Shopping Mechanical Keyboards

Before Start

We need to figure out a few things before selecting keyboards:

  1. Switches: the thing underneath keycaps. decides the feelings when you are pressing keycaps of the keyboard
  2. Number of Buttons. 104 keys? 87 keys(no number keypad)? 64 keys(only 26 letters+f1-12 etc.!)
  3. Wireless or wired?

Switches

Here is a very good article to start with: link. You can only read the Cherry black, red, blue, and brown parts, those four are the most popular ones.

  • Switches are like CPUs, though we got more than 100 computer brands, the CPUs always come from Intel and AMD. The situation is similar here. The most popular switch manufacturer is Cherry. And Logitech, Razer made their own switches for their own keyboards.
  • If your demands are mostly typing and have almost no gaming, I would say brown and blue are both good choices.  Blue is a little loud and requires a little more force when pressing the keycaps but can give you the ‘real’ feeling when you are typing, similar to using an old fashioned type machine. Brown has almost no sound and can provide a similar experience to blue, with not so ‘extreme’ mechanical experience. Black and red are mostly for gaming, the range (the depth you can press and the force you need to press a key) is smaller than blue and brown. This sometimes will make typing boring and your figure to be more easily to feel tired.
  • I would recommend you to try at least blue and brown at a friend’s place or BestBuy store before purchasing. (remember to wash hands after using!)
  • All my keyboards are blue switch keyboards.
  • Any differences between Logitech switch and Cherry switch? I tried both in blue and brown, as far as I can tell there are (almost) no differences. Cherry ones are slightly more smooth but it might just be because I’m used to Cherry ones.

Number of Buttons (Size)

Full size. you basically got everything

Tenkeyless. Get rid of the number pad!

Compact. Most of my keyboards are in this type.

Others. The three types I mentioned are the most classic ones, but there are always outlaws. Like the one below:

Number-pad-less size but with a number pad.

I can’t say which one is better. It’s all about your needs.

Connection

Wireless keyboards usually use bluetooth to connect with your computer. If you are using it in a big office then you might have to think twice about it because bluetooth devices sometimes interrupt with each other.

Wireless keyboards sometimes also have a little delay when working. You will not feel it if you are only typing, but if you are using it for FPS gaming then it might be annoying.

But think about the upside of a wireless keyboard: elegant! A desk without cables! Wow!

Brands

So here comes the most important sections: which brands are among the best? Here are my recommendations(you can basically choose any model you like from those brands!):

Filco

Well, I am using a Filco Keyboard so this is definitely the first brand I will recommend. Filco uses Cherry switches so you don’t have to worry about the feeling. 

Filco is also extremely durable. My first Filco in my life, which I am using to type this article, is eight years old and still works perfectly.

Filco only has one model for each size so if you want a Filco just select the switch and size and then you know what to buy!

Cherry

It’s like Intel to Surface. Cherry makes its own keyboards too. 

Cherry is pretty old fashioned and has no wireless models. 

iQunix

My next keyboard is definitely iQunix! Just check the website out.

It’s a very new brand so I am not 100% sure about how durable it is. One of my friends has used his for more than one years, still didn’t break yet. 

iQunix is also using Cherry switches so rest assured about the feeling of typing.

Highly recommended (for its style)!I LOVE this model very much: 

Logitech

Logitech is always a safe choice. 

I tried this one (in Logitech blue switch) in a Bestbuy store, and the feeling is almost as good as my Filco.

Ducky

Another famous brand among keyboard fans. 

I have used one for almost half a year when I was in my undergrad(not that long ago). My experience was pretty good.  

It has a good reputation among keyboard fans. Durable, also uses Cherry switches.

Other Brands

There are a few other brands I am not super familiar with but also good:

iKBC, Obins: also famous fan brands similar to Ducky and iQunix.

Corsair, SteelSeries, Razer: famous for their gaming keyboards.

HappyHacking: a special brand.

A few more things

  • There are also a few other elements that affect the feelings of typing, like if there is a steel board in the keyboard underneath the switches etc. The effects of those elements are subtle so I just ignored them in the article.
  • Don’t worry about keycaps(like if the keyboard is a mac one or a windows one). They are all changeable.
  • LED backlights? I don’t like them but you can have a try!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *