How To Tell If Your Keyboard Is Mechanical?

  • Post published:June 12, 2022
  • Post category:Keyboard
  • Post author:
  • Reading time:9 mins read

Buying electronic devices at extremely low prices during Black Friday sales is often a great deal. Since there are so many gaming accessory manufacturing companies that are running promotional campaigns by offering their products at a cheaper price, you might have also bought a keyboard for your computer for 50 bucks because it looked nice.

But now you want to know if it is a mechanical keyboard or not, right? If your answer is yes, then this article is for you.

As far as computer keyboards are concerned, there are many types that have different applications. Depending on how they operate, the ease of clicking, and how efficiently a key is pressed, these categories are divided. However, among them, the most popular ones are mechanical keyboards.

In order to differentiate mechanical keyboards from others, you must understand how mechanical keyboards work and what they feature. Therefore, in this article, I am going to explain how you can know if the keyboard you are using right now is mechanical or not.

A mechanical keyboard is a keyboard that has separate switches under the keys. This is the main feature that makes mechanical keyboards different from others. Three moving parts are involved in the construction of these switches: a stem that is made of durable plastic with two metal contacts and a spring underneath. When you press any key, the stem goes down and the two metal contacts connect, which registers your press.

Learn: How to Clean Mechanical Switches

While on the other hand, traditional membrane keyboards work differently. They include a rubber dome sheet that is placed under the keycaps. When you press any key, the rubber dome goes down and hits the circuit board, registering your keypress.

Also, when comparing mechanical keyboards to regular keyboards, you will find that regular keyboards typically feel “mushy” since there are no switches underneath the keys. You are just pressing down on a rubber dome. The best thing about mechanical switches is that they deliver satisfying tactile feedback every time you press any key. Plus, these switches are designed to withstand heavy working sessions without any worries.

Read: Chiclet VS Mechanical Keyboards

Essentially, this is what makes a keyboard mechanical, although there are other advantages of using a mechanical keyboard. If you use these switches on a regular keyboard then it will become a mechanical keyboard just because of its use of switches.

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Other pros of mechanical keyboards:

Although mechanical keyboards are slightly pricier than traditional keyboards, they are definitely worth the price. They come with so many additional features that will make your typing experience better and comfortable. Here I am going to mention some of the pros of mechanical keyboards.

1. Durability

In comparison to traditional rubber dome/ membrane style keyboards, mechanical keyboards boast incredible durability and superior build quality. Each key on a mechanical keyboard has its own switch so each time a key is pressed there is an independent switch that registers the movement. These switches are durable enough to last more than 40-50 million keystrokes without any worries.

Also, the heavy-duty build quality of mechanical keyboards makes them ideal for rough working sessions. They are designed with durable frames that are able to withstand heavy pressure. So, even you use the keyboard the whole day, it won’t get bend.

2. Better typing experience

Another great advantage of using a mechanical keyboard is that it offers a better typing experience. Compared to regular keyboards, it is more comfortable to type on mechanical keyboards. Since mechanical keyboards allow you to replace the switches with your preferred ones so that you can type for longer periods of time without feeling fatigued.

Learn: Why Are Mechanical Keyboards Better for Typing

Also as I have already mentioned that mechanical keyboards produce a clicky sound every time you press any key, ensuring you that the press has been registered. This sound helps you type smoothly and accurately. So, while typing very fast, you don’t have to worry if the key you just pressed has already been registered or not.

Also Read: Best Gaming Keyboard for Small Hands

In order to enhance your typing experience, mechanical keyboards also offer plenty of customizable options, so you can make your keyboard extremely comfortable and enjoyable. You can attach a wrist rest to your mechanical keyboard and make your typing experience better. Also, you can replace the switches according to your preferences.

3. Quicker key response

With the mechanical keyboards, you experience a faster key response time. It is because there is an optimized built-in mechanism in them that ensures faster response once a key is pressed.

Thanks to the optimized design of the switches, mechanical keyboards can offer unparalleled response time. When you press a key, you will receive an immediate response rather than having to wait a few seconds for the action to be registered.

Read: Are Mechanical Keyboards Better For Your Hands?

While on the other hand, this feature is not found in membrane keyboards. In traditional membrane keyboards, the rubber dome must make contact with the circuit board in order to register a keypress, which reduces the speed and efficiency of the user and hinders the performance of certain tasks. You have to make sure that the keys are pressed hard enough to trigger the action, which is very frustrating.

4. N-key rollover

N-key rollover is another feature that makes mechanical keyboards different from others. Thanks to this feature, you can press several keys simultaneously, and all of them will be registered. For example, a keyboard that features an 8-key rollover allows you to press up to 8 keys at a time and all of them will be registered.

For fast writers and gamers, n-key rollover is incredibly useful. This feature gives you a confirmation that you will press will always be registered no matter how fast you type, making typing more enjoyable and comfortable. Also, using this feature, you will be able to operate the in-game controls more accurately.

On the other hand, traditional membrane keyboards don’t come with this feature. As a result, when you press several keys at a time, a membrane keyboard fails to register the presses properly, so you don’t get the accuracy you want while typing or gaming.

Also Read: Best Keyboard for Tennis Elbow

How to tell if your keyboard is mechanical?

There are so many different ways to tell if your keyboard is mechanical. But taking one of the keys off to see if there is a switch beneath is an easy way to determine the type of keyboard. Usually, it is a colored plastic stem that looks like a cross that slides down when you press a key.

So, take off one of the keycaps of your keyboard. If it looks like a switch then it is most likely that the keyboard you are using is a mechanical keyboard. Even it is a pointer towards it being a mechanical keyboard if you are able to detach the keycaps easily since traditional keyboards don’t allow you to do that. They attach the keycaps to the membrane part.

On the other hand, a membrane keyboard consists of a rubber component surrounding the key, which does not have much distance from the circuit board. So, after taking off a keycap if you notice that there is a rubber dome then it would be a membrane keyboard.

Most of the time, you would notice that the rubber dome or silicone membrane sheet is found underneath laptop keyboards. Laptop manufacturers design their laptops with membrane keyboards because it makes the laptop portable by reducing the size.

Conclusion :

No matter whether you are a gamer or typist, a mechanical keyboard is the best option for you. There are just so many features that come with mechanical keyboards, from the improved durability to the N-key rollover to the fast response time.

The switches used in mechanical keyboards are the main feature of mechanical keyboards which differentiate them from others. The spring structure of these switches gives you a more rigid feel while working. However, this is not the case with traditional membrane keyboards since they don’t include any switches.

In this article, we have explained how you can know if the keyboard you are using is mechanical or not. Also, we have shared some interesting facts about mechanical keyboards.

We hope that you learned something useful from this article. 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.