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Mechanical Keyboards Blog Informational articles from MK & community contributors.

Mechanical Keyboards are to Rubber Dome Keyboards as Broadband is to Dial-up.

By ShakeR, February 22, 2012

Once you upgrade, you never go back. And if you're forced to go back, you hate every second of it.

The consistency, tactility, sound, and overall experience of typing is greatly improved with a Mechanical Keyboard, and with dozens of flavors to choose from, it's easy to find a Mechanical Keyboard that's a perfect fit for you. It's important to remember that the 'best' mechanical keyboard switch type is entirely a matter of personal preference. That being said, here's my take on some of the more common mechanical switches I've had the pleasure to type on.

My favorite Mechanical Keyboard Switches for Gaming

  • Black Cherry MX - A consistent, linear switch that's great for double clicking and avoiding miss clicks; making it many gamers' mechanical switch of choice. The high actuation force may be a deal breaker for typists, but investing the time to adapt may pay dividends for your Starcraft ladder rank.
  • Brown Cherry MX - very nice actuation force. Offers a solid double click response and flows nicely for typing as well. A great 'best of both worlds' switch type.

My favorite Mechanical Keyboard Switches for Typing / Programming

  • Blue Cherry MX - great tactile and audible feedback. You can really fly through the switches and get minimal fatigue for long programming sessions due to the higher actuation point that doesn't require you to bottom out. Not my personal favorite for double-clicking in video games.
  • Red Cherry MX - a very light switch that took me a week or two to get the hang of. Since then, it has been one of my favorite. The lightness of the key switches is especially noticeable if you're transitioning from a membrane keyboard which has a much higher actuation force. If you can handle the slightly higher price and slightly longer learning curve, Cherry MX Red mechanical switches are certainly worth checking out.
  • Green ALPS - a less expensive version of a Blue Cherry MX with it's own trademark feel. The Green ALPS switches provide an enjoyable typing experience at a great price point.

Remember, it's all a matter of personal preference

Some gamers will swear by Cherry MX Blue keyboards (backed by a study conducted by Razer) and some programmers opt for Cherry MX Black switches. What's almost never 'personally preferred' are membrane keyboards, so don't get so caught up in picking the right switch type for your first mechanical keyboard that you become frustrated and quit. Due diligence is important, but once your head starts to hurt, just pull the trigger - you won't regret it.

-Happy typing