How to Shop for a Mechanical Keyboard

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When it comes to typing or gaming, having the right keyboard can make a significant difference in your overall experience. Mechanical keyboards have gained popularity due to their tactile feedback, durability, and customizable options. However, with the multitude of choices available in the market, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect mechanical keyboard that suits your needs and preferences. In this article, we will guide you on how to shop for a mechanical keyboard, ensuring you make an informed decision.

Understanding Mechanical Keyboards

What is a Mechanical Keyboard?

A mechanical keyboard is a type of keyboard that uses individual mechanical switches for each key. Unlike traditional rubber dome keyboards, mechanical keyboards provide a distinct tactile feel and an audible click when you press a key.

The Benefits of Using a Mechanical Keyboard

  1. Tactile Feedback: Mechanical keyboards offer a satisfying tactile bump, indicating that a keypress has been registered, which can lead to improved typing speed and accuracy.
  2. Durability: Mechanical switches are built to withstand millions of keystrokes, making mechanical keyboards more durable and long lasting compared to standard keyboards.
  3. Customization: Many mechanical keyboards come with customizable features, such as programmable macros and RGB lighting, allowing users to tailor the keyboard to their preferences.
  4. Typing and Gaming Performance: Mechanical keyboards are favored by typists and gamers alike for their responsiveness, reducing the chance of ghosting or missed keystrokes during intense gaming sessions or fast typing.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Mechanical Keyboard

1. Switch Types

Mechanical switches come in various types, each offering a different typing experience. The most common switch types are:

  • Cherry MX Red: Linear switches with a smooth keystroke, ideal for gaming due to the absence of tactile feedback.
  • Cherry MX Brown: Light tactile bump, suitable for both typing and gaming.
  • Cherry MX Blue: Pronounced tactile bump and audible click, great for typing enthusiasts.
  • Cherry MX Black: Linear switches with a higher actuation force, preferred by gamers who don’t want accidental key presses.

2. Keyboards Size

Mechanical keyboards come in different sizes, including full-sized, tenkeyless (TKL), and 60% compact keyboards. Consider your workspace and usage preferences when choosing the size that suits you best.

3. Backlighting and RGB Lighting

If you prefer typing or gaming in dimly lit environments, a mechanical keyboard with backlighting or RGB lighting can enhance visibility and add a touch of aesthetics.

4. Build Quality and Materials

Durable materials like aluminum and high-quality plastic can ensure that your mechanical keyboard lasts for a long time.

5. Wired or Wireless

Decide whether you prefer the reliability of a wired connection or the convenience of a wireless setup.

6. Additional Features

Some mechanical keyboards come with extra features like multimedia keys, volume control, detachable cables, and wrist rests. Consider these features based on your needs.

How to Test a Mechanical Keyboard

When possible, it’s essential to test the keyboard before making a purchase. Visit a local store or find events where you can try out different mechanical keyboards to determine which switch type and keyboard layout you prefer.


Choosing the right mechanical keyboard involves considering various factors such as switch types, keyboard size, backlighting, build quality, and additional features. By understanding your preferences and needs, you can find a mechanical keyboard that complements your typing or gaming style perfectly.


  1. Q: Are mechanical keyboards suitable for typing tasks? A: Yes, mechanical keyboards are excellent for typing due to their tactile feedback and responsive switches.
  2. Q: Can I replace the switches on my mechanical keyboard? A: Some mechanical keyboards come with hot-swappable switches, allowing users to replace the switches easily. However, not all keyboards offer this feature.
  3. Q: Are wireless mechanical keyboards as responsive as wired ones? A: Wireless technology has improved significantly, and many wireless mechanical keyboards offer responsiveness comparable to wired ones. However, some users may still prefer the reliability of a wired connection.
  4. Q: Do all mechanical keyboards have RGB lighting? A: No, not all mechanical keyboards come with RGB lighting. Some may have single-color backlighting or no lighting at all.
  5. Q: Can I use a mechanical keyboard with a gaming console? A: Yes, many mechanical keyboards are compatible with gaming consoles that support USB input. However, not all keyboard features may be accessible on consoles.