October 2, 2022
Pablo Perez Varela/Shutterstock.com If you’re new to world of mechanical keyboards, you might not know that—like putting new tires on a car—you can swap the keys, or keycaps, on your keyboard. Here’s why, how, and a few recommended options to get you started. Why Swap the Keycaps On Your Mechanical Keyboard? In the beginning, all…

Pablo Perez Varela/Shutterstock.com

If you’re new to world of mechanical keyboards, you might not know that—like putting new tires on a car—you can swap the keys, or keycaps, on your keyboard. Here’s why, how, and a few recommended options to get you started.

Why Swap the Keycaps On Your Mechanical Keyboard?

In the beginning, all computer keyboards were mechanical. That distinctive clickity-clackity sound that people associate with old computers is a sound produced by a combination of the mechanical switches beneath the keycaps and the thick plastic keycaps attached to those switches.

Starting in the late 1980s, however, the rise of membrane keyboards led to a slow and steady decline in mechanical keyboard production and usage. Instead of a mechanical switch, a membrane keyboard has a little rubber dome, as the name implies, beneath the key, and when you push the key down, it smooshes the conductive pad inside the top of the dome down against a circuit pad below.

While we could spend an article (or even a modest book!) talking about the differences between the two types of keyboards and the benefits and shortcomings of each,…

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