What is the best mechanical keyboard out there?

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First of all: I have to admit that I'm more or less a newbie when it comes to mechanical keyboards.

There are a lot of engineers who seems to favour this kind of keyboard over the others. A couple of weeks ago I tried one by myself and was kind of flashed. It feels so much better than the common Apple keyboards I'm usually hacking on. Therefore, I did some research and found the CODE keyboard which seems to be a nice fit.

Before buying one, I thought it might be a good idea to ask all of you: What keyboard do you feel most comfortable with?

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I've used a logitech K65 Vengeance- basically the K70 without the RGB lighting- with red switches and I'm currently using my Ducky Shine 5, with browns.

I enjoy the sound that the Reds make, but find the ducky with browns much more comfortable to type on. I'd say the ducky has been my favourite.

If I was you, I'd size up the keyboards based on:

-Switches: Do you want the clacky reds/blues? Do you work in an office environment? From experience, I've had co-workers complain about the reds. The particular co-worker may have a been a bit picky about it(he's complained about many other things), but the sound is also quite obtuse to deal with. I've yet to have a complaint with my browns(and some people on my new team have blues without complaints). Give a few a try if you can, find your flow and switch, so to speak. Look at testing orings on your switches too- they can completely change how a switch feels.

-Layout: US, UK or any of the other layouts? Do you want a a tenkeyless, full style or something like the Pok3r? This can majorly affect your choices.

-extras: Look, Lighting definitely can look cheesy, but I've found that the RGB lighting on my current keyboard kinda brightens my day- literally and figuratively. Other than that, do you want abilities like volume control, keys for macro assigning? Take these in mind if you can!

Here are the three I've used, all different lengths of keys:

Ducky shine 5: amazon.co.uk/Ducky-Channel-Mechani...

Logictech K65 Vengeance: amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00DOTQ15M...

Pok3r: massdrop.com/buy/vortex-poker-iii-...

For a professional environment with clients, I'd personally go with the Pok3r. Looks pretty fashionable to me!

 

+1 for Ducky. It's perhaps a bit less known outside of keyboard circles, but it's got a reputation for great reliability and quality. All of their features are implemented in hardware (LED controls and all) so they don't require any extra driver software whatsoever. Only downside to that is you may have to dig up the manual because remembering how to re-do some of the settings isn't always easy - but it's mostly a set it once and forget thing anyway.

I accidentally poured soda on my Shine4 and it still works just fine after drying :P

 

I had this one: smile.amazon.com/CM-Storm-QuickFir...

It's a dream to type on however I use my left thumb for Apple's Command key and on the mechanical keyboard the button to the left of the space (which I naturally mapped to "Command") was too far to the left.

This made me have to tuck my thumb in if my hand is on the home row. It's just a few centimeters but combined with how often that key is used on macOS, I ironically ended up getting RSI.

I now just stick with the built-in Macbook Pro keyboard.

Just something to keep an eye out for.

Listen to your body.

 

Ah yes, I also considered that keyboard – It is funny that the keys are blank (what I really like!).

Thanks for your briefly field report and I'm sorry to hear that the keyboard caused RSI which is definitely an aspect that speaks against that keyboard.

I hope that you feel better now!

 

I still haven't found an external keyboard for the Mac that works for me, but I've used the CM Storm, and the very similar Filco Majestouch 2, with Linux and Windows for years, and love them both. IMHO, macOS just needs too many modifier keys to operate.

 

I ended up re-mapping the key layout in OSX for use with this KB. Muscle memory had set in so I kept hitting the wrong keys.

 

I personally am both a gamer and a developer. I have Corsair's K70 RGB keyboard. It is more on the expensive side and I wouldn't recommend it if you are not a gamer yourself.

A co-worker of mine uses a Das keyboard(MX Brown) at work and I have used it before. It is pretty comfortable.

It all depends on your own personal preference though. If you found something you like, I'd go with it.

 

Thanks for your recommendation. Well, I'm not a gamer so I guess the the Corsair might be not a good fit then. "Das Keyboard" seems to be more like something I would use. I have to check it! Thanks!

 
 

Right now I have a WhiteFox with MX Clears & am waiting on my Varmilo VA87M Sakura with MX Clears to come in. Clears are my favorite because of the heavier switch; I tend to type really hard so it's nice to have a decent amount of pushback. One of my other favorite boards is the TADA68/Saber68. I tend to stick to at least a 65% keyboard because I like my arrow keys too much to not have dedicated keys for them.

 

This will be an odd one to most people on here...the original IBM PC keyboard was the best computer keyboard ever made. Somebody somewhere is making a version of it that’s supposed to be pretty close, but I don’t remember who it is. Obviously, because I must be pretty old to have owned some of the originals (first available in 1983!).

No good for gaming, just typing.

 
 

I have the Vortex Race3. It's a beautiful thing an absolute pleasure to use. It has got some flack from the hardcore mkb community beacause the esc key is 1.5u wide (harder to find custom replacements), but if you don't need to have a sculpted Hulk face for esc it is a non issue.

It comes with very high quality keycaps that feel amazing (with some coloured extras to make things more interesting). It has all they keys of a Tenkeyless but in a 70% package.

 

Nice, I'm considering buying one (although they're difficult to find in the UK). Everyone seems to love the Race 3.

 

I have had the Corsair K60 with Cherry MX Red keys for many years now, and never had a problem with it. It's also good for self-defense, so a win-win =) Only thing to keep in mind is that this is a very loud keyboard, so it might be annoying in an open office.
amazon.co.uk/Corsair-CH-900004-UK-...

The wrist pad is fantastic while playing, and it's detachable so it doesn't bug you while you code. The red WASD keys are also switchable for normal black keys.

I also have a mechanical Razer Blackwidow, and it doesn't come close. The Blackwidow was pretty much unusable by the six-month mark, with keys not moving as smoothly as they should... and it was never so good to begin with. It always felt more like a toy TBH.

 

I am a huge fan of ergonomic keyboards. Therefore I highly recommend the ErgoDox EZ: ergodox-ez.com/

It's highly customizable and you can either build it yourself or have it built for you.

I recommend getting a mechanical key test board like this: amazon.com/Akwox-Cherry-Switch-key...

Here is a reference for how the various switches work: i.warosu.org/data/g/img/0591/43/14...

 

I'm pretty happy with my tenkeyless WASD keyboard (the same company that makes the CODE keyboards), with MX Cherry brown keys and front-printed keycaps. I like the solid minimalistic design and gives the same mechanical feel without the overwhelming sound that tends to drive my girlfriend crazy.

 

I've tried a Corsair K65 with Cherry MX blues for a while and didn't really jive with it. I've used a Logitech G710+ at home for gaming for many years and just decided to get another one of those for the office. I prefer the Cherry MX browns since they're lower noise and don't have that clacky tactile feel that the Cherry red and blue switches do but that's just my preference.

amazon.com/dp/B009C98NPY

 

I use a CODE keyboard w/ Cherry MX brown switches at work and love it. Not too loud and typing is very smooth. wasdkeyboards.com/index.php/produc...

Previously I used a Das Keyboard 3 Pro for Mac w/ Cherry MX blues. It is far too loud to use in an open office and the build quality of the CODE keyboard is much better.

At home, I use a Rosewill with blues that is oddly not as loud as the Das Keyboard and also seems to have a better build quality, even though it's half the price: amazon.com/Rosewill-Mechanical-Key...

 

After more than 20yrs on mechanical keyboards I realised my fingers started to hurt and I switched to a lower-height keys, it also improves the typing speed (you have to press less with a smaller force), so I wouldn't recommend the CODE or logitech ones.

 

The "best" mechanical keyboard is the one that fits your personal taste. It's up to you to decide the following:

  • switch type
  • keyboard layout
  • noise level tolerance
  • amount you want to spend

There are lots of different switch types out there. The CODE, for example, offers different cherry MX switches. You should look into what type you think you would like most. Better yet, if you have the chance, go try a few different switch types.

Personally, two of my favourite cherry switches are the MX clears, and browns. However my everyday driver is a Leopold FC660C. Topre is my favourite switch. I do change out different keyboards throughout the year ;)

Hope this helps!

 

Highly recommend Filco Majestouch-2 (with Cherry Browns for me).

Simple single unit, very weighty, UK layout, available with other switches.

:)

 

I use the Das Keyboard 4 Professional (I think that's what it called). It's quite expensive but I absolutely love it. I don't really game but I spend a ton of time programming. I'd absolutely buy it again.

 

I'm currently using Logitech G610 Orion Brown which has cherry mx brown switches. Nothing fancy, just a basic black keyboard with great switches. It was hard to find a mech keyboard with nordic layout at reasonable price so that was one major factor when I chose it. I also installed O-rings to the keys for dampening. That's a winning combination for me browns + O-rings.

 
 

That's a great keyboard (I had it before I got the Vortex) if you don't need to travel.

If you want something more compact with the same keys check out the Vortex Race3. :)

 

Awesome, looks very clean. Have to check it. Thanks!

 

I use corsair k70 with red switches. Love it. I had blue switches before which are too noisy and I would recommend thinking twice before taking blues.

 

I have a Unicomp EnduraPro, which has a pointing stick that I'm dearly attached to

 

Cool, that looks pretty solid. Thanks for sharing!

 

Love my Corsair Strafe RGB - Cherry MX Silent. Can't recommend it enough.

 

Agreed, excellent keyboard. The best I've ever had. Also great for gaming.

 

I can also recommend this keyboard. Mx Silent-switches are excellent if you want a mechanical keyboard while keeping the noise down.

 

I love typing away on my Atreus, a 40% ergonomic mechanical keyboard. It takes a couple weeks to get used to but it's worth the effort. It's very portable as well.

atreus.technomancy.us/

 
 
 

I'm a weird one... I have an infinity ergodox, cherry brown switches with DSA caps and a colemak layout and I love it! Most comfortable board I've ever typed on.

 
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