Inexpensive, simple, full mechanical keyboard?

Joined
Apr 5, 2016
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2,286
Hey guys! I'm settling into my new office and am going to be spending a lot more time on a keyboard than in my previous position. I'd like a mechanical keyboard, but I don't want to pay for all the RGB/macrokeys/gamer glitz that typically comes along with them.

Where should I turn for a simple, full size keyboard that's got mechanical switches? I don't mind paying for quality, but also don't want to pay for gameresque features that I don't need.

Thanks!
 

capt_cope

Gawd
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Apr 12, 2009
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Had very good luck with my Das keyboard - it's been over a decade and it's still trucking as my "office" keyboard - everyday use for the past decade or so.
 

atarione

[H]ard|Gawd
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Mar 17, 2011
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You can kinda take you pick of quality non gamerish decent keyboards:

I have a Filco MT2 that I really like but I did spend more money for better keycaps for it and it isn't exactly cheap .. but it is solid. my Filco is about ~5yrs old now and it is perfect.

blah blah Ducky , Filco, Leopold.. probably other brands (WASD I guess) could all be pretty good choices.

If shopping these brands (and there are probably many other decent brands I am forgetting?) the main thing is going to be switch preference, stabilizer type.. The Leopold and Ducky have cherry stabilizers that I personally do not like, the Filco has costar stabilizers which I prefer... but this is highly subjective.

You may or may not care the 4 brands I mentioned are made in Taiwan rather than China which I personally greatly prefer..

Personally my preference is for Filco a MT2 fullsize keyboard is about $150~ the Vortex pbt keycaps I have are about $40~ sooo.. the stock Filco keycaps are ~meh.. but you can use them. I suppose in honesty $190~ for the filco + pbt keycaps isn't inexpensive..but it is worth it imho.

here is my Filco
filcoTKL_2.jpg
 

Lateralus

More [H]uman than Human
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
16,361
You can kinda take you pick of quality non gamerish decent keyboards:

I have a Filco MT2 that I really like but I did spend more money for better keycaps for it and it isn't exactly cheap .. but it is solid. my Filco is about ~5yrs old now and it is perfect.

blah blah Ducky , Filco, Leopold.. probably other brands (WASD I guess) could all be pretty good choices.

If shopping these brands (and there are probably many other decent brands I am forgetting?) the main thing is going to be switch preference, stabilizer type.. The Leopold and Ducky have cherry stabilizers that I personally do not like, the Filco has costar stabilizers which I prefer... but this is highly subjective.

You may or may not care the 4 brands I mentioned are made in Taiwan rather than China which I personally greatly prefer..

Personally my preference is for Filco a MT2 fullsize keyboard is about $150~ the Vortex pbt keycaps I have are about $40~ sooo.. the stock Filco keycaps are ~meh.. but you can use them. I suppose in honesty $190~ for the filco + pbt keycaps isn't inexpensive..but it is worth it imho.

here is my Filco
View attachment 240714

Yep. And the cool thing is, if you’re OK with Cherry stabilizers (I don’t mind them) you can get a Ducky with PBT keycaps for about $100 I believe. That’s a great value, particularly compared to the Logitech and Corsair gamer boards that come with crappy ABS caps and have inferior build quality.
 

ElementDave

Weaksauce
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May 5, 2013
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85
Logitech now has a K845, with a choice between several switches. Looks similar to the K840 apart from different switches and the addition of a strange lighting scheme. It's $59.99 (list price) with their in-house switches (red, blue, brown), or $79.99 with genuine Cherry (red, blue). I have no experience with it personally but thought I'd add it to the list for prospective readers of this thread.

https://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/k845-mechanical-illuminated.html
 

TheSlySyl

[H]ard|Gawd
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May 30, 2018
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That K845 looks good.

You could also go with a GMMK, customizable, and just turn off the RGB. It's about the same price as anything else here and it has a ton of switch choices.
The upcoming "pro" model looks like a serious quality upgrade if you don't need the 10key. (I can't imagine a work keyboard not requiring a 10key though)
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2016
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2,286
Hey guys! Thanks for all the feedback.

I eventually did go with the GMMK tenkeyless model at home, and so brought my Corsair K65 to work. It's a considerable upgrade from the membrane office keyboard that was there and thankfully has a button to turn off the backlight.
 

3dprophet

Weaksauce
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Oct 9, 2020
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Filco looks nice but it's overpriced. The original Coolermaster Quickfire Rapid is almost identical (made by the same OEM), but it was like 2/3rds of the price of a Filco. It was unfortunately discontinued. Ducky is a bit better value than Filco as well.

It's interesting that backlit keyboards cost essentially the same as non-backlit nowadays though.
 

atarione

[H]ard|Gawd
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Mar 17, 2011
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Filco looks nice but it's overpriced. The original Coolermaster Quickfire Rapid is almost identical (made by the same OEM), but it was like 2/3rds of the price of a Filco. It was unfortunately discontinued. Ducky is a bit better value than Filco as well.

It's interesting that backlit keyboards cost essentially the same as non-backlit nowadays though.

umm.. the Filco maybe overpiced.. but I'm nearly sure I've seen more people complaining about broken QF'ers than Filco's (granted there are probably more QF'ers out there?) Costar builds to customers requests... not everything that is OEM'd by costar is equal in performance or quality...

I've been rocking this Filco everyday for years (i think nearly 7? now)... it is still basically perfect, none of the keys stick or feel different than other keys, nothing noisy ..etc. ... it isn't magic I'm sure if I accidentally spill my beer into it, it would be messed up... but just using it normally (work , gaming, browsing..etc) it is 100% solid a number of years on now, with no sign of giving out anytime soon.

Could have got something nice for less?..probably.. did I want the Filco, is that what I really wished to have.. it was so I bought it, It has been great and I've got no regrets having bought it. I've used a QF and a Rosewill that are both costar OEM and my Fico feels better than either of them.


 

Nobu

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jun 7, 2007
Messages
6,137
My quickfire tk is nice, but I'd have gotten something else if I was looking now. Nothing wrong with the operation, but the layout is a bit wonky–having to switch between arrow keys and tk. At least it has the option, though.

My only other real complaint is the num/caps/scn leds are stupid bright blue. Sharpied over them and they're still bright.
 

3dprophet

Weaksauce
Joined
Oct 9, 2020
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80
There was a couple different version of the QF and not all of them were Costar. I remember seeing a disassembly video and they were almost identical inside to Filco.

I want to switch from Blue to Red and I'd love to be able to buy another one. The sound of blues is finally starting to annoy me.
 
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