Mechanical keyboards can come with various different types of switches beneath their keys; each type of switch, which is universally sorted by color, has its own characteristics.
Because most modern keyboards are membrane keyboards, these different types of switches may feel unfamiliar to typers that are using a mechanical keyboard for the first time.
The different switches are characterized as follows:
- Browns are lighter than the blues and have a tactile feel. These types of key switches are most similar to membrane keyboards.
- Keyboards with blue switches may feel heavier and have more audible feedback in comparison to membrane keyboards. They are known to be the loudest of the switches.
- Blacks on the other hand are a heavier version of the red switches and are very similar in every sense except the actuation force.
- Reds are linear switches that don’t provide feedback when pressed. They are also the lightest of all of the switches, and people switching from membrane might notice that the keys are pressed with very little force and travel.
How to get used to typing on a mechanical keyboard
Getting used to a mechanical keyboard takes practice, especially if the specific keyboard you’re using is vastly different from your previous keyboard (which was most likely a membrane).
Repetition will increase your muscle memory retention, and you’ll become more and more accustomed to using the keyboard.
How long does it take to get used to mechanical keyboard?
The time it takes to adjust to a mechanical keyboard depends on the difference between a membrane keyboard and whatever type of switch your mechanical keyboard employs.
For example, brown switches, being the most similar to the mechanisms behind membrane keyboards, would most likely take the least amount of time to adjust to.
The next switch color that feels most like a membrane keyboard is blue. This also feels somewhat similar because the key press is still located at the bottom.
Mechanical keyboards with red and black switches would probably take the most amount of time to adjust to because their switches are linear, which means you don’t have to press down fully on the key to type.
Which keyboards are easiest to get used to?
Most mechanical keyboards, depending on the switches used, are very similar to each other. If you find several keyboard brands that all use the same type of switches, they will more than likely feel the same.
Essentially, the type of switch the keyboard uses is what will determine their transition time.
Brown switches are most similar to membrane keyboards and as a result, will have you learning to use a mechanical keyboard via a similar platform.
The next easiest keyboard to get used to would be blues due to their tactile and audible feedback, which gives you affirmation that the keys are being pressed.
Last would be the reds and blacks. Reds and blues have linear switches and again, don’t require fully pressing on the switch to type. They may be a little trickier to learn for typists that are new to mechanical keyboards.
What makes a keyboard hard to get used to
The factors that determine what makes a keyboard difficult to get used to are as follows:
- The layout of the keys
- The ergonomics of the keyboard
- The type of switches the keyboard utilizes
Is it harder to type on a mechanical keyboard?
Many people express the opinion that it is much easier to type on a mechanical keyboard as opposed to a membrane keyboard, given you have had time to adjust to the differences.
A membrane keyboard, depending on the manufacturer and age of the keyboard, may not allow the pressing of multiple keys at once due to the rubber membrane beneath the keys which prevent this function.
Because mechanicl keyboards have a single switch per key (letter/symbol), it is much easier to type faster because of the ability to simultaneously press multiple keys.
How do you adapt to a mechanical keyboard?
The best way to adapt to a mechanical keyboard is to start using one as frequently as possible. Using it daily will train your muscle memory, and eventually the aspects of the mechanical keyboard that may have seemed daunting at first will seem natural.
People that are having more difficulty and who aren’t restricted by their budget may consider gradually switching through the different switch types from most similar to a membrane keyboard (brown and blue switches) to the most different (red and black switches).
Is it worth getting into mechanical keyboards?
The general consensus among keyboarders is that it is indeed worth making the transition to a mechanical keyboard.
They are considered much easier to use, and many believe they have reached a quicker typing speed with the help of their new mechanical keyboard.
Additionally, mechanical keyboards are much easier to maintain and repair because of their modularity and the characteristic of having a single switch per key. If something breaks or begins to malfunction on a mechanical keyboard, you can simply remove it and replace it.
For example, if a key cap breaks, you can easily buy a replacement for it in most scenarios.
Most manufacturers sell replacement parts, and a key cap can cost as low as a few cents. Switches can be replaced as well.
Mechanical keyboards are also very easy to clean, since most pieces are removable. Membrane keyboards, on the other hand, are more difficult to clean. Additionally, when something breaks on a mechanical keyboard, the user is often required to purchase an entire new keyboard.