Hippot PBT Keycaps and Switches with Pastel Cloud Desk Mat
Getting into mechanical keyboards can seem like quite a challenge so today we are going to be answering some of the most commonly asked questions beginners have!
All mechanical keyboards feature a different level of loudness as it mainly depends on what switch you are using in your keyboard. Linear switches and Tactile switches are usually around the medium volume level with some outliers that can tend to be a bit louder, but nothing compares to clickies in terms of how loud they are, so if you are building a keyboard for a work office environment, clicky switches are definitely ones to avoid. They also make silent switches that are super quiet and are perfect for any public environment.
There is no such thing as the best mechanical keyboard or keyboard switch for gaming. Sure some gaming keyboards feature some cool features, but at the end of the day, getting a good keyboard is not going to suddenly make you a better player even if you have something like a Wooting60HE. Wooting keyboards could potentially help you perform better, but it is not a guarantee. At the end of the day, a keyboard that is specifically made for gaming isn’t going to make you suddenly a pro, so just prioritize getting something you enjoy using instead.
TG67 V2 with Seal Keycaps
The same idea that applies to keyboards also applies to switches as well. Someone may like a certain switch, but you might not like it at all. Switches are all about personal preference so there is no real “best switch” for everyone. If you are new and don’t know what switch to try out or get, there are plenty of switch tester kits you can buy online that feature a bunch of different switch types so you can test out and see what you prefer.
As a rule of thumb, tactile switches tend to be the most popular option for beginners, as well as linear switches. If you're new to mechanical keyboard modding, I also recommend buying switches that are lubed from the factory, such as Husky linear switches. Otherwise if you are planning on lubing switches yourself, the industry standard is Krytox 205g0.
This question used to be sort of a yes or a no depending on the person, but nowadays there are plenty of great budget options to choose from when it comes to mechanical keyboards. To me, it is definitely worth it as they provide a much better typing experience and can reduce hand fatigue since they don’t require as much force as your typical office membrane keyboard does.
TG67 V2 with Oasis Desk Mat
I know the pricing for keycaps can seem unreasonable, but don’t worry, you don’t have to drop 100 to 200 dollars on keycaps to get good quality. Kinetic Labs sells some great more affordable keycaps in plenty of different colorways and materials that will last you a long time before getting shine on them or just going bad in general. The reason why some keycap sets are so expensive like GMK for example, is because they use custom molds and colors and they are also usually in low production runs.
For a more in-depth article on the topic, check out Liam's blog post on why mechanical keyboards are expensive
That all comes down to your budget, but at the same time, you don’t want to go too cheap and purchase something that is made out of cheap materials, and just overall isn’t a good keyboard. I would suggest having a budget of around $80 to $120 for the keyboard kit itself so you can have a wider range of options to choose from. At this price point, you can also find some great pre-built keyboards from brands like Akko and Womier if you don’t want to build it yourself. At Kinetic Labs, we have practically every Keychron keyboard kit you can think of, and they are regarded as some of the best for their price point, and we also have the Tiger Lite keyboard kit which is practically unbeatable for its price.
Krytox 205g0 is the most commonly used lube and it is mainly used for linear switches as tactile switches use a different lube. People also like to use it for stabilizers, but it can be a bit pricey so a cheaper alternative is Permatex dielectric grease, but only use this for stabilizers as it is way too thick of a lube to use on switches. Another great alternative is our new Carbon GS3 Stabilizer lube which is a direct competitor to Krytox XHT-BDZ, but is easier on your wallet. For tactile switches, I recommend using Trybosis 3203 lube as it is a thinner lube and Krytox 205g0 can be too thick of a lube for tactile switches.
Carbon GS3 Lubricant
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to mechanical keyboards, but you just have to figure out what works best for you, but you should create a checklist that goes over the basics.
Whale PBT Keycaps with Husky Switches and Blue Horizons Desk Mat
Hopefully, I have answered most if not all of the questions you might have about mechanical keyboards. Of course, most of these questions are subjective so you don’t have to absolutely agree with everything that I said here today, but that is the beauty of mechanical keyboards. There are an endless amount of options to choose from to build the perfect board for you.