Mechanical keyboards are popular among gamers and computer enthusiasts due to their superior build quality, tactile feedback, and durability. One question that often arises about mechanical keyboards is whether they are spill-resistant. In this article, we will explore the answer to this question by examining the design of mechanical keyboards and the materials used in their construction.
What is a Mechanical Keyboard?
A mechanical keyboard is a type of keyboard that uses mechanical switches to register key presses. These switches differ from the rubber dome switches in most modern keyboards. Mechanical switches are typically more durable and offer tactile feedback that many users prefer, especially gamers and typists.
Several types of mechanical switches are available in the market, such as Cherry MX, Gateron, Kailh, and others. Each type of switch has a unique feel, sound, and actuation force, which allows users to customize their keyboard to suit their preferences.
How are Mechanical Keyboards Designed?
Mechanical keyboards are designed to provide a superior typing experience using high-quality materials and construction techniques. The most critical components of a mechanical keyboard are the key switches, the keycaps, and the printed circuit board (PCB).
1. Key Switches
The key switches are the heart of the mechanical keyboard. They are responsible for registering key presses and providing tactile feedback to the user. Mechanical switches comprise several components, including a stem, a spring, and a metal contact.
The stem is part of the switch that moves when a key is pressed. It pushes down on the spring, providing tactile feedback and resistance. The metal contact registers the key press and sends a signal to the computer.
The keycaps are the visible part of the keyboard that the user interacts with. They are typically made of high-quality plastics such as ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) or PBT (Polybutylene Terephthalate). These materials are durable, resistant to wear and tear, and can be moulded into various shapes and sizes.
3. Printed Circuit Board (PCB)
The PCB is the backbone of the keyboard. It provides the electrical connections between the key switches and the computer. The PCB is typically made of high-quality materials, such as fibreglass or ceramic, resistant to heat and moisture.
Are Mechanical Keyboards Spill-Resistant?
The short answer is that it depends on the keyboard. While mechanical keyboards are generally more durable and resistant to wear and tear than their membrane-based counterparts, they are not necessarily spill-resistant.
The design and materials used in constructing a mechanical keyboard significantly determine its spill resistance. Let’s take a closer look at each keyboard component and how it affects its ability to resist spills.
1. Key Switches
Most mechanical key switches are not waterproof or water-resistant. They are made of metal and plastic components, which can be damaged by exposure to moisture. If a liquid spill occurs, it can seep into the switch housing and cause corrosion or damage to the metal contacts, resulting in malfunction or failure of the switch.
Some keyboard manufacturers, such as Corsair and Logitech, offer models that are marketed as “spill-resistant.” These keyboards have a thin silicone membrane that covers the key switches, which helps to protect them from spills. The membrane allows the keys to function normally while still providing some level of protection against liquid damage.
Keycaps are usually not waterproof or water-resistant, and they can be damaged by exposure to moisture. However, the material used to make the keycaps can affect their resistance to spills. ABS plastic, commonly used for keycaps, is more susceptible to damage from liquids than PBT plastic.
Why mechanical keyboard is more popular?
Mechanical keyboards have gained popularity recently due to their durability, responsiveness, and tactile feedback. However, one question that often arises in the minds of consumers is whether mechanical keyboards are spill-resistant. In this article, we will explore the features of mechanical keyboards that make them spill-resistant and offer tips on maintaining them.
Mechanical keyboards are designed with several features that make them more resilient to spills than traditional membrane keyboards. Firstly, the key switches in mechanical keyboards are designed with individual switches for each key, separate from the printed circuit board (PCB). This means the liquid is less likely to damage the keyboard’s internal components, even if a spill occurs. In contrast, membrane keyboards use a single rubber membrane that liquid spills can easily damage.
Another key feature that makes mechanical keyboards spill-resistant is their design. Many mechanical keyboards feature a raised base that keeps the internal components away from spilt liquid. Additionally, many mechanical keyboards are built with drainage channels and holes that allow liquid to flow out of the keyboard rather than pooling inside and damaging the electronics.
However, it is essential to note that not all mechanical keyboards are created equal regarding spill resistance. Some mechanical keyboards may feature more spill-resistant designs, while others offer less protection against liquid damage. Additionally, the type of switches used in the keyboard can impact its spill resistance. For example, Cherry MX switches are known for being more spill-resistant than other types of switches.
In addition to the design features of mechanical keyboards, there are several steps you can take to maintain the spill resistance of your keyboard. Firstly, it is essential to clean your keyboard regularly. This helps to remove any dust, dirt, or debris that may interfere with the keyboard’s operation. Additionally, cleaning your keyboard can help to remove any spills that may have occurred. To clean your mechanical keyboard, you can use a soft, dry cloth or a small brush to remove any debris from the keys and base gently.
Mechanical keyboards are generally more spill-resistant than membrane keyboards due to their design and individual vital switches. However, it is essential to note that not all mechanical keyboards are created equal regarding spill resistance; some may offer more protection than others. To maintain the spill resistance of your mechanical keyboard, it is essential to clean it regularly and act quickly if a spill occurs. By following these tips, you can enjoy the benefits of a mechanical keyboard without worrying about the risk of liquid damage.