You heard about all the great features on a mechanical keyboard, but now that you’ve got one, you’re wondering why people get so excited about these devices, am I right?
For most people, mechanical keyboards will take a couple days to a week or two before they feel comfortable using them. This is because most users are accustomed to using membrane keyboards that lack many of the qualities that mechanical keyboard enthusiasts enjoy like the audible clicky sound and feel of the keypress.
The actuation (distance the key travels on a key press), the sound (the characteristic clicky keyboard sound), and the famous feel of a mechanical keyboard (also known as a “mech” keyboard) is simply different, and it takes a bit of time to get used to.
At first your typing speed may actually decrease, you could see more typos in your copy, hitting wrong keys and odd ghosting as you get used to your new keyboard.
But once you acclimate, you’ll most likely never want to go back to using a regular keyboard again.
The real adjustment is that the muscle memory in your fingers needs to adjust a bit to the different sensation of typing on a mech keyboard, along with the different pressure required on each key press.
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What can I do to get used to using a mechanical keyboard?
If you’re used to using a low-profile keyboard, like Apple’s Magic keyboard, then the height adjustment alone could be enough to throw you off big time.
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Instead of tossing your new mech keyboard out, a great solution is to get an ergonomic wrist rest if your new keyboard didn’t come with one.
Razer, a well-known manufacturer of mech keyboards, makes a special wrist rest to help minimize fatigue and provide support.
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In addition, you can use this as an opportunity to improve your touch typing skills, or even train yourself to learn an entirely new keyboard layout like the Dvorak keyboard layout.
The less you look at your keyboard the better off you’ll be when it comes to typing. Mechanical keyboards, just like other types of keyboards have home guide keys that let you feel your way around so that you can find your home position without having to glance down.
Occasional glances are perfectly ok, you just want to break the habit of watching yourself type, and when you switch to a mechanical keyboard, taking some time to train yourself to touch type will help you acclimate to the new feel more quickly.
Explore your new keyboard
It’s important for you spend some time acclimating yourself by touching, feeling, pressing, and practicing on your new keyboard.
The sensations mentioned previously that are common on mech keyboards aren’t the only things that you need to get used to.
Mechanical switches are a different experience, and depending on what kind of keyboard you bought, there could be a variety of different features on your key switches, which is going to be very different than a standard keyboard.
The height of the keys themselves could be a completely new experience for you.
The distance a key travels in order to register a key press is almost certainly going to be a different experience, no doubt.
The size of the keycaps (width & length) could be different too.
That means that you’ll have to move around more (or less) to reach keys you’re used to moving slighter amounts to reach.
And let’s not forget about potentially getting used to an entirely new keyboard layout with macro keys and other new functions.
Another thing you need to get used to with your new keyboard will be any new (or less if you’re going to a TKL, or less than 100% keyboard) keys and their positions.
One of the most effective things you can do on any keyboard is to learn your keyboard shortcuts for the various programs you use.
Moving your entire arm to move your hand away from your keyboard to operate your mouse is tedious at the very least, and can be physically taxing if you’re spending a lot of time at your computer.
So one of the things you’ll want to do is explore your keyboard with your fingers to find and reach these new keys.
Explore entire keyboard with your fingertips how to operate your macro keys and other shortcut keys you might have and save yourself the additional work of moving your arms and hands to take different actions.
The point of ergonomic keyboards is to make things easier, but you have to train yourself to use these things.
Invest the time to work on your new keyboard
If you’re facing a hard deadline for an article you need to publish or a paper that you have to turn in, that may not be the best time to get used to using your new keyboard.
But spending some time commenting on social media and doing some casual note taking are perfect times to do it.
The point is that you need to spend the time – invest the time – you need to spend to get acclimated as quickly as you can.how long does it take to get used to a mechanical keyboard?
And like I mentioned previously, taking some time to train yourself touch typing, you’ll be glad you did.
If you’re using your keyboard for gaming then spending time practicing is critical.
Just like any other thing you are trying to learn it takes just a little bit of time and effort.
If it’s difficult for you, or you’re struggling with it, there’s nothing wrong with swapping out keyboards and going back to your other keyboard that doesn’t have the mechanical switches mechanical keyboards are known for, so you can get work done.
Or you can get that practice time in.
It could be that while you’re getting used to your new keyboard that your typing speed decreases. This is normal and you really shouldn’t be alarmed.
Be patient, but diligent with your practice for both typing and gaming and soon enough your traditional keyboard will be a distant memory and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without your new one!
Will I learn to type faster once I get used to my mechanical keyboard?
The experience on typing on a mechanical keyboard is unlike other types of keyboards -whether they’re membrane keyboards, scissor switch keyboards, or butterfly switch keyboards (which are the types of keyboards Apple manufactures).
Mechanical keyboards offer both tactile feedback when you press keys and auditory feedback by providing sounds for each letter typed. They allow you to immerse yourself into your writing without having to worry if you hit the right key or not.
For some people, this kind of feedback will result in more accurate keypresses which will help them type faster, but simply getting used to typing on a mechanical keyboard alone will not increase your typing speed.
Is it harder to type on a mechanical keyboard?
In most instances the keys are aligned and situated the same way they are on a membrane keyboard, with the exception of additional keys that mechanical keyboard users include to customize their setup.
It’s just that the sensation of the click and audible sounds associated with mechanical keyboards is completely different than what you’re accustomed to.
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