your keyboard.
If you care about your keyboard, you should clean it regularly to wipe the dust and other debris away, especially when you notice that the keyboard is feeling a bit unresponsive. However, if cleaning doesn’t do the trick, then consider getting a new keyboard.
Do mechanical keyboards get quieter over time?
No, they do not. However, manufacturers have addressed the issue of noise with mechanical keyboards. New switch designs use various materials to decrease the noise of plastic elements within a mechanical enclosure.
The new switches do produce noise, but not nearly as much as mechanical keys. They’re 30% quieter than normal MX key switches.
One solution for your current keyboard can be putting O-rings (tiny rings of silicone) around the stem of the key. That significantly reduces keyboard noise, but not switch noise (thus “clicky” switches like the Cherry MX Blue won’t notice much of a change).
Is mechanical better than membrane?
Overall, mechanical keyboards are more robust than membrane keyboards because they’re made of more resistant materials and have sturdier activation mechanisms. These keyboards also offer better precision and responsiveness. However, their downside is the level of noise they produce.
Is a mechanical keyboard better for programming?
While a mechanical keyboard won’t immediately increase your coding abilities, it will make typing more pleasant. However, the decision comes down to personal preference. Many programmers are used to typing on laptop keyboards and find mechanical keyboards more troublesome than helpful.
However, the newest models have features that make them more comfortable and can improve someone’s programming rhythm.
Is a mechanical keyboard good for gaming?
Yes. Mechanical keyboards are faster, more durable, and more tactile.
Many gamers seek for such qualities because they love the tactile feedback they get while typing. A membrane keyboard is preferred by gamers who want a smaller, more portable, and cheaper keyboard.
How long do LED keyboards last?
LED lights have an expected life span of 50,000 hours. However, your keyboard shouldn’t last that much, so the typing should wear your keyboard out before the LEDs stop working.
All in all, if you’re simply looking for the most durable and trustworthy type of keyboard, there’s no reason not to get a mechanical keyboard. There are many options to choose from, and you can always customize both the appearance and functions to match your preferences.