With keyboards, especially mechanical ones, it’s all about touch.
Mechanical keyboards usually offer a premium typing experience that even the most expensive of membrane keyboards find hard to replicate.
They’re highly customizable too- you can easily use different kinds of switches on different keys.
If you want your spacebar to have a more tactile feel to it but without the loud clicks, you can use Cherry MX Browns.
If you’re a gamer and want keys with a short activation point (i.e. the key doesn’t have to travel far before the press is “registered”), then use what is called “speed” switches like the Kailh Speed Silver or the Cherry MX Speed.
Another great thing about mechanical keyboards is that, unlike cheap membrane keyboards, you don’t know need to throw the whole thing away if a single key is malfunctioning.
For example, a key suddenly became stiff and hard to press. In a membrane keyboard, this kind of problem is solved by buying a new keyboard.
On a mechanical keyboard, you have a number of options you can try out to fix the problem.
Why do my keys feel hard to press?
Keys can get “sticky” sometimes (i.e. they suddenly become hard to press) especially if you type and game on your keyboard a lot.
The number one reason for this is that dust and detritus can often get under the keys, and once a whole lot of them accumulate under there, expect your keys to get stuck every now and then.
If you love to eat and drink at your computer table, the risk of you finding malfunctioning keys on your keyboard goes higher.
Dust, food crumbs, beverage spills- these are the major culprits why your keys suddenly feel hard to press.
How you fix a stiff key on a mechanical keyboard?
So, now you have a stiff key that needs fixing. What do you do? Here are some things you can try.
Shake it off
Sometimes, physically cleaning the keyboard and the problematic key itself might do the trick.
Unplug the keyboard from your computer, turn it upside down, and give it a light shake. If you have a small brush, you can use it to brush away any remaining dust or detritus that hasn’t fallen off.
Blow it out (using canned air)
Sometimes, the dust and debris might get stuck on the switch itself rendering its spring mechanism faulty. If shaking and brushing the visible dust away from the key doesn’t work (this means that the gunk is deeply entrenched under the key), then you can try using canned or compressed air to blow the stubborn particles away.
First, remove the key’s keycap (you can do this using a dedicated keycap puller tool or your own fingers), stand your keyboard vertically, place the can of compressed air a few inches away from the switch, and then blow away.
Replace the switch itself
If the key is still stuck and you have already thoroughly cleaned the area, the final solution might be is to replace the switch itself.
Determine what kind of switch your keyboard uses and buy a similar one on the net. You also need to determine if your keyboard has hot swappable keys (i.e. you can swap keys without soldering), or if you need to solder the switches on the board.