Best 5 Tips To Improve Your Mechanical Keyboard

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Introduction

Mechanical keyboards have seen a huge surge in popularity in recent years. With their superior typing feel, durability, and customizability compared to membrane keyboards, it’s easy to see why. However, not all mechanical keyboards are created equal. The key to getting the most out of your mechanical keyboard is customizing and optimizing it to suit your specific needs and preferences. In this article, we’ll go over the 5 best tips to improve your mechanical keyboard experience. Whether you’ve just bought your first mech or are looking to enhance your existing setup, these tips will help you get the most out of your keyboard.

Tip 1: Find the Right Switch for You

The most important factor in a mechanical keyboard is the type of switch used under the keycaps. Switches determine the key feel and typing sound. The four main types of mechanical switches are:

  • Linear (red, black) – smooth key press from top to bottom, no bump or click
  • Tactile (brown, clear) – bump during key press without audible click
  • Clicky (blue, green) – bump during press and audible click sound
  • Silent (pink, grey) – like linear or tactile but with noise dampeners

Testing out keyboards with different switch types is the best way to determine your preference. Factors like actuation force, travel distance, and actuation point also affect feel. Finding the right switch for your typing style makes a huge difference.

Tip 2: Replace Keycaps

Most mechanical keyboards come with thin ABS plastic keycaps. Replacing these with higher quality PBT plastic or thick doubleshot keycaps can instantly improve the look, feel, and durability of your keyboard. Custom keycaps come in different material, sculpting, and custom art options. Full keycap sets allow total visual customization of your keyboard. Look for keycaps made of durable PBT plastic for longevity. Cherry, OEM, and SA are common keycap profiles, each with a unique sculpted shape.

Tip 3: Lubricate Stabilizers

Stabilizers on larger keys like spacebar, shift, enter, etc. can often rattle or feel mushy on cheaper keyboards. Lubricating the stabilizer parts with a thin lube like Krytox can transform the feel. It reduces friction and quietens stabilizer noise. Desoldering switches to lube stabilizers is best but you can also lube without desoldering. Lubricating stabilizers is an easy mod to vastly improve keyboard feel and sound.

Tip 4: Add Sound Dampening

Unwanted resonance and hollowness can make keyboards sound “pingy” or hollow. Adding sound dampening materials inside the keyboard case minimizes this. Self-adhesive sorbothane and neoprene are affordable and effective damping materials. More involved mods like shelf liner, foam fill, o-rings, and silicone can also be used for premium sound dampening. This reduces unwanted reverb for a tighter, fuller sound.

Tip 5: Try Custom Coiled Cables

Upgrading the often cheap stock cable on a keyboard can give a premium feel and aesthetic. Custom coiled cables from artisan makers provide extra length for maneuverability. They also look great on your desk with customizable colors and connectors. A tightly coiled detachable cable allows moving keyboards between multiple desks or PCs. For a clean look, a braided cable with straight connector works well. With a curly coiled cable, an aviator connector complements the coils.

Conclusion

Optimizing a mechanical keyboard with the right switches, cute keycaps, mods, and cables can make a budget board feel like a premium custom. Don’t settle for an average out of the box experience. With these simple tips, you can customize your mechanical keyboard to look, feel, and sound exactly how you want. Explore different switches and keycap profiles to find your preferences. Lubricate, dampen, and upgrade parts over time to continue improving your typing experience. A personalized keyboard tailored to your needs helps you type faster and enjoy using your keyboard more.


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