I'd admit at this point of time that i'm apparently the resident keyboard geek and i have a bias towards getting this question reopened, and this is a blatant attempt to get it some attention, and comments arn't large enough for my reasons.

The reason the question was closed was it was 'localised'. I looked for a mechanical keyboard for quite a while, did a lot of research, and ended up with my second choice keyboard (and that research is why i can take two looks at a keyboard and tell what it is).

Its certainly not a niche shopping question but its a question on the characteristics of a particular type of niche hardware, though one that could readily be used day to day. It covers practical potential issues that someone who got a mechanical keyboard may face (as per the FAQ), and covers a general class of hardware, as opposed to a specific type - so it shouldn't be considered localised - see this meta post.

There was obvious homework done - the user had looked into switch types, at least superficially, and had some basic idea of what he was looking at, and what he had at the point of time - i didn't for quite a bit of my computing life.

While there are specialised forums for that sort of thing, even regular power users may decide their keyboard is crap, and consider alternatives - which may be useful.

As such, i feel that closing the question was in error, so if anyone reads this, and agrees, to reopen this question.

  • Can you recommend me one so I can join the club?
    – Ivo Flipse
    Commented Dec 10, 2011 at 9:16
  • I like the razer blackwidow (the regular version is a fingerprint magnet though) - i have the ultimate, which is the backlit, fancier version. You might also want to look at the cherry G80 or the das keyboard.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Dec 10, 2011 at 10:54

2 Answers 2


It's not been closed as off topic, which is at least something. @JeffAtwood is correct, and here's my more detailed take on it, taking apart the question.

I'm stuck with an abysmal desktop keyboard at the moment, an ~8 year old stock Compaq keyboard with silicone dome switches.

We don't care.

I'll mainly be using my laptop in the foreseeable future, which has a nice scissor-switch keyboard, though it lacks the travel I want for pounding out an essay the night before it's due.

We don't care.

When I'm sitting at my desk working, I want a comfortable, responsive keyboard.

We don't care. Also, subjective.

My only concern about mechanical switch keyboards is the noise. Boards based off of the Cherry MX Blue seem to be the loudest, but apparently offer increased tactility.

We're getting somewhere. Feels a bit product recommendation-ish and subjective though.

I don't mind a clicky noise (I would actually prefer a bit of noise), I just don't want anything overpowering.

Very subjective, as it depends on your hearing perception and the environment you work in. Music in the background is probably sufficient to change the threshold. Just let others give you an overview and decide for yourself. "A clicks more loudly than B" will be perfectly fine and give you something to base your choice on.

What are the different types of mechanical switches are out there (being sold in keyboards for a sane price), and what separates one from the other?

Finally the only really useful part of the question! And if this leads to just four products, since there's no real market for expensive keyboards, so be it.

Also, where would I be able to test one out?

At a store. Shopping recommendation, sort of, and clearly too localized.

I don't think we mind clicky keyboard questions in general. But this question specifically is rather poor.

It requires heavy editing. Since there's already this Meta topic, you should be able to get enough attention once you make the question more generally applicable. I'll vote once the question is fixed. With your knowledge about the topic, it shouldn't be too difficult to fix it.

If it will produce only a few concrete suggestions, so be it -- in that case it's obscure hardware niche, the user didn't explicitly ask for it, and it has a certain timelessness. This would certainly be good enough IMO.

  • Fair enough, I see what you're saying. I figured that it might be helpful to give a bit of background and I didn't see what I posted as being too long (though reading back over it now, it does seem a bit irrelevant). I can see your points about subjectivity. I'm curious, though, as to why a recommendation on which to base a shopping decision isn't desirable. Also, I've not much seen mechanical switch keyboards at any of the places I've gone shopping; I was just curious as to their prevalence at general tech outlets where I might actually be able to try it.
    – TreyK
    Commented Dec 11, 2011 at 3:32
  • @TreyK Shopping recommendations are difficult on this site. I cannot give you a good list of do's/don't's about it. The current state as I see it, it's not safe to ask for it, but if answers provide a product recommendation, it's fine. // While I can understand the frustration regarding testing a product you just can't find in local stores, this is not allowed on the site simply because it depends on where you are, with only a ~50mi radius. You could ask in chat though. Most countries have stores or web shops with good return policies, so you might be able to take advantage of that.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Dec 11, 2011 at 9:01
  • @TreyK Regarding providing some background: The background you provide isn't really useful to the question. You want to learn about differences in mechanical keyboard to base a decision on, and the fact that you won't be using it all the time isn't really relevant. Stating specific requirements (more key travel) are difficult because it shifts a question about understanding towards asking for recommendations.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Dec 11, 2011 at 9:07
  • @TreyK If you absolutely need to provide some background, because the question doesn't make a lot of sense otherwise, or to prevent certain answers, put that at the end of the post. That way, readers can quickly figure out if your question is of interest to them without having to go through several paragraphs that don't state what your question is about, but the information is still there for users reading your question until the end, because they have a similar problem or might be able to help.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Dec 11, 2011 at 9:10
  • @TreyK I always find it helpful to think about what kind of answer I expect, and to post accordingly. Then others will be able to actually answer like that. In this case, it's not clear whether you're looking for a product name, a store's name (in what country?), or a general overview on the different kinds of switches and how they change the keyboard's feel. Imagine a user writing a great overview for the latter, and the accept mark goes to the one that suggests going to [big US retail chain with mechanical keyboard department], because that actually helps you more.
    – Daniel Beck Mod
    Commented Dec 11, 2011 at 9:13

I think you need to radically edit the question to be much more specific, e.g. "what is the difference between blue, red, orange, and clear cherry switches?" or something like that. As it is, it is reads too much like

I hear mechanical keyboards are awesome, is that true, and should I get one?

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