Ergodox is a keyboard project designed with ergonomics in mind, available either as a DIY kit or an assembled, commercial version. It uses Cherry MX style mechanical switches such as Cherry or Gateron laid out in a columnar stagger rather than the more conventional row stagger layout with components that can easily be sourced. The keyboard is completely programmable and can be flashed with several different firmware options.
The entire project including this website is open source, allowing you the freedom to modify and tweak the project as you see fit. Assembling this project will require some patience, soldering ability, and access to a computer to flash the firmware onto the keyboard.
The original 3D printable case was designed by Dox but a far more popular and less expensive option was a layered acrylic design by litster. This website was built by robotmaxtron with some help from the community as a way to centralize the documentation after ErgoDox.
Mechanical Keyboard Enhancement Kit
If you want to contribute to the project, pull requests, bugs via Github issues can be filed at our Github. A few things will need to be decided in advance before choosing parts or cases. The ErgoDox supports either the standard 76 key or 80 key layout. This project will require some tools such as a soldering iron, flush cutters, wire strippers, solder, and possibly a screwdriver.
The build guide also assumes that you already know how to solder, if you do not know how to solder or want a refresher there are several guides available on YouTube and other places on the internet.
You could also buy the updated pcb from a vendor of choice by providing them the KiCad or Gerber files in the repo listed above or purchase a batch from OSH Park. Keep an eye out on the ErgoDox repo revision changelogs for updates and differences between pcb versions.
While there are many options of materials available such as cases carved out of wood generally ErgoDox cases are either 3D printed or layered acrylic sheets. The 3D printable case options are available in our repo and have been uploaded to Shapeways.
The most popular and less expensive option is the layered acrylic design. Github Repo assembled with m3 bolts. There is also a 3D printable tenting stand in the repo organization. Now the section where the soldering and real assembly happens, in the next subsection there will be a couple external links to other build guides including both a photo and video build log.
Flip both of the pcbs over, this face up side without the diodes will be the side that the remaining components will be placed. More the video type? YouTube has several other good guides, this one I think does an excellent job of balancing information and length. Imgur Build Log : user robotmaxtron shares his build log including mistakes. There are a number of options for the firmware powering the ErgoDox keyboard, each with their own sets of features and options.
This is a powerful graphical configurator that lets you define layers, dual-function keys, LED control, and more without having to code. Github Repo. Evan from TheVanKeyboards.
The project has not had much movement since late Massdrop has developed an online tool for generating ErgoDox keymaps without the need to compile your own firmware, suggested for users who might not be comfortable compiling their own firmware. The underlying firmware behind the graphical tool is based on the original firmware by Ben Blazak.
Once the firmware has been compiled down into a. The open source nature of the ErgoDox has lead to several variants of the original design.
The following list is not a comprehensive list, but does list many of the more popular designs.Shortcuts, force feedback, and cool backlighting. We love mechanical keyboards! Well, We think mechanical keyboards are designed for gamers. So, in order to meet the needs of customers, Razer, Logitech, etc. If you have a job that demands a ton of time typing — web development, web design, IT, and journalism are some professions that fit the bill — investing in a high-quality keyboard can lead to a more productive and enjoyable work experience.
A mechanical keyboard has been my preference for the past three years. Here are some reasons why:. As the corsair gaming keyboard for the pirate ship, the K95 Platinum fills the gap left by the retired K95 Vengeance.
It features the new Cherry MX Silver Axis button, which offers less trigger pressure and shorter keystrokes than previous models. Some minor aesthetic designs have also been improved.
The keyboard features a standard key layout with a set of six macro buttons on the left side; three buttons at the top for switching onboard profiles, adjusting backlight brightness, and disabling Windows keys, plus a dedicated row of media controls.
In general, after a long game or typing, you will find the advanced enjoyment of this keyboard, which is the main reason why we ranked it first. The Das Keyboard 4 saves most of the plastic, and the delicate frame has been replaced with an aluminum alloy. Although the weight is almost unchanged, the quality is clearly stronger. Another major change is that the bottom of the keyboard is no longer equipped with a flip stand and replaced by a magnetic pedal, which is a viable solution.
The overall design of the keyboard is only slightly different from the Model S: the black frame is matte instead of glossy, and the font is used on the keycap. These USB ports have been moved from the right side of the keyboard to the front to make the right mouse experience easier for the right hand.
Despite the lack of obvious features like backlighting, the Das Keyboard 4 can still be the best general-purpose mechanical keyboard with its superior design and features. The X40 looks very simple and it has very little exterior decoration.
The left edge is equipped with five macro keys that distinguish it from the traditional key design. All other enhancements come from the FN button at the bottom right of the primary key area. In addition to the backlight, there are three lights in the upper right corner and a fourth big light that reminds you in game mode. The only other feature worth noting is the three jacks on the top right edge: a USB 2. Most keyboards, even those designed for games, basically maintain a fairly plain look, but the X40 features a sophisticated aluminum panel with angular geometry that you can remove and replace.
Its software system provides a lot of flexibility, you can easily write macro keys, or create up to five configuration files. However, because the X40 does not have the ability to cross-zone colorful backlights like some gaming keyboards.
As a keyboard designed for games, the X40 excels in the gaming arena. But ordinary office typing, its performance is not ideal, especially when you need to type for a long time. This is a relatively inexpensive mechanical keyboard that is ideal for typing. By removing the digital button area, it has a thinner and lighter body than most keyboards.
In fact, this is a very good product, and considering the detachable USB cable, you can carry it easily anytime, anywhere. It also comes with built-in lighting, and although it has only one color to use, it looks very cool. For the way to adjust the light, the HV-KBL offers 13 presets and 5 custom modes, and many modes have many different effects.Though they have been around since the s, modern mechanical keyboards are an increasingly popular ergonomic upgrade from the mass-produced membrane keyboards that ship with most desktops.
Mech keyboards offer a premium typing experience because of their clicky and tactile switches under each key, which makes them particularly appealing to gamers and typists. Here are our favorite ways to ditch the mushy membrane keyboard while keeping to a budget. The Redragon K is a compact mechanical keyboard that has earned its place among the budget keyboard greats by matter of sheer price value.
Cherry switches are the gold standard by which other switches are judged, so some deem them necessary.
In fact, this keyboard packs a close imitation of the classic Cherry MX Blue switches, which are among the clickiest and most responsive style. Redragon claims that their custom switches are Cherry Green equivalents, but many advanced users notice that the keys have the lighter action pressure of Cherry Blue switches.
They work equally well for gaming and typing, but again, they are quite loud, so best not to be used in a shared environment. This is an key keyboard, which means it does not have a number pad.
The keys have a red LED design with some basic glowing effects to cycle through. These keys sit atop a base plate of both aluminum and ABS. It provides good weight and has spill-resistant properties.
This can be handy for watching movies or listening to music. This keyboard is not the type to sport any crazy bells and whistles, but rather, a down to business board that focuses on high-end performance at a low price. As such, its value is balanced by a few small nitpicks. One such is that the USB cable feels flimsier than other models, which have nice braided cables.
And this complaint is really just looking for something to not like, but the K has to have to ugliest font of the lot in my opinion. The Corsair K66 is a no-nonsense cheap mechanical keyboard that puts performance before presentation. These keys are notably quieter than budget switches, while still offering fast travel and tactile feedback. They support full key rollover, which means if you pressed every key down at once, it would register every single one.
It is also fully anti-ghosting, further improving accuracy. This key model has a full number pad, plus dedicated media hotkeys. My personal favorite inclusion is the windows key lock, which prevents you from accidentally switching to your desktop in the middle of a full-screen game. The most useful application is setting up macro commands to streamline your work or gaming. Ultimately, this keyboard is best suited to gaming, but those who want a silent and tactile typing experience will have a fantastic time using this keyboard as well.
Find more Aukey Key Mechanical Keyboard information and reviews here. This key keyboard is fairly plain, with a red LED backlight and a red and black color scheme to match. The backlight is handy for nighttime use.
The keys are anti-ghosting and N-key rollover. They even have multimedia shortcuts on the function row. The board itself is a mix of metal and plastic. It has clever draining holes that make it water-resistant on top of its already durable design.
Unfortunately, the hardwired non-braided USB cable leaves something to be desired. These name-brand keys are celebrated as the perfect compromise between performance and stealthiness. They will be comparatively silent if you are light on your fingers. This cheap mechanical keyboard can be purchased with Cherry MX Brown switches for about the same price.
The Brown switches are equally light, but much clickier, as they make a tactile click at the half-press as well as the full-press. There are a few keys where the Cherry MX Red tactile experience falls short, though.We ship to the whole world, some EU countries get free shipping. We offer 2 year warranty on all products. If your keyboard has a issue, we will sort it out for you in no time!
Mechanical Keyboards. Brands Leopold Varmilo Vortex Keeb. Feedback Linear Tactile Clicky. Merchandise All Merchandise. Register or Login. New products Products that just landed! GMK Bushido. GMK Apollo. Go to Group-Buys. Top selling Overall site bestsellers. Featured products Products that just landed!
Global shipping We ship to the whole world, some EU countries get free shipping. Live support We do not bite! Show more from timeline. Contact us Need help? E-mail: support candykeys. Keyboard Store. Like us Instagram. Design and development by.While there are plenty of amazing pre-built mechanical keyboards on the market these days, it can be tough to find one with the perfect combination of switches, keycaps, case and electronics.
The solution? Build your own. It just takes the right parts, a couple of tools and a relatively modest investment. I own keyboards from each of these companies, and I enjoy typing on each. The board I assembled for this project is exactly how I wanted it to be. The PCB printed circuit board serves as the base for almost all keyboard builds save the brave hand-wiring crowd.
It really ties the whole thing together. Some PCBs require a lot of extra toil to get into working condition. From my second build, I went with something a little simpler. Clueboard is a company that makes a damn fine keyboard kit. The fully-programmable PCB comes pre-soldered with resistors and controller, so all you have to add is the switches of your choice.
The other cool thing about the Clueboard is the CNC aluminium case. If the PCB is the heart of the keyboard, the case is the foundation. A sturdy board is a steady board. Beyond weight, the materials of the case affect how your switches and caps feel and sound. There are less expensive kits to start with, but this was my second build, so I thought what the hell?
Though Clueboards are generally sold through group buy sites like Massdrop, the folks at the company were nice enough to let me buy one of the units they had made for demo purposes at full cost, tossing in the lighted accent kit for free. Which keyboard switches are right for you? The ones that feel the best. None of it matters.Joinsubscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles.
The plastic case and high-end PBT keycaps are offered in a variety of colors, including a fetching side-printed option that preserves the legends under constant typing. Different colors, LED backlight colors, and a wide selection of Cherry or Gateron switches are available. This is due to a combination of easy mobile support with a purpose-made Android programming app, easy availability from vendors like Amazon, and full RGB LED support. It has extra media and connection keys, but does without backlighting to save battery, which Logitech says can last 18 months on two AAs.
Function keys cannot be reprogrammed, including the awkward F11 and F12 keys on [ and ]. The Professional BT model is offered with key legends or without in a single gram Topre switch design.
A windows application allows more or less unlimited programmability, including the RGB backlighting. It also appears on Massdrop occasionally. This odd-looking design is the only Bluetooth mechanical model specifically made for macOS.
Cherry clone switches are offered in Blue, Brown, Red, and Black varieties. Given the limited options for Bluetooth and the proclivity of mechanical keyboard enthusiasts to roll their own, there are quite a few custom-made keyboard designs that add a battery and Bluetooth controller to an existing layout.
If you can program your own layout and solder your own keys to a PCB or even do the custom wiring yourselfyou should be able to use a popular add-on like the Raspberry Pi Zero W to modify or create your own Bluetooth mechanical keyboard. Do some searching on the mechanical keyboard Subreddit or GeekHack.
Image credits: AmazonMassdropMechanicalKeyboards. The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere. Joinsubscribers and get a daily digest of news, comics, trivia, reviews, and more.
17 Best Cheap Mechanical Keyboards: Your Buyer’s Guide
Windows Mac iPhone Android. Smarthome Office Security Linux. The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere Joinsubscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles. Skip to content.Imagine how pressing the keys of a grand piano feels different than pressing the keys of a high-quality electronic piano. The electronic piano may feel more like keys pressing into a single piece of electronic hardware.
Computer keyboards are similar. Most computer keyboards come with membrane keys which are like electronic piano keys. They have a one-piece design where keys press down onto a membrane and make electrical connections which trigger that a key was pressed.
But, now that I have started to use mechanical keyboards, I am getting spoiled with the tactile feel of typing which can probably be best described as the difference between playing on a grand piano versus playing on an outstanding electronic piano. This picture got over 1, comments! I thought I had a ton of keyboards.
The red line is the popularity of mechanical keyboard searches over ergonomic keyboard searches. However, this is an ergonomics review site and the vast majority of the mechanical keyboards you find for sale are not really ergonomic.
Going through the mechanical keyboards on Amazon, the first five pages showed only non-ergonomic mechanical keyboards. I gave up after page 5 and assumed no one would find an ergonomic mechanical keyboard by just searching for mechanical models.
You can get ergonomic mechanical keyboards though! This guide is ordered alphabetically by the manufacturer so take some time to weave through all of the models below.
The first section is for keyboards you can buy right now and the second section is for others that may or may not be available for a DIY build or purchase including rare keyboards that sometimes pop up on eBay. For now, here are the models you can by right now…. Read our full review of the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard. The keys are the same size as a normal keyboard but uses layers and additional keys to allow for things like escape, F-keys, or navigation keys.
While is it much more compact, you still have all of the functionality of a full sized keyboard and can access all of the full keyboard keys without leaving your normal typing position. You can order the UHK in one of variations.
Color options also include black, dark red, orange, navy blue, and for those that can keep it clean white.The Greatest Keyboard of All Time.. Reborn
The price tag is high, there is an adjustment period, and some elements of the design may annoy you. However, if it helps your typing-related pain, those other things are petty by comparison.
Also, after a while, you will most likely learn to work around the annoying features of the keyboard and begin to enjoy some of its more subtle efficiency benefits.
Best Mechanical Keyboards
The Advantage2 adds more features some of which are summarized below:. What it does have is a small footprint, which in some situations can be very relevant to ergonomics. This is the only somewhat standard shape keyboard included in this guide. The Barocco comes with 2 other preset layouts, Dvorak and Colemak, layouts appreciated by programmers. In addition, both sides of the keyboard can be used as a stand-alone keyboard.