One of the most alluring features of a mechanical keyboard is the freedom to replace the switch with another one. You can just remove the currently connected switch and place a new one in order to change the way you feel while using it or replace a switch that wasn’t working quite well in the first place. But how to tell if a keyboard is hot swappable or not?
To determine if a keyboard is hot swappable, check if the keyboard supports the easy replacement of switches without soldering. Look for terms like “hot swappable” in the product description. The easiest way is to Google the specific keyboard model and check their website. Or you can try to remove the keycaps and remove one switch, they should come off easily with key switch puller.
Not all mechanical keyboards are hot-swappable, as there are many which have their switches soldered to the PCB. To learn more, keep reading!
What is a hot-swappable mechanical keyboard?
A hot-swappable mechanical keyboard is a cool type of keyboard that lets you change the keys without needing any fancy tools. Regular keyboards need tricky soldering to switch out keys, but hot-swappable ones have special slots where you can just pop in new keys or take them out.
What’s great is that you can personalize your typing experience. You can try out different key types – like clicky ones, smooth ones, or bumpy ones – to find what feels best for you. And if a key gets wonky or tired, no worries! Just take it out and stick in a fresh one, no tech skills needed.
Remember, not all keyboards are hot-swappable, so look for ones that say they are if you want this handy feature. Enjoy making your keyboard truly yours!
What is a soldered PCB mechanical keyboard?
A soldered PCB mechanical keyboard is like a classic recipe where all the ingredients are fixed in place. Imagine each key switch is like an ingredient, and the “recipe” is the keyboard’s circuit board, or PCB. In a soldered keyboard, these key switches are permanently attached to the PCB using solder, which is like a super-strong glue.
This setup makes the keyboard sturdy and reliable because the switches won’t budge. However, it also means that if you want to change a switch, you’ll need to bring out your soldering skills. It’s a bit like needing to unglue and reglue something – not so easy!
So, while soldered keyboards are solid and dependable, they’re not as flexible when it comes to customization. Just remember, if you prefer to stick with a set style and don’t plan on changing things up too often, a soldered PCB mechanical keyboard can be a great choice!
Reasons To Get a Hot Swappable Keyboard
Getting a hot-swappable keyboard is like giving your keyboard superpowers. Here are a few fun reasons why you might want to consider one:
- Mix and Match Your Keys: With a hot-swappable keyboard, you can be the boss of your keys. You can easily swap out keys to create your dream typing experience. Want clicky keys that go “clack” or smooth ones that glide? You got it!
- No Soldering Required: Say goodbye to the soldering iron! Hot-swappable keyboards let you change keys without any fancy tools. No need to be a tech wizard – it’s as simple as plugging in Legos.
- Keep Up with Trends: Key switches come in all flavors, just like ice cream. With a hot-swappable keyboard, you can try out new switches as they hit the market. Stay hip with the latest typing sensations!
- Quick Fixes: Uh-oh, spilled your coffee or water on your keyboard? Accidents happen, but they don’t have to be a disaster. With hot-swappable keys, you can swap out the soggy ones and get typing again in no time.
- Customize Your Look: A keyboard that matches your style? Absolutely! Hot-swappable keyboards often let you change the look with different keycaps. Make it fancy, colorful, or keep it sleek – it’s your call.
- Easy Peasy Repairs: If a key gets cranky or stops working, no big deal! Just pop in a fresh one. No need to send your keyboard on a vacation for repairs.
- Try Before You Commit: Ever wish you could test drive a car before buying it? Hot-swappable keyboards let you try different switches before settling on the perfect one. It’s like a test run for your fingers!
Remember, hot-swappable keyboards are all about making your keyboard experience fun and fuss-free. So, whether you’re a typing enthusiast or just want to jazz up your desk, a hot-swappable keyboard might just be your new favorite thing!
How can I know if the keyboard is hot-swappable?
First of all, try to sneak under the keycaps. If certain parts of the circuit board are visible, you will be able to identify the sockets or the soldered connection. If you are not able to view the circuit board, gently try to pull out the switch.
Don’t attempt to pull out forcefully, a hot-swappable switch will easily come out on a gentle pull with a keycap puller. It’s a bit difficult to remove with hands. Another option is to look up the specific keyboard and check the description provided by the manufacturer. Most major brand keyboards like ones from Corsair, Logitech, and Razor are not hot-swappable.
Can You Convert a soldered Keyboard Into a Hot-swappable keyboard?
Yes, you can convert your soldered PCB keyboard into a hot-swappable one. It is a tedious, one-time process that requires a bit of grunt work. You’ll need to de-solder every switch and then reconnect it back to the PCB. But, after you are done, you will technically have a hot-swappable keyboard.
Hot-swappable keyboards are great if you are into modifying your keyboards to make the most out of them or just want to try out new switches. However, if you are a casual user who can’t be bothered, getting a PCB soldered mechanical keyboard is a-okay too! Usually, your switch preference won’t change for a really long time.
I work from home. To do the best possible job I need the right accessories - the right desk, the right chair, the right keyboard, the right monitor, etc. When I work I want to feel comfortable. I review everything that's related to home desk setup - focusing on Monitors & Keyboards.