What is a Mechanical Keyboard and How Are They Better

For many of us, a keyboard is something that we use every day. Whether it’s at home or at work, most of us spend hours typing away. 

A mechanical keyboard is something you can buy to better your experience when typing. It can put less stress on your fingers, give better feedback, and it tends to be more reliable than your typical membrane keyboard. 

A mechanical keyboard is made up of individual switches that work on their own, unlike a membrane keyboard where all the buttons are connected via a circuit board. When a mechanical switch is pressed down it activates once it passes its actuation point, which varies depending on what switch you use. This allows for a faster response from your keyboard. As well as relieves stress from your fingers because you don’t have to bottom out every time you click a letter.

The point is a mechanical keyboard has so many different options to choose from, so everyone can have the perfect typing experience.

Mechanical Keyboard sideview To show what a mechanical keyboard is.

What are the Different Types of Mechanical Switches?

There a three main types of mechanical switches. First is the clicky switch. The clicky switch works just how the name says it does. It makes a loud clicky noise whenever you press down on the key. Next, is the tactile switch. Made generally for professional typists and writers like myself. The tactile switch gives you slight feedback when you press down on your keys. Finally, the linear switch. Probably the most popular switch amongst gamers, and for a good reason. The linear switch is light and smooth for the best gaming experience.

How Does a Tactile Switch Work?

The tactile switch is made to provide a tactile bump to let the typist know when their key actuates. This will allow the typist to know when the key is actually pressed. Thus, creating maximum efficiency when typing. 

Tactile switches are probably the best switch for people in a work environment because they are not too loud, and give you great feedback when typing fast. Allowing the typer to make fewer typos and type faster because you know exactly when the switch is activated.

The most popular tactile switch is the Cherry MX Brown switch. This switch is not only the most popular tactile switch, but the most popular mechanical switch overall, and for a good reason. 

However, many keyboard enthusiasts don’t agree with the average Cherry MX Brown user because to them the brown switch doesn’t give that much feedback compared to other tactile switches. Compared to other tactile switches like the Zealios v2’s, and Holy Pandas. The MX Brown switch feels mushier. Then again, when you are comparing the Cherry MX Brown to a membrane keyboard the feedback is 10 times better and 100% worth the upgrade.

How Does a Clicky Switch Work?

Similar to the tactile switch the clicky switch provides feedback to the typist with a tactile bump. However, unlike the tactile switch, the clicky switch provides audible feedback to the user.

This is great for certain people who like to hear a loud click noise of their keyboard. Even so, you should keep in mind that all mechanical keyboards are louder than your usual membrane keyboard, and the clicky noise is very loud. In many cases, it can be too loud and become annoying. This is especially the case in workplaces.

If you are thinking of bringing your mechanical keyboard with clicky switches into your workplace you might want to think about the people around you.

Mechanical Keyboard

When people think of the clicky switch, the most common switch that comes to mind is the Cherry MX Blue. Many clicky switches were based on this switch and make a similar sound. As you can see Cherry MX is one of the biggest and most reliable key switch companies. They are very common to find when you make a purchase of a stock mechanical keyboard.

Nevertheless, the way a keyboard feels is down to your own personal preference and if you like to hear the sound of your keys loud and clear. Then, this type of switch might be the one for you.

How Does a Linear Switch Work?

The linear switch is most popular amongst gamers, who are looking to get the smoothest and fastest feel out of their keyboard. With no tactile bump, the linear switch moves in a straight up and down motion to allow a fast, smooth press which allows gamers the most precise press possible for gaming. 

These switches are great for gamers because when you are playing a video game, you are usually pressing a lot of the same keys over and over again. Therefore, you don’t need the feedback of a tactile switch because you already know where the key is. Second, the switch is very smooth so when in a fast-paced game the tactile bump doesn’t mess with your movements.

The Cherry MX Red is a great switch and very reliable for typists and gamers alike. It is very light and smooth right out of the package. This switch is probably the best middle ground linear switch when it comes to keyboards.

Mechanical vs Membrane Keyboards

Membrane keyboards are a very common and very cheap way to buy a keyboard. However, the more you look into mechanical keyboards you can see why there is such a big price gap.

The durability of a membrane keyboard is about 100 thousand clicks which really isn’t that much when you realize how much you use your keyboard. On the other hand, mechanical keyboards average around 50 million clicks, which is much more durable.

Also, membrane keyboards are made with a rubber dome that only activates the switch when it is pressed down and finishes the circuit. This is not very efficient especially if you have a more cheaply made keyboard because it will force you to press the keys down pretty hard. 

Mechanical Keyboard to show different wawys to customize your mechanical keyboard.

Then, you have mechanical keyboards which are made with individual switches to have a lighter smooth press that is better on your fingers and allows you to type faster. You will also get more feedback and the click will be much more satisfying. 

Once, you have used a mechanical keyboard you will then notice how mushy and cheap a membrane one feels. I guarantee you will not want to go back and you will be in love with the way a mechanical keyboard is built.


I strongly recommend upgrading from a membrane to a mechanical keyboard if you haven’t already. There are many things built in a mechanical keyboard that make it better but are hard to explain in words. A mechanical keyboard can last you a lifetime and even save you some money if you use a keyboard a lot.

Lucas Coulson

I first got into building my own computer when I was around 12 or 13. The first computer I had ever built didn't work. So I kept researching to figure what I did wrong. I really enjoyed researching, learning, and building computers, so I decided to turn it into an online business, and here I am.

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