a few ideas for the mechanical keyboard fans • TechCrunch

The world of mechanical keyboards is a very deep rabbit hole, and it’s no secret that more and more people have fallen into it in recent years. So if you have someone in your life always talking about lube switches, gasket holders and the pros and cons of ABS and PBT keycaps, chances are you’ll want to buy them something related to that. That’s for the holidays.

One odd thing about the mechanical keyboard world is that so many of the items are only available through a limited-time group purchase, with shipping dates likely a year or more from now. That’s especially true for highly customized keycaps and keyboards. For obvious reasons, we won’t recommend them here. After all, this is a guide for 2022, not 2023. We’ll highlight some keyboards, but for the most part, we’ll focus on accessories. We’re going to assume that you’ll want a keyboard that’s easily customizable, so while there are several built-ins on this list, they’re all modifiable.

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Image credits: AKO

There has never been more choice in mechanical keyboards, and if that’s what you want, there’s no limit to how much you can spend.

At the end, there’s Tester68. You can find it for like as little as $15 (Walmart), although the current price seems to be only about $35 on Amazon. It’s just plastic/wireless, but for the money it’s an affordable way to get you started with your keyboard modification without worrying too much about it breaking.

When you raise the price, you get things like 3068B by Akkoa 65% hotswap keyboard (so you can easily replace the switches—more on that later) comes with Akko’s — and very good — switches, some matching keycaps, and both wired and wireless connection.

However, the real draw for mechanical keyboards these days is between $125 and $175. Here you get better quality materials and boards, and really great sound and feel, with the ability to modify them to your liking.

Image credits: KBDFANS

I’m a big fan of KBDfans KBD67 lite, currently in its fourth generation. It’s made from sturdy plastic, comes in a variety of colors, and is even available in the European ISO layout, if that’s your preference. That’s a nice step up from lower-end boards, and if you want to upgrade later, KBDfans also sells an aluminum case ($125).

If you are looking for a larger table, Novelkeys’ Input version NK87 For example, ($135) is great too, but the company that beats it right now (at least in this price range) is Keychron with its Q-series keyboard. There is a wired aluminum hot-swap board that comes with the switch and keycap, but can be easily modified. At the moment, the company offers every layout imaginable, from 60% to full-size panels, including some unusual styles like excellent Q5 with layout 1800 or Q8 in the (semi) ergonomic Alice style (it’s my personal daily driver right now).

Image credits: Design mode

On the higher end, the sky is the limit, but if you have the money to spend, I’m a huge fan of Mode Designs. me recently reviewed Sonnet and loved the experience, but that sadly won’t be available in time for the holidays. But 80 . mode yes, so if you have $400 to spend, the fit, finish, and sound you can get from that board is a step up from cheaper boards, and it’s easy to see that the degrees — like similar high-end keyboard manufacturers — really understand the market and what drives mechanical keyboard enthusiasts.


Instead of a keyboard, maybe you’re just looking for some accessories.

If you know the type of style the person you are buying for, then keycaps can be a good choice. Drop is one of the few companies with a limited set keycap GMK available without having to wait until the end of 2023 to buy in groups. Black and white GMK is a classic here and you really can’t go wrong, though the $110 price tag might not be easy to swallow, it’s pretty low for a set from German GMK. But Drop own and new Keycaps DCX also really nice and a bit more affordable at $99. Like the GMK kit, these are ABS keycaps and come in black and white and black and white. For half price, Keychron’s Cherry Style PBT Keycaps offers several additional color choices and enough keycaps to be compatible with almost any keyboard on the market today. If you’re looking for something different, check it out Cannon Key’s selections typically range from $65 to $79.

Maybe you also want to buy some switches? It’s hard to recommend those, as it really comes down to preference and some of the best are not easy to find. But you can’t really go wrong with something like legitimate hype Oil King Gateron linear switches for example. Or if you want something a little weird, Akko CS . Sponge with its double tactile bump is also an interesting and very affordable thing (actually, all Akko switches punch better than their weight). Another classic is Tangerine Linear Switch C³Equalz X TKC. It’s as smooth as that, but then you’re in the premium category.

Image credits: glory

How about some drop cramming? Maybe a little Durock Conversion Film? One cool table mat? Or easier to use open switch? Or maybe a lubrication station – because there is nothing quite like boring as relaxed as checking a hundred switches.


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