using mechanical keyboard switches with an emphasis on providing a pleasant typing experience. - Durable - Customizable, programmable - Mode of artistic expression - A philosophy - A lifestyle choice - A cult a social experience
rubber dome membrane switches! - Cheap to produce, cheap to replace - Key presses a rubber dome with a contact against a membrane to register a keypress (some variation, but common in cheap ones) - Creates a soft, unsatisfying feel and is generally less reliable
advantages over membranes and domes: - Discrete components: individual switches can be replaced, repaired, mixed and matched - Variety of types: linear, tactile, clicky - Spring-based design that allows for adjustable weight and typing feel - Actuation point mid-keypress: no need to bottom out keys - True n-key rollover (nkro): press as many keys as you need (*limited over USB) - Durability. Switches rated for upwards of millions of presses!
the market, but can be expensive - Chinese Cherry clones: Gateron, Kailh, etc. - Topre: Japan-made switch type combining rubber dome and spring based designs - Buckling spring: IBM Model M keyboards and their retro throwbacks. The original clicky keyboard! - Many other smaller or more niche brands
the printing on the keycaps! - Pad printing: Cheap but wears out quickly - Laser etching and engraving: Durable but can be rougher, can feel because of cutting into key - Dye sublimation: Adds dye to plastic. Effective but costly - Double-shot injection molding: clean and highest quality; two pieces of plastic molded together
are plenty of reasons not to get one. - Expensive - Too many choices, hard to know without trying in person - Another peripheral to worry about - Honestly, cheap ones work just as well for most use cases
tool as a software professional - Personalize as little or as much as you want - Possible to find solutions that don’t break the bank - Learn more in depth about the inner workings of a piece of hardware you probably haven’t given much thought - Participate in a thriving community of mechanical keyboard enthusiasts - Go to mechanical keyboard meetups!
There are plenty of places online to learn more. Google will take you far. Personally, I recommend Reddit’s /mk/ community. https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/ For purchasing the latest from big names in the community, I suggest massdrop (usually ships to Japan) https://massdrop.com