How Long Do Mechanical Keyboards Last? (Explained)

  • Post published:June 15, 2022
  • Post category:Keyboard
  • Post author:
  • Reading time:10 mins read

It is not a secret that mechanical keyboards deliver better performance. They are extremely popular among computer enthusiasts. They offer great typing experience and improve your productivity. And due to their durability, gamers always prefer mechanical keyboards.

Although, mechanical keyboards are best, they are a bit pricey. Therefore, sometimes it can be difficult to justify purchasing one while there are a lot cheaper non-mechanical alternatives available. In order to make the right decision on whether to buy a mechanical keyboard, most people want to know how long the keyboard will last. If you are looking to upgrade your keyboard then you may be also wondering the same.

The lifespan of a mechanical keyboard depends on how heavily it is being used. While some keyboards can last for several years, there are some that will only last a few months before they need to be replaced. Also, the quality of your keyboard plays a role. A higher-end keyboard would typically last longer than a cheap one.

To give you a proper answer of the question, in this article we will break down how long do mechanical keyboards last in detail. We will also discuss what makes mechanical keyboards last longer than others.

white keyboard - 2

Mechanical keyboards are extremely popular among gamers and typists for their durability. Also, these robust keyboards are known for their longer lifespan. And since these keyboards are not usually cheap, the lifespan of the keyboard becomes a major factor to consider.

Normally the lifespan of a keyboard is determined by the durability and quality of switches it has. If the mechanical keyboard you are using right now or planning to buy comes with Cherry MX switches, then it will easily last up to more than 50 million keystrokes, which is about 8-10 years of heavy use. Also, there are other switches that are rated for up to 70-80 million keystrokes, like Kailh and Logitech.

On the other hand, membrane keyboards are rated for up to 5 million keystrokes, which is very less compared to mechanical keyboards. And it is a big reason that mechanical keyboards are pricier than membrane keyboards.

Plus, the best thing about mechanical keyboards is that they allow you to replace certain parts including switches, which further extends the lifespan of the keyboard. Also, mechanical keyboards are durable and less prone to damage from water and dust. Even if any parts break, you can easily repair them and extend the lifespan.

Why do mechanical keyboards last longer?

When compared to a regular keyboard, mechanical keyboards don’t seem very different. So what makes mechanical keyboards last longer than traditional membrane keyboards?

To answer the question properly, here I am going to mention few reasons why mechanical keyboards last longer.

1. Durable build quality

First of all, mechanical keyboards are durable. Unlike other keyboards, mechanical keyboards are made up of high quality materials, which makes them last longer. They are designed to last long. Each of the component is engineered to withstand a heavy burden without any problem.

On the other hand, most membrane keyboards are made with cheap plastic material. They are not designed for rough and tough conditions. Therefore, compared to mechanical keyboards, membrane keyboards last lesser.

2. Switches

backlit compatible keycaps

Another reason why mechanical keyboards last longer is that they are designed with heavy duty switches rated for up to 100 million keystrokes. While on the other hand rubber dome switches are not built for long-term use. They are designed to be an inexpensive as possible. As a result they easily get broken.

Also, mechanical keyboards have individual switches under each. So every time you press any key you get a feedback and satisfying feel. But membrane keyboards use rubber dome underneath the key surface which is not durable enough to withstand extreme use cases.

3. Water resistant

water resistant mechanial keyboard

Water resistency is a common feature of mechanical keyboard which affects the longevity greatly. Normally mechanical keyboards use a water-resistant layer which resist water for some extent and saves the components. Also, some mechanical keyboards have holes on the bottom part which get the water out.

However when it comes to membrane keyboards, they get completely destroyed when you spill water on them. Because water creates short cirtuits in the components and harms the keyboard greatly, affecting the lifespan of the keyboards. Therefore, they cannot last longer than mechanical keyboards.

4. Durable keyboard case

The keyboard case protects the inner components of the keyboard from external damage and impacts. All the important electrical components are located in this part.

Plastic cases are extremely popular nowadays, and this is mostly due to the fact that it is less expensive to produce. In comparison to other types of material, it is easier for plastic cases to scratch and bend since plastic is lighter and more flexible. Therefore, most of the time, they have shorter lifespans than other keyboard cases.

Mechanical keyboards include aluminum or metal casing which is much stronger and heavier than other materials. Also, they are durable and last for a long time, protecting all the circuitry inside the board.

How to make mechanical keyboards last longer?

Despite the fact that mechanical keyboards last longer, you can make yours last even longer by paying attention to it. Although we don’t know the exact number, it could live longer than you.

To extend the lifespan of your mechanical keyboard, keep is safe from dust and water. Mechanical keyboards can be damaged by dust significantly, whereas water will destroy them seconds. Therefore, keep your mechanical keyboard dust-free place and clean it regularly. If you don’t know how to clean a mechanical keyboard then you should check out our article.

Furthermore, you should not use your mechanical keyboard roughly. Take proper care of your keyboard and save it from electric shocks. Since mechanical keyboards are electric devices, even a small shock could ruin them.

Also, if any of your keyboard parts get broken, you should replace them at home or seek for professional help. By replacing the parts with new ones, you can extend the lifespan.

Repairable parts of a mechanical keyboard?

I have already mentioned that mechanical keyboards allow you to replace certain parts. You can replace any broken part with a new on when it breaks. Here I am going to mention few components that mechanical keyboards allow you to replace.

1. Keycaps

As your fingers slide over the tops of the keycaps, your keycaps will wear out over time. The letters and numbers on the keycaps will disappear. In this situation, you can replace your old keycaps with new one. This is relatively an easy task. You have to pull the old keycaps out using a keycap puller and install the new keycaps.

Also Read: Are Keycaps Universal?

2. Switches

holy panda switches

Mechanical keyboards come with durable switches that are rated to last over 50 million keystrokes. So they shouldn’t really have to be replaced frequently. However, it is not very tricky to replace keyboard switches. You have to de-solder the old switches from the keyboard PCB, and install the new switches, that’s it.

3. Stabilizers

If you don’t what stabilizers do, they prevent big keys like spacebar and enter from shaking too much. If any of your keyboard stabilizer breaks then you can easily replace with a new one. You will just need to remove the broken one from the PCB and place the new stabilizer. There are various types and styles of stabilizers.

Does playing games or typing too much damage a mechanical keyboard?

Mechanical keyboards are especially designed and optimized for heavy usage. As I have mentioned earlier the switches used in mechanical keyboards rated for million of key presses on each. So, no matter whether you play games or type the whole day, you are less likely to notice any problem.

However, since gamers tend to have their fingertips on the WASD buttons of a gamepad, along with the first few numeric keys, and the space bar, they wear out over time.

Final thoughts

Mechanical keyboards are designed and optimized in a way that they can last longer than any other keyboards. Their switches are rated for up to 80 million clicks, which is about 13-15 years of use. Plus you have option to replace certain parts of the keyboard and extend the lifespan.

There are several features including durability and higher standards that make a mechanical keyboard last longer. However, if you want to extend the lifespan of your keyboard further then I recommend you to take proper maintenance of your keyboard. Also, you should consider repairing your keyboard when certain parts get broken.

Also, it is true that high-quality mechanical keyboards usually last longer, while on the other hand mechanical keyboards that are too cheap will last shorter, resulting in incredibly low performance. Therefore, you should invest your money in a quality mechanical keyboard. If you are planning purchase a new one then you should read our article regarding this topic.

Hopefully, now you know how long do wireless keyboards last. Thanks for being with us 🙂

Samuel Anali

Tech enthusiast, gamer, programmer, and reviewer, Samuel is always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in technology. With an eye for detail, he loves nothing more than getting his hands on new gadgets and tearing it apart to see how it works. When he's not gaming or programming, you'll find him reading a good book.