Mechanical Keyboards - Anyone here a fan? Can anyone recommend a good 75% keyboard?

I agree, I prefer a rigid board instead of a bouncy squishy one. That’s part of why I like the plastic Keychron V1. It’s a tray mount board instead of gasket mount, and it has no fancy flex cuts or anything… so it’s rigid instead of bouncy. This also makes it cheaper, because it’s way easier to build than a fancy padded gasket mount.

OTOH, my metal Q65 isn’t rigid… it’s bouncy. Because, like most higher-end keyboards lately, it has those extra features designed to make the typing surface physically flexible. So I would prefer a simpler plastic “V65” version of it instead of the premium metal Q65. It would be more rigid, slightly lower profile due to the simpler internals, less cold to the touch, better-sounding, and about half as heavy.

Anyway, if you want rigid, try to find a cheap tray-mount board. The case material has almost no effect on how bouncy or rigid it is to type on. A tray mount and/or metal plate helps, but those things seem to be more common in plastic cases, since metal cases tend to be more premium boards with bouncier internals.

I got the 68g Boba U4, and ended up feeling like they were slightly too firm. I should have gotten the 62g version instead. But I’m really happy with both the silent and regular versions of the Durock T1.

Also, after looking at Akko’s site a few days ago, their “penguin” switch looks interesting too. I haven’t tried it, and they come out with new switches so fast it’s hard to ever find any real measurements, but at least based on what their page says, it looked promising.

Or for something completely different, there’s the Hako True switch. It has a long, tall force curve after activation, which I’ve heard described as “like typing on clouds”. Or like pressing on a sponge. It’s designed to not bottom out, which makes it very quiet. That’s what I have on my Whitefox. However, the unusually high bottom-out pressure also makes it tiring to hold a key down. And the tactile feel on it is otherwise really weak, so it feels almost like a linear switch during use, but with kind of a scratchy bit in the middle.

Found this site. Lots of KB info and reviews.
https://switchandclick.com/
and this place that sells all sorts of switches.
Switches (epomaker.com)
How the heck does anyone wade through all the choices?
It would be nice if there was a list that showed the graphs or at least the force next to the key type.
I’m interested in a quiet tactile with a heavy bump with a good bit of travel before the bump. Any suggestions?
All the Best,
Jeff

I think that is great question. I keep considering a new keyboard. The graphs don’t help much when one hasn’t a clue how that translates into actuall feel. So my eyes glaze over and I get a headache when considering switches. I am not sure how much it would matter to me. In IT for a very long time and travelling a bunch, I just got used to typing on whatever was available. That and the fact that I refuse to go down a path where I buy multiple sets of switches to try them. It makes this real hard.

That makes sense. I guess I still like the idea of having some metal though. It’s like, even if I could have a flashlight in plastic and it would perform the same as an aluminum one, I’d still opt for aluminum. There’s just something satisfying about something made well out of metal.

Believe me, this waffling is driving me nuts too lol. My wants are too specific. Rather than having 10 keyboards I’m trying to shove all me needs and wants into 2. It’s like trying to buy your endgame flashlight in one go instead of starting a collection. But I’m not giving up yet!

I’m trying out the Razer Blackwidow V4 75%. I thought I should just commit to a true gaming keyboard since it would hopefully have the features I want/need for that use-case. (north facing rgb and extremely low latency) And then I would get another keyboard to use the rest of the time.

That’s how it started, this is how it’s going:

Pros:

  • 75% form factor
  • audio roller is convenient and seems solid
  • hotswap sockets
  • north facing switches for good legend illumination
  • software technically works
  • optional 8000hz polling rate
  • by default, holding the FN key will light up the shortcut keys in white–very nice!

Cons:

  • Most bloated driver software I’ve ever seen–waaay too many background processes
  • The Razer Synapse application (not just the services) must be running to maintain the rgb settings… wtf
  • Weirdly awkward to type on - maybe the key profile is non-standard
  • Razer Orange switches feel like crap to me
  • This keyboard sounds worse than either the Epomaker TH80 SE or the FiiO KB3, both of which cost less. (It’s weird because it has sound dampening mods out of the box)
  • after one gaming session, I can observe that pressing the space bar down on one side feels significantly different from pressing it down on the other side. Either it came like that or one gaming session ruined a stabilizer. That’s nuts. My cheap $60 Magicforce68 feels better to type on and play on than this and I’ve been abusing it since 2017. (well, more use than abuse, I don’t get violent with my peripherals)

The stabilizers are replaceable, and I wanted to try different switches anyway, but it feels bad that the board doesn’t feel “good enough” out of the box for ~$200. The FiiO KB3 felt good enough that I didn’t think upgrades were a necessity. This one feels like it needs immediate help. Also, I don’t know if I can live with this software. It’s so damn invasive.

1 Thank

I’ll use this thread to post some pics of a board I built today - an Anvil Native 75 Founders Edition. Using Gateron Box Pink Ink (lubed with Tribosys 3204 and Krytox 105), and Durock v2 stabilizers (lubed with Tribosys 3204 and XHT-BDZ). Keycaps are in the basement and it is late, so will finish the build tomorrow. A pretty simple but fun board - and one I designed the electronics for. Made by a small German startup, sold only domestically AFAIK.

4 Thanks

I sent back the Razer Blackwidow V4 75%.

The switches grew on me, and I was able to disable a little of the software bloat. Unfortunately, the spacebar was worse than the one on my old keyboard. I was going to just replace the stabilizers, but then I discovered that pulling keycaps causes many of the switches to pull out too. I was worried that this would cause issues in the future including wobbling of the switch housings, and premature wear to the hotswap sockets. It was the last day in the return window, so I just brought it back.

I really wanted that one to work out since I think the latency is best-in-class and I liked how all of the board was filled with buttons leaving no useless blank spaces.

1 Thank