What Is a Mechanical Keyboard?

A mechanical keyboard is a type of computer keyboard that uses a switch to tell your computer when a key has been pressed. The switch is made from a material like rubber and is closed to register the keystroke.

There are several different switches used in mechanical keyboards, each with its own characteristics and pros and cons. Some of them are tactile with a noticeable actuation point, while others are smooth without feedback.


Mechanical keyboards are a great choice for gamers who want a reliable and durable keyboard that will last for years to come. They offer better quality parts than normal keyboards, and they are rated for 50 million keystrokes or more before they break, making them one of the most durable keyboards on the market.

A mechanical keyboard is made up of individual switches underneath each key that register when you press it. Unlike membrane keyboards, which use one single layer of rubber, mechanical switches are a lot more durable and they can be replaced easily when they fail.

There are a variety of reasons why a switch might fail. Some of them include dirt or dust getting into the switch and sticking, and wear and tear on the contacts inside the switch.

Another reason a switch might fail is because it has become pitted. This can cause the key to no longer register properly, or it may stop working at all.

Besides the switches, there are also other components of a mechanical keyboard that can break over time. For example, the power cable can break and need to be replaced. The case can also break and need to be replaced, and the keycaps can wear down and need to be replaced as well.

If you are looking for a good mechanical keyboard that will last, you should look for a keyboard with a detachable power cable and a splash-resistant design. These features will help to prevent your keyboard from getting damaged by water or spills and will make it easier to clean your keyboard.

You should also avoid keyboards that feature RGB lighting because these can be more susceptible to damage over time. Colored backlighting requires more parts to be soldered to the PCB and can increase the chances of failure.

There are a variety of factors that determine how long your keyboard will last, including how much you use it and the quality of the parts. But generally, a mechanical keyboard that is pricier will tend to last longer than one that is cheaper.


Mechanical keyboards tend to make a lot of noise. This is because of the switches underneath the keys and the springs that activate them. However, you can also find some quieter keyboards on the market.

Generally, a mechanical keyboard makes more noise than a membrane keyboard because of its switches. The switches are more sensitive to pressure and therefore produce higher levels of sound.

The noise is also dependent on the switches and the manufacturer. Switches (like Gateron and many similar models) are notoriously loud. Linear and tactile switches (Red and Brown and their relatives) are much quieter, but still a lot louder than the average membrane keyboard.

You can reduce the sound by lubricating your switches and. The most common lubricants used by enthusiasts are, but you can also use a bag-lubing technique that involves placing each switch in a plastic bag with some lube.

Another way to reduce the sound is by dampening the internal vibrations of the switches with foam. Foams and Neoprene are cheap, easy to install, and can significantly reduce the overall noise of a mechanical keyboard.

In addition, using a desk mat can help reduce the sound of your keyboard by absorbing the reverberations that occur during typing. This can reduce the amplitude of the sound and keep your hands from becoming sore or even numb from strain.

Finally, adding a desk mat to the bottom of your keyboard can also help reduce the sound. This is particularly useful if your keyboard has stabilizers, which can make your keyboard seem noisier than it really is.

A desk mat also helps absorb the reverberations that occur when you type, which can reduce the amount of noise produced by your mechanical keyboard. It can also be helpful if you’re using a noisy computer or laptop.

There are a few other ways to reduce the noise of your keyboard, including buying a keyboard with a softer feel or a more durable case that will lessen the rattling and clicking that may occur when you press the keys. You can also add an dampener to each key to reduce the sound of the mechanical switches in your keyboard.

Tactile Feedback

The best mechanical keyboards offer great tactile feedback to help you type accurately and quickly. The keyboards are also incredibly durable and can be rated for over 50 million keystrokes, compared to the 10 million that a membrane keyboard is rated for.

Tactile switches provide a satisfying bump when you press down on the key, with some models offering dampeners to cancel out any excess noise without adding mushiness. Some tactile switches even allow you to customize the sound and spring resistance of each switch.

A tactile switch uses a buckling spring that activates a hammer that strikes a membrane sheet to create an electrical contact. It’s the most accurate indicator of when a key actuates, with loud, distinct “click-clacking” sounds, and is used in many of the most cherished mechanical keyboards, including the IBM Model M (and its modern descendants).

There are several different switch types to choose from, depending on your personal preference for typing sensations and auditory and bumpy feedback. Linear and click mechanical switches are the most common choices today, but there are others to consider as well.

The most common mechanical switches on the market are Gateron Red and Brown, though there are other brands to choose from as well. Some keyboards aimed at the gaming market feature Gateronswitches, including those from Elite Keyboards and Diatec.


A mechanical keyboard has a lot of options for customizing your key layout, colors and other elements. You can also add programmable macro keys and other extra features that make your keyboard more functional and easier to use.

Whether you’re a professional programmer or a hobbyist, a mechanical keyboard can improve your coding experience by offering more comfort and better performance. These benefits are due in part to the fact that mechanical switches communicate with your computer through physical contact, unlike optical or non-contact switches.

There are plenty of different switch types to choose from, and each type offers a different feel for typing. Tactile switches, for example, produce a small bump that you can feel when you press a key; these are often used in mechanical gaming keyboards to provide feedback.

Another popular option are click switches, which offer resistance during the key press and release an audible click that can resemble a typewriter or teletype machine. They’re a little harder to find than tactile switches, but there are a few high-end models on the market that use them.


If you’re looking to get started with a mechanical keyboard but don’t want to spend a fortune, the K8 Pro is a great choice. It’s a low-profile design that supports modern wireless and USB-C desktop setups. It also features comfortable PBT keycaps, a durable construction and full programmability via the QMK firmware and VIA software tool.

The K8 Pro costs a bit more than some other low-profile mechanicals, but it’s worth it for the value and features it provides. It’s also a more compact keyboard than many 100% designs, meaning you can leave room on your desk for other things.