Which mechanical keyboard should i buy?

Just be aware that the old IBM keyboard is really loud. Louder even than the audible click cherry keys. If you're in an open work setting, it might bug people.

A good friend of mine was once sent home by his boss for bringing his model m keyboard in to work

Analog Keyboard

Seems like the future of gaming keyboards to me. Needs a keypad, though.

Why?

There are already 6 analogue buttons on my ps3 controller and games barely make full use of those. And who has the manual dexterity to use the analog functionality of more than about 4 such keys at once? Outside of music applications I can't see the need for 128 velocity sensitive keys.

Seems like a solution looking for a problem.

Mouse and keyboard is many peoples' preferred shooter control method. The ability to have finer control over movement speed would be a great addition. It could also make keyboard & mouse controls much more feasible for vehicle control schemes, especially flight sims.

I would think that controlling with only finger tip pressure would be very difficult, especially with the popularity of non linear mechanical keys.

Without reading through all 20 pages is there a recommended keyboard to get for somebody that has never had one before?

I love my Corsair Strafe.

First one I've had but I don't think I could be happier. Tempted to get another for work.

I like my Corsair K70, which is very similar to the Strafe but has media keys. I love the form factor. No extra flared out BS on the edges of the keyboard. The biggest difference from the Strafe is that the K70 has a flat surface under the keycaps, so when you remove the keycaps (using the included tool, yay), it's a flat surface that is super easy to clean. There are still small crevices around the switches, but it's a great feature. I think Corsair makes another one that has sealed areas around the switches, which would be even easier to clean, but that one's more expensive.

After reading up on them, I got the Cherry MX Red Silent switches, which I like a lot. Linear actuation, great for typing and gaming. They feel smoother than other Cherry switches, which I like. They're not really silent, but they are quiet for mechanical switches.

There are three fundamental questions to buying a mechanical keyboard:
1) what switch do I want, or more broadly do I want a click or do i want linear switches
2) do I want backlighting
3) do I want a numpad

If you need to know more about switches, look up a cherry mx switch breakdown (or go to a store to try out some switch types)

I agree with boogle, both on the questions to ask yourself and also to just try out as many switch types as you can before throwing money at a board.

If finding a place to try switches is hard because of location you can try ordering a little switch type sampler. I think WASD keyboards and some other places sell them. It won't be the cheapest thing (~15-$17) but could maybe save you from spending a lot more on a keyboard you end up not liking.

Most people end up buying one flavor or another of Cherry switches. They come in many types; their differences are mostly in how hard you have to press (from very light to very hard) and whether or not they click. (note that Cherry clicking is superfluous; the old buckling spring keyboards clicked because they needed to, where the Cherrys just add a click mechanism that doesn't even trigger at the key actuation point.)

To try out all the Cherry switches, the best method I know is to check the local Microcenter, if you have one. The one in Marietta (Atlanta) has Ducky keyboards with pretty much every possible mechanism, so I was able to try several to see what I thought.

I ended up actually returning the Ducky I chose because it didn't like my system BIOS, and bought a Corsair K70 instead, and have been very happy with it. I also have a Model M I use when my wrists get sore, but that has very limited key rollover, so I don't use it routinely.

Another mechanism to consider is Topre; these are basically the best rubber dome keyboards on the market. They have very thick rubber and springs underneath. They take a LONG time to wear out. (fifty million keystrokes or so.) They also feel horrible when you first get them; they take about a month to break in and start doing their characteristic light 'thwock' sound. They're super comfortable for long typing sessions, the longer the better; the springiness of the keys feels really good when you're banging away for an hour at a time. But they activate at the bottom of the strike instead of the top, so I don't like them as well for gaming. They're a little slow to respond for that, where the K70 activates at like 2mm.

If you're buying it to work with, the Topres are great. If it's more for gaming, a non-click Cherry switch might be best. If you're really retro, you could try to pick up a Model M, but they're expensive, and even as tough as they are, many of them are starting to break now. Unicomp makes new buckling spring keyboards, but they have the same limited key rollover, so they're more for production use where you don't care about noise.

To be honest I don't get the "no clicks for gaming" line of thought.
No full reset for reactivation sure, but browns are fine.

boogle wrote:

To be honest I don't get the "no clicks for gaming" line of thought.
No full reset for reactivation sure, but browns are fine.

Agreed. And Logitech agrees too, because the Romer-G switches are comparable to Browns but with a shallower activation point.

I love the Romer-G's for gaming and they're one of the primary reasons I use Logitech on my gaming PC.

*Legion* wrote:
boogle wrote:

To be honest I don't get the "no clicks for gaming" line of thought.
No full reset for reactivation sure, but browns are fine.

Agreed. And Logitech agrees too, because the Romer-G switches are comparable to Browns but with a shallower activation point.

I love the Romer-G's for gaming and they're one of the primary reasons I use Logitech on my gaming PC.

I share this preference. Using a Logitech G Pro right now and it's the happiest I've maybe ever been with a keyboard, with close second and third going to my two boards with MX Browns.

The keyboard on my media center system is a Magicforce 68 key small footprint board with browns. The keyboard on my other system is a CM Storm model also with brown switches.

I have a couple boards with red switches (A Ducky, a Corsair, and I think also a Leopold) , a Ducky blue switch board, etc, and none of them lasted and I ended up going back to the browns. Reds are fine for gaming and I can kind of force myself to getting accustomed to typing on them but I still make more errors on them than I do on tactile switches like the browns that have at least a little bit of feedback.

Blues just make cacophonous noise for no reason whatsoever. IMO they're dumb. They're brown/clear switches with a stupid piece around the base that just throws on more noise for giggles. Like Malor said, the click noise doesn't even line up with the actual activation of the switch. It's just noise. For no reason.

I actually gave Thin_J's old Das Keyboard Pro S (which I bought off him in oh I think 2011?) equipped with rainbow keycaps as a christmas present this year.

I'm also eyeing some all too expensive combo cyrillic and latin keycap sets.

I set aside my Logitech g910 to try out A Glorious Mechanical Modular tenkeyless.
Going from Romer G's to Gateron reds is quite a change. I'm still getting used to the clack. At lest it's not a click, that would drive me nuts.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/XMFS7Bm.jpg)

boogle wrote:

I actually gave Thin_J's old Das Keyboard Pro S (which I bought off him in oh I think 2011?) equipped with rainbow keycaps as a christmas present this year.

I'm also eyeing some all too expensive combo cyrillic and latin keycap sets.

That was a good board! I did hate the glossy plastic though. Also it was HUGE.

MX Clears are still my favorites for my daily work (coding) keyboard. My CODE keyboard was worth the money.

I hate when I travel for work and have to use the new MBP's keyboard from hell. Key travel is good mmmkay? I bought my previous MBP from my job when we refreshed, and gave it to my wife, and I almost wish I had it back as my work machine.

Thin_J wrote:

The keyboard on my media center system is a Magicforce 68 key small footprint board with browns. The keyboard on my other system is a CM Storm model also with brown switches.

If only there were a wireless one of those (and with low-latency wireless like modern Logitech stuff). I use a Logitech K810 Bluetooth that toggles between my Fire TV and !y HTPC/Steam/emulators box. It's good for what it is but I want something mechanical.

*Legion* wrote:
Thin_J wrote:

The keyboard on my media center system is a Magicforce 68 key small footprint board with browns. The keyboard on my other system is a CM Storm model also with brown switches.

If only there were a wireless one of those (and with low-latency wireless like modern Logitech stuff). I use a Logitech K810 Bluetooth that toggles between my Fire TV and !y HTPC/Steam/emulators box. It's good for what it is but I want something mechanical.

If I used mine directly more often I'd probably be doing something similar.

In my case though that system's primary use is just as a Plex server. I do the vast majority of actual use on that system through a Shield TV attached to my projector. The only other thing it does is run Blue Iris and keep 24/7 recording of a couple of IP cameras that watch the front porch/yard and a wide angle of the back yard.

I touch that keyboard maybe once a week on average, usually to see if it needs to update or anything.

Thin_J wrote:
*Legion* wrote:
boogle wrote:

To be honest I don't get the "no clicks for gaming" line of thought.
No full reset for reactivation sure, but browns are fine.

Agreed. And Logitech agrees too, because the Romer-G switches are comparable to Browns but with a shallower activation point.

I love the Romer-G's for gaming and they're one of the primary reasons I use Logitech on my gaming PC.

I share this preference. Using a Logitech G Pro right now and it's the happiest I've maybe ever been with a keyboard, with close second and third going to my two boards with MX Browns.

Damn, you guys are making me want to go back to browns or Romer-G's. I switched from a G710+ Brown to a K70 red and actually liked the feeling of the browns much more (after a year of use). I had a lot less accidental presses before where now just the weight of a resting finger can set off a red. The only thing that sucked with the G710 was the stupid enormous bulky form factor. Extra plastic for the sake of having extra plastic. The K70 is such a more efficient and elegant design.

The cooler master 10keyless boards are a pretty good option if you are ok with cherry switches.

boogle wrote:

The cooler master 10keyless boards are a pretty good option if you are ok with cherry switches.

The other brown switch board I have is a CM Storm Quickfire Rapid-I and it's really solid.

I put some rubber o-rings on it to quiet down bottoming out the switches a bit because I'm a smashy typist and it's my fav brown switch board.

It's on my Ryzen system.

Expensive now though. I remember getting it for about $100. Everywhere I see it right now it's $150

If you don't care about backlighting the regular quickfire rapid boards are absolute tanks and should be notably cheaper than the Rapid-I versions.

*I'm dumb! The rapid and Rapid-I boards are overpriced because they're discontinued. They were replaced by the Masterkeys series boards. The tenkeyless non backlit with brown switches is only $79.

Yeah I meant backlightless.
Backlights ha.
Now these 200 dollar keycaps...
Someone enable me.

I'm going to yet again push the boulder up the hill... I've had a Gigabyte Aivia Osmium with Cherry Browns for almost four years now and it's as solid and performant as the day I unboxed it. The build quality is fantastic; the keys use plastic elements for the letters, so they don't wear off (or come off if you clean them with alcohol). The keys are still solid, not wobbly despite daily use over the period. USB 3.0 (sometimes needs a manual reset with a few seconds plug pull), anti-ghosting across the entire keyboard, very fast repeat and no dropped characters. It's just a rock solid piece of gear.

Now I'm seeing it's out of stock most places. Christmas rush maybe? Oh well. I've waved this flag often enough.

If these weren't $54 each I'd be all over one of these!

https://buy.jellykey.com/products/th...

IMAGE(https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1959/0313/products/Jelly_Key_-_artisan_keycap_serries_020_1024x1024.jpg)

I'm getting itchy again...

So my Mistel Barocco boards have started to pick up a slight flutter. The USB connection appears to be dropping out, and it's not a function of the cable, I tried swapping cables. I'm thinking I should look for something with a little more track record. I think my setup at work is dumb though, seems like anytime I use a non-split keyboard, even compact ones, one wrist gets tired after enough typing, possibly because my arms are at a weird angle.

I could go the straightforward route, leaning towards a Deck Francium, but part of me really wants to try out the Kinesis Advantage2. Ergonomic and mechanical (Brown and Red switch options), programmable, but expensive AF (fiancee might give me a look, even with Christmas Amazon gift money to spend). Anyone have any thoughts one way or the other?

I just picked up a CoolerMaster Masterkeys S PBT. This is replacing my SteelSeries 6Gv2, which was still in good working order but I wanted/needed something tenkey-less now.

First board I've used with brown switches and they seem like a good typing-gaming hybrid without excessive noise, which is what I wanted. My first mech was a red, which I picked having never used any type of mech switch based on it looking cool. Then I went to black switches on the 6Gv2 because I can't really touch type and I reasoned that a really high actuation force would prevent me from ham-handed errant keystrokes, but it turned out needing to hammer on the keys harder often had the opposite effect. Then my wife got a board with blue switches and I tried it and liked it in spite of not being a good touch-typist, but didn't like the excessive clicky-clackiness. And so... brown. And it seems nice.

So far my biggest/only complaint with this board is that CoolerMaster has seen fit to put their logo on both the Windows (left) and Menu (right) keys. Which is better than a big tramp stamp logo somewhere else, don't get me wrong, but both of them? Really? And if I got replacement keycaps for them they wouldn't match the extremely nice laser-etched PBT caps on the rest of the board.

Get replacement keycaps for the whole board man.