Mechanical switch keyboards: Worth it?


I like the blues for typing, I naturally smack things harder than I should so it works well for me. The sound doesn’t bother me all that much unless I am gaming, then it gets absurd and annoys even me. Worst is the force needed when trying to do something fast and repetitive, which is why I want a red or similar style key for gaming.

I used to think the whole red for gaming blue/brown for typing was hogwash but ever since I tried to use the blue as the primary gaming keyboard I had to admit I was wrong.

The red was a bit loud, so is there a switch that has the more quiet nature of the browns with an otherwise red style actuation?


Very similar, though their actuation force is a little lighter: 45cN vs 50 for the Blues. They omit the mid-throw “click” of the Blues when you pass over the tactile bump that both varieties share, and of course there’s still the “clack” of bottoming out, especially on keyboards with metal backplates.

Oddly, the old buckling springs were definitely tougher–in the ballpark of 65-70cN of force required, depending on the exact production year/style.

That said, my gf did have an issue with the rather harsh bottoming out of a mech keyboard, with the sudden stop being fairly different from the gradual ramp up of force of a rubber dome that levels out into the final mushy bottom. So, for Xmas, I got her this bad boy with MX Browns:

In addition to customized color palettes/fonts/function keys, WASD will merrily install miniature rubber o-rings around the stem of each key. When you press it hard enough to bottom out, the rubber stops the switch from going all the way down to the harsh, metallic stop, giving a springy bounce that’s a little like a less-mushy rubber dome. She’s reporting way less finger-strain with the switch.

Speaking of which. . .

I suspect your extra noise stems from bottoming out the Reds more easily than the Browns. Although Reds also actuate at around 45cN of force, the Browns have an added resistance once you pass the midway point; bottoming those out requires 55cN. In either case, when you hit bottom, “clack!” And maybe “ping!” if you’ve got a metal backplate. . .

. . . anyway, you can go through the trouble of trying to train yourself not to ever bottom out, but given the completely smooth action of the Reds (hard to tell when it’s actually gone down far enough to count) and the fact that gaming tends to produce lots of rapid, stabby keystrokes, installing some o-rings yourself (or getting a WASD branded board with them pre-installed) might be the trick. The PCB-mounted switches on some boards are also generally regarded as quieter, albeit perhaps modestly less durable.


Heh. Heh, heh.


What I did with my Corsair K95 (Cherry MX Reds) was to install rubber O-rings on the key switches. Really quiets it down.


Undoubtedly. I hit the keys pretty hard and have zero interest in retraining myself. Everybody always comments I sound like a machine gun going off when typing on a cherry switch. 120+wpm combined with excessive force can make an impressive racket.

O-rings sound like a solution to the noise but man, installing those rings on all the keys can’t be fun. Moot point right now since I don’t own a red switch keyboard though I guess I may shortly.

#907 mannnnn

It’s expensive once you toss in the shipping and o-ring preinstall, but hella worth it, IMO. Plus custom colors!

But no volume dial, sadly :(


WASD/Code would be in the forefront if they had any in stock. But no volume? Man I have gotten really used to it and would hate to give it up.


Oh wow, I didn’t realize they were totally out. Christmas must have been nuts for them. Which, technically, I contributed to. . .


After an evening with the Cherry Silvers, I think I’m actually going to return it and get the Reds. The actuation point is so freaking high on the Silvers that just resting my fingers on the keys in “ready position” was activating them. Yikes.

Question is, to o-ring or not to o-ring.


Re: the O-ring installation: If you do it yourself it’s maybe an hour’s work one afternoon.


Having recently had to replace some broken stabilizers on my the old Filco my gf inherited from me to use at work, I will say that futzing around with stabilized keys is super fuckin’ obnoxious, though. Was easily worth the $20 to pay someone else to do it for me, but I mean hey, when you’re dropping $150+ on a keyboard already, why not go all out?


What I really want is a mechanical keyboard with cherry blues or clears, a high quality metal case, backlighting (either RGB or plain white/blue with brightness control), separate media keys, a weighty volume control knob that feels good to use, and an integrated USB hub. For $150.

Also, no macro keys or any weirdness on the left side. That just messes me up. Standard US keyboard layout, other than adding on the media keys and volume.


The closest I have seen is corsair or das as shown above. My K70 Corsair has all of that but just one USB port on the back. I like it quite it a bit, it’s a heavy nice construction but as I said above it has issues with S3 sleep on my machines (two different motherboards) and I worry about the strength of the cable connection on the back. While the outside may be metal the inside of my K95 was plastic and broke, making repair unfeasible for me.

No idea on the das keyboard build quality but the Professional looks very nice. Not sure if it has lighting or not.


Man, Amazon wants to charge me $10 in shipping to return this thing. That’s a first. Must have bought it from some hosted vendor or something?


Numpad should really really be detachable and go on the left side. This allows quick entry + mousing.


I think I would stroke out if I tried to 10key with my left hand.


No kidding, I am feeling all twitchy even trying to imagine that.


You guys don’t find it uncomfortable to cross the left hand over to the numpad on the right?? In addition, travel distance for the right hand between JKL: home keys, and mouse is minimized.


TBH I always use the numpad with my mouse hand. Most of the time, my primary usage of the mouse is middle-clicking a buncha Qt3 threads to commence the infinite shitposting; otherwise, I’m pretty keyboard driven ;-)


Yeah I mostly don’t use the numpad. I touch type the number row so that’s faster anyway.