There are many reasons to own a mechanical keyboard. For one, they last a lot longer than a standard membrane keyboard and the feel of a mechanical keyboard is something that draws many to it. Typing on a mechanical keyboard is an experience unto itself. Plus the customization in terms of the look of the keyboard and even how many keys you want (full 104 key set, TKL’s, 60%’s and even 65% keyboards are just some of the options). The downside to this is that mechanical keyboards tend to be loud. This is where o-rings come in.
Before getting into o-rings, let’s briefly discuss how the mechanical keyboard switch. Under each key on a mechanical keyboard is a singular switch. When you press down on that switch, that key in turn produces the character that was pressed on the screen. For mechanical keyboard, it takes a certain amount of force to ‘bottom out’ the key. Bottoming out is when the key is pressed down all the way and makes a sound. What the o-ring, a little plastic ring that is placed on the key itself, does is remove the distance the key has to travel, thus reducing the sound the key makes going down. This is a popular accessory for mechanical keyboards since they are quite loud and it does in fact reduce a lot of the sound that these keyboards produce. I placed these o-rings on all of my keys and found significant change in terms of how quiet the keyboard was. It made dramatically less sound and my roommates are definitely thankful for that.
In terms of the feel, you can definitely feel the reduced distance from the o-ring. It is noticeable, at least to me since I’ve used this keyboard every day for 2 years. It doesn’t feel stiff like a membrane keyboard, it just feels as if the key should be going down a bit more. It does feel natural though, I find that the o ring creates a good balance between quiet and functionality. It doesn’t ruin the mechanical keyboard experience at all.
I got the o-rings from Ben at Tigri, a business on bigcartel! He was great to talk to and customer service was fantastic. He’s a stand up guy and I will definitely be doing business with him soon to get o-rings for my other mechanical keyboard! These are the o-rings that I specifically got. I got them within 5 days despite being shipped overseas.