How Long do Mechanical Keyboards Last? Can They Last for 10 Years?

In this post we will go into detail about How Long do Mechanical Keyboards Last? and how many years they can last under intense use. Mechanical keyboards are known to have great durability compared to other types of keyboards.

When you decide to buy a mechanical keyboard, of course you have thought about and considered several important things before deciding to buy a mechanical keyboard. Starting from considering the price, quality, build quality, and also the components used by the mechanical keyboard. But there is one thing that people rarely think about is, How Long do Mechanical Keyboards Last?

According to my experience and some users in the mechanical keyboard forum and community, a mechanical keyboard can last 5 to 10 years. This is because a switch on a mechanical keyboard can generally withstand up to 50 million keystrokes under heavy use. But this also depends on the quality of the components used in a mechanical keyboard such as switches, keycaps, PCBs, and the quality of the stabilizer.

How Long do Mechanical Keyboards Last?

How Long do Mechanical Keyboards Last?
How Long do Mechanical Keyboards Last?

A mechanical keyboard actually has the same shape as a regular keyboard in general, both in terms of design and size. But there are several things that make a mechanical keyboard a better choice than a regular keyboard, namely a mechanical keyboard can last much longer than a regular keyboard such as membrane keyboards and other types of keyboards.

A mechanical keyboard can last longer because it has better construction, quality components that are more durable and can also be replaced whenever a component on the mechanical keyboard is damaged.

A simple example is, a mechanical keyboard has switches installed individually which if these switches are damaged, you can replace them easily and a damaged mechanical keyboard switch will not affect the other keys. When compared to membrane keyboards and other ordinary keyboards, if the switch is damaged, it will have an impact on almost all functions on the keyboard keys.

On a mechanical keyboard, even the cheapest switch can last a minimum of 50 million keystrokes which is an impressive result. Whereas a membrane keyboard or regular keyboard cannot last up to 50 million keystrokes and there are no valid trials on this to date.

What Parts are Easily Replaced on a Mechanical Keyboard?

Almost all the parts on the mechanical keyboard you can replace very easily as long as the parts are available in the market, some parts on the mechanical keyboard that can be replaced easily are switches, keycaps, and stabilizers. While parts such as PCB, plate, and casing, you have to do the matching first before replacing them.

Repairable Parts on a mechanical keyboard

Similar to an assembled PC, a mechanical keyboard also has several components or parts that can be replaced by the plug and play method. For example on a PC you can remove RAM and replace it with a new one, just like a mechanical keyboard, you can replace keycaps or switches with the plug-and-play method.

Generally, the most common damage that occurs to a mechanical keyboard is the switch, keycaps, and stabilizer components, this is because these three components are the most commonly used on a mechanical keyboard when you use it to type.

The following is a list of parts on a mechanical keyboard that you will likely replace frequently, complete with how to repair it and how much it will cost you to replace it:

Broken PartHow to Fix/Replace PartCost to Repair
SwitchDesolder/unplug the broken switch and replace with a new switch. May require soldering and desoldering.New switch will cost ~$1. Will require solder kit unless you have a hot-swappable keyboard.
KeycapRemove broken keycap with fingers or keycap puller. Replace with new keycap.New keycap will cost anywhere between $0.50 to $2 depending on keycap material.
StabilizerRemove broken stabilizer from plate/PCB. Replace with new stabilizer.New stabilizer will usually cost ~$2 but can go up to $25 depending on which stabilizers you have.
Parts on a mechanical keyboard

Switches

For switches, we recommend that you have a spare switch in case the switches on your keyboard are no longer working properly. To replace the switch on the keyboard with a standard PCB, you must perform the process of desoldering the switch when opening it and also soldering the switch when installing it. However, now there are many affordable mechanical keyboards that use Hot Swappable PCBs which can make it easier for you to replace switches without having to solder them to the PCB.

Keycaps

Keycaps generally can last for 1 to 3 years with the condition of the writing on the surface of the keycaps starting to look faded due to frequent contact with your fingers. If you don’t really have a problem with the writing on the surface of the keycaps fading, you don’t need to order spare keycaps. Replace your keycaps when they are really damaged or loose.

Stabilizers

Stabilizer on the keyboard is a component that has a function to provide balance to only a few keys on the keyboard such as the spacebar and Enter keys. Actually, the stabilizer doesn’t need to be replaced if you still feel comfortable typing on your mechanical keyboard. However, it would be nice if you have a backup stabilizer and also take care of your keyboard stabilizer by lubricating it regularly.

What Features Make a Mechanical Keyboard Last Longer?

There are several things that you should consider when buying a mechanical keyboard so that the mechanical keyboard you buy can last for a longer period of time. The following are things you should consider before buying a mechanical keyboard:

Keyboard Case

Currently, there are various mechanical keyboards that use casings made of plastic, aluminum, and also acrylic. A keyboard case made of aluminum is the best option if you want a mechanical keyboard that has a sturdy construction. The thick plastic case isn’t a bad choice either. Test the keyboard by trying to bend it, if it feels rigid you can be sure the keyboard has good build quality.

Dustproof and waterproof

In today’s market, there are many mechanical keyboards that have the ability to be dustproof and resistant to splashing water, which are sold at affordable prices. When you buy a keyboard, try to get a mechanical keyboard that has dust and water resistance features to anticipate the worst in the future.

Detachable Power Cable

A detachable mechanical keyboard cable is a much better option than a mechanical keyboard that has a fixed power cable. Mechanical keyboard cables will degrade over time, so having a mechanical keyboard with a detachable power cable is a better option because you can replace it anytime you want. try to choose a mechanical keyboard that supports a USB Type C cable.

PBT Keycaps

Until now, there are 3 keycaps materials available in the market, namely keycaps made of PBT, ABS, and made of rubber. A keycap made of PBT plastic has a better build quality and feels thick with a texture on the surface of the keycaps. While the keycaps made of ABS plastic are very susceptible to heat and easily fade over time. Keycaps made of rubber are usually only used on certain keys. For a mechanical keyboard, we strongly recommend you to buy a mechanical keyboard that by default uses PCB keycaps because it has much better durability.

Less RGB Light

A mechanical keyboard that has RGB light will certainly have a cooler appearance because you can change the background color of your keyboard whenever you want according to your taste. Did you know that the presence of RGB on the mechanical keyboard indicates that there are many solder spots on the PCB that can be detached at any time and repair is not easy either. Mechanical keyboards without RGB or using LED lights are better options if you want more durability.

How Long do Mechanical Keyboards Last?

A mechanical keyboard has much better durability than a regular keyboard such as a membrane keyboard. The comparison is a mechanical keyboard can last 5 to 10 years and a membrane keyboard can last 2 to 3 years under heavy use. Mechanical keyboards are also easy to maintain, their components can also be replaced, and they are also easier to modify.

Mechanical keyboard with aluminum or thick plastic casing, PBT keycaps, detachable power cable, dust and water resistance, and minimal backlight are mechanical keyboard options that can be guaranteed durability.

Author

  • kizaru

    Hi! I’m Kizaru. I grew up addicted to different Gadget & Computer Accessories. I began working as an IT Support Supervisor in Hospitality company years ago and realized my passion for Computer & Gadget Accessories. Digiva.net is a place for me to share my different findings and experiences about Computer & Gadget Accessories. For more information, Check Out My About Me Page!