Mechanical Keyboards, Not As Standardized As You Think!

Mechanical Keyboards, Not As Standardized As You Think!

Mechanical Keyboards, Not As Standardized As You Think!

Mechanical keyboards have been around since the start of the computer era, and even further back than then! The standard mechanical keyboard which we use today has relatively few components, contrary to membrane keyboards. But what truly makes these keyboards mechanical?

Well, it’s the way their switches are created! Mechanical keyboards switches, we’ll refer to them as mechanical switches, have Three parts to them as we see them. The spring, the metal components, and the plastic part which is depressed.

To add names to these parts, the first one remains relatively simple, it's still called the spring. the metal components are called in fancy terms “The Crosspoint contact”. Fancy. And the plastic part which is depressed is called the stem. This stem will be our main focus for today after we first show you some visuals to accompany these names of course!

The Gold Crosspoint Contact Courtesy Of Deskthority Wiki
The Crosspoint Contact Inside Its Housing, Courtesy Of Deskthority Wiki
Mechanical Keyboard Stems Courtesy Of theremingoat
All The Parts Of A Key switch Courtesy Of Varmilo

Seeing these visuals begs the question if all mechanical switches and in turn mechanical keyboards are composed of essentially the same parts, parts that make a mechanical keyboard mechanical, what’s the difference among different mechanical keyboards!

Well, it has to do with the stem which is again our main topic of discussion for today!

The stem varies across different mechanical keyboard manufacturers, and some other parts too but who really cares about that. The stem is our topic for today because of the important role it plays if you want to change your keycaps if they break or become worn out.

A very important type of stem to remember is called the Cherry MX stem, this can also be referred to as the Cherry MX Or clone type stem. These switches are called “clone switches” because of how similar they are to Cherry MX Switches.

The Cherry MX Switch WIth Blue Stem
A Cherry MX Clone Switch, The Gateron Reds.

You’ll see different colors for stems which isn't really important for now, but if you want to read more about them you can see all about them here

The plus stemmed switches and their corresponding plus stem manufactures include the likes of Gateron, Kailh, and of course, Cherry MX switch manufactures. Whenever you see a key switch with the plus stems just remember that you can call these switches Cherry MX or Cherry MX clone switches.

Now if generally, all mechanical keyboards have Cherry MX or clone switches for mechanical keyboard switches, where’s the variation? This depends on the keyboard manufacturer. For example Logitech, their mechanical keyboards have the Romer G variation of key switch stem which looks a little something like this

Logitech Romer G Switches With Their Box Type Stem


If all mechanical keyboards have the same general key switch structure and just a variation in the stems, why does it matter? Especially since you can’t see the switches under your keycaps?

Well, it matters If you’d like to change your keycaps something you’ll likely have to if you want to either customize, personalize, or refurbish your keyboard. If you want to do any of these, how can you go about it, and what key switches will be your best friend?

Well at Kord and across the globe generally there’s a preference in keycap manufacturers for the cherry style switches mainly due to their popularity (Sorry Romer G Fans). For other switches, it can be a problem to switch your keycaps, especially for Logitech mechanical keyboards with Romer G style switches.

So if you're looking to buy some keycaps from Kord be sure to check if your keyboard is a cherry-style mechanical keyboard with the plus stem switches before you purchase!

And remember for Logitech it’s not the rule for all keyboards to be equipped with Romer G switches you can find some Logitech keyboards with cherry style switches! And keyboard manufacturers like Razer and Corsair almost always use cherry-style switches in their mechanical keyboards!

The Logitech G512 With Cherry Style Switches

So now go on and browse Kord for your favorite mechanical keyboard accessories, armed with the knowledge you now have, pick out your favorite MonoKeycap Or Keycaps Set From Kord!


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