Your keyboard probably even brought you here.
Unfortunately, keyboards don’t stays forever.Some parts of the keyboard take longer than others. Mechanical switches, aluminum bezels, and custom button covers all have a lifespan that will be discussed in detail in this article. So, How Long Do Keyboards Last? The Lifespan of Keyboards, Switches, Keycaps & More!
Take a look at the least lasting parts of your keyboard, the materials that are the best in terms of durability, and explain what to consider when buying a high quality and durable keyboard. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll have a pretty good idea of keyboard life and how to choose the longest-lasting keyboard.+
Different Keyboard Materials and Their Longevity
Most often keyboards are made of plastic, sometimes metal is found, but rarely wooden.
Beyond that, the materials used can be more aesthetic than practical, so we’ll just look at plastic, metal, and wood in this case.
For the most part, plastic seems like a good material because it’s strong, cheap, and easily deformable. This makes it ideal for devices such as keyboards.
Plastic is great, but for anything with structure or strength, metal is more durable in most cases.
It has the disadvantages of being heavy, hard to deform in some cases, and expensive, but it also has the advantage of being stronger, more reliable, and able to withstand more shock and anger.
Obviously you don’t need an all-metal keyboard, but a keyboard with a durable metal frame will always last longer than an all-plastic keyboard. This is especially true if you travel frequently or move your keyboard.
The next thing to notice is the tree. A hit or miss on a wooden keyboard. High-quality wooden keyboards are out there, but you’ll often come across cheaper keyboards that don’t last longer than regular plastic keyboards.
However, high-quality wooden keyboards, like plastic and metal keyboards, have a lifespan of approximately 15 years, depending on the quality of the wood, how it is cared for, and how it is prepared.
In general, when it comes to keyboard materials and their durability, a combination of a metal frame and quality plastic is the best choice. That’s not to say you can’t buy a quality all-plastic or wood keyboard that will last, but choosing a combination of metal and plastic is the safest way to get a long-lasting keyboard.
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How Long Do Keycaps Last?
The world of keycaps is known to anyone who has a keyboard, especially if you are using a mechanical keyboard. There are thousands of major designs that can be exchanged and customized for an incredibly unique aesthetic.
However, if you’re not careful, keycaps can be one of the shortest-lived parts of your keyboard.
Keycaps can last anywhere from months to years. It all depends on the quality, the double keycap or the plain keycap with the letters printed on it.
Dual PBT keycaps use two pieces of plastic that are molded together. No matter how hard you try, your character will never disappear.
Trusted brands like Corsair, Razer, and Logitech have nearly perfected the technology, comfortably producing double PBT keycaps that last the life of the keyboard.
However, even with quality keycaps, your mileage may vary depending on your keyboard and how often you use certain keys. As a hardcore gamer, WASD keycaps should be changed every few years, or more often if you want to maintain a certain level of aesthetics.
If you’re a casual user and don’t need a new shiny keycap each year, you can use it for years without worrying about buying a new one.
Overall, keycaps aren’t a big issue when it comes to keyboard life. Get a high quality double PBT keycap and you’re ready to go. These high quality caps are easy to use for over 20 years.
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How Long Do Keyboard Switches Last?
Switches are arguably the most important part of the keyboard. Switches are an important part of how a keyboard works (along with several other factors), and are responsible for the sounds the keyboard makes and the feedback you get each time you press a key.
Speaking of feedback, there are typically three types of mechanical switches to choose from that determine the sound and feel of your keys. Also this:
- Linear mechanical switch (smooth operation, no feedback)
- Tactile mechanical switch (tactile impact, silent feedback)
- Click-feeling mechanical switch (tactile impact, audible feedback)
Keep in mind that the type of switch you choose for your keyboard (linear, tactile, or click) will only give you different feedback, not longer or shorter life.
More important in terms of durability is the manufacturer of choice, and more importantly the technology inside the switch.
In recent years, some of the largest keyboard makers (such as Razer) have begun to introduce a whole new technology for game switches called optical switches.
These switches are far superior to traditional switches in almost every category. It’s faster, more convenient, and has a much longer lifespan.
You can also choose from the same feedback types (linear, tactile, click) as the mechanical switches.
The only real drawback is the price. As “new technology,” companies aren’t afraid to charge 20-50% more for keyboards with optical switches.
So, generally speaking, if you’re looking for the longest lasting keyboard, consider one with optical switches.
To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the most reliable switches available on the market, see the table below.
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|Manufactures||Lifespan (In Clicks)|
|Cherry MX Various types keyboards last||100m|
|Razer (Optical) keyboards last||100m|
|Roccat Titan (Optical) keyboards last||100m|
|SteelSeries OmniPoint keyboards last||100m|
|Razer (Mechanical) keyboards last||80m|
|Logitech Gl keyboards last||80m|
|Hyper X (Mechanical) keyboards last||80m|
|Kailh Various Types keyboards last||80m|
|Logitech Romer-G keyboards last||70m|
|Logitech GX keyboards last||70m|
|Roccat Titan (Mechanical) keyboards last||50m|
|Outemu Variuos Type keyboards last||50m|
|Gateron Various type keyboards last||50m|
As you can see, the most durable mechanical switches are made by CherryMX, if not the most popular switch maker on the planet. Guaranteed lifetime of over 100 million clicks. Assuming the average user hits the keyboard 5,000 times a day, these mechanical switches should last about 50 years.
That said, we still recommend optical switches. In addition to being much faster and more suitable for gaming (not a lot of typing), there are fewer mechanical parts within the switch, making it less likely to break or malfunction.
In short, if you want your keyboard to last at least a few decades, invest in mechanical switches from reputable suppliers like CherryMX or Kailh. If you want to go one step further, get a quality keyboard with optical switches.
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How Long Do Keyboard Cables Last?
Less thought of, but still a very important keyboard cable. If you’re like us, you have a wireless keyboard.
However, this is not the case in most cases. Wired keyboards continue to sell far more than wireless keyboards. Also, in the absence of detachable cables (and thus easily replaceable), poor-quality cables are more prone to problems if mishandled.
Cables come in a variety of sizes and designs, and while the market for materials isn’t as big as others, you can buy several different types of cables.
You can buy straight cables, coiled cables, rubber cables, braided cables with double sleeves, and gold-plated USB connectors. There are many options when you start customizing your keyboard.
When it comes to durability, some cables are definitely more durable than others. But in general, if you take good care of your keyboard when traveling (don’t bend the ends of the cable), you don’t have to worry about having to replace the keyboard because of the cable.
Cables can be used for decades if not handled properly and left unattended. Keyboard cables in particular do not need to be moved frequently.
However, if you know you don’t care about peripherals or frequent trips, get a wireless keyboard or a keyboard with a removable cable. You don’t have to worry about the keyboard cable bending, bending, or damaging it. Another way.
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So How Long Do Keyboards Actually Last? And How to Buy a Long-Lasting Keyboard?
In theory, there are many factors that can directly affect the lifespan of your keyboard. For example, a case can break during an intense gaming session, a cable can stop working after flexing it too often, or letters on keycaps can disappear after a while. If you’re unlucky, your switch can break in a week.
So where does this leave us? Also, how long will the keyboard last?
The bottom line is that if you want to get great value out of your keyboard, don’t skimp on it. If you’re looking for a new keyboard, make sure your keyboard has:
- Detachable Cable – Easy to replace with a new cable if it stops working
- Dual PBT keycaps – keyboard letters never fade
- Rugged metal body or backplate for added durability
- High quality switch from a reputable manufacturer, preferably an optical switch
If you buy a keyboard with all of the above features, you can expect it to last 10-15 years or more, if you’re lucky.
Such keyboards obviously cost a lot more than regular ones.However, based on my experience, I would rather buy a quality keyboard that will last for years than buy a crappy one every two years. Much better to buy.
Finally, treat your keyboard properly and clean it regularly. This alone will greatly extend the life of your components.
I sincerely hope that you enjoyed this article and learned something new. If you have any questions or need help, feel free to ask us in the comments section below. We are happy to help. I look forward to hearing from you.
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