How long do keyboards last?

CastletonSnob

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I have a Microsoft 600 keyboard, which I've had for a couple of years now, and I was wondering how long keyboards last.
 

Mad Maxx

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Longest I had a keyboard last was about 4 years. It was a Ducky tenkeyless. My (at the time) 3yr old niece killed it when she dumped a juice box on it. My fault for letting her sit in my lap while watching a video at my computer. :ROFLMAO:
 
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pendragon1

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depends on build quality and how you use/treat them. I have a k/b from the mid90s that works just fine still, ps2 of course.
edit: it says "designed for win95" on it but no date.
edit 2: and its micron branded?! not sure if its the old oem or the ram guys....
 
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Nenu

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Depends what you do with them and how good the build quality is.
Good quality mechanical are more likely to give longest life.

I bought a Gskill KM780 RGB keyboard (mech brown swtches) over 5 years ago and while annoyingly loud its been a great keyboard.
I dont see it dying any day soon.
I got probably 3 years from previous none mech keyboards, especially Logitech, they die for none key press reasons, gave up on them after not much more than 1 year with a G19 when the display failed to work. When that happened keyboard lighting went up the spout.
 
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TheSlySyl

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My Corsair K90 (first gen) was still going strong 8 years later, i finally upgraded because I was getting bored of it and wanted a change (RGB).
Mechanical Keyboards last way, way, way longer than membrane keyboards.

Before that k90, i was going through mid-tier membrane keyboards about once every two years.
 
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toast0

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Most keyboards have an unfortunate end before they wear out. Or they get so filthy that buying a new one is more appealing than cleaning.

I think I've thrown out one keyboard because it stopped working well without having an accident in my 30+ years of keyboard use. That said, I can't account for all the keyboards either.
 

maro

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Too many variables, just like mice. Use til it dies. Maybe tomorrow maybe 20 years.

If you can go 20 years without spilling coffee or soda on it you're doing well.
 

GotNoRice

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Most keyboards won't die for mechanical reasons (even membrane keyboards). They generally just get dirty over time, especially if you have a habit of eating food near your keyboard and/or don't wash your hands very often.

In most cases, when keys start to get mushy, it's just because you have a plastic-on-plastic surface that is getting dirty/sticky. I've restored old membrane keyboards to being almost brand-new just by removing all the keys, cleaning everything, applying a tiny amount of white lithium grease to the inside of each key socket, and then putting all the keys back.
 
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My Unicomp 101 keyboard has lasted me since 2005, though I have had to remove the keycaps and clean it several times. I've personally had cheap OEM keyboards that come with a prebuilt system last me about 10 years (longer than the life of the system they came with), and I've heard of quality keyboards lasting even longer. I'm thinking the life span is about 10-15 years for a cheaper keyboard, and maybe 30 years for a good one, assuming you don't drop it or spill anything in it.
 

Domingo

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I have an old Logitech K250 that's still going strong after nearly 15 years. It has a bunch of weird tribal patterns on it, which date it nicely :p
Back when a $20 keyboard had no rollover restrictions and would last forever! To take care of it, I just spray it down (getting in as many cracks as possible) with electronics cleaner every couple years.
 

Zeoclang

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In my experience most keyboard failures are the result of dirt build up or liquid spills causing the keys to stick. I have seen the print worn off of heavy business use keyboards but I don't recall ever coming across one that was totally dead.
 

Nenu

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In my experience most keyboard failures are the result of dirt build up or liquid spills causing the keys to stick. I have seen the print worn off of heavy business use keyboards but I don't recall ever coming across one that was totally dead.

I had a Saitek Eclipse II lit keyboard that suffered multiple issues after 2 to 3 years.
The lighting became so dim as to not be worth using.
A couple of keys (right shift and enter) became difficult to get a response from.
Taking it apart and cleaning the membranes didnt help.

Some do wear out.
 

Susquehannock

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For me it used to be about one a year. Seemed to find a way to spill ale or coffee on it. Now I have completely changed my set up and habits. This Dell keyboard has lasted me about six years so far.

That said ... using a IBM model M with good ol' AT/DIN connector with PS/2 adapter on my retro Win98/voodoo4 gaming rig. Been using off and on since the 90s.
 

Armenius

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I had an Ideazon-branded Zboard that I used for about 18 years before replacing it with a K95. The plastic in the frame just wore down to the point of not being secure anymore due to the interchangeable keys. Just like my mouse I figured it was time for something new and fancy instead of bothering to fix it. I think I bought the Zboard for $40 brand new at CompUSA, and it came with both the standard 102-key keyset and the FPS gaming one. I bought I Doom 3 and Counter-Strike keyset for it, too.

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1619814824101.png
 

Denjoy

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I'm still using the same one I bought 10 years ago. Filco Majestouch TKL Cherry Browns.

The previous keyboard was some $10 Microsoft membrane which I stopped using because I spilled beer on the left side and the shift key was always sticking. It drove me nuts.

Just don't drink around them. :)
 

Valnar

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My Gateway Anykey keyboard lasted me 20 years before I got around to replacing it. It was still working when I did, but wasn't as pretty.
 

MavericK

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I haven't had the best luck - had a GMMK that started having weird issues just after the warranty period ended (a year or so), and it wasn't related to the switch so I couldn't just replace the switch itself.

Now my G910 is having issues with the "g" and "a" keys, which of course can't be replaced because it's not a swappable switch keyboard. I've had this one for about 6 years.

Seems like they should certainly last longer to me, but who knows. For how much these mechanical keyboards cost I'd expect better.
 

sharknice

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The only things that haven't lasted forever on my keyboards are the LEDs. Which has been a very bad problem on the Corsair keyboards I had, and a mild issue on the G910 keyboards I have had. Logitech sent me a new one when one blue LED went out on one key after a couple months. The replacement had a couple of the blue LEDs go out years later.

I guess I have had keys get worn down on other keyboards, and my Corsair keyboards had some fake leather wrist rests that got pretty worn down. But none of my keyboards ever stopped being functional.
 
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Nenu

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Depends what you do with them and how good the build quality is.
Good quality mechanical are more likely to give longest life.

I bought a Gskill KM780 RGB keyboard (mech brown swtches) over 5 years ago and while annoyingly loud its been a great keyboard.
I dont see it dying any day soon.
I got probably 3 years from previous none mech keyboards, especially Logitech, they die for none key press reasons, gave up on them after not much more than 1 year with a G19 when the display failed to work. When that happened keyboard lighting went up the spout.

The cable went titsup on my KM780, I can repair it but wanted something to use in the meantime.
My KB use type isnt normal though, its on my lap sitting on the sofa, the cable sees a lot of action, it lasted pretty well imo.
So I got a Steelseries Apex Pro, what a great KB !!!
The KM780 will be donated to someone in the family once I fix it. I pity their hearing lol.
 

Unabomber

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I still use IBM M keyboards. The one on my current work PC is from 1991.

My other work PC has an old Digital keyboard from a DEC Alpha system from that same decade.

Both keyboards are working perfectly. I do pop out the keys and give them a 95% ethanol scrubdown every few years of so, though.
 

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drklu

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I have a G15 membrane KB that is still going strong from 2009. Probably depends how much you use it.
 

noko

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3-5 years or until I just thrown them away for a new one. Funny on above Corsair LED lights, here with K65, randomly one LED will be weaker then another, mostly the C key but now it is the E key and then others. Don't use the Corsair software so no idea what is going on there. Maybe I should give it a good cleaning.
 

BillyJack

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It depends upon the keyboard. There is generally a correlation between cost and durability, but just because something's overpriced doesn't mean it will last. How long the keyboard lasts depends upon how often you use the keyboard, for how many hours, and what kind of typist or user you are, like do you do a whole bunch of writing, or are you a gamer? Then there are the materials used to make the keyboard. How are the keys manufactured? Are the characters etched or embossed, or are they embedded in the keycap itself? Your really cheesy keyboards have the characters printed on the keycaps, and after prolonged use, the most commonly-struck keys will become polished and glossy, the paint having worn off...and if you can't input by touch, if you have to look at each key before striking it, then that's going to be a big problem for you. Best option for me has been backlit keyboard with embedded characters; while the keys may become polished, the characters remain legible.

To prolong keyboard life, a sealed water-resistant unit is advised...if you are prone to drinking coffee of other beverages while using your computer. Too, foreign particles are less likely to get under the keycaps and interfere with input operations. Longer life.

The cheapo keyboards are okay for short-term use, but they really won't last too long for heavy use. A well-designed and well-made keyboard might cost a touch more, but can last six years or more. That's not a fact—it's just been my experience.
 

dthree

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Anything with a plasticky cheap feeling will probably not last too long. However I have several old IBM Model M keyboards (similar to some of the posters above) and they are built like a tank. There were a bunch getting discarded at an office workplace in the 90s and I saved them. They are probably 30+ years old now and still work fine. I expect them to last for my lifetime. :)
 

cjcox

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I've had cheapy keyboards last 7 years or more. The one I'm typing on is from a Lenovo Q190.

Technology changes. So while I had a ps/2 keyboard for a decade or so, had to really move on.
 

iroc409

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I still have a pair of IBM's from the early '90's. If it didn't wake up the neighbors it'd be on my desk. I had an original Microsoft Natural that lasted for a very long time as well, until I wanted something updated. I still have a Trackball Explorer that works great, and it's probably 20 years old--though I did have someone do some updates to it several years ago.
 

ZeqOBpf6

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cracks me up when people spend lots extra on a mechanical keyboard because "the switches last way longer."

...and then go buy 4 more over the course of 2 years.
 

TheSlySyl

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cracks me up when people spend lots extra on a mechanical keyboard because "the switches last way longer."

...and then go buy 4 more over the course of 2 years.
My first mechanical keyboard lasted 9 years. I was killing membrane keyboards in less than a year.

That mechanical keyboard actually still works great.

The fact that I now own 5 more mechanical keyboards is purely a personal failure and absolutely nothing to do with anything to do with the actual functionality of the individual boards.
 

ChRoNo16

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Ive had my Saitek eclipse II for over 15+ and it works fine, LED's are a touch dim but it all works. Also have a compaq ps2 keyboard from the 90's thats been in use and working and still is to this day. Its more of a how they are used and kept that makes the difference.
 

atarione

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probably already said but it sort of depends and you get what you pay for and also how hard you are on equipment?

My wife has a Logitech Illuminated keyboard I think** I bought in 2008~ or so... but it is definitely over 10yrs old, however i do not believe the newer ones logitech sells now are nearly as robust.. On my pc I am using a 7~yr old Filco MT-2 TKL keyboard that is working absolutely as well as it did when I got it, it is used daily and has survived many hours of gaming... OTOH I do not eat or drink over my keyboards and I clean them regularly.

Membrane keyboards?? may not hold up as well? I haven't used a membrane keyboard since 2010~ however.. cheaper keyboards may also suffer cosmetic issues that make people want to replace them even if they still work (keycap wear / shine... wear thru on illuminated keycaps that looks like ****?) .. I have Vortex PBT keycaps on my Filco that are a few months newer than the keyboard and they still look great as well.

but blah blah blah.. an adult using a pc, like an adult will probably get many many years out of just about any keyboard ... if you bash it, abuse it ..spill stuff on it.. maybe not so much?
 

Tengis

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I have a G15 membrane KB that is still going strong from 2009. Probably depends how much you use it.
Im typing this on my failed G15 keyboard. Ive been using it for about a decade. The D and the W keys are worn out - the membranes are broken. Currently looking for a new keyboard and will probably just ask the wife to buy me one with my own money for Christmas.
 

DanNeely

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I've never had a keyboard fail due to bad key switches/etc. The only failure I've ever had was a cheap Logitech keyboard (I think an MK200 - $20 including a cheap mouse); after about 3 years it's cord failed coming out of the keyboard itself due to lack of strain relief. One of the wires apparently cracked because it'd randomly disconnect during use, and I could trigger a series of dis/reconnects by wiggling the cable coming into it.
 

Zepher

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My Amiga 3000T Keyboard was still working when I sold the system, it was almost 30 years old.
 

Zepher

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Im typing this on my failed G15 keyboard. Ive been using it for about a decade. The D and the W keys are worn out - the membranes are broken. Currently looking for a new keyboard and will probably just ask the wife to buy me one with my own money for Christmas.
I really like the look and feel of the new G815. I bought the iCue Nexus screen so it makes it almost like a G15.

IMG_0851.JPEG
 
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