Mechanical Keyboards

Steamymoomilk, in Mythic Computer is trying to change the PC world one wood computer at a time. // Thought this was pretty interesting and not solely about the keyboard, but thock is mentioned.

This is something an arch user would buy. See my wood pc it runs arch btw

WalrusByte, in Mythic Computer is trying to change the PC world one wood computer at a time. // Thought this was pretty interesting and not solely about the keyboard, but thock is mentioned. avatar

I’d like to build my own computer out of wood and metal at some point. I don’t think I’d buy an expensive one from somebody else though, haha!

Eheran, in Mythic Computer is trying to change the PC world one wood computer at a time. // Thought this was pretty interesting and not solely about the keyboard, but thock is mentioned.

It is about as much made of wood as a new car is made of protective, plastic wrapping. What a load of nonsense. The metal chassis of a computer is about the easiest and best to recycle thing on the whole machine. This is green washing and/or a money grab.

TechnoLupus, in Bought a keyboard with switches and keycaps I don't like...

Not at all! I’ve done the me thing a couple times. Especially if the board I want doesn’t come in a barebones option. Now I have switches and caps to sell/share later.

wjrii avatar

Lol, not sure my wife agrees. Anyway, it was a success… barely.

SpaceCadet2000, in IBM 4979 restoration
SpaceCadet2000 avatar

Awesome restoration!

BTW, in your final picture, how come the terminal font is looking a bit wonky? Is that just an artifact of the picture?

jsheradin avatar

It looks totally normal in person. The display is interlaced meaning it alternates between drawing every even or odd line each vertical refresh. It's a neat approach since you effectively double the vertical resolution with no increase in bandwidth. A camera is quick enough that it only picks up the most recently drawn lines resulting in some weird photos. Your brain does a good enough job filling in the blanks that you see both the even and odd lines combined resulting in a full image.

Helpful diagram

robotdna, in Glove80 vs Moonlander Mark I? [opinions needed]

Do you like choc switches? For some it's hit or miss. I like them a lot, but the only choc tactile I've liked is the Sunset V1 (my daily driver on a Piantor). Choc V1 browns had no bump for me and were somehow both scratchy and mushy.

I've had friends with moonlanders and those are gorgeous. I also have a ZSA Planck and ZSA's software ecosystem for customization is lovely. That said, I ultimately prefer a columnar layout over an ortholinear layout because my hands move less and I feel less strain. Moonlander is ortho, and it seems like the Glove80 is kind of a mix.

QuestioningEspecialy avatar

I've never tried any particular switches. I'm going into this fresh. 🤷🏿‍♂️

Choc V1 browns had no bump for me and were somehow both scratchy and mushy.

This sounds unappealing, especially the "mushy" part. 😬

trash, in [Artisan] Valknut artisan keycaps Experimental Batch
trash avatar

Hey V! Nice to see you over here.

vkeycaps avatar

Good to be here)

humanplayer2, in Anyone have experience with Redragon mechanical keyboards?

I'm pretty sure some of the Reddragon boards got ported to QMK via SonixQMK. If you at all interested in whether your board can run QMK or not, that might be worth a search (personally, it's not a killer for me - I use a software to remap in my OS).


Interesting, will take a look. Thanks!

atyai, in Anyone have experience with Redragon mechanical keyboards?

Depending on your budget, i’m an advocate for the keychron v-series as a barebones budget hobbyist option


Definitely an interesting alternative! Slightly more expensive, but more material and feature rich.

ScottyB, in Daily office driver
ScottyB avatar

I ended up getting the K6 Pro and wish I had waited a bit longer to get one of them with a dial on. Seems like a fun knob.

Lovely metalically look though.

wjrii, in Anyone have experience with Redragon mechanical keyboards?
wjrii avatar

I don't personally have one, but back on /r/budgetkeebs they were considered a perfectly reasonable brand for first keyboards and modding candidates. Reasonable build quality for the price, many of them hot-swappable (though double check that hotswap socket type before buying your new switches). What you won't get is QMK levels of customizability or meticulous attention to detail in regards to sound or build quality.

Honestly, even a no-name FIlco-knockoff 104-key gamerboard with rainbow LED and generic blue or brown switches is a step up from most membrane keyboards; the bigger issue with a Red Dragon is that you won't stop there. :-)


Thanks for the info! Yea i have been mech-curious for a while and just recently heard about them and liked the price point. Just need to take the plunge, here we go!

wjrii avatar

My VERY cheap board is a weird little e-yooso Z19 with aliexpress switches and keycaps, and a quick tape mod. It has the outemu socket style hotswaps, which made it distinctly unpleasant to change out, but it was indeed hotswappable for about $22. I am an edge case in that I type heavy and like things clicky and loud, so I don't need to lube everything. I used Auto-hotkey to tweak the layout a bit on the single PC that I use it with, and made sure I got keycaps that had a tactile bump on the arrow cluster. So I was all in on a 94-key board (it has a weird but functional numpad in the footprint of a "ten-keyless" 80% board) to my liking for under $50.

My "nicer" board is for work and is still a value board, an FL-Esports FL980, an "1800" style with a compressed but complete numpad. I told myself I was going to sell the Kailh box white switches after I changed them out (much nicer on "normal" hotswap sockets, btw) for Box Navy, but... hobbies happen by accident sometimes. I wanted that one to have a proper numpad and not to need any software to do what I wanted, and I found it on Warehouse deals for $43. The stock keycaps would have been fine, but I had an unused XDA set lying around from a previous evening on AliExpress.

I also have an ortholinear with 50 keys that I handwired and configured using KMK, but to date that one has not forced its way into daily use. There are also a couple of the aforementioned gamerboards floating around my home office. They're not half-bad if you change the keycaps and turn down the LEDs :-)

kukkurovaca, in Looking for a split ergonomic keyboard

So, there are some different levels/kind of keyboard that may be more "ergonomic" than a traditional one. Howe weird are you looking to get?

Re: budget, ergo boards tend to be low-cost DIY kits, but you generally have to do a fair bit of soldering. You can also get prebuilts, but they're not super cheap since it's not like, assembly line production in most cases, it's one person building it by hand. There are some exceptions that are more production, but they won't be as cheap apart form like a Keyboardio Atreus or a Planck or Preonic

  • Alice layout: Normie layout "unisplit" with a slight split and angle on it. Will be easy to adjust to, minimal ergonomic difference from regular board. But having split spacebar is a big win in itself to be honest.
  • Regular board, but split, such as a Quefrency or Sinc from Keebio. Layout isn't ergonomic for your fingers, but you can put them at whatever angle suits your wrist, and you can tent them as well (angle the halves)
  • Basic ortholinear. All keys are in a grid, like Planck, Preonic, XD75, MechWild Waka. Layout is arguably a bit more ergonomic than regular, will require more adjustment. Many of these boards are not split, although some are.
  • Columnar stagger: Each column is a different height, reflecting the different lengths of your fingers. More ergonomic. Mostly split boards like Corne, Kyria, Sofle, Lily, Iris, Ergodox, Moonlander, with some unisplit boards like Reviung and Atreus. You can use this tool to compare layouts
  • Keywell/Dactyl: Keys are positioned in a bowl like shape, three-dimensionally. Examples Dactyl, Kinesis Advantage, MoErgo Glove. These will be a lot more expensive if you want someone else to build them for you.

There are tons of different options out there, so you'll wan to start by narrowing down what kind of layout you want and how DIY you want the build to be. The actual builds are mostly pretty straightforward, but most ergo kits do require you to solder diodes and controllers, not just switches. And some of the more esoteric ones have a higher difficulty level, like the keywell boards.

Ortho and columnar stagger boards will take time to learn to type on at speed. Many users also take the opportunity to learn a new non-qwerty layout at the same time since they need to build new muscle memory anyway.

You'll want to pay attention to the layouts when you are picking keycaps. Many ergo boards use all 1u, or 1u plus a couple of spacebars. However, others use ergodox-style layouts with several keys of other sizes. Kitting can be difficult if you want all your keycaps to correspond exactly to what you have those keys assigned to do. Life will be easier if you are a touch typist and willing to make use of blanks or novelties.

OfficialPiAddict avatar

This is a really great resource, but just wanted to add my 2c. I've had (or at least used) most of the variations on this list, and if I could do it again, I'd probably just further down the list faster. I'm a programmer by trade so I spend a lot of my time typing, and I can't express how much of a positive impact building a dactyl manuform has had on my wrists (and just general typing comfort). If you have a 3D printer already it's actually pretty easy to put everything together, and you could probably definitely do it all yourself under your budget (so long as you already have the soldering equipment). The kits are definitely going to run you more though. That said, in my opinion, its worth going at least to columnar stagger if you're going to go down this route! (Plus - if you're already relearning to type, do yourself a favour and switch from qwerty to dvorak or colemak or something like that!)

wjrii, in Keycap sets for numpad
wjrii avatar

Well, those are standard MX compatible switches. No big deal to find keycaps, but selection of numpad-only sets is more limited. Any idea what you want, style wise? Do you only want GMK or Signature Plastics or Drop, or are random sets and clones from Amazon/AliExpress okay?

Some of the higher end stuff will sell numpad only, generally for way less than the base kit (to wit...), but a really cheap set will cost the same for the full set, or even potentially a good bit less if you go bargain hunting and aren't picky.

jellykey, in [GB] Zen Pond - Serene Waters - Jelly Key

🚨 Final Call: Zen Pond Series: Serene Waters Artisan Keycap Group-Buy Closes in 24 Hours!

Attention Keyboard Aficionados! This is your last chance! Our Zen Pond series: Serene Waters artisan keycap group buy is coming close. You have just 24 hours left to participate in this extraordinary offer.
Take advantage of this opportunity to own a part of this serene and artistic collection.
Thank you to everyone who has joined us on this serene journey with the Zen Pond series. For those still on the fence, it's now or never! Let the calm of the Zen Pond grace your keyboard.

jellykey, in [GB] Zen Pond - Serene Waters - Jelly Key

Group buy open now:

Every x77 and X32 art toy has a wooden x77 and X32 box.

In this round, we offer profiles such as Cherry, OEM, SA R3, and Droplet, all of which feature LED backlighting support.

Koi fish protrude on the keycaps’ surface along with wave patterns, and they have been coated with a thin layer of resin for comfortable use.

  • Designs: Ginrin Grotto / Hi-Utsuri Flame / Hana Wave / Asagi Twirl / Midori Gale
  • Profiles: Cherry / OEM / SA / Droplet
  • Keycap sizes:


1.25u (ctrl, alt)

1.5u (tab)

1.75u (capslock)

2u (backspace)

2.25u (enter)

2.25u (left-shift)

2.75u (right-shift)

6.25u (spacebar)

6.5u (spacebar)

7u (spacebar)

  • Payment: Paypal / CC

This group buy will close on 2/9/2024. Please remember that we only run group buys once, and they will not be reopened. Orders of over 6 keycaps will enjoy free shipping.

Thank you for joining us.

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