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Binding refers to a sudden, sharp increase in stiffness experienced when pressing a key, typically when the stroke is off-centre (e.g. pressing the corner of a keycap) or off-angle (pressing the key at an angle from the vertical). Binding feels like the slider has dug in, making the key almost impossible to press, and leads to missed keystrokes.

In some switches, this is most notable on the wider, 1.25 and 1.5-unit unstabilised modifier keys. In bad cases, simply pressing the corner of a normal single-unit key can cause the slider to bind.

The degree to which binding occurs is in part related to the keyswitch design, and how well the slider copes with force that is diagonal relative to the shaft. Cherry MX switches, for example, are virtually immune to binding, and feel the same no matter which way you press the key. This lends Cherry MX–based keyboards a flawless keystroke-to-keystroke consistency.