Are Mechanical Keyboards Better for Typing?

The pros and cons of typing on mechanical keyboards

Mechanical keyboards are quickly gaining popularity thanks to their long lifespan and more tactile approach. Each key contains a complete switch underneath it which can help many users type faster and more accurately. There are some drawbacks, though. Here's a look at what you need to know about the pros and cons of typing on a mechanical keyboard.

Is a Mechanical Keyboard Good for Typing?

Mechanical keyboards are generally regarded as good keyboards for typing. They offer switches under each key rather than rubber membrane like most standard keyboards, which means a superior feeling when typing. Each keypress is tangibly felt, helping users maintain more precise and accurate typing. 

Keyboards are a highly personal item. You can be a great typist and yet type poorly on a mechanical keyboard because you don't like the feel of the switches, the keycaps, or even the sound. If you are a touch typist, you likely don't need a mechanical keyboard to type well. But they sure are fun.

Mechanical keyboards are often more customizable and last longer, which helps when typing. The main downside is they usually cost a lot more than a regular keyboard. Also, they can be much louder because of how the switches work. 

Why Are Mechanical Keyboards Better for Typing?

There are several reasons why mechanical keyboards are better for typing. It's important to know when considering whether to buy one or not. Here's an overview of the main factors behind how they help. 

  • They're more comfortable. Because each key has a distinctive switch underneath it, a mechanical keyboard typically feels much more comfortable to type on as you receive a better response to your fingers while you use it. 
  • They are more precise. Because mechanical keyboards make typing more accessible, they are also more accurate, making users less likely to make mistakes or hit the wrong key. They can make a massive difference to productivity levels for programmers and people who type a lot.
  • Mechanical keyboards last longer. Many mechanical keyboards are rated to last between 20 million and 100 million keypresses, while regular membrane-based keyboards are only rated for about 5 million. 
  • Mechanical keyboards are heavy. Both a pro and a con depending on how you use them, a mechanical keyboard is heavier than a membrane keyboard which means it's more durable and less likely to move on your desk.

What Are the Different Types of Mechanical Keyboards?

Mechanical keyboards can be divided into three specific types based on the switches they use. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, so it's helpful to know the difference. Here's what you need to know.

  • Clicky switches. With each keystroke, mechanical keyboards with clicky switches make a loud click noise and have a tactile sensation attached to them. It's helpful if you prefer a distinct key indication every time. 
  • Linear switches. Linear switches move up and down without noticeable tactile feedback or clicking noise. They feel smooth but speedy, meaning gamers often prefer them based on how consistent they feel to the touch.
  • Tactile switches. Tactile switches are moderately loud and provide a tactile bump so you can almost 'feel' each keypress. People who type for a living tend to favor them.

What Is the Best Mechanical Keyboard for Typing

Generally, tactile switch-based mechanical keyboards are recommended for typing frequently. While all mechanical keyboards are a good idea for avid typists, tactile switches mean you get a moderately loud and tactile experience providing you with good feedback and leading to more accurate typing.

No mechanical keyboard brand or model will work for everyone, though, as keyboards are a highly personal choice.

  • When were mechanical keyboards invented?

    In 1714, Henry Mill patented a typing machine with a mechanical keyboard in London, England. The device was intended to prepare legal documents. IBM first designed the popular Model M mechanical keyboard in 1985.

  • Where can you try mechanical keyboards?

    Many retail stores that sell mechanical keyboards put models on display that customers can test before purchasing. Contact stores in your area that carry electronics to determine whether they have display keyboards to try.

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