Buying a mechanical keyboard for the first time

medeyer

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So I'm looking at getting a mechanical keyboard to replace my epic Microsoft keyboard. I have a general idea of what would be preferable; cherry brown switches, backlit keys, full length. The Ducky DK2108SZ Shine Zero Zone looks suitable, albeit a bit lacking in some features. Not a bad thing, just a bit meh-ish.

Looking mainly at something for gaming, bit of typing, general outside of the office use. Any of your opinions on brands or models are desired, or whether red switches are better. I don't like the look of the Corsair keyboards btw.
 

Morsx

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I find red switches better if you are looking for a gaming and typing compromise. Otherwise, blue switches are best for typing and brown are best for gaming.

Unfortunately, backlit mechanical keyboards tend to carry a price premium as most non-backlit keyboards can be gotten for less than $100 (especially during sales).
 

Skull_Angel

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I find red switches better if you are looking for a gaming and typing compromise. Otherwise, blue switches are best for typing and brown are best for gaming.

Key choice is highly personal preference, though I do tend to agree that MX Blue may not be the best for key spam heavy games.

If backlighting is a must, I would definitely stick with Ducky for all around quality. Deck is also a big name in backlighting, but I find the legends on the keys horrid.
 

ClutchAutomatic

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go Das or Ducky Shine 3 for back light, I have a Corsair K95 red, Ducky Shine 3 brown, Das Professional 4 blue, and I just grabbed a Das Professional S brown. Defintely go for brown switches.
 

medeyer

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Thanks for your input guys. I guess everyone has their preferences in regards to switches. I don't suppose anyone can exlain the difference between the Ducky Shine Zero and Ducky Shine Three apart from price?
 

Q-BZ

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go Das or Ducky Shine 3 for back light, I have a Corsair K95 red, Ducky Shine 3 brown, Das Professional 4 blue, and I just grabbed a Das Professional S brown.

Definitely go for brown switches.

Why?

I love my blues for gaming and typing but I think people in the house are increasingly disliking them. ;)

If I want something that feels comparable to blues with less noise are browns the closest thing to it?
 

ashmelev75

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I find red switches better if you are looking for a gaming and typing compromise. Otherwise, blue switches are best for typing and brown are best for gaming.

I think you got it wrong.
Blue are for typing, red are for gaming, brown are in-between.
 

Skull_Angel

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Thanks for your input guys. I guess everyone has their preferences in regards to switches. I don't suppose anyone can exlain the difference between the Ducky Shine Zero and Ducky Shine Three apart from price?

The Shine Zero is more of a baseline backlit keybaord, while the Shine 3 has extra features such as multiple lighting modes.
 

fantabulous

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Why?

I love my blues for gaming and typing but I think people in the house are increasingly disliking them. ;)

If I want something that feels comparable to blues with less noise are browns the closest thing to it?

I have a Das with blue switches at home, with my one at work using brown switches. The browns aren't as clacky noisy, but it's not exactly silent and people have actually just listened for my keybaord to determine if I'm in the office.

They feel roughly the same to me for typing. I haven't had them side by side for a couple of years, though.
 

Metrea

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I know I'm not the OP, but I feel the hardest part about making a decision on a mechanical keyboard is the switches. I can't decide between the few, I have purchased a sample pack for them to test them out, but I personally can't narrow it down to just one. I do a lot of typing but I also do gaming on occasions and don't really like clicky keys... that's just very annoying to me. do you guys recommend me getting Browns?

I do like Ducky brand, but I really love the minimalist look. I am also very very partical to getting WASD as well.
 

Skull_Angel

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This is my preference, but I don't like MX Brown. To me MX Brown just feels like a gritty MX Red most of the time; the tactile point isn't very pronounced and can only really be felt while actuating the switch at slower speeds. If I were to go for a tactile MX switch it would have to be MX Clear, the tactility is very pronounced even when slapping at the keys like an excited monkey.
 

MrWrong

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I know I'm not the OP, but I feel the hardest part about making a decision on a mechanical keyboard is the switches. I can't decide between the few, I have purchased a sample pack for them to test them out, but I personally can't narrow it down to just one. I do a lot of typing but I also do gaming on occasions and don't really like clicky keys... that's just very annoying to me. do you guys recommend me getting Browns?

I do like Ducky brand, but I really love the minimalist look. I am also very very partical to getting WASD as well.

I do a mostly gaming with my keyboard but also do my fair share of typing as well and I went with browns. To me they seem to be the best for a mix a typing and gaming.
 

Usure

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The first thing I take into account when buying a keyboard is how much space is needed, or lack there of ...

I personally have the Razer BlackWidow and the SteelSeries G6v2, both are great mechanical keyboards, I have no complaints about either one really.

Something you also should try to decide is what type of switches you want, do you want a clicky keyboard or silent, etc.

There's a LOT of mechanical keyboards out there, the two I have are great, but there are plenty more that are as good and better out there. I know you said you don't like the design of the Corsair, but I would encourage you to visit a store where you can feel them, they're probably some of the most solid keyboards I've ever seen/used. The aluminum construction is second to none, but that's just my opinion.

Just food for thought, the red cherry switches are loud! My Razer has Red and my SteelSeries has Black switches and those are silent ...
 

Randylahey

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i just picked up a corsair k70 w/ red switches yesterday, definitely louder then my logitech g510. I need some time to adjust to the new layout, but i do recommend it.
 

_PixelNinja

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I think you got it wrong.
Blue are for typing, red are for gaming, brown are in-between.
That is nothing more than a baseline. The reality of the matter is Cherry MX switches are a personal thing; we can explain and debate all day long how a switch feels, ultimately only personal experience will tell which switch is preferred for what.

Contrary to everything I had been told at the time, after experiencing all the mainstream switches I chose MX Reds and use them for everything from gaming to touch typing. I did enjoy all the other switch types — with the exception of MX Browns which I distaste due to the fact they feel like MX Reds with sand stuck inside the mechanism — but Reds simply feel the most natural and comfortable to me; and I strive for proper form and technique which some people tend to think Reds hinder.

Before spending money on an expensive keyboard, I highly recommend purchasing or borrowing a sample kit to at least get a basic feel of the different popular Cherry MX switches. These can be found for more or less $10 at quite a few mechanical keyboard eTailers.
 

Azuresnow

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I am using the k70 w/ red switches. It's quiet enough to not wake up my house, and it feels so right when I push down the keys.
 

Venomous

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I just received my custom max keyboard based on brown switches. Wow, is all I have to say. I looked at a lot of them and realized for what I wanted, max was the best choice for me. Corsair was out because out of 5 products all of them had RMA issues. Really wasn't interested in a mass produced mechanical kb anyhow.

If you stick with the recommended manf's you can't go wrong. It just comes down to special options among them.
 
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Metrea

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Before spending money on an expensive keyboard, I highly recommend purchasing or borrowing a sample kit to at least get a basic feel of the different popular Cherry MX switches. These can be found for more or less $10 at quite a few mechanical keyboard eTailers.

I think I will do as you suggested. I would much rather take the time to really figure out what my tastes are. I just need to get off my sticky $3 Goodwill keyboard. can't do anything on it at all.
 

NoOther

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My favorites for mechanical keyboards are the Das Model S with brown switches for all around although its not everyone's cup of tea it is still pretty popular and a good keyboard. The Ducky Shine 3 as others have mentioned is a great keyboard especially for gaming. Another good choice is the Roccat Ryos MK Pro.

Personally on the topic of switches, I think it is highly subjective on your tastes. If you are not a very high level gamer, I don't believe you will need the Cherry MX Red. The Cherry MX Brown are usually the most versatile between gaming and typing and the Blue are probably the best if you are going to be doing more typing and not concerned about top level gaming. I would honestly say most people probably wouldn't notice the performance difference between the three in gaming, so it really comes down to the feel of the switches and that is a personal choice.
 

_PixelNinja

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I would honestly say most people probably wouldn't notice the performance difference between the three in gaming, so it really comes down to the feel of the switches and that is a personal choice.
MX Blues are however an exception; because of the switch mechanism and reset point if you play games which require quick multiple presses of the same key or tend to float close to the actuation point they will become a source of frustration.
 

dandragonrage

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MX Blues are however an exception; because of the switch mechanism and reset point if you play games which require quick multiple presses of the same key or tend to float close to the actuation point they will become a source of frustration.

MX Blues are in that area of "sucks for gaming" and "not as good as the buckling spring for typing (or gaming... or anything else)"
 

_PixelNinja

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MX Blues are in that area of "sucks for gaming" and "not as good as the buckling spring for typing (or gaming... or anything else)"
I wouldn't go as far as to say they suck for gaming — I have friends who are decent Starcraft and/or DoTA players and who enjoy Mx Blues very much.
 

atarione

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the switch type preference thing is a matter of personal choice.. there is no right or wrong answer.

I love mx-browns and like reds ..but that doesn't make someone that would rather use blues wrong they just have a different preference.


I put these on my Rosewill 9000 quieted it down quite a bit...

http://www.amazon.com/008-Buna-N-O-..._indust_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0GRZKF5GYE0P9XQ30815


my main keyboard is a WASD V1 mx-brown (with dampers as well) no back lights but a great keyboard it has held up well for a year and 1/2 now. They are on to the V2 now however.
 

linziyi

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Definitely go test different switches before buying one. One way you can do this is to buy a keyboard, try it, and return it back.
 

dandragonrage

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I love mx-browns and like reds ..but that doesn't make someone that would rather use blues wrong they just have a different preference.

MX Blues are the Rube Goldberg machines of keyswitches. Buckling spring are better in literally every single way (except availability, I suppose).
 
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Justintoxicated

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I think you got it wrong.
Blue are for typing, red are for gaming, brown are in-between.

Some people say browns are like dirty reds but I like them for typing and gaming. Blue might be better for at work, but then they are not due to noise and not having my own office. Blue are bad for gaming because the activation and rest points are not in the same location. So they would be bad for games that require double tapping compared to other options.
 

_PixelNinja

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Definitely go test different switches before buying one. One way you can do this is to buy a keyboard, try it, and return it back.
Ideally it would be preferable to avoid this kind of practice considering in the long run it can drive prices up. There are plenty of sampler kits available from many outlets that can be purchased for more or less $10 and that are decent in providing a first impressions on the different types of Cherry MX switches.
 

Justintoxicated

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IMO the Max Keyboard Blackbird or Deck keyboards are the best backlight keyboards with cherry switches. I have not typed on the deck but they both have double-shot keycaps and good build quality.

code, ducky, cm, corsair all use crappy keycaps in comparison. The blackbird is not available in a full length version but for gaming you should try an 87key it's way nicer when going from and transitioning to the mouse. I hated the idea until I tried one for myself Then if you miss the ten key you can buy a separate pad later.

I'd like to try those clear switches myself though.
 
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Q-BZ

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I can highly recommend Corsair. I'm very impressed with the K70.
 

qbanb8582

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So I'm looking at getting a mechanical keyboard to replace my epic Microsoft keyboard. I have a general idea of what would be preferable; cherry brown switches, backlit keys, full length. The Ducky DK2108SZ Shine Zero Zone looks suitable, albeit a bit lacking in some features. Not a bad thing, just a bit meh-ish.

Looking mainly at something for gaming, bit of typing, general outside of the office use. Any of your opinions on brands or models are desired, or whether red switches are better. I don't like the look of the Corsair keyboards btw.

Well maybe I could be of some help. After spending nearly $200 I've learned some lessons. I have two mechanical keyboards a Razer Blackwidow ultimate 2013 that uses Cherry MX Blue switches, which I just did the o-ring mod. I also have a Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2014 stealth that uses razer's orange switch which is comprable to the cherry brown keys.

First I got the Razer 2013 from a user on this forum for about $75. I liked the feeling of the blue switches but there were way too loud for me. It felt great for typing but the noise was just driving me crazy.

Then I get a Razer 2014, it was considerable quieter but for typing it just didn't have the same sensation as the blues. Typing the blues feels very good.

Then I got a set of o-rings to put on the blues to see if the sound would dampen the sound enough and still feel pretty good. Well I'm using the keyboard right now after just installing the o-rings about an hour ago. So far it feels pretty good. The sound is dampened quite a bit to the point where I think I'm going to stick with it.

Now if you haven't used either one, you'll probably be just fine with browns. But I used the blues for about a week or two before I switched and it was a noticeable difference in typing.
 

foxnews

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just a warning...

I bought Corsair K70 Blue switch and blue LED, and two LEDs died in a few months. I got Corsair to replace it with another K70. Then a few months later, 2 LEDs died.

I also have Logitech G710+ for a year and no LED dies yet. and logitech illuminated keyboard for years without any issues with LED.

I am done with Corsair current mechanical keyboard. don't want to replace another one.
 
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Justintoxicated

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Well maybe I could be of some help. After spending nearly $200 I've learned some lessons. I have two mechanical keyboards a Razer Blackwidow ultimate 2013 that uses Cherry MX Blue switches, which I just did the o-ring mod. I also have a Razer Blackwidow Ultimate 2014 stealth that uses razer's orange switch which is comprable to the cherry brown keys.

First I got the Razer 2013 from a user on this forum for about $75. I liked the feeling of the blue switches but there were way too loud for me. It felt great for typing but the noise was just driving me crazy.

Then I get a Razer 2014, it was considerable quieter but for typing it just didn't have the same sensation as the blues. Typing the blues feels very good.

Then I got a set of o-rings to put on the blues to see if the sound would dampen the sound enough and still feel pretty good. Well I'm using the keyboard right now after just installing the o-rings about an hour ago. So far it feels pretty good. The sound is dampened quite a bit to the point where I think I'm going to stick with it.

Now if you haven't used either one, you'll probably be just fine with browns. But I used the blues for about a week or two before I switched and it was a noticeable difference in typing.

But you haven't even used real browns :p
 

Dan_D

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I find red switches better if you are looking for a gaming and typing compromise. Otherwise, blue switches are best for typing and brown are best for gaming.

Unfortunately, backlit mechanical keyboards tend to carry a price premium as most non-backlit keyboards can be gotten for less than $100 (especially during sales).

That's entirely subjective. I like Cherry MX Blues for everything.

But you haven't even used real browns :p

He's used Cherry MX Browns in a bad keyboard with cheap key caps, a cheap housing and lousy firmware and software. Not really indicative of the Cherry MX Brown experience.
 

qbanb8582

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That's entirely subjective. I like Cherry MX Blues for everything.



He's used Cherry MX Browns in a bad keyboard with cheap key caps, a cheap housing and lousy firmware and software. Not really indicative of the Cherry MX Brown experience.

This isn't entirely subjective? :) lol
 
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