Why Do Programmers Like Mechanical Keyboards?

I’m a proud programmer myself and have been a keen advocate of mechanical keyboards. Needless to say, I’ve tried almost every brand on the planet. Razers, Logitechs, Keychron, and more niche brands like Ducky. 

Throughout the avenue of programming, there’s one question that’s often asked. Why do programmers like mechanical keyboards so much? Well, the answer’s simple. Mechanical keyboards are reliable, improve your typing speed, have tons of customization, and are durable.

But, there’s more to why programmers love mechanical keyboards besides just these factors above. So, we’ve prepped up a quick guide on everything you need to know about mechanical keyboards as a programmer – alongside a few of our favorite picks. 

Reliability

If you’ve ever seen a coder at work, you’ll realize how time is of the essence, especially in larger organizations. We aren’t big fans of our keyboard failing on us randomly. 

Thankfully, this turns into a non-issue with mechanical keyboards. With some switches rated for over 100 million keystrokes, you can always count on them no matter what!

Typing Speed

Mechanical keyboards drastically improve your typing speed. And, as a programmer, when you finally have that epiphany coming, you really want your keyboard to back you up. 

With various choices in switches and frames, you’ll be able to settle for a keyboard that suits your rhythm.

Ergonomics

Wrist health plays an integral part in your overall ability to type for longer durations of time. When it comes to comfort and ergonomics, no one does it better than a mechanical keyboard. 

From our experience, TKLs and 60%s just feel so much better than full-size keyboards, and rightfully so. So, you end up getting a more comfortable fit out of a mechanical keyboard due to the sheer variety of choices.

Customization and Durability

A switch broke? Boom, here’s a new one. Want to change how your keyboard sounds? No worries, lubing it up will do the trick. A mechanical keyboard is durable and also customizable. 

You won’t need to buy a new board every time you want to try your hands at new switches. In any case, the sky’s the limit with mechanical keyboards and that’s what makes them so enticing for computer aficionados which most programmers also are.

How To Choose The Best Mechanical Keyboard For Coding

For gaming, there are a few factors that indicate whether a mechanical keyboard is worth it. But, for coding / typing – it is a completely different ball game. This is because, as a coder, you probably aren’t that keen on having full ARGB but instead want a comfortable typing experience.

So, before we dive into our favorite picks for the best keyboards to code on, a quick primer on what particular aspects of a mechanical keyboard you should be looking into when making your purchase decision might help you make a more informed choice.

Switches

First and foremost, programmers prefer quiet linear switches that still have a tactile oomph to them. If you are working in an office, you probably don’t want your co-workers to hear you clacking away all day.

So, we recommend picking up some silent switches like the Cherry MX Silent Reds or the Boba U4s. We’ve had our experience with both of them, and honestly, you can’t go wrong with either.

Form Factor

Keyboards come in numerous shapes and sizes. You have your full-sized keyboards, the ones that come with a Numpad. And, various other layouts like TKL’s and 60%. From what we’ve seen programmers tend to not use a lot of function keys or the Numpad either.

Therefore, when it comes to portability, nothing beats a 60% keyboard. And, we’d have to agree. There is no key that you won’t be able to find on a 60% that you’ll need in your coding endeavors. So, a 60% is the best form factor for a mechanical keyboard if you are a programmer.

Connectivity

Since you are going to be programming, it is quite alright even if you have a few milliseconds of latency when typing your code away. Therefore, we recommend sticking to wireless options. In fact, options that have a bit more latency such as Bluetooth will also work just fine for your use case.

Best Keyboards For Programming (2022)

With all your questions answered as to why programmers prefer keyboards in the first place, if you are a coder like us – you might wonder – Well, what keyboard would be the best for programming? If that’s the case, we’ve got a few assortments here for you!

Best Overall: Ducky One 3

The Ducky One 3 has often been hailed as the king of keyboards and honestly, we can’t take that accolade away. The entire keyboard is hot-swappable allowing you to choose a switch of your liking. Moreover, the frame has subtle RGB integrated such that it isn’t extremely distracting.

Besides that, we loved the ergonomics on the keyboard, the entire experience felt grounded and tactile while also giving us a bit of leeway to reposition our hands ever-so-often with no added heft. If the keyboard had one drawback, it’d be the fact that it comes in wired mode only.

Best 60%: BOYI 61 Mini

The BOYI 61 Mini comes pre-lubed and features anti-ghosting and a 4-degree tilt for ergonomics. It is extremely lightweight which is also in conjunction with its small size. Besides that, while not hot-swappable, it comes with interestingly designed keycaps with an emphasis on quality.

When this keyboard first came into our office, we weren’t really huge fans of it, to be very honest. But, as we grew accustomed to typing on it, the damping and the isolation provided to each switch led to a more refined and full typing experience than most other keyboards, especially at stock.

You also might be interested in:

Best 60% Mechanical Keyboards

Best For Office: Razer Pro Type Ultra

If you want a discrete-looking keyboard that still gets the job done, equipped with Razer’s Yellow switches comes the Pro Type Ultra. The keyboard connects wirelessly with a dedicated receiver and also lets you pair multiple devices at the same time.

While we aren’t big fans of the non-tactile switches, they still do an excellent job at providing you with a solid typing experience. There’s no RGB lighting, just a monotonous white and the keyboard features Razer’s Synapse software which allows you to customize keys to your liking as well.

Best For Budget: E-YOOSO Gaming Keyboard

Let’s face it, not every programmer has the funds to buy keyboards for the $100’s. No worries though, E-YOOSO comes to your rescue. With off-brand Red switches and a hot-swappable PCB, this keyboard nails the basics.

Yes, the typing experience isn’t all that great compared to the others on the list. But, it also comes in at half the price. We were great fans of the lighting, the keycaps were also passable. But, the icing on the cake is if you aren’t happy with the switches or are in the mood for something extra, you can easily swap them out for a more premium feel.

Is A Mechanical Keyboard Worth It For Programming?

Yes, a mechanical keyboard is worth it for programming as it helps increase your speed, is more reliable, has better build quality, and is also more silent. So, whether you are an amateur or a professional, having the ability to code with a programming keyboard just feels that much more gratifying.

Plus, the fact that you are also able to improve your laptop’s lifespan by opting for a mechanical keyboard is also great. How do you do that? Well, when you aren’t clicking away on your actual laptop’s keyboard (which isn’t nearly as durable), you’ll end up saving a lot of wear and tear on your switches.

FAQ

Do I Need A Keyboard With Arrow Keys For Coding?

No, you do not need to buy a TKL or full-size keyboard that has arrow keys for coding. The only reason arrow keys are used in programming is to move through blocks of code. You can easily set another key to do so if you really want to navigate code that way.

Does A Mechanical Keyboard Make Me A Better Coder?

Yes, a mechanical keyboard helps you type better which in turn makes you a better programmer. While that isn’t going to be applicable for everyone, it will help improve your overall learning process.

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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.

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