Author Topic: Hand Pain - On the hunt for a new keyboard!  (Read 5594 times)

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Offline FDDTheLucario

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Hand Pain - On the hunt for a new keyboard!
« on: Tue, 14 April 2020, 23:52:37 »
Hey everyone,

I've been rocking a Model M as my daily driver for about four years, and I love it. But recently, I've been experiencing some hand pain. Although it's relatively minor right now, I think that it's time to maybe search for a new keyboard. What's worrying for me, however, is how I have to use my keyboard. My right hand is paralyzed, so I strictly have to type one-handed, meaning that a split design may not work very well.

So, I ask for any help with finding a new keyboard to use; something that has lighter switches and may help with the pain somewhat.

Thanks in advance!

Offline squizzler

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Re: Hand Pain - On the hunt for a new keyboard!
« Reply #1 on: Wed, 15 April 2020, 08:02:00 »
You might find the Maltron single handed ergonomic boards meet your specific requirement. They offer generous trial terms (I tried out their Malt) and as they are pretty bespoke they can build yours with lightweight red switches.
Running RSTHD on Minidox since 2019

Offline FDDTheLucario

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Re: Hand Pain - On the hunt for a new keyboard!
« Reply #2 on: Wed, 15 April 2020, 10:40:55 »
You might find the Maltron single handed ergonomic boards meet your specific requirement. They offer generous trial terms (I tried out their Malt) and as they are pretty bespoke they can build yours with lightweight red switches.

Hey, thank you very much! I think that it's a great idea, but I am rather worried with the layout and the fact that I don't exactly have room for it; something a bit more akin to a "normal" keyboard might help out a bit more. (I'm really trying not to shoot it down, but I sadly don't know where I could put it!)

Offline deacon

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Re: Hand Pain - On the hunt for a new keyboard!
« Reply #3 on: Wed, 15 April 2020, 10:54:00 »
QMK has a "Swap Hands" feature that would work fine on half a split keyboard kit from someplace like keeb.io, a "normal" keyboard supported by QMK or a non-programmable keyboard, like your Model M, with one of Hasu's converters.

https://docs.qmk.fm/#/feature_swap_hands

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=72052.0

Offline squizzler

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Re: Hand Pain - On the hunt for a new keyboard!
« Reply #4 on: Wed, 15 April 2020, 13:57:11 »
QMK has a "Swap Hands" feature that would work fine on half a split keyboard kit from someplace like keeb.io

The place I got my Minidox, Falbatech, sell individual halves of their keyboards such as the Ergodox. I imagine that the use of "one tap" modifiers and layers within QMK would give a lot of flexibility.


Hey, thank you very much! I think that it's a great idea, but I am rather worried with the layout and the fact that I don't exactly have room for it; something a bit more akin to a "normal" keyboard might help out a bit more. (I'm really trying not to shoot it down, but I sadly don't know where I could put it!)

At the risk of being presumptuous, my initial response to your mention of limited space is to query if the working area might be the trigger for your discomfort, and needs to be troubleshooted first if you not already done so. I agree that the Maltron would not be everybody's cup of tea (I did not keep mine after a trial period), however the company is extremely helpful all round.
Running RSTHD on Minidox since 2019

Offline FDDTheLucario

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Re: Hand Pain - On the hunt for a new keyboard!
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 15 April 2020, 19:01:20 »
At the risk of being presumptuous, my initial response to your mention of limited space is to query if the working area might be the trigger for your discomfort, and needs to be troubleshooted first if you not already done so.

I've done that already, and the pain occurs on any keyboard besides my own, so it isn't my current setup that's causing this; or at the very least, not contributing to it. I actually first noticed it when I was in programming class, but I get what you mean.

QMK has a "Swap Hands" feature that would work fine on half a split keyboard kit from someplace like keeb.io, a "normal" keyboard supported by QMK or a non-programmable keyboard, like your Model M, with one of Hasu's converters.

https://docs.qmk.fm/#/feature_swap_hands

https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=72052.0

That looks really sweet actually. I might try that out sometime when I have the chance - it looks pretty interesting!

Sent from my SM-S767VL using Tapatalk


Offline squizzler

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Re: Hand Pain - On the hunt for a new keyboard!
« Reply #6 on: Thu, 16 April 2020, 03:36:18 »

I've done that already, and the pain occurs on any keyboard besides my own, so it isn't my current setup that's causing this; or at the very least, not contributing to it. I actually first noticed it when I was in programming class, but I get what you mean.

Just to clarify, I did not mean your specific keyboard was at fault, I was referring to the suitability of desk and chair, etc. I have also suffered acute pain in my hands and wrists when typing on a desk that is too high, now I got it in a lower position thanks to drawer-style keyboard/mouse perch the problem has gone.
Running RSTHD on Minidox since 2019

Online Findecanor

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Re: Hand Pain - On the hunt for a new keyboard!
« Reply #7 on: Thu, 16 April 2020, 04:26:54 »
QMK has a "Swap Hands" feature that would work fine on half a split keyboard kit from someplace like keeb.io, a "normal" keyboard supported by QMK or a non-programmable keyboard, like your Model M, with one of Hasu's converters.
You could also implement this with layers.

The idea behind it was that if you can touch-type, then your muscle memory for one hand is also applicable to the other hand. It originates with a research project, and led to the Matias HalfKeyboard. (I don't recommend that, but there is a better description of it on its page)
Man must shape his tools lest they shape him
-- Arthur Miller

Offline FDDTheLucario

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Re: Hand Pain - On the hunt for a new keyboard!
« Reply #8 on: Thu, 16 April 2020, 09:27:48 »


Just to clarify, I did not mean your specific keyboard was at fault, I was referring to the suitability of desk and chair, etc.

Ah, gotcha, sorry if I sounded a bit abrasive there. I've typed like this for quite a while (12 years, in fact!) and I have never felt pain until very recently. It very well could be due to my typing style finally catching up to me, but things such as arthritis run in my family, sadly.

On the topic of possible switches to use, I was maybe thinking of purchasing a Topre (or clone) keyboard, as it's a softer and lighter feel than pleasant but rather sharp-feeling buckling springs.

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Offline Zustiur

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Re: Hand Pain - On the hunt for a new keyboard!
« Reply #9 on: Fri, 17 April 2020, 03:35:22 »
Can you elaborate on 'pain'?
Which parts of your hand hurt exactly? Are you resting your arm or wrist on anything while typing or does it float above the keys?

Offline akacase

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Re: Hand Pain - On the hunt for a new keyboard!
« Reply #10 on: Sat, 18 April 2020, 12:26:07 »
You could be finally feeling fatigue of using the buckling spring keyboard. I'm partial to Cherry Red Silent switches, which are linear. You might just want to test out a board with a lighter mech switch. Good luck!
kinesis advantage, kinesis advantage 2, typematrix 2030, iris v4, ergodox ez

Offline hoggy

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Re: Hand Pain - On the hunt for a new keyboard!
« Reply #11 on: Sat, 25 April 2020, 10:55:15 »
Have you contacted your doctor?

Have you tried pressing the keys with a pencil? 

Do you use the mouse with the same hand?

Take a look at text expansion software, something like phrase express and try to reduce the never of keystrokes.

There's a layout called fitaly, that's designed for a single hand in a hunt and peck-ish fashion.

Maltrons are much smaller than they look, check the dimensions.


GH Ergonomic Guide (in progress)
http://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=54680.0

Offline mokeyjoe

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Re: Hand Pain - On the hunt for a new keyboard!
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 27 May 2020, 13:31:21 »
I experience some amount of pain after a while typing on most switches, except for my Gateron Reds. I can type all day, every day on them and feel no negative effects. I think it's a combination of the lightness of the switch and the way my typing style changes when I use it - I have a much more 'rolling' style, rather than pressing down on the keys like I would on most clicky switches.

I don't know how well this would translate in your case as you're using one hand, but you can get reasonable little boards with reds on Amazon, like the Magicforce, for not much money if you wanted to try one out.