We have a nice thread about Keyboards here and it’s got me interested in mechanical keyboards… so I was wondering, what are your favourite kinds of switches and do they actually sound like they do in this video?
Cherry MX Blue (Tactile click 50g) 00:09
Cherry MX Blue (Tactile click 50g) w/o-rings 00:26
Cherry MX Green (Tactile click 70g) 00:46
Cherry MX Green (Tactile click 70g) w/o-rings 1:06
Cherry MX Brown (Tactile bump 45g) 1:26
Cherry MX Brown (Tactile bump 45g) w/o-rings 1:44
Cherry MX Clear (Tactile bump 65g) 2:04
Cherry MX Clear (Tactile bump 65g) w/o-rings 2:22
Cherry MX Red (Linear 45g) 2:42
Cherry MX Red (Linear 45g) w/o-rings 3:00
Cherry MX Black (Linear 60g) 3:21
Cherry MX Black (Linear 60g) w/o-rings 3:36
Cherry MX Silent Red (Silent linear 45g) 3:56
Cherry MX Silent Red (Silent linear 45g) w/o-rings 4:12
Cherry MX Silver (Speed linear 45g) 4:33
Cherry MX Silver (Speed linear 45g) w/o-rings 4:52
Rings can kind of ruin the feeling of the mechanical keyboards. I get it that some people would like to fine-tune a product they would otherwise be “only” 90% happy with but I tried it and it felt like returning to the older rubber-dome keyboards. I strongly recommend against putting extra rings on the bottom of the keycaps.
Also I noticed the “without rings” option after I voted and now I cannot modify my vote. -.-
Can we change our votes? I’d like to go for “Brown w/o rings” (currently voted for “Brown”).
IMO for a newcomer the Brown switches are the best:
They require least force to actuate of all switches.
Key press happens after you lift your finger from the key – contrast this with Red which registers a key press the moment the key actuates (they actuate the quickest of all mechanical switches); because of that, Cherry MX Red keyboards are mostly chosen by gamers, especially in the shooter genre.
They are soft but still make a sound – just not clicky like Blue.
In the end it’s all preference but this is why I chose Brown.
I’m still deciding whether I like the clicky sound or not - I think I would for short periods, but might find it annoying after typing for some time… particularly since I enjoy listening to music while working.
Which keyboards/switches would you recommend as a first mechanical keyboard?
I love the look of those (and similar models too) but I am not a touch typist so worry that I might find them frustrating
You can get it with or without a number pad. It’s normally $60 without key caps or switches, but at the moment you can get 20% off with coupon code GO2COLLAGE. It’s hot-swappable which means that you can experiment with switches without having to solder.
Another good option would be the Anne Pro 2. Take a look at this video to see what it’s capable of:
That’ll cost you $70 shipped with Gateron switches, $80 shipped with BOX switches.
As for which switch you should choose, you really should pick up a switch tester if possible. There are light, medium, and heavy switches. Linear, tactile, and clicky switches. I feel like it’s common for people to think they’ll prefer one switch but find they prefer another once they’ve gotten their hands on a switch tester. Luckily switch testers are pretty cheap:
I own three mechanical keyboards, all with MX Browns; a Kinesis Advantage, an ErgoDox EZ and a Cooler Master RGB. The ErgoDox is by far and away my favorite, but I only use it at work. At home I have the Cooler Master hooked up which is more convenient for other people to use, and I really like it as well. The Kinesis Pro was my first but it just frustrates me now, I can’t get its setup quite the same as the ErgoDox, and the small differences in layout are too much trouble to be worth it.
eta: For someone new to mechanical keyboards I’d recommend the Cooler Master or the GMMK linked above, which is very similar.
I like MX Blues. I was kind of worrying about how loud they are but turns out they are just perfect for me. Can’t use them at work, though! There I have used MX Browns simply because I haven’t had anything else available (company just had a leftover keyboard with MX Browns).
I’ve tried MX Reds and they don’t agree with me at all. I keep resting my fingers on the keyboard so I had a lot of wrong hits with Reds. I also had a keyboard with vintage MX Blacks (from the '80s), but switched them to Blues because I don’t like linear switches, I need some kind of tactile feedback.
I value mobility too much to bother using anything but the built-in
laptop keyboard, but I might change my mind if there were a current
mechanical keyboard that felt (and sounded) as good as the classic
IBM 327x terminals – they were seriously awesome.