How to choose a mechanical keyboard

Mechanical keyboards are fantastic. It’s one of the few ideas that were replaced by worse alternatives. Lightweight webpages have been replaced by bloated junks, fast desktop apps have been replaced by chromium wrappers made with electron. Awesome mechanical keyboards have been replaced by subpar rubber dome keyboards. Good thing is, mechanical keyboards are gradually making a comeback. There are more and more enthusiasts out there. Me being one of them.

Enough with the prelude! Tell me what should I consider while buying a mechanical keyboard.

I’m glad you asked. While buying a mechanical keyboard, there are 2 primary things to keep in mind. What switch type do you want and what keyboard size do you want.

Mechanical keyboard switch types

Mechanical keyboard switches traditionally come in 3 types; clicky, tacticle, and linear. For easier referencing, they are denoted by certain colors. Clicky ones are called blue switches, tactile ones are called brown switches, and liner ones are called red switches.

Blue switches

However, they are really loud. My mechanical keyboard with blue switches used to keep the whole neighborhood awake until late night. When I typed fast, it vibrated the room with brilliant explosions of light, sound, and energy. The switches were quite satisfying, but the people around me thought otherwise, giving it the nickname ‘ the machinegun’.

If there are people around you, don’t buy a keyboard with blue switches. Get the blue switches only if you work alone and have decent noise isolation in your room.

Red switches

Brown switches

Mechanical keyboard size

Full size keyboards

TKL (Tenkeyless) size keyboards

70%-75% keyboards

60% keyboards

Note that you will be able to access all the standard keys that you do not see on the layout by pressing different combinations.

For more information regarding mechanical keyboards or to participate in discussions, check out this subreddit:

Disclaimer: The information and the lists on this post are in no way exhaustive. I have intentionally left out other not-so-common switch types and layouts.

Originally published at on March 25, 2021.

Software Developer. Building digital products.

Software Developer. Building digital products.