One fine day I was surfing the free stuff thread
and Mr. Sifo was giving out some o-rings and dampeners. And I was lucky enough to score them! Thank you Sifo!! I thought I’d write a review on my thoughts of these bad boys now that I’ve finally gotten them.
The o-rings are from the WASDKeyboards sampler pack. I have the black rubber (50A-R), red rubber (40A-L), and pink rubber (40A-R)
. The pink thick rubber o-rings are the same as the blue o-rings from WASDKeyboards. The dampeners or soft-landing pads are the same ones found on EliteKeyboards
. The black ones are soft and the grey ones are hard.
As pointed out in the comments, I initially used SP caps which don’t have the cross-bracing. I then installed my o-rings and dampeners into my Leopold FC700R with stock caps to retest them and give my new thoughts. However, I didn’t want to lose my first impressions just in case anyone was curious. Those thoughts will be bumped to the end.TABLE OF CONTENTS
1) Old Article
2) New Article
3) VideosNew Article (ToC)
The newly sorted o-rings and dampeners from left to right: Red rubber 40A-L, pink rubber 40A-R (marked with black dots), black rubber 50A-R, black soft-landing pads (hard), and grey rubber soft-landing pads (soft).
For some keyboard science, 50A means a material hardness of 50 on the Shore durometer A scale. R is the size. According to the WASD site, R reduces key actuation travel by 0.4mm and L reduces by 0.2mm; this means thats how thick these rings are. However, I measured the o-ring and dampener in regards to this question
and realized that R = 0.4 cm = 4 mm and L = 0.2 cm = 2 mm. The soft-landing pads measure in at 1 mm or 0.1 cm.
I then installed them into the following keys:
- F1 and F2 have the thin red o-rings (40A-L) which are advertised as soft.
- F3 and F4 have the thick pink o-rings z (40A-R) which are advertised as soft.
- F5 and F6 have the black o-rings (50A-R) which are advertised as hard.
- F7 and F8 have the black soft-landing pads which are advertised as harder.
- F9 and F10 have the grey hard-landing pads which are advertised as softer.
And yes, rkinze and Leslieann were right. The cross-bracing in the Leo caps make the o-rings and dampeners feel way different. 40A-L Red O-Rings
These still feel really nice. There’s now less cushion-y-ness but still feel squishy. The travel reduction really feels different now. These o-rings now really feel like they stop actuation sooner. It seems like they stop the travel right after the click. I still really like these.40A-R Pink O-Rings
These are the same as the blue o-rings sold at WASDKeyboards. They really stop actuation quickly; it feels like they stop at the click - almost mid click. They feel the same as the red o-rings when you bottom out. They feel nice but I really dislike how much actuation is cutoff. 50A-R Black O-Rings
These don’t hit as hard as they do when they’re installed on the SP caps. But they still feel really hard when you bottom out. The bottom out doesn’t feel like hitting the board but it’s still hard. And again, the travel stops right at the click. My least favorite.Black Dampeners
This time I feel the dampeners way more. They definitely reduce a travel a bit; seems like a little less than the red o-rings but it definitely stops travel. These are cushiony and squishy. Definitely way softer than the red o-rings. I really like these. Grey Dampeners
These are the harder version of the greys. A smidge less of travel distance but the bottom out still feels hard, almost like the black o-rings. They feel like they stop actuation very close to the bottom. But I kinda like them. They still have a touch of give which is kind of pleasant to the touch.
So I think that with my stock Leopold caps, the black dampeners feel the best to me. And with the SP caps installed, the red o-rings (40A-L) o-rings feel the best. Videos (ToC)
So I talked a lot about how everything sounds right but what if you didn’t believe me. It’s ok, check these videos out.
This has grey dampeners installed on a QPad MK-80 with Cherry MX Blues.
This video is from WASDKeyboards Info
section. It has sound comparisons of boards with MX Blues, Browns, and Blacks with and without o-rings installed.Old Article (ToC)
I installed them onto the function row on my Filco MJ2. I have blues as you’ll see.
- F1 through F4 had the grey dampeners which are advertised as hard/firm
- F5 through F8 had the black dampeners which are advertised as soft
- F9 through F12 had the black o-rings which are called 50A-R.
- Print Screen through Pasuse have the red o-rings which are called 40A-L
For some keyboard shinfo, 50A means a material hardness of 50 on the Shore durometer A scale. R is the size. According to the WASD site, R reduces key actuation travel by 0.4mm and L reduces by 0.2mm.
See the correction in the new article.
So here are my thoughts on each set:Grey Dampeners
They don’t really dampen/soften the bottoming out. They seem only to negligibly change the travel in the switch. I guess the only thing that feels different to me is that the impact when the key is completely depressed feels slightly less abrupt and the travel distance was negligibly shorter. And the sound was a bit muffled. Anyways, I didn’t really care for them. When I think dampener, I think of something cushiony. Like the black ones!Black Dampeners
These felt really nice when I bottomed out. There was no jarring stop, just a touch of squishy and softness. Plus they made the board a little quieter. However I didn’t think that they really changed the actuation distance at all. They just made it feel nice to type. These are what I expected when I first heard of them.Black O-Rings
These bad boys hit HARD. It feels like you hit a plate when you bottom out and it sounds almost the same. These rings feel like the switch is jammed as well which is really frustrating to me. They also really reduce the travel. They pretty much stop the travel right after the blue switches actuate and click, which felt very very weird. However, I learned to kind of like it. I felt like there was some kind of change going on after I put them in. Plus? They really made my board way quieter. Unlike the greys dampeners…Red O-Rings
I think these are my favorites. They reduce the travel just a touch so it feels nice and they also soften the impact. Since they’re not as hard, they have a bit more give and when you type the feel like a little cushion. They REALLY made things quieter; probably most quiet out of the four o-rings/dampeners types I tried. If I were recommend something, these would be it.