Looking for a good entry level mechanical . I've never owned one before, and only used one a couple times. I don't typically play games though I do a lot of application development. Thanks!

@ryan I own a Tecware Phantom 87-key:

It's great to type on, not expensive, and has replaceable switches.

@ryan i love my keychron k3! it’s 75% layout, reasonably priced, and very clicky.

@autumn I'll definitely check that one out! I should have mentioned that I do like the keyboards without the numeric pad.

@autumn @ryan Chiming in that I really like my Keychron K8 (very similar, slightly larger layout). There are a few nitpicks, but I'm generally very satisfied with it and it's a great value for the price

@ryan I just got my first mechanical keyboard after playing around with a couple of my sons “extras”. I went with a Ducky One 2 SF. I like it quite a bit. Feels nice to type on. Not too loud, but a nice satisfying clack. Right about $100.

@ryan check some recent threads from @cooper as I think he just got some good suggestions too. If you go #keychron I’d suggest getting one that supports QMK/VIA firmware as it’ll provide the best compatibility and flexibility

@ryan I've bought a cherry MX board 3.0 which was fairy cheap and available in different switch versions. Not sure if it's still available but if but there is probably a successor

@ryan definitely get one that allows for hot swap switches. It prevents the need for multiple boards. I picked one up with this feature and I’m ready to sell my original collection now.

@komish ok, this is where I'm confused. For the novice, can you explain what multiple boards are, and what the switches have to do with it? Thanks.

@ryan mechanical keyboards have switches that you press down to type. Each key has a switch. Switches can have all kinds of characteristics such as pressure required to depress, distance until the letter is typed vs bottoming out, clickyness, etc. Back in the day you bought a keyboard with a single switch type. If you decided you didn’t like how the keys felt, or just wanted some variety, you had to buy a whole new keyboard with a different switch.

@ryan today, though, you can buy keyboards with sockets that don’t have the switches soldered into place. This means you can just buy a new set of switches, which is often cheaper than buying a new board, and just swap them in with some provided tools.

@ryan to that end, while it’s not required to do so, I find that out rarely hurts to recommend getting hot swappable sockets even to first timers. I’m budget conscious these days, so it’s not the highest quality Board but I got You can get nicer things if your budget is bigger.

@komish this is a great explanation and makes perfect sense. Thank you!

Sign in to participate in the conversation

Come as you are, but be prepared to discuss all code, web development, cooking, dogs, and coffee.