Mechanical keyboards have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, thanks to their durability, customization options, and overall typing experience. But for beginners, it can be overwhelming to understand the different components of a mechanical keyboard and their functions. In this guide, we’ll break down the different components of a mechanical keyboard and what they do.
The switches are the most important component of a mechanical keyboard, as they determine the feel and sound of your typing. Switches come in different colors and types, and each type has a different actuation force and sound. Some popular types of switches include Cherry MX, Gateron, and Kailh. You can choose a switch based on your typing style and preference.
Keycaps are the pieces that go on top of the switches and determine the look of your keyboard. Keycaps come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. ABS plastic and PBT plastic are the most common materials used for keycaps, but there are also keycaps made of metals, woods, and other materials. Some keycaps also have legends or labels that indicate what character or function each key represents.
PCB (Printed Circuit Board)
The PCB is the circuit board that connects the switches and keycaps to your computer. It contains the necessary electronics to read and interpret the signals from each switch and translate them into keystrokes on your computer. Some PCBs also have built-in features like LED lighting, programmability, and compatibility with different layouts.
The plate typically has cutouts or holes for each switch, so that the switches can be mounted onto the PCB and secured in place. The plate can also have additional cutouts for stabilizers, which help to keep larger keys (like the spacebar and enter key) stable when pressed.
Stabilizers are mechanisms that keep larger keys (like the spacebar, enter key, and shift keys) level and stable when pressed. They consist of a housing, a stem, and wires. Stabilizers can affect the feel and sound of your typing, so choosing the right type of stabilizer is important.
The case is the outer shell that holds all the components of your mechanical keyboard together. Cases come in different materials like plastic, metal, and wood. Some cases also have built-in features like cable management, adjustable feet, and sound dampening.
Cables are the wires that connect your keyboard to your computer. Some mechanical keyboards have detachable cables, which make them easier to transport and replace if necessary. Cables come in different lengths, colors, and materials like braided nylon, rubber, or PVC.
Understanding the different components of a mechanical keyboard is important for beginners who want to customize and personalize their typing experience. By knowing the function of each component, you can choose the right components for your needs and preferences, and even build your own mechanical keyboard from scratch.