Are Mechanical Keyboards Better for Typing?

November 11, 2023

Are you someone who values fast, accurate typing? Do you want a keyboard that offers comfort, speed, and consistency as you type? If you're tired of your current keyboard falling short, it's time to explore the world of mechanical keyboards.

In this article, we'll explain why mechanical keyboards are better for typing. We'll uncover their unique keyboard features and explain why they are well worth the extra investment.

Get ready to revolutionize your typing experience. Let's begin.

History of Mechanical Keyboards

Mechanical keyboards are a type of computer keyboard that uses individual mechanical devices called mechanical switches beneath each key. These switches are responsible for registering keypresses and actuations. They are unlike membrane keyboards, found in many laptops and traditional desktop keyboards. 

Membrane keyboards use a membrane switch as their key actuation mechanism. This membrane switch is typically a thin, flexible layer made of rubber or silicone, with conductive traces printed on it. When a key is pressed, it causes the top membrane layer to make contact with the bottom membrane layer, completing an electrical circuit and registering a key press.

The Transition from Mechanical to Membrane Keyboards

The original typewriters, which date back to the 19th century, featured mechanical key switches. These typewriters were robust and built to withstand heavy daily use. The hallmark "clickity-clack" sound and the tactile feedback of mechanical keypresses were synonymous with typewriting for generations.

Mechanical keyboards continued to be the standard for computer terminals and early personal computers. These keyboards provided a high degree of durability and were well-suited for intense typing tasks. However, as technology advanced and computers became more compact, the need for thinner and lighter keyboards led to the emergence of a new keyboard technology – the membrane keyboard.

Membrane keyboards were introduced as a space-saving and cost-effective alternative to mechanical keyboards. They relied on a simple yet ingenious design, featuring a thin, flexible membrane switch that registered keypresses when two layers of the membrane came into contact. This design allowed for slimmer and lighter keyboards, making them a natural choice for laptops and other portable devices.

One of the key advantages of membrane keyboards was their quiet operation. The soft rubber or silicone domes beneath the keys cushioned each keypress, significantly reducing the noise associated with typing. This made membrane keyboards suitable for quiet office environments and contributed to their popularity in consumer electronics.

Resurgence of Mechanical Keyboards in Recent Years

In the last decade, mechanical keyboards have experienced a remarkable resurgence. Mechanical keyboards are becoming more popular, defying the trend of membrane keyboards that have dominated the market for many years. The resurgence of mechanical keyboards reflects a shift in user preferences toward a more tactile and customizable typing experience.

The resurgence of mechanical keyboards can be attributed to various factors. One of the main drivers is the rise of gaming, coding, and professional writing communities, where precision and responsiveness are crucial.

Typing enthusiasts have rediscovered the joy of using mechanical keyboards, appreciating the tactile and auditory feedback they provide. These keyboards offer a more satisfying typing experience, which has contributed to their growing appeal.

Individuals, especially the tech-savvy who love an aesthetic appeal, want to personalize their game spaces workspaces with high-quality peripherals that are unique and distinctive. Mechanical keyboards, with their extensive customizing options, fit the bill. 

Manufacturers have responded to the demand for mechanical keyboards by offering a wide range of products with innovative features. This includes compact 60% keyboards, full-sized options, and ergonomic designs. Additionally, mechanical keyboards often feature customizable RGB lighting, programmable macros, and software that allows users to fine-tune their keyboard's performance.

Why Mechanical Keyboards are Great for Typing

Wouldn't it be cool if you're typing on a keyboard that allows you to hear, feel, or even see what you're typing? Well, that's what mechanical keyboards are for.

Mechanical keyboards excel in providing tactile feedback, improving typing speed and accuracy, offering durability and customization options, supporting key rollover, and catering to individual preferences. These features collectively make mechanical keyboards an excellent choice for typists who value both the quality of their typing experience and the longevity of their keyboard investment.

Here are some of the benefits of using a mechanical keyboard for typing.

1. Tactile Feedback

  • Typing on a mechanical keyboard feels more satisfying due to its tactile feedback. Tactile feedback is a defining feature of mechanical keyboards. When you press a key, you can feel a noticeable bump or resistance at the actuation point. This feedback informs you that the keypress has been registered, allowing you to type with greater precision and confidence. This is especially beneficial for touch typists who rely on muscle memory to navigate the keyboard.

2. Durability

  • Mechanical switches are known for their durability. They are designed to withstand millions of keypresses, which far exceed the lifespan of membrane switches commonly found in membrane keyboards. This durability ensures that your mechanical keyboard lasts a long time and remains reliable even after years of heavy use.

3. N-Key Rollover

  • Most mechanical keyboards support full key rollover (NKRO) or at least 6-key rollover. This means that the keyboard can register all simultaneous keypresses, ensuring that no keystrokes are missed, even during complex combinations. This feature is crucial for typists who need to execute intricate keyboard shortcuts and commands.

4. Versatility

  • Mechanical keyboards are versatile and suitable for various tasks. They are not limited to typing and are popular among gamers due to their rapid and precise keypress recognition. This versatility makes them ideal for users who need a keyboard that can perform well in both professional and recreational settings.

5. Ergonomics

  • Some mechanical keyboards are designed with ergonomic features to enhance comfort during typing. Ergonomic keyboards have adjustable stands, split keyboard layouts, and customizable tilt angles that can promote a healthier, more neutral, and more natural typing posture, reducing the risk of typing-related strain or discomfort during long typing sessions. Ergonomic designs also allow gamers and typists to relax while they pound on the keyboard.

6. Auditory Cues

  • The distinct sound produced by mechanical switches can be satisfying to some users and can provide auditory cues for keypress registration. While not everyone appreciates the audible feedback, those who do find that it adds to the overall typing experience and can help them stay focused while typing.

7. Customizability

  • Mechanical keyboards offer a high level of customizability, allowing you to tailor the keyboard to your typing-specific preferences. This customization encompasses various aspects, including
    • Key Switches: Mechanical keyboards come with different types of switches. Each switch offers unique characteristics in terms of feel and sound. Users can select switches that match their preferred typing experience. In the mechanical keyboard market, there are linear switches, tactile switches, and clicky switches; these are the most common switch types. 
    • Keycap Options: Many mechanical keyboards have removable and replaceable keycaps. This means you can change the keycap material, shape, or even design to achieve a personalized aesthetic or improve the touch and feel of the keyboard.
    • Key Mapping and Macros: Some mechanical keyboards come with customizable software that enables users to remap keys and create macros. This functionality is valuable for streamlining repetitive tasks or creating shortcuts for frequently used functions, which can enhance productivity and efficiency.
    • RGB Lighting and Effects: Mechanical keyboards often feature customizable RGB lighting, allowing users to choose from a wide spectrum of colors and lighting effects. This customization is not only visually appealing but can also be used to create a keyboard layout that suits your personal style and preferences.
    • Form Factors: Mechanical keyboards come in various form factors, including compact 60% keyboards, tenkeyless (TKL) layouts, and full-sized keyboards. Users can select the size and layout that best fits their needs and workspace.

Does a Mechanical Keyboard Make You Type Faster?

You might be wondering if using a mechanical keyboard can actually improve your typing speed. Well, it's not a simple yes or no answer.  A mechanical keyboard can potentially help some individuals type faster, but it's important to understand that typing speed is influenced by various factors, and the keyboard is just one of them. Here are some considerations regarding how a mechanical keyboard may impact typing speed:

1. Feedback and Accuracy: Mechanical keyboards provide tactile feedback, which means that you can feel when a keypress has been registered. This feedback can enhance typing accuracy by reducing the likelihood of accidental keypresses or missed keystrokes. When typists are more certain that their inputs are being recognized, they may type with more confidence, which can lead to increased speed.

2. Reduced Bottoming Out: Some mechanical keyboards allow typists to avoid bottoming out the keys by actuating the key before fully pressing it down. This can lead to quicker keypresses because you don't have to exert as much force on each key. The reduced distance the key needs to travel to actuate can also contribute to a faster typing rhythm.

3. Key Rollover: Most mechanical keyboards support key rollover, which means they can register multiple simultaneous keypresses accurately. This is essential for fast typists who often type key combinations, shortcuts, or keyboard commands. With key rollover, there's no delay or missed keystrokes, which can improve typing speed when using complex keyboard shortcuts.

However, you should remember that there are other factors that affect your typing speed. Yes, it is highly individual and it isn't always about the keyboard.

1. Typing Technique: Your typing technique, touch typing skills, and finger placement on the keyboard have a significant impact on typing speed. Proper typing technique is more important than the type of keyboard you're using. With the proper technique, you can increase your words per minute.

2. Muscle Memory: Typing speed is closely related to muscle memory. If you're accustomed to a particular keyboard layout and key feel, transitioning to a different keyboard, whether mechanical or membrane, may initially affect your typing speed until you adapt.

3. Familiarity and Practice: Familiarity with your keyboard, its layout, and the positioning of keys can contribute to increased typing speed. Regular practice and using the same keyboard consistently can help you become more proficient.

4. Typing Tasks: The nature of your typing tasks can also impact your speed. Some tasks, like data entry or transcription, require specific skills and techniques to maximize speed.


Isn't it time you upgraded your typing experience? Mechanical keyboards offer more than just a tool; they're a reliable ally for your fingers. Designed for comfort and efficiency, these keyboards provide consistent keystrokes and customizable switches.

They can significantly enhance your typing speed and accuracy. So why not buy a mechanical keyboard and say goodbye to your old, mediocre typing companion? You won't regret it.

Chris Greiner, a Mechanical Keyboard specialist, boasts a solid educational background with dual bachelor's degrees in Computer Science and Business Management from Lewis University. His additional certification in Mechanical Keyboard Design showcases his dedication to staying on the forefront of keyboard technology. Chris primarily writes for keyboard enthusiasts and has been featured on platforms like Jestik, solidifying his reputation as a thought leader in the mechanical keyboard community.
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