The mechanical keyboard is starting to be a staple to any gaming setup, whether you’re a casual, or competitive gamer. The variety of choices and flexibility a mechanical keyboard has makes it an essential choice to anyone who wants a smooth experience with their keyboard. The only issue with one of these quality keyboards is the question of how long it takes to gets used to it?
A mechanical keyboard can take up to two weeks of consistent typing to get used to. This is because many people who switch to a mechanical keyboard have experience with membrane keyboards that are lower and quality and have a different typing feel. Once a person gets comfortable typing on a mechanical keyboard they will benefit greatly.
In this article, I will explain how long it takes to get used to a mechanical keyboard and how it can benefit people who are used to typing on a more traditional membrane keyboard. I will go through the comparison of the two benefits of a mechanical keyboard, and the typing potential you can receive when you finally get used to typing on one!
Tips on Getting Used to Your Mechanical Keyboard
For most people who learn how to use a mechanical keyboard, they are probably used to a cheap plastic membrane keyboard or a laptop keyboard.
These keyboards are usually very low profile (especially a laptop keyboard), opposed to a mechanical keyboard where the keys of the keyboard stick up a significant amount more.
At first, this can make your wrist uncomfortable when typing. The solution to this is to either buy a wrist rest for your keyboard or adjust your arms on the table so that your wrist doesn’t lay flat on the table.
1. Keyboard Wrist Rest
Many keyboard companies make keyboard wrist rests that help supports your wrist when typing.
This can not only make it easier to type but also cause less stress on your wrist allowing you to type longer and faster.
The great thing about keyboard wrist rests is that they come in a variety of different builds just like mechanical keyboards!
Here’s a link to Amazon which has a great variety of different keyboard wrist rests to choose from.
Keyboard wrists rest are great because you are able to pick the material it’s made out of that way you can have a material that feels nice and looks good.
Examples of these are fabric, wood, bamboo, leather, and carbon fibre keyboard wrist rests.
You will also be able to choose how long the wrist rest will be, the angle which it is on, and the height of the wrist rest as well.
Having this flexibility on the choice will help you have a more comfortable keyboard experience and will help you adapt to a mechanical keyboard much faster.
Personally, I don’t use a keyboard wrist rest because I use the next tip on the list which works just as good as the wrist rest without the hassle of spending extra money.
2. Raise Your Wrists off the Table When Typing
The next tip is a strategy that I used to get used to typing on my mechanical keyboard and I am using this tip right now, as I write this article.
The title explains itself all you have to do is raise your wrists and have them hover over the ground.
This may seem a little tricky, and uncomfortable at first, but once you find the sweet spot it’s going to help you get used to the height difference of a mechanical keyboard, and keep your wrists from getting tired from those long gaming/typing sessions.
Are Mechanical Keyboards Hard to Type On?
Mechanical keyboards are not hard to type on, but they may feel uncomfortable at first because you’re not used to the feeling of typing on a mechanical keyboard.
There are also different types of mechanical keyboard switches; different switches being harder to type on than others.
Here is an in-depth article I have on my website that describes the different types of mechanical keyboard switches and how to find what switch works best for you.
Things You Should Do When Your Start Typing on a Mechanical Keyboard
As well as getting comfortable and used to the way a mechanical keyboard feels, you should also try to develop and learn good typing habits with your new keyboard as this will make using a mechanical keyboard a lot easier in the long run.
1. Touch Typing
When you first started typing you probably used your two fingers and spent most of your time locating where each letter on the keyboard was. If this is still how you type then you won’t obtain the benefits that a mechanical keyboard will give you.
In order to gain all the benefits that a mechanical keyboard has, you first need to learn how to type properly.
This is called touch typing.
Touch typing is where you put your two index fingers on the little tabs that are located on the “F” and “J” keys on the keyboard.
these tabs are used so your fingers will always move back to the proper position when typing and will allow every one of your fingers to be used when using your mechanical keyboard.
2. Changing the Keyboard Layout
Another thing you can do when you start typing on a mechanical keyboard is thinking about changing the keyboard layout because there are a bunch of different keyboard layouts that you can choose from that might be more comfortable, and more fun to use.
There are many different keyboard layouts you can choose from but the three most popular layouts are QWERT, Dvorak, and Colemak. These three layouts all have their unique uses and advantages to go with each. QWERTY is the default layout that most people use, but some people swear by Dvorak, or Colemak because they believe it is easier and faster to type on.
Using a different keyboard layout can tie in with step one and can go with step number three as well.
3. Memorizing the Key Locations
This next step is pretty self-explanatory. Memorizing the key locations on your mechanical keyboard can help you tremendously when typing because you waste so much time looking up and down from your keyboard.
being able to memorize the keys will not only help you type faster, but will also keep you from messing up as often because you know where everything is.
This also makes it easier to take notes because you won’t have to memorize anything because you will be reading and typing at the same time.
The websites I used to help me memorize where all the letters were on the keyboard are Keybr, Monkeytype, and 10FastFingers. These programs helped me improve my typing experience a lot.
I would recommend starting with Keybr because it helps with the basics, and works on specific keys that you have trouble finding.
This program will help you get a basic understanding of where everything is on your mechanical keyboard.
Then there is MonkeyType, which I would use to get really comfortable experimenting and getting used to typing accurately.
This program lets you play around with keys, settings, and allows you to personalize your typing experience.
The last website I would use would be 10FastFingers as it is similar to MonkeyType, except for how it uses more common words and more formal writing.
This allows you to learn how to transition between proper sentences and helps you get comfortable with the punctuation keys on your keyboard.
4. Learn How to Type Fast
This next step ties in with memorizing your key locations on your keyboard. You should be able to move on to this step once you memorized the layout of your keyboard.
Improving your keyboard speed can take time, but it is very worth it in the long run.
I would recommend using the same programs as in step three, but I would expand on what you are using them for already.
What I mean by this is that you should focus on increasing your stamina, and raw typing speed, as well as increasing the number of words you type in your vocabulary.
In MonkeyType you can change the time limit or the number of words that need to be typed before you’re finish the session.
This will allow you to practice your typing stamina, which will help you type faster longer.
you can also do the opposite to lower the number of words typed so you can focus on your raw typing speed to see how fast you really are at typing.
Next, you can use 10FastFingers to help with proper grammar and punctuation. One thing that Monkeytype lacks, is the use of real sentences and punctuation.
As opposed to MonkeyType, 10FastFingers uses real sentences with proper grammar and punctuation, which will allow you to type even faster.
Something that you might experience when using 10FastFingers is that your raw typing speed or WPM has dropped compared to Monkeytype. This is expected so, keep practicing, and eventually, you will increase your typing speed on there as well.
5. Learning Keyboard Shortcuts
The last step is learning how to use keyboard shortcuts, as you get more experienced typing on your keyboard learning the shortcuts will also allow you to become more comfortable using your keyboard too.
Starting off by learning some basic keyboard shortcuts such as CTRL-V and CTRL-C, (Copy and Paste), will allow you to complete these tasks faster.
This article provides a great list of 20 keyboard shortcuts that you can learn so that you can become more comfortable with your keyboard.
Do You Type Slower on Mechanical Keyboards?
No, you don’t type slower on a mechanical keyboard, or at least you shouldn’t because mechanical keyboards are optimized for a faster and smoother typing experience as opposed to a membrane keyboard.
The reason for this is that a mechanical switch is activated at an actuation point that registers before the key is pressed down.
Each mechanical switch is also individually activated, which allows each press to register to your computer faster.
All though there a many different types of mechanical switches, they all offer a smoother, lighter, and faster typing experience than a membrane keyboard.
A membrane keyboard is activated by a rubber dome that is under the computer keycap.
Once the rubber dome touches the circuit board on the keyboard, it sends a signal to the computer telling it what key was pressed.
This means that all the keys on a membrane keyboard are connected making the keys have registered to the computer slower than a mechanical keyboard switch.
Also, membrane keyboards will only let you press a certain amount of keys before they stop working meaning if you type really fast, your keyboard will end up slowing you down.
What Type of Switch is Best For Typing?
The best type of switch for typing is a tactile switch because it has a tiny bump on the actuation point, which gives feedback to the typist.
The reason why this is so good is that it will allow the typist to know the exact moment that the key is registered so that they can press the next key; whereas a linear switch, the typist will have to guess where the actuation point is every time they press a key, or they will bottom out every time which can slow you down.
Linear switches are also not particularly good for typing because each switch is very smooth allowing you to accidentally click another key at the same time.
You can find yourself experiencing this a lot especially if you type really fast with linear switches.
All though linear switches can still be typed on tactile switches are recommended if you use your keyboard for mostly typing.
All in all, mechanical keyboards are pretty easy to get used to, as long as you take some time to practice typing on them. As you progress with your typing you will begin to notice the benefits of mechanical keyboards and really appreciate them. As you know there a many different types of mechanical keyboards so it’s best to research and find out what one is best for you.