Need help choosing a new mechanical keyboard

Belenar

28 Jun 2019, 19:51

I decided to get a new mechanical keyboard and was wondering if there are any keyboard enthusiasts around here. I switched to mechanical keyboards about 1.5 years ago and was quite satisfied with the results, the keyboard I'm currently using is some Chinese knock-off "Aula demon king" (the name is cringe af I know :D ). It's using some modified version of cherry mx blue switches, the problem is that they're quite loud and key caps are somewhat loose, meaning they sometimes pop off after intense use. I was thinking about switching to cherry mx red switches as they appear to best for gaming.
I don't care all that much about all the extra stuff like dedicated programmable macro keys, rgb, wrist rest etc. The main aspects I'm concerned with are performance and price (would really like to get something below 100$) I just want a good all round mechanical keyboard, so do you guys have any suggestions?
I'm still new to all this tech stuff so any insight would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks.
Last edited by Belenar on 19 Jul 2019, 19:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Wazrach

28 Jun 2019, 22:07

Belenar wrote:
28 Jun 2019, 19:51
I decided to get a new mechanical keyboard and was wondering if there are any keyboard enthusiasts around here. I switched to mechanical keyboards about 1.5 years ago and was quite satisfied with the results, the keyboard I'm currently using is some Chinese knock-off "Aula demon king" (the name is cringe af I know :D ). It's using some modified version of cherry mx blue switches, the problem is that they're quite loud and key caps are somewhat loose, meaning they sometimes pop off after intense use. I was thinking about switching to cherry mx red switches as they appear to best for gaming.
I don't care all that much about all the extra stuff like dedicated programmable macro keys, rgb, wrist rest etc. The main aspects I'm concerned with are performance and price (would really like to get something below 100$) I just want a good all round mechanical keyboard, so do you guys have any suggestions?
I'm still new to all this tech stuff so any insight would be greatly appreciated!
Honestly, the Chinese clone boards cannot really be beaten when it comes to value for money. When we're talking about Cherry MX-style switches anyway. Don't worry about the whole "best switch for gaming" rubbish, that's just used to market Cherry's switches. You should pick something that feels good, although you may need to buy different keyboards before you get an idea.

Would you consider spending a bit more? Leopold, Ducky, IKBC and Filco make decent Cherry MX keyboards with no frills. Most people can agree that Leopold make the best off-the-shelf Cherry MX keyboards.

Is rollover an issue for you? Reason I'm asking is because some games, like Team Fortress 2, require multiple keypresses at the same time. Gaming keyboards generally have N-key rollover, which means every key can be pressed at the same time. If you want something that purely feels good, you could have a look at a Unicomp Model M. They look slightly dated and have no bells or whistles, as they are made with the same tooling IBM and Lexmark used to manufacture the originals. They still have that classic buckling spring design which is way better than any Cherry MX switch or clone. I used to buy all sorts of gaming keyboards from Razer, Corsair, Logitech, IKBC, etc - but couldn't go back to any of them after trying buckling springs for the first time. Model M keyboards only have 2-key rollover, but there are workarounds. I can explain more of that if you're interested.

Alternatively, Matias sell love-or-hate keyboards with updated clones of the old Alps switches of the 80s and 90s. I had a Matias Tactile Pro with Matias Clicky switches and the key feel was solid. It's probably my favourite off-the-shelf modern keyboard, hands down.

Primuds

29 Jun 2019, 17:38

Personally, if I were you, I'd head down to the nearest large electronics store, as they often will have keyboards that you can try out.

After deciding the type of switch you like, I recommend that you get a board like the e-element z77/z88 (or any of those variants) on aliexpress with the switches you like. They'll set you back around 30-40usd. These boards come with hot-swap sockets which allow you to change the switches out and a few spare switches. While the sockets on these boards are rather tight and may not fit genuine cherry switches, due to the pins of the switches being slightly thicker, the main reason why I'd prefer hot-swap functionality is that you are able to take the switches out to lube them, at the same time disassembling the board so that you are able to lube the stabilizers. I'd say that lubing your switches/stabilizers are a worthwhile investment, especially if you want to go budget while having a great experience typing on your keyboard. Do check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cD5Zj-ZgMLA for stabilizer lubing and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSgPKPoFo2k for switch lubing.

Alternatively, you could also consider going the vintage route if you are able to find a good deal for a dell at101/102 on ebay or locally. I'd direct you to chyrosran's guides on click modding (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Zdlx6VH1iU) or linearising (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsJq434UYTA). Have fun!

Primuds

29 Jun 2019, 17:40

Also, I see that your main mouse is the g502, do you mind sharing about it, as I really like the button placement that it has, but was slightly put off by how some people are complaining about it being rather heavy. What do you think about it?

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Coco

29 Jun 2019, 18:10

Primuds wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 17:40
Also, I see that your main mouse is the g502, do you mind sharing about it, as I really like the button placement that it has, but was slightly put off by how some people are complaining about it being rather heavy. What do you think about it?
The g502 is my main mouse as well. Bought it exclusively for productivity rather than for gaming. The three main things that I liked about it was, the high amount of programmable buttons, high dpi, and the infinite scroll wheel. The weights are easily adjustable where it weighs about 121 grams without any of the weights inside. When I included all of the weights, which is an additional 18 grams, I was quite surprised of how much of a difference that it made, but it was a welcomed surprise. Personally, I like to associate weight with quality. To conclude, it's a great mouse. But I think down the road, I'll switch to the MX Master since I utilize Excel spreadsheets quite often where the horizontal scroll wheel is apparently "perfect" for it.

Also, I use the claw grip method for the g502.

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Wazrach

29 Jun 2019, 19:25

Coco wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 18:10
Primuds wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 17:40
Also, I see that your main mouse is the g502, do you mind sharing about it, as I really like the button placement that it has, but was slightly put off by how some people are complaining about it being rather heavy. What do you think about it?
The g502 is my main mouse as well. Bought it exclusively for productivity rather than for gaming. The three main things that I liked about it was, the high amount of programmable buttons, high dpi, and the infinite scroll wheel. The weights are easily adjustable where it weighs about 121 grams without any of the weights inside. When I included all of the weights, which is an additional 18 grams, I was quite surprised of how much of a difference that it made, but it was a welcomed surprise. Personally, I like to associate weight with quality. To conclude, it's a great mouse. But I think down the road, I'll switch to the MX Master since I utilize Excel spreadsheets quite often where the horizontal scroll wheel is apparently "perfect" for it.

Also, I use the claw grip method for the g502.
I've tried many mice (I went through a bit of a mouse-collecting phase last year, trying to find the best mouse for FPS games). Logitech mice are by far the best-built. The price is also great for what they are. I'd say anyone who is looking to start off with a good gaming mouse that looks attractive and feels solid should get the G102/G203. ANYWAY, this isn't a mouse thread. Heh.

Primuds

30 Jun 2019, 14:42

Coco wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 18:10
Primuds wrote:
29 Jun 2019, 17:40
Also, I see that your main mouse is the g502, do you mind sharing about it, as I really like the button placement that it has, but was slightly put off by how some people are complaining about it being rather heavy. What do you think about it?
The g502 is my main mouse as well. Bought it exclusively for productivity rather than for gaming. The three main things that I liked about it was, the high amount of programmable buttons, high dpi, and the infinite scroll wheel. The weights are easily adjustable where it weighs about 121 grams without any of the weights inside. When I included all of the weights, which is an additional 18 grams, I was quite surprised of how much of a difference that it made, but it was a welcomed surprise. Personally, I like to associate weight with quality. To conclude, it's a great mouse. But I think down the road, I'll switch to the MX Master since I utilize Excel spreadsheets quite often where the horizontal scroll wheel is apparently "perfect" for it.

Also, I use the claw grip method for the g502.
Just ordered a g502 online after trying one out at a local store in my area. Hope it gets here soon!

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Wazrach

30 Jun 2019, 17:12

OP, have you decided which keyboard you're going to get?

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J888www

01 Jul 2019, 17:22

Preferences are purely subjective.

Having purchased a NIB/NOS SIIG MiniTouch (Made in Taiwan) Monterey Switches (Blue, clicky) over a decades ago, I have no regrets and still unable to find a better keyboard as replacement.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CGJ4dtgKVI

If you like this keyboard but unable to one with Monterey switches, an alternative is to find a Blue Alps donor board and desolder/resolder.

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