Do I want to put o-rings on my fancy mechanical keyboard?
September 21, 2018 6:18 PM   Subscribe

So I am the proud new owner of a Ducky One White LED Double Shot PBT mechanical keyboard, with Cherry MX White switches. I'm thinking about putting o-rings on the switches to dampen the bottom-out sound (and feel) and thereby make the actuation click more noticeable. Should I bother?

Simple enough question. My fancy new keyboard is an absolute joy, but I think I would find it even more pleasant to use if when the keys bottomed out it was just a little bit softer-feeling, and if I could feel the actuation click a little bit more clearly. I don't want it to feel a lot different, just a little. Apparently a thing that people sometimes do is buy a sack of little o-rings and install them on the posts of their key switches, in order to make the keyboard quieter and softer. Apparently there are o-rings marketed specifically for this purpose, and not only that but they come in a variety of different types for, I assume, different levels of dampening.

What do you think? Have you tried this? Is this something you've done? Would you recommend it, and if so what type of o-rings did you get and why?

Seems like an awfully silly question, but hey. If you have experience here, I'd love to know about it.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The to Technology (4 answers total)
I have a mechanical keyboard with a set of clears and no O rings. Someone at work has one with clears and O rings. They are otherwise identical keyboards from WASD. His is noticeably quieter, does indeed bottom out more softly (more a noise than a 'squidge' thing, to me, but I am heavy handed) and has somewhat less travel.

Unless I concentrate I do hammer the keys and bottom out the travel, which no doubt affects my preference and perception, but I also learned to type on a typewriter where some force was required and noise was just the way things worked. I am happier with mine and he with his, so it's clearly a matter of preference. If you don't think the lack of travel would be an issue I would certainly go for it. It should be a reversible procedure if it comes down to it.

(I also have a keyboard with browns - too soft, I bottom them out with some force - and blues - which once, many years ago, was my preferred keyboard type, but it rattles, is not audio call friendly, and quite honestly the noise irritates me as well nowadays. Otherwise I use the older full travel MacBook keyboard and that's actually just fine; the newer ones with little travel annoy me..)
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 6:45 PM on September 21, 2018 [3 favorites]

If you don't like the bottom-out sound and feel, install o-rings and it will be softer. I've gone back and forth a few times in the last few years and definitely like the softer bottom-out.

Among o-rings that are the right size for a key stem, the difference between types is not enough to notice. So if the o-ring is visible at all (for example, through the window in caps-lock), I would use a ring with a matching color before considering other factors.
posted by Phssthpok at 12:24 AM on September 22, 2018

I have put o-rings on my MX browns and overall like them, I tend to bang on the keys a lot and a softer bottom out feels better. It also dampens the sound noticeably, which is not bad when you're sharing an office with other people.
posted by each day we work at 5:03 AM on September 22, 2018

OK, I just did it and I'm quite happy with the results.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:25 PM on September 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

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