If you’re a writer, you know how important it is to have a comfortable, ergonomic keyboard.
But did you know that the type of keycaps you choose can also make a big difference in your typing experience? Mechanical keycaps are comfortable and tactile, making typing easier and more enjoyable. Adding mechanical keycaps to your keyboard can improve your writing life in several ways. They provide a satisfying typing experience that can help you stay motivated and productive, and they look great, too! With mechanical keycaps, you can upgrade your keyboard and make typing fun.
What are Mechanical Keycaps?
Mechanical keycaps are the covering that sits on top of the switch to form the keys on a mechanical keyboard. They are primarily made of plastic, but people have been making custom keycaps from many materials over the years. Just like any manufactured object, keycaps are subject to wear and tear. Hence, over time, people replace them or go to the extent of customizing their keyboards. Mechanical keyboards feature easily replaceable keycaps. This gives manufacturers the idea of producing mechanical keycaps with unique designs and bright colors, providing a fun and stylish way to personalize your keyboard. If you use your keyboard daily, you’ll know how important it is to have a comfortable typing experience. Standard non-ergonomic keycaps can make your fingers feel fatigued and achy and gather a lot of grease while typing. They can also increase the risk of cramps and injury. Many specially designed mechanical keycaps are made of materials that are more durable and comfortable to type on. They are also contoured in such a way that your fingers and wrists are lying in the most comfortable position.
5 Benefits of Writing With Mechanical Keycaps:
1. They are More Comfortable and Tactile
The difference in typing experience is night and day. Since they are conceptualized to improve users’ experience, more thoughts are poured into their design and fabrication. They may just be tiny pieces of plastic or rubber objects, but there is also a bit of engineering involved in their design.
2. They are Made of Select Materials
Mechanical keycaps are commonly made from PBT, POM, or ABS plastics, which are more resistant to scratches and deformation than say, polypropylene (PP), a widely used plastic material. They all have their various pros and cons, but they are specially made for typing. Many of them are oil and chemical-resistant to prevent them from getting greasy and slippery from the natural oils on your fingers.
3. They Come in Many Fun Colors and Designs
You can choose from hundreds of different mechanical keycap designs to fit your style and add some fun to your keyboard. Many people invest in decorative keycaps inspired by their favorite video games, anime, movies, and TV shows. They also come in a plethora of different colors: red, blue, yellow keycaps, you name it!
4. They are More Durable and Long Lasting
Mechanical keycaps are made of much sturdier and more durable materials than regular keycaps, making them more long-lasting and better suited to frequent typing. Another reason is the molding process. Many keycap manufacturers use a double-shot molding method, which makes them thicker and more reinforced for the constant pressure of typing.
5. A More Pleasant Typing (or Gaming) Experience
Mechanical keycaps can make a huge difference in your typing experience and help you stay motivated and productive while typing. A keyboard is one of the tools of the trade for professional writers, whether you’re a work-at-home freelancer or you are employed by one of the biggest publishing houses in New York.
Different Types and Styles of Mechanical Keycaps
Mechanical keycaps come in many styles, designs, and colors. The design of the keycap is subjective and is up to you to decide. However, the important detail you’ll need to be aware of is the profile of the keycap. This dictates the general shape and size of the keycap and whether it will be compatible with your keyboard. The most used keycap profiles in today’s day and age are Cherry and OEM. They are both 9.4mm and 11.9mm in height respectively. These are found to be the most comfortable sizes for typing and gaming, hence why most mechanical keyboards will come in these sizes. The smallest keycaps available on the market are, in fact, Apple keycaps which many of you might have noticed. These are available on Mac and other Apple products and are almost completely flat, being 2.3mm in height. Be sure to check what your mechanical keyboard uses before purchasing any snazzy new keycaps!
How Mechanical Keycaps Improve Your Writing Life
As a professional writer, you likely spend hours at a time in front of your keyboard. Staring at the mundane old set-up, day in and day out can sometimes sap your energy. However, sprucing up your keyboard with some keycaps that you love is a great way to muster up an extra bit of motivation to get writing. It’s nice to have a couple of cute anime keycaps dotted around your keyboard to make it yours. There’s nothing wrong with taking a little pride in your mechanical keyboard and customizing it to fit a theme that you like. Not only this, but mechanical keycaps have better tactical feedback than most other keys. This means that each button press is easier and much more satisfying than regular keycaps. The sound alone is so gratifying that there are ASMR channels dedicated to the use of mechanical keyboards! More practically, mechanical keycaps are produced with ergonomics in mind. Your health when writing is essential to consider, as using a computer for long hours always comes with the risk of RSI. Using mechanical keycaps that are slanted and molded to ensure a more comfortable position for your hand, can work wonders for your long-term health.
Choosing the Right Mechanical Keycaps
Choosing the right keycaps can be difficult, as there are so many on the market these days. To make things a little easier, it’s always a good idea to consider the purpose of your keycaps. For instance. If you’re a professional writer who is typing for most of the day, you’ll need something very strong and sturdy. Keycaps made from PBT polymer are perfect for this as they are tough, scratch-resistant, and oil-resistant. Another thing many people overlook is tactile feedback. If I’m a student who plans on working in libraries and classrooms, I don’t want to be disturbing my peers with the obnoxiously loud clicking coming from my keyboard. This is also something to consider if you’re in a lot of online meetings and taking notes. It makes sense to go for something a little softer, like rubber keycaps, or maybe even a different type of keyboard altogether.
How to Install and Maintain Your Mechanical Keycaps
Mechanical keycaps are durable and long-lasting, but they require some maintenance to keep them in good condition. Regularly clean your keycaps – This can help prevent dust and debris from getting stuck in your keycaps and causing problems down the line. You can use a damp cloth to clean the tops and sides of your keycaps, but avoid getting water in the switches! Avoid using too much pressure when pressing the keys – Pressing the keycaps too firmly can cause them to wear down and may lead to breaking. There is also a switch beneath the keycap that can be subject to damage if not looked after correctly. Remove your keycaps with care – There are tools like keycap pullers that can help remove your keycaps without causing damage to them or the switches below. It’s important not to be too vigorous when pulling out your keycaps. Store your old keycaps in a cool dust-free place – Leaving your old keycaps out in the open will cause them to gather dust in awkward places to clean. Dust is the worst enemy of mechanical keycaps, as it can massively impact the function. Keep them in a zip-lock bag or airtight box to prevent this from happening. Hopefully, you’re now experts on mechanical keycaps and can improve your writing tenfold with this knowledge! Next up, you may want to explore the best mechanical keyboards with a USB hub.
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