Author Topic: Some good mechanical keyboards? (pre-built)  (Read 680 times)

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Offline vestun

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Some good mechanical keyboards? (pre-built)
« on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 01:33:43 »
I'm just looking for some good mechanical keyboards which are prebuilt,high quality and last long. I'm pretty new to the hobby.

Offline Sup

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Re: Some good mechanical keyboards? (pre-built)
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 05:19:59 »
Varmilo is very nice especially with GMK keycaps they work great with the low angle  of the keyboard otherwise Leopold keyboards are also not a bad choice.
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Offline vestun

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Re: Some good mechanical keyboards? (pre-built)
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 07:13:00 »
Varmilo is very nice especially with GMK keycaps they work great with the low angle  of the keyboard otherwise Leopold keyboards are also not a bad choice.
Thanks for the reply! I'll the Varmilo out!

Offline yui

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Re: Some good mechanical keyboards? (pre-built)
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 07:23:04 »
Unicomp still are manufacturing the venerable Model M, some of those keyboards have lasted 50 years of very heavy use and are still working, although it also is one of the loudest keyboard around.
and really it depend on what you want of a mechanical board, and what your budget is.
(by some definition the M is not mechanical while by others pretty much any keyboard is, if you want good advice you may want to be a bit more precise)
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Offline Maledicted

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Re: Some good mechanical keyboards? (pre-built)
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 09:05:28 »
(by some definition the M is not mechanical while by others pretty much any keyboard is, if you want good advice you may want to be a bit more precise)

Laser projection keyboards, and those keyboards that are literally just a slab of glass aren't mechanical.

The Model M can be pretty stiff for people who haven't already been typing with abnormally stiff switches for a while already.

Offline Snowdog993

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Re: Some good mechanical keyboards? (pre-built)
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 10:39:26 »
The Model M can be pretty stiff for people who haven't already been typing with abnormally stiff switches for a while already.
And you are serious about what you just stated or are you just going with the status quo?
Let me put it in layman's terms so you understand.
Are you saying this without experiencing one at all? You must be.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Some good mechanical keyboards? (pre-built)
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 11:12:56 »
The Model M can be pretty stiff for people who haven't already been typing with abnormally stiff switches for a while already.
And you are serious about what you just stated or are you just going with the status quo?
Let me put it in layman's terms so you understand.
Are you saying this without experiencing one at all? You must be.
Pretty sure Mal has experience, but let's just look at the numbers....

Model M is 70g to activate with an 80-85g bottom out.
Most MX switches, particularly Cherry, activate at around 40-45 and bottom out at 65 or so.

You absolutely can feel it in your fingers when you jump 15 grams or more.
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Offline Maledicted

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Re: Some good mechanical keyboards? (pre-built)
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 11:25:24 »
The Model M can be pretty stiff for people who haven't already been typing with abnormally stiff switches for a while already.
And you are serious about what you just stated or are you just going with the status quo?
Let me put it in layman's terms so you understand.
Are you saying this without experiencing one at all? You must be.

I am saying it after having used MX red and MX blue exclusively for years, trying a friend's Model Ms sporadically throughout that time, buying one from said friend, trying to use it and going back to my K70s until a cheap F XT finally got me into vintage switches.

This is from the Input Club:



Those are lower numbers than I have seen elsewhere and is still quite a bit stiffer than the usual rubber dome or retail store MX switch. I had most of this typed out before I saw Leslieann's post, so I'm leaving it as another data point.

I'm not quite sure that anybody would say such a thing without having experienced it. I have an F XT, two F ATs, a new production F77, an F107 and 3-4 Model Ms dating from early production to the early 90s. I'm not exactly new to buckling spring, although I have never daily driven a membrane buckling spring board both due to its initial stiffness and overall deficiency in consistency and smoothness compared to capacitive buckling spring.

I'm not saying it shouldn't be considered, just that a lot of people are likely to be repulsed by the weighting alone if they're just starting to get their feet wet. I'm all for Unicomp, in particular, carving up some more market share.

Offline Snowdog993

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Re: Some good mechanical keyboards? (pre-built)
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 17:10:58 »
The Model M can be pretty stiff for people who haven't already been typing with abnormally stiff switches for a while already.
And you are serious about what you just stated or are you just going with the status quo?
Let me put it in layman's terms so you understand.
Are you saying this without experiencing one at all? You must be.

I am saying it after having used MX red and MX blue exclusively for years, trying a friend's Model Ms sporadically throughout that time, buying one from said friend, trying to use it and going back to my K70s until a cheap F XT finally got me into vintage switches.

This is from the Input Club:

(Attachment Link)

Those are lower numbers than I have seen elsewhere and is still quite a bit stiffer than the usual rubber dome or retail store MX switch. I had most of this typed out before I saw Leslieann's post, so I'm leaving it as another data point.

I'm not quite sure that anybody would say such a thing without having experienced it. I have an F XT, two F ATs, a new production F77, an F107 and 3-4 Model Ms dating from early production to the early 90s. I'm not exactly new to buckling spring, although I have never daily driven a membrane buckling spring board both due to its initial stiffness and overall deficiency in consistency and smoothness compared to capacitive buckling spring.

I'm not saying it shouldn't be considered, just that a lot of people are likely to be repulsed by the weighting alone if they're just starting to get their feet wet. I'm all for Unicomp, in particular, carving up some more market share.
I'm glad you did. If it doesn't suit your needs, you need to find that keyboard that will suit you. Many dismiss the Model M because it is not for a quiet environment. I can understand and relate to the negativity about that.
Maybe you will find what suits you by actually getting hands on with other types.
Whatever you decide, you will realize that maybe, just maybe, you already have it.

Offline Snowdog993

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Re: Some good mechanical keyboards? (pre-built)
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 17:20:52 »
Pretty sure Mal has experience, but let's just look at the numbers....

Model M is 70g to activate with an 80-85g bottom out.
Most MX switches, particularly Cherry, activate at around 40-45 and bottom out at 65 or so.

You absolutely can feel it in your fingers when you jump 15 grams or more.
I can agree with this. Yeah, but being used to what I am used to, a Model M feels like a keyboard, and the Cherry keyboards feel like toys by comparison. But that's my opinion about it. And going from a light keyboard switch to a heavy switch may be awkward. The other way around.... is the other way around.

Offline Maledicted

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Re: Some good mechanical keyboards? (pre-built)
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 20:31:48 »
The Model M can be pretty stiff for people who haven't already been typing with abnormally stiff switches for a while already.
And you are serious about what you just stated or are you just going with the status quo?
Let me put it in layman's terms so you understand.
Are you saying this without experiencing one at all? You must be.

I am saying it after having used MX red and MX blue exclusively for years, trying a friend's Model Ms sporadically throughout that time, buying one from said friend, trying to use it and going back to my K70s until a cheap F XT finally got me into vintage switches.

This is from the Input Club:

(Attachment Link)

Those are lower numbers than I have seen elsewhere and is still quite a bit stiffer than the usual rubber dome or retail store MX switch. I had most of this typed out before I saw Leslieann's post, so I'm leaving it as another data point.

I'm not quite sure that anybody would say such a thing without having experienced it. I have an F XT, two F ATs, a new production F77, an F107 and 3-4 Model Ms dating from early production to the early 90s. I'm not exactly new to buckling spring, although I have never daily driven a membrane buckling spring board both due to its initial stiffness and overall deficiency in consistency and smoothness compared to capacitive buckling spring.

I'm not saying it shouldn't be considered, just that a lot of people are likely to be repulsed by the weighting alone if they're just starting to get their feet wet. I'm all for Unicomp, in particular, carving up some more market share.
I'm glad you did. If it doesn't suit your needs, you need to find that keyboard that will suit you. Many dismiss the Model M because it is not for a quiet environment. I can understand and relate to the negativity about that.
Maybe you will find what suits you by actually getting hands on with other types.
Whatever you decide, you will realize that maybe, just maybe, you already have it.

That was a few years ago now that I picked up that F XT. I have tried many old/obscure switches since. Now that I keep box navy boards in my rotation, I imagine membrane buckling spring wouldn't be much of a problem anymore. I just don't like how they feel. I do like so many other alternatives that I can't settle on just one, and wouldn't really want to (I'm trying out a 45g NIZ board right now even though I don't even particularly like tactiles). Models F are among my favorites though.

I think that the Model M was the gateway drug for my friend, but he's also weird in that he really only cares about Model Ms to begin with. I think that the most likely way for someone to get addicted to mechanicals based off of a shot in the dark on an off-the-shelf retail board is something with a light or medium weighting, since fatigue isn't a problem with switches that are too light.

The OP should really be getting a switch tester and/or cheap hotswap board if they haven't tried a lot of switches yet. A great OEM board isn't really all that useful if it ends up having switches you don't particularly like once you've tried others.

Pretty sure Mal has experience, but let's just look at the numbers....

Model M is 70g to activate with an 80-85g bottom out.
Most MX switches, particularly Cherry, activate at around 40-45 and bottom out at 65 or so.

You absolutely can feel it in your fingers when you jump 15 grams or more.
I can agree with this. Yeah, but being used to what I am used to, a Model M feels like a keyboard, and the Cherry keyboards feel like toys by comparison. But that's my opinion about it. And going from a light keyboard switch to a heavy switch may be awkward. The other way around.... is the other way around.

There are some really solid MX boards, from someone who doesn't really like MX at all anymore. If you mean switch feel, specifically, you're probably right when comparing against something like a stock MX blue.

Heavy to light is definitely easier than light to heavy, although it can be jarring going down in weighting until you get used to applying less force on each stroke again.

Offline Leslieann

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Re: Some good mechanical keyboards? (pre-built)
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 12 May 2021, 22:55:14 »
Cherry keyboards feel like toys by comparison. But that's my opinion about it.
I actually agree with you for the most part but it's not springs that cause it, it's just MX, especially the old basic Cherry stuff.

This is why I've spent so much time and effort modding MX switches to feel like anything but an MX switch.
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62g Zilents/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, pic
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Vortex case squared up/blasted finish removed/custom feet/paint/winkey blockoff plate, HID Liberator, stainless steel universal plate, 3d printed adapters, Type C, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, foam sound dampened, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps (o-ringed), Cherry Jailhouse Blues w/lubed/clipped Cherry light springs, 40g actuation
| GMMK TKL
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w/ Kailh Purple Pros/lubed/Novelkeys 39g springs, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, Netdot Gen10 Magnetic cable
| PF65 3d printed 65% w/LCD and hot swap
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Box Jades, Interchangeable trim, mini lcd, QMK, underglow, HK Gaming Thick PBT caps, O-rings, Netdot Gen10 magnetic cable, in progress link
| Magicforce 68
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MF68 pcb, Outemu Blues, in progress
| YMDK75 Jail Housed Gateron Blues
More
J-spacers, YMDK Thick PBT, O-rings, SIP sockets
| KBT Race S L.E.
More
Ergo Clears, custom WASD caps
| Das Pro
More
Costar model with browns
| GH60
More
Cherry Blacks, custom 3d printed case
| Logitech Illumininated | IBM Model M (x2)

Offline gh_pp

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Re: Some good mechanical keyboards? (pre-built)
« Reply #12 on: Sat, 15 May 2021, 19:33:51 »
I'm just looking for some good mechanical keyboards which are prebuilt,high quality and last long. I'm pretty new to the hobby.

That're too broad of a selection to suggest anything without specifics.

I would first determine

1. layout
2. price range
3. must have features

for some people, 3. not having wireless might be a deal breaker. for me, QMK support is a must have, as well as split spacebar.

If your budget is below $160, kbdlite65 (when in stock) for $109  + $15 gateron yellow + $30 PBT keycap from aliexpress might fit the bill.

For $170+$18+$30, you go get something like a GMMK pro (when in stock)

Those are very customizable (open source QMK too)

Otherwise, many chinese brands are very budget friendly like epomaker's, but they are not as customizable.
« Last Edit: Sat, 15 May 2021, 19:48:47 by gh_pp »
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