The Hobby Collector - Keyboards

A yellow doggo playing tug with a keyboard on the beach

Like many folks I’ve come across on the web, I like to tinker. I like to tweak, refine, and update til my brain and wallet hurt. I also like to go clicky-clacky. To that end, I recently discovered the joys of customizing keyboards. Now as you read on, know that I am very new to this space and I’m not coming for anyone’s preferences lol.

I’ve been on the mechanical keyboard game for, eh, 10-ish years? Like many elite gamers, I started out with a Razer of some sort. Perhaps the Black Widow? I dunno, I don’t recommend them. Anyway, for the longest time I had off-the-shelf mechanical keyboards of that type.

This past year, my better half blessed me for Christmas with a hotswappable Keychron K8 Pro. This thing is a beaut. A sleek, minimal look, a black aluminum frame, and radiant RGB - because I’m still an elite gamer at heart. It’s wired and wireless, cross-platform compatible, and has QMK/VIA support. I started with Gateron G Pro Red switches in it - crisp sounding, but not too loud. I love it and I wish I could take it everywhere with me. Heck, I even took it into the office a few times before I realized I was probably that guy with the loud typing.

And then that fateful day came: YouTube recommended sound tests of different keyboard switches. The algorithm knew what it was doing, and I took the bait. The sounds. The thock. It was magnificent and I needed to have it for my own. And so down the rabbit hole I went, video after video. The options? Endless. My disposition? Indecisive. I bookedmarked links, made lists, compared videos and reviews. I do NOT recommend letting yourself be absord by clicky-clacky videos and websites, else you might drive yourself, and your better half, insane.

A week later, I emerged from the depths of my browser enlightened. I knew I just needed to pull the trigger and order some plastic. I ended up deciding on the WS Quartz Linear Switches from Wuque. And because I’m crazy, I also ordered new screw in stabilizers for the larger keys, like the spacebar, from Gateron. And at the recommendation of 8bit, I also picked up an aluminum switch puller from Wuque too. Not only does it work well, but it also doubles as a pointy fidget toy for long meetings.

With the parts having arrived a few days later, I assembled my new keyboard. And it’s so nice to use. The Wuque switches I picked have less give in them than my previous Gaterons, which means it requires a bit more force to press each key. Perfect for giving a more purposeful, tactile feel to typing that also sounds great. On top of that, I’m constantly reminded of who gave it to me. All I could ever hope for really.

If you decide to go down the keyboard rabbit hole for yourself, there are lots of great learning resources out there, as well as lots of friendly folks willing to help.

Shoutout to 8bit, Jose (vzq), and others for their coaching on all things keyboards.

See you next time!

Originally posted on Scribbles
Cross-posted via EchoFeed