Mechanical keyboards are a great way to customize your PC gaming experience, but they can also be expensive. Thankfully, you can find budget-friendly alternatives that will give you the same feel and functionality without breaking the bank.
Switches are one of the most important parts of any mechanical keyboard. They determine the typing feel and sound, so it’s crucial to choose the right ones.
If you’re planning on building a custom mechanical keyboard, the switches are one of the most important parts. You can choose between a wide range of switch types, each with their own specific features and characteristics.
The first step to choosing the right switches for your keyboard is to decide what type of tactility you want from them. Some users find that they prefer linear switches for smooth typing, while others like to use a clicky or tactile feel. There are other factors to consider as well, such as actuation point, total travel, reset point, and tactile position.
A popular way to compare different switches is to use graphs, which show force curves for each switch type. This helps users zero in on the type of switch that’s most appropriate for them, but it can be a little time-consuming and expensive.
Group buys are a great option for getting the parts you need for your build. These can be super expensive, but you get to pick from a variety of different layouts and features that you can’t find on in-stock parts.
You can also try out a number of different switches on a “switch tester” to see which suits your typing style best. These testers have a bunch of switches laid out on a small board and can be used to test out various switches before you commit to buying them.
In addition, there are a few different switch mounting styles and mounts to choose from. You can build a fully wired mechanical keyboard with switches that snap into place, or you can purchase a keyboard that uses a plate-mounted stabilizer.
If you’re planning on using a plate-mounted stabilizer, it’s important to install the stabilizers before installing your switches. These are usually located on the top or bottom half of the case and can be secured to your motherboard. This can add several hours to your project, so be sure to plan ahead for this part of your build!
A mechanical keyboard case is an essential component of any mechanical keyboard. It protects your keyboard from the elements and helps you keep it clean. There are a variety of types and styles of cases, and you can choose one that suits your needs.
When it comes to picking the best case for your keyboard, it depends on your budget and what you want it to look like. The type of material that your case is made from will also impact how it works and looks.
The most common material used to make a keyboard case is plastic, but there are also several other options available. These include wood, acrylic and aluminum.
Plastic cases are the cheapest to manufacture and are easy to find. However, they may not be as durable as other materials. Depending on your budget and preferences, you might want to consider other options instead.
Metal cases are also a popular choice for mechanical keyboards. They are a good option for gamers, as they are lightweight and durable. They can also withstand a lot of abuse, making them ideal for gamers who use their keyboards frequently.
A few key considerations to keep in mind when choosing the right metal for your case are its thickness, how much anodization has been applied and whether it’s brushed or anodized. This will affect how the case feels and how long it will last.
If you’re looking for a high-quality metal case, you should look for one that has been anodized thoroughly. This will help you maintain a clean, glossy finish and it will be more resistant to scratches and other wear and tear.
Some people prefer to use metal keyboards because they can feel the feedback from the keys when they’re pressed. If you want a more comfortable typing experience, consider using a membrane keyboard.
Another popular option is a felt bag for your keyboard, which can be made to hold all sizes of mechanical keyboards. These bags are perfect for keeping your keyboard safe from damages and can be easily opened and closed.
A switch plate is a metal plate that holds and supports the switches on your keyboard. This adds a layer of stability to your keyboard and streamlines your typing experience. It is important to choose a high-quality plate material that can support your switches and provide a good typing experience.
Choosing a plate is one of the most important decisions you will make for your custom mechanical keyboard build. There are many different materials available, but the most common ones include brass and aluminum.
Some plates are also made from POM, which is a plastic that feels softer than other materials. The quality of your plate will determine how flexy or stiff it is, and how well the switches connect to the circuit board.
The type of switch mounting that you use can also have an impact on the quality of your mechanical keyboard. There are two main types of switch mounting: PCB-mounted and plate-mounted. Both have their pros and cons, but which is better for you depends on your preferences.
PCB-mounted switches are soldered to a circuit board, while plate-mounted switches are placed on a metal plate that is above the board. The plate stabilizes the switches by reducing side-to-side wobbling when you press them.
There are a few different styles of switch mounting, but most keyboards use the plate-mounted style. This mounting style provides more stability to the keyboard, and tends to last longer than keyboards with PCB-mounted switches.
However, the plate-mounted style is more expensive and requires a lot of assembly. This is especially true if you want to customize your switch layout, but the added structure and stability are worth it in most cases.
Unlike PCB-mounted switches, which have extra guide pins for stability, plate-mounted switches do not have any guides at all. In order to install plate-mounted switches, you will need to drill or cut holes in the PCB for them to fit into.
Once you have the holes drilled, remove the old switch from the plate and replace it with the new one. The new switch will be positioned differently on the plate than the old one, so you need to position it correctly and align it with the cut-out in the PCB.
Mechanical keyboards are a great alternative to standard laptop and desktop keyboards that typically have membrane, butterfly, or scissor switches. They’re much more durable and customizable, making them a good choice for gamers and anyone who spends a lot of time on the computer.
To make a mechanical keyboard, you need a few parts, and most of those components are pretty expensive. That’s why it’s so important to choose your parts wisely.
The first part is the switch, a little device made from plastic, a metal spring, and electrical connectors that connect to the keycaps when you press them down. You can buy these switches in different sizes and shapes, so you can customize your build and create a layout that fits your needs.
Another key component is the keycaps themselves, which can be shaped in a variety of ways and come in a variety of colors, themes, and materials. They’re one of the most customizable parts of a mechanical keyboard, and they can be used to show off your personality!
Most keycaps are made from PBT, a type of thermoplastic that’s known for its durability. You can also find a few that are molded from other materials, like glass or metal.
Regardless of what material you decide to use, you’ll want to choose keys that aren’t too high-profile (meaning they won’t be uncomfortable for you to touch), and ones that have a nice curve. You can even get keycaps that have a custom shape and design, such as keys shaped like animals or characters!
Once you’ve got your switches and keycaps, it’s time to build the actual keyboard. You can find in-stock parts on most online stores, and these can be shipped to you within a few days or weeks. This is the fastest way to get a basic build but can be frustrating if you want really customized parts.
You’ll also need a PCB (printed circuit board) and a case for your new build. The PCB is what connects all of the other components together, while the case is what protects it from the elements and makes it look nice.