Why Are Mechanical Keyboards So Expensive?

Why Are Mechanical Keyboards So Expensive

A mechanical keyboard is a computer keyboard that uses spring-activated switches. They are used for typing, gaming, and programming and have music production and graphics design applications.

However, people keep wondering, “why are mechanical keyboards so expensive?” Mechanical Keyboards possess more features and functionality than regular standard keyboards.

Hence, they are more expensive than regular keyboards due to higher manufacturing costs and purchases compared to regular keyboards.

The keycaps and switches possessed by the mechanical keyboard, its functions, and other elements made it different from standard keyboards, adding up to the cost of the keyboard. 

In this article, we will discuss why mechanical keyboards are so expensive. However, the high price of a Mechanical Keyboard may be hard for people unfamiliar with it to understand.

However, for those who made it our hobby, it’s easy to understand how Mechanical Keyboard can get quite expensive. 

Why Are Mechanical Keyboards Expensive?

Mechanical Keyboards are more complicated than. The components are more accessible than the normal keyboard, and the tools and the functions made it rise to another level.

These alone are enough reasons for mechanical keyboards to cost a lot.

Average Cost of Creating a Mechanical Keyboard

You might wonder how much it will cost to create a Mechanical Keyboard. When it comes to the cost, it depends on the brand or model, pre-built, custom-made, and quality.

It’s mainly of two types: ready-made and customized mechanical keyboards. The ready-made mechanical keyboard is lower in price than choosing the parts you want to use in creating yours. 

However, the custom mechanical keyboard ultimately depends on your demands. Customization comprises knowing the parts that will make up the keyboard, like PCB, switches, stabilizers, and much more. All these components have their functions on the keyboard.

Generally, the average cost of creating a Mechanical Keyboard is about $100. Depending on the features you are looking for, the range of prices starts from $50 to over $200. Generally speaking, The higher the cost, the better the keyboard is.

Highly expensive keyboards will surely use higher quality materials and include more advanced features. 

Choosing Mechanical Switches or Stabs

If you are still bothered about the frequently asked question, “why are mechanical keyboards so expensive?” understand that mechanical switches are also essential factors.

You can choose between the Linear, Tactile, and Clicky Switches. The Alpaca Linear Switch is at the rate of $27.50 per batch. 

The Costar Style Plate-Mounted Costar Stabilizers cost around $12, and the Durock V2 Stabilizers would cost about $35.

Though some prices may be lower than others, you still need quite a budget to fulfill your customization needs.

Custom Keycaps Sets

The keycaps make your mechanical keyboards so pleasing, and let’s be honest; the more visually attractive they are, the more engaging they are for you to use.

Be mindful, of course, that it is focused on more than just the visuals; remember that there are some things to consider, such as the tools used, sizes, sound tests, and many more.

The price of Custom Keycap Sets, such as those of GMK’s, maybe as expensive as $300. On the flip side, Keycaps can also go as low as the Custom Kraken Backlit Keycap Set, which costs $35.

Again such prices are considered when customizing. Summing up all costs of such alterations means spending more; therefore, spending wisely.

Aluminum / FR 4 / PC / Brass Plates

The Plates vary in their material. It is an essential component as it adds to the purposes, such as the security of the switches onto the PCB, and contributes to changes in terms of the feel and sound of your final product. 

The type of material solely depends on what you prefer. For example, the DZ60 ANSI CNC Aluminum Plate- 2u Left Shift (KBDFans) costs $ 19, and the GMMK Pro 75% – Brass Switch Plate (Glorious PC) is $49.99.

Difference Between Membrane Keyboard and Mechanical Keyboard

Membrane Keyboard

A membrane keyboard has a membrane where each key lies on the different parts of three layered membranes that are pressure sensitive. If you press a key, it responds to the command base on the function of the key.

Basically, it has a circuit covered by a layer of rubber, and above that, we have buttons or keys which can be seen on the keyboard. Pressing any button forces the rubber layer below it, which further attaches to the circuit. 

When the rubber layer presses the circuit, the circuit sends the information to the CPU. Then, CPU shows the output of the processed data on the screen. 

You must press the keys very hard so the rubber layer can touch the circuit. For example, Magnavox Odyssey2 and Sinclair ZX80 & ZX81 computers. 

Mechanical Keyboard

Mechanical Keyboard was introduced in early 2000 and uses an individual switch for each key. Once you press the key down far enough and engage the switch on the key, it registers as a keystroke. 

It has a mechanism for functioning and does not have the layer of rubber as a feature of a membrane keyboard.

When you press the key, it has a mechanism on its side, and when they collide, the circuit sends the data to the CPU, showing the output on the screen. 

These keys have different names and colors, and all the specifications are different from each other. The primary colors in cherry MX are red, brown, and blue.

With these colors, one can identify the difference between the keyboards, their specifications, and how they work. 

When you press blue cherry MX, they produce a sound of a mouse when clicked, and you can listen very quickly. Brown cherry MX does not produce any clickable sound, but red cherry MX does have a clickable sound. 

Conclusion

Regarding the considerations above, the question, ‘why are mechanical keyboards so expensive?’ have been stated. Please drop your thoughts in the comments section if there are any.

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