Why Mechanical Keyboards Are So Expensive?
Mechanical Keyboards have slowly grabbed a place on our desks. It doesn’t matters whether you are a professional or a casual user, the charm of mechanical keyboards must have reached your heart too. They have replaced our normal rubber membrane keyboards now, it’s not just about the charming RGB backlight, the rich matte-finished PBT keycaps, or not even the sweet mechanical feedback you get with every single keystroke, A mechanical Keyboard provides us all of the things that we just mentioned and even more. They bring a complete world of their own for us, we get access to different mechanical switches, each having its own feedback style. We enter into the world of keycaps where there are countless possibilities to upgrade and enrich our experience with the different designer and novelty keycaps. Not to mention the immersion that the RGB backlight brings with our gaming setups!!! Well, all these things have always been the plus point for a mechanical keyboard, the only thing that always strikes our mind is why do mechanical keyboards so pricey? Why are they expensive? Rubber Membrane keyboards start as low as 10$ while for a mechanical keyboard we have to shell out at least 100$ for getting a decent one and their top range is completely over the skies.
Well, we can’t deny the fact that a mechanical keyboard is pricey compared to regular membrane boards. But in their defense, Mechanical Keyboards are made up of a collection of different parts and components which are not present there on a rubber membrane. And well, that’s the only reason for the price difference, but let’s dive into the world of mechanical keyboards and understand this better.
The High Cost Of Mechanical Switches & Their Implementation On The Keyboard PCB:-
In a rubber membrane keyboard, there’s a single piece of rubber sheet that serves over the keyboard plate registering your keystrokes. But in a mechanical keyboard, this process is a little complicated. Each key has its own independent mechanical switch placed right underneath it. This switch gets pressed upon key strokes, and then completes a fully mechanical process where the switch stem reaches the trigger point and registers the keypress. This is where the mechanical keyboards get their name from. The cost of these switches is obviously higher compared to that of the rubber membrane and hence contributes to the increased price of mechanical keyboards.
The world of Mechanical Switches is by no means small, they have a world of their own. You can choose how fast they respond to your keystrokes, their sound, and even their mechanical feedback type. Users can also replace the switches on their hot-swappable keyboards with ease. Well, we just forgot to mention the Hot-Swappable PCB where one doesn't have to solder or desolder the switches, simply pull and plug method can be used to change the switches. In a rubber membrane keyboard, if any key goes bad or stops working, you have to get an entirely new keyboard but in a mechanical keyboard, you can simply change the required switch and it will probably solve your issues.
Keycaps, And Their Tantrums:-
In a rubber membrane keyboard, usually, you don’t get an option to change the keycaps as they are fixed but in a mechanical keyboard, you can easily change the switches by simply pulling them out. This opens the doors to the huge and literally huge world of keycaps. You can completely customize the look and design of your mechanical keyboards. Right from the type of material of the keycaps to the design element and even their shape profile, users can choose everything.
There are even some designer novelty keycaps available in the market. Even in their stock form, Mechanical Keyboards are usually equipped with high-quality ABS or PBT material keycaps which are obviously better than the standard keys you get on a rubber membrane keyboard. Keycaps also contribute to the increase in the cost of a mechanical keyboard. And even after the keyboard purchase, one is always on the lookout for a new designer set of keys in the market.
Expensive Casings For Different Form Factors:-
If you go into the market for mechanical keyboards, you get flooded with different varieties based on their form factors. Each form factor has its own casing design frame, like TKL, 65%, 60%, etc. Since all the components in a keyboard are high-quality and premium, brands don’t cheap out on the keyboard casings. Entry-level and budget mechanical keyboards get ABS and PBT casings, high-end models use high-quality aluminum alloy casings. This obviously brings an increase in the price of a mechanical keyboard. Standard rubber membrane keyboards use standard plastic casings.
Premium Internal Components & Arrangements:-
Apart from the mechanical switches, there are plenty more components for a mechanical keyboard. This includes keyboard PCB Plate, Stabilisers, Silencing foams, etc. Most advanced keyboards feature a gasket-mounted structure too that implements the keyboard PCB plate onto the casing of the keyboards. They also support multiple connection modes that include Wireless Bluetooth and Wireless 2.4GHz connections. All these internal components and features bring a lot of conveniences while using the keyboards, but they also increase the cost of production, hence increasing the overall price of the keyboards in the industry.
High-Cost Of Labor:-
Well, you know there are a lot of components to be arranged together for a mechanical keyboard. This is usually done by the trained professional staff at the brands. Labor cost for a mechanical keyboard is much higher than a standard rubber membrane keyboard, hitting the price and cost of the mechanical keyboards.
Mechanical Keyboards consist of a lot of internal components and features, they are usually made by skilled labor. Moreover, a mechanical keyboard brings a lot of extra features over a standard Rubber Membrane keyboard(switches, silicone pads, PCB, etc), all this basically brings an increase in the cost and hence the price of the mechanical keyboards in the market. We hope we were able to help you out with any questions related to the cost of mechanical keyboards, for any further questions or queries, feel free to write to us at email@example.com.