As technology evolves, the market for mechanical keyboards has grown exponentially in recent years.
Mechanical keyboards are often touted as the best option for typing quickly and accurately, but do mechanical keyboards really improve your typing speed?
A mechanical keyboard can improve your typing speed. This is because the switches used in a mechanical keyboard are designed to respond more quickly than other keyboards, such as membrane keyboards.
In addition, many mechanical keyboards are also designed to require less travel distance and actuation force, which can also help improve your typing speed.
In this article, we will explore the potential benefits of mechanical keyboards and compare them to traditional keyboards to help you determine if a mechanical keyboard will help you improve your typing speed.
We’ll also discuss the disadvantages of mechanical keyboards so you can make an informed decision.
Difference Between a Mechanical and Membrane Keyboard
There are several differences between a mechanical and a membrane keyboard. The main difference is that a mechanical keyboard uses individual, spring-loaded switches to activate each key.
In contrast, a membrane keyboard uses rubber domes to connect the electrical contacts when the key is pressed down.
However, the most noticeable difference between a mechanical and a membrane keyboard is the way they feel when you’re typing. Mechanical keyboards have a crisper feel, while a membrane keyboard will have a mushy feel.
Additionally, a mechanical keyboard has an individual switch for each key, enabling them to register more quickly and give better feedback when pressed.
Many have also found that the tactile feedback a mechanical keyboard provides helps to improve their accuracy.
This is especially true if you type quickly because you can feel when the key registers without waiting for the result to appear on the screen.
On the other hand, membrane keyboards have more of an old-fashioned design. When a key is pressed, it pushes the membrane down, contacting the circuit underneath and sending an electrical signal to the computer. This signal is then interpreted as a keystroke.
Ultimately, each type has its advantages and disadvantages. The choice of which is best for you should be based on your preferences and the performance you need from your keyboard.
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Advantages of Mechanical Keyboard
If you choose a mechanical keyboard, you’ll find many advantages to using one. They offer a quicker response and improved accuracy. Additionally, if you choose the right mechanical keyboard, it’s likely to prove more durable than a membrane keyboard.
The most noticeable advantage of mechanical keyboards is the increased typing speed. Their design allows for shorter travel distances than traditional keyboards, which makes them easier to press and allows for faster typing.
As I mentioned earlier, they also respond much more quickly than other keyboards. This means you don’t run into the annoying lag time that slows down your typing speed. This type of delayed response from your keyboard can also cause you to make mistakes because your progress isn’t appearing in real-time.
So, while their speed plays a role in the more accurate input of a mechanical keyboard, several other things contribute. One of the main things that could improve your accuracy when typing on a mechanical keyboard is the tactile feedback they provide.
The tactile feedback from a mechanical keyboard is due to the individual switches beneath each key. These switches provide distinct "clicks" when pressed, which lets you know you’ve successfully pushed the key without waiting for an on-screen response.
Depending on the type of switch used in your mechanical keyboard, this feedback could be an audible clicking sound, a slight bump you feel, or a combination of both.
Mechanical keyboards also offer a more comfortable typing experience than traditional keyboards. This is because when you press a key on a mechanical keyboard, a small piece inside the switch moves out of the way to allow the electrical contact needed to activate the key.
This design allows the key to activate without requiring you to press it all the way down. This also allows you to activate the keys without pressing them as hard, keeping your fingers from tiring as quickly.
While studies are still working to prove the link between the two, some have suggested that the lessened actuation force can help to reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome because you’re not putting your hands under as much stress each time you press a key.
When using a mechanical keyboard, you also have many choices for customizing your keyboard to better fit your preferences.
For example, you can change things like switches, keycaps, and layouts to create the keyboard that best fits your needs. This allows you to customize your keyboard's look, feel, and responsiveness.
Just keep in mind that not all mechanical keyboards can be customized. If customizing your keyboard is something you’ll want to do, make sure to research the one you choose to ensure you will be able to make the changes you plan to make.
Lastly, mechanical keyboards have proven to have a more durable design than other types. One reason they’re thought to last longer is that they’re designed to handle quick and vigorous typing required when gaming or long typing pieces for work or creative expression.
Disadvantages of Mechanical Keyboard
If you’re considering a mechanical keyboard, there are also some drawbacks that you should consider before making a purchase. However, these drawbacks don’t apply to all mechanical keyboards.
Some can be avoided if you do the proper research to ensure you choose the type of mechanical keyboard you’ll be happy with.
To begin, a mechanical keyboard may not be the best choice for those who want the quietest typing experience. With most of them, the tactile feedback makes for some form of clicking sounds when you type, even if it isn’t equipped with clicky switches.
Many find the noise of a mechanical keyboard distracting while they’re typing. Furthermore, when using your keyboard around others, they may be disturbed by the constant clicking of your keyboard.
Many often have to replace switches in their mechanical keyboard to make them quieter.
If you’re new to mechanical keyboards and how they work, replacing the switches may not be a task you feel ready for. This means you’d either be left to deal with the noise or pay a professional to customize your keyboard.
It can also be more expensive to buy a mechanical keyboard if you choose one with proven performance and durability. Some find that the cost is worth it because of the benefits they gain and the fact that they’re more durable than other types.
Others, however, feel that the cost is a deal breaker and prefer to go with a more budget-friendly alternative. From this perspective, a mechanical keyboard is viewed as a costly investment that may require additional maintenance in the future.
How to Type Faster on a Mechanical Keyboard
If you’re already using a mechanical keyboard and are curious about how to increase your typing speed while using it, there are several ways to do so.
One of the best ways to improve your typing speed is to practice and get used to the feeling of typing on it. If you haven’t had the keyboard long, there can be a slight adjustment period as you adjust to the new experience.
As you use your keyboard more, it will eventually start to feel more natural, and your speed will naturally increase.
Psst! for more information on improving your typing check my article on Which Mechanical Keyboard Is Good For Typing Practice?
However, one of the benefits of having a mechanical keyboard is that many of them are customizable. If you’re able to customize your keyboard, new switches and/or key caps could make a world of difference.
The key caps can change the overall feel and layout of your keyboard. If your current keycaps are too high and you feel they’re slowing you down, consider installing lower, sleeker keycaps. This will improve the way your fingers move across the keys.
Additionally, you may find that the resistance of your keys is slowing you down. When this is the case, new switches could be the answer.
If you replace your keyboard’s switches with a type of switch that activates with a gentler press, you’ll likely be able to move much more quickly when you’re typing.
Mechanical keyboards can be a great tool to improve your typing speed.
They offer increased accuracy and responsiveness due to the individual keys that respond independently of each other which is especially important for gaming and coding tasks.
Furthermore, they last longer since their components are built with much more durable materials than membrane keyboards making them a good investment in the long run.
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