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Using a mechanical keyboard is a much nicer experience than the new membrane-style ones. Except for the people around you while you type. The problem with mechanical keyboards is that they are very loud.
For a long time, it seemed like it was just one of the things you had to deal with if you wanted all of the other benefits of a mechanical keyboard. It turns out that that isn’t exactly true. There are some ways that you can make your keyboard much quieter and less annoying for your coworkers or anybody else around you that needs to concentrate.
In this article, we will go over several ways that you can have a much quieter mechanical keyboard.
What makes these keyboards so loud is the action of the switches underneath the keys. There are a few parts to it rather than a membrane so there is more going on there that can make noise. Namely, the plastic sliders that are pressed down onto a spring. The price you pay for the crisp action of a mechanical keyboard is the fact that these parts eventually start making noise.
One of the aspects that people love about their mechanical keyboard is the fact that it can be customized. It is easy for you to make changes to the keyboard so you can swap out those plastic switches for something quieter.
New, silent switches use different materials instead of cheap plastic that makes noise. Essentially the material used dampens the sound and makes it much quieter. They aren’t completely silent, however as the action is still going to produce some noise. However, they are noticeably quieter compared to the typical switches.
Use rubber “O” rings
Another reason the keyboard makes noise is that when the keys are pushed down all the way, they essentially bang against the plastic underneath. This is probably the biggest source of noise.
You can make yourself a hack against this by buying small rubber “O” ring gaskets. They aren’t made for this purpose so don’t bother looking for them in the keyboard section at the store. Instead, head to a hardware store. Get some of the smallest diameters you can find and slip them over the stems of the keys. Combined with the silent switches, you should have an almost completely silent keyboard.
Make your own keyboard
If you can build your own machine, you can also build your own keyboard. This way, you are in complete control of all the materials used in the construction. This way you can make it silent from the very beginning and not have to use some hacks to make it that way.
You can use a case that doesn’t have a metal keyboard plate for starters. Then you can opt for some high-end switches that are made with materials that are very quiet. They can be expensive but the point of building your own isn’t to save money.
Before you build, make sure that you are familiar with some light soldering as it is an important thing to know when building a keyboard.