Are Mechanical Keyboards Worth the Investment?

"Are mechanical keyboards truly worth their high price tag?" This is a question that has been asked frequently, with good reason. Ultimately, the decision is personal, but let's examine some key elements to help make it easier to determine whether investing in this intriguing hobby is right for you.

Enhanced Typing Experience

The primary reason many opt for mechanical keyboards is the superior typing experience they offer. Unlike standard office keyboards or membrane models, each key on a mechanical keyboard is equipped with its own switch. These switches can provide tactile feedback for tactile switches, a distinct clicking sound for clicky switches, or a smooth, uninterrupted actuation for linear switches, thereby enhancing the overall typing experience.

As mentioned, tactile switches offer a tactile bump with each keystroke, which is particularly beneficial for those who type long documents or perform extensive office work. This can help reduce typing errors during prolonged tasks. Clicky switches, on the other hand, might not be ideal for office settings due to their enjoyable but potentially distracting loud clicking noise, unless you’re working from home. Despite being the least popular among the three due to their niche appeal, if you enjoy the auditory feedback they provide, they can still offer a delightful typing experience.

Linear switches are smooth and lack both tactile bumps and loud clicks, making them versatile for both everyday tasks and gaming. They are the most widely used, although their smoothness can sometimes lead to more typing errors for some individuals. Ultimately, the choice depends on personal preference.

Customization Options: Styles and Materials

Mechanical keyboards also come with a variety of customization options. Beyond choosing switches, you can select different plate materials and mounting styles that modify the keyboard’s stiffness and sound. You can also choose different keycap profiles which alter the shape of the keycaps and the feel under your fingertips.

Size and Layout Variations

Depending on your needs, different layouts and sizes may suit you better. Common keyboard sizes include 60%, 65%, 75%, TKL (tenkeyless), and 100%, with 100% being your standard-sized keyboard. Smaller percentages mean fewer keys, so it’s important to consider which keys you actually use in your daily activities. Smaller keyboards can offer more desk space, particularly beneficial in compact work areas.

Sound Profile and Noise Level

You might often hear enthusiasts describe keyboards as “clicky” or “tactile,” referring to their sound characteristics. Clicky keyboards tend to have a higher-pitched sound while thocky ones lean towards a deeper, softer tone. Objectively, no sound is superior to others, so it boils down to your personal preference for how you want your keyboard to sound or if the noise level is a concern.

For those needing to work in quiet environments, silent switches are ideal. These contain a damping material—often silicone—that softens the sound of the switch, perfect for not disturbing nearby coworkers.


For many, the most enjoyable part of the mechanical keyboard hobby lies in its aesthetics. It’s exhilarating to craft a keyboard that not only feels and sounds great but also looks fantastic on your desk. With numerous keycap choices and color schemes available, you could spend hours concocting the perfect combination for your setup.

Like most niche hobbies, the costs can quickly escalate depending on what you’re looking for, but there are still great budget options if you don’t want to spend over $200 on a keyboard. There are also many excellent budget-friendly switch and keycap options available. Just like the custom mechanical keyboards provided on, the budget-friendly and high quality.

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