Personal Preference

Congratulations — you’ve made it through Mech 101 and you’re ready to make a well-informed purchase! Check out the Buyer’s Guide as a next step. Or, if there are still some terms/concepts you need help with, check out the Glossary.

Before you go, though, one final word. Keep in mind that in the mechanical keyboard world, it’s all about personal preference. There are so many discussions online about “What keyboard should I buy?” or “What’s the best switch?” There are no universal answers. It all depends on what you like. There are some technical truths — such as that Cherry MX Blue switches can be problematic for double-taps, or that they can be too loud for a cubicle — but for the most part, the field is wide open.

For example, just because linear switches are commonly recommended for gaming doesn’t mean you can’t type on them — many people, myself included, regularly type on linear switches and find them great for that purpose. Similarly, don’t take it for gospel when someone says that a switch is too heavy or too light. We all have different physiologies, and prefer different typing sensations. You may even find that you like switching back and forth between two or more entirely different switches.

There have been some objectively bad switches made in the past, but most of those are history. None of the switches readily available today are “bad.” You just have to try as many switches as possible (consider a switch tester, but remember that pressing one switch doesn’t always capture the feel of typing on a real keyboard), listen to YouTube videos (sound is an important part of selecting a switch, and is also often indicative of the feel), and pick what you think you, personally, will like best.

Equip yourself with the facts, but don’t let other people make your decision for you. The huge variety of choice is part of what makes mechanical keyboards such an interesting hobby. 🙂

-Aaron