Why your next keyboard should be a mechanical one

Razer BlackWidow Mini
Razer BlackWidow Mini (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

There's a reason that most of the best keyboards are mechanical. On a sheer technical level, you can do more with a mechanical switch than you can with the type of membrane keyboard you might find included with a new PC or on a laptop.

And the tech is continually advancing, too. Big brands like Razer and Logitech are pushing their mechanical keyboards to the limits, and away from this, there's a whole world of smaller brands, customizations, and an incredibly addictive rabbit hole to dive down.

Here are just some of the reasons you should make a mechanical keyboard your next.

Mechanical keyboard typing experience is just better

Steelseries Apex Pro

Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Rich Edmonds / Windows Central)

Unless you're absolutely wedded to your ergonomic keyboard, the typing experience on a mechanical will just be better. That's all there is to it.

A mechanical keyboard has a physical switch under every key — check out the best keyboard switches you can choose from — so you get the best tactile feedback possible. Some, like Razer, have started substituting metal contacts for beams of light, giving instant actuation along with a traditional mechanical feel.

At first, the experience is very different and it does take a little while to get used to. But after that, you'll find that you're more accurate and likely even faster than on your old membrane keyboard. Some membranes you have to press with quite a bit of force and it feels really mushy, not so with a good mechanical keyboard.

Not just for gamers

Razer Proclick Protype

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Gamers use mechanical keyboards for the reasons mentioned above. They're faster and more accurate and provide a definite tactile response to every press. But they're not just for gamers. You aren't required to have a keyboard draped in flashing RGB lights to go mechanical.

There are good quality mechanical keyboards out there from smaller brands and even the likes of Razer that are targeted at the regular, office user. Working all day shouldn't exclude you from having a better keyboard experience just because you don't want to be embarrassed.

Pair a good switch with a keyboard that doesn't have RGB and make your workday much better.

Superior build quality

Hyper X Ducky Mini

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Even a budget mechanical keyboard will boast superior build quality to most membrane keyboards. Mechanical keys are extremely durable and any from a reputable maker will have endured serious longevity rating.

The keyboard surrounding the switches will usually be better as well, and the added bonus is the ability to use Doubleshot PBT keycaps. Regular ABS keycaps and those found on a membrane keyboard will wear, with the print fading and the cap becoming shiny.

PBT keycaps don't do this, and even if your keyboard doesn't have them, on a mechanical, you can substitute them in. And there's no shortage to choose from.

So. Much. Customization.

Razer Huntsman Mini

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

A mechanical keyboard can be an extension of yourself, and the only limit to the customizations you can make is your imagination. There's almost nothing you can't swap on a mechanical keyboard if you know where to look.

The switches is usually the limit, but even then, there are an increasing number of keyboards out there that allow switch changes. Or you could get hardcore and just build your own keyboard from scratch. There really is very little you can't do if you put your mind to it.

For most people, the easiest things to mod are the keycaps and the cable. If you have a color scheme in your head, somewhere you'll be able to buy the keycaps to make it a reality. Likewise, a good cable is an easy change, with coiled cables the latest hotness. Not only do they look good, but they're also almost always of superior quality, are more durable, and they certainly look neater on your desk.

An easy decision

Hyper X Ducky Mini Box

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

It might seem like a big change, but it's one that you'll make and never look back. Mechanical keyboards are just better, and while it can also become an absorbing (and potentially expensive) hobby, for most it'll just be a better way to type.

You'll feel better, be more accurate and with the right switches underneath, typing becomes an absolute joy and never a chore.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine