Mechanical keyboards are very popular among gamers, avid programmers, and other computer users who like to spend hours on their computers. The best part of the mechanical keyboard is the ability to change the switch according to the nature of individual use and preferences. Mechanical keyboards are available in two types of PCBs (printed circuit boards) :
Solder switch: To replace a switch in these types of PCBs, you must de-rust the existing switch and solder the new switch you want to use. Hot-swappable switch: Think of this as a plug-and-play switch option, simply use the puller to pull out the switch and gently press the other switch.
PCBs for hot-swappable keyboards contains 3-hole or 5-hole receptacles that plug into the pins of the switch for connection. The biggest benefit of a hot-swappable keyboard is that it saves time and money. Users can simply try out various types of switches to find out what works best for their use. Users may prefer hot-swappable keyboards. However, many enthusiasts would recommend a welded keyboard over a hot-swappable one. These conflicting views complicate buying decisions for beginners.
Hot-swappable keyboards are highly recommended for beginners because they make testing different types of switches much easier. Welding keyboards are best for power users who already know what switches they want. The choice depends largely on whether you know how to weld and whether you plan to change the switch frequently. In this article, we will introduce you to what a hot-swappable keyboard is and its benefits, also, some best hot-swappable keyboards would be recommended.
What is a Hot-swappable Keyboard
Hot-swappable keyboards have become increasingly popular in recent years. Like all keyboards, they are computer control peripherals made up of many individual keys. When using a computer, you can use a hot-swappable keyboard to type and execute other commands. That being said, the hot-swappable keyboard’s unique design sets it apart from traditional keyboards.
A hot-swappable keyboard is a mechanical keyboard that allows users to easily change mechanical switches. No welding or special skills are required. These keyboards are convenient and perfect for beginners because they allow users to try a variety of switches. In addition, hot-swappable keyboards are easier to maintain than traditional mechanical keyboards. Mechanical keys rarely fail. However, if they fail, users can easily replace the switch.
While all hot-swappable keyboards are designed with detachable switches, some of them use different technology. Some of the most common hot-swappable keyboard technologies include: Hall effect, Laser beam projection, Flexion of spring, optical, capacitance.
The Benefits of Using a Hot-swappable Keyboard
The main benefit of using a hot-swappable keyboard is customization. You are free to delete some existing keys and replace them with new ones. Traditional keyboards, on the other hand, are more difficult to customize. They usually have static keys that you cannot remove. Therefore, you cannot easily customize a hot-swappable keyboard.
Hot-swappable keyboards are also easier to clean. Keyboards are often havens of dust and debris. Over time, dust and debris can enter your keyboard and accumulate under each key. Hot-swappable keyboards aren’t immune to dust and debris. Luckily, they’re easy to clean. You can remove individual keys by pulling them up and down and then blowing some pressurized air into the keyboard.
Hot-swappable keyboards, on the other hand, tend to be more expensive than traditional keyboards. At the low end of the market, a hot-swappable keyboard might cost around $50. At the high end, hot-swappable keyboards can cost well over $100.
The Best Hot-swappable Keyboard
An innovative 65% layout (68 keys) compact wireless mechanical keyboard is carefully built to maximize your workspace and productivity. The K6 has a unique Mac layout with all the necessary Mac function keys while being compatible with Windows, including dedicated D-keys and the right shift key of reasonable size and location.
The Keychron K6 hot-swappable version is compatible with almost all MX-style SMD-LED mechanical switches on the market (including Gateron, Cherry, Kailh, etc.). Keyboards provide the freedom to easily personalize your typing experience without soldering.
Connect up to 3 devices via Bluetooth and switch easily between them. Featuring high reliability and wide compatibility with the Broadcom Bluetooth chipset, the K6 is best suited for home, office, and lightweight gaming while connecting to smartphones and laptops. A USB Type-c wired connection is also available.
The K6 lasts up to 72 hours (static RGB backlight), or 9 days of normal use (8 hours/day), using a large 4,000mah battery, one of the largest in a mechanical keyboard. n key flip (NKRO) in wired mode or 6KRO in wireless mode. An attractive RGB backlight with an elegant keycap legend helps typing in dim conditions. In addition, you can choose a static color backlight mode. With a 50 million keystroke life, the durable Gateron G Pro mechanical switch provides an unmatched tactile response on a linear red switch.
Tecware Phantom 87 Key Mechanical Keyboard
RGB Backlight – Enhance your gaming experience with 18 preset configurations on a mechanical keyboard, or create a unique one to match your Settings.
OUTEMU Switch – The gaming Mechanical keyboard comes equipped with OUTEMU mechanical switch for precise gaming and comfortable typing. Spare switch + key cover and switch removal tools are provided for easy replacement.
Fiberglass PCB – Featuring patch-led and FR-4 fiberglass printed circuit board, this Tecware mechanical keyboard is capable of withstanding long periods of intensive and hardcore gaming sessions.
Dual Injection Keycaps – With a brand new font, the keycaps on this mechanical keyboard are dual injection ABS(double injection molding process) to ensure high resistance to surface wear; Because they are a physical part of the key cap, they cannot be worn out.
Speed advantage – Full n key flip and 1000Hz pool rate, Tecware keyboard allows for a faster and smoother gaming experience. Each key press is detected individually, which means that all keys are recorded, no matter how many keys you press at the same time.
Glorious Modular Mechanical Keyboard (GMMK)
Fully modular keyboard: As the first hot-swappable RGB gaming keyboard, the GMMK features hot-swappable switch sockets, so you can plug in and out of switches as your DIY preference. It doesn’t take hours to weld. With 16.8 million RGB per key, it is fully customizable with our GMMK software, and the main RGB mode can be set from the keyboard hotkey directly without the software.
Preloaded mechanical switch: The GMMK comes with a preloaded Gateron Brown tactile mechanical switch. This switch is quiet, so you can use it in quiet office Settings and game Settings. The basic keyboard switch is backlit RGB SMD LED compatible, so our ABS keycaps become especially bright and easy to read. You can swap 3-pin mechanical clicks, and linear, or haptic mechanical switches with this board.
OEM Layout: The standard ANSI layout with standard-sized bottom rows makes the GMMK widely compatible with third-party standard keycaps on the current market available with brands such as Keychron, Akko, RK Royal Kludge, Epomaker, etc, and a wide range of colors such as white, black or pink keycaps to make the board pop up. The all-aluminum metal top plate and ABS plastic bottom plate make the build perfect for good sound tuning – it’s squishy or chunky.
Superior ergonomics and compatibility: Built-in stand that changes the Angle of the keyboard to match a more ergonomic typing experience. This GMMK kit comes with OEM-engraved keycaps, so your finger and hand joints can preserve a Jelly-like substance that doesn’t become stiff over time. GMK is compatible with a wide range of operating systems such as Windows, Mac and keyboard-supported consoles (PS4 PS5 XBOX).
Drop CTRL Mechanical Keyboard
Quality engineering: Constructed with a sturdy aluminum frame with built-in switch plates and magnetic legs, the CTRL is rock solid, ready for any setup.
HALO TRUE Switch: This CTRL model comes with the HALO TRUE switch, which is medium weight and provides smooth tactile action. The Halo True switch has a light preload to reduce vibration shock and a heavy spring to stop the bottom.
Supports switch hot swap: Want to flip the switch? Thanks to the hot-swappable switch socket, you can swap switches in seconds without welding, thus easily customizing CTRL.
Optimized for per-key lighting in millions of colors: CTRL lighting is fully customizable with RGB backlight and under light. Set millions of LEDs to a single color, or light them up using a custom rainbow wave pattern.
KEMOVE Snowfox DK61
Snow Fox DK61 upgrade 3 connection methods: 2.4G/Type-C/ Bluetooth, support wired and wireless connection, does not limit the keyboard connection. You can also charge and play at the same time using the included Type-c cable. (Press FN+G and then insert 2.4G USB).
Cool RGB backlight keyboard: 19 RGB backlight modes, support custom dynamic lighting effects. With more than 16 million lights to choose from, lighting effects provide you with an immersive gaming experience. This Bluetooth-enabled mechanical keyboard maximizes the ambiance of your game, and you can also turn the lights off if you don’t need them.
60% Mechanical Gaming Keyboard: The dual-shell 61-key keyboard packs power down to 60%, and the compact layout gives you a neat desktop that leaves more room for mouse movement. What’s more, the Bluetooth RGB keyboard is the perfect size for travel and easily fits into most bags and backpacks. Small size, powerful.
Gateron G Pro Hot-swap Switch: 60% of gaming keyboards feature full-key hot-swap, giving you the freedom to replace pin 3 / pin 5 switches without soldering problems. The mini keyboard’s extremely fast response time makes these the best choice for an advantage in gaming. 3000mAh battery fully lit after full charge, can be used for 10 hours.
1. Which is better, a welded keyboard or a hot-swappable keyboard?
Choosing one of these two is entirely a matter of personal priorities and usage. If you want different typing experiences for different needs, you should definitely choose a hot-swappable keyboard. For example, if you want to enjoy a game on a tactile switch, and you prefer the mute switch for office work, then a hot-swap keyboard will be perfect for you.
On the other hand, if you prefer to stick to the same typing experience every time, then you can opt for a welded one. However, you should still consider a hot swap because you can always replace a failed switch.
2. Can we change the switch on the non-hot-swappable keyboard?
Yes, but it’s very inconvenient and requires a lot of expertise to unsolder existing bonds and solder new ones precisely. Also, in most cases, you will end up breaking your PCB because your switch will require a lot of force to remove.
3. What is a Soldered Keyboard?
Welding mechanical keyboards are the exact opposite of hot-swappable mechanical keyboards. Unlike a hot-swappable keyboard, you must manually solder each key to the PCB before it can work. Although popular in the prefab market, welded keyboards are not exclusive to prefab and are common in the custom mechanical keyboard space. For welded builds, users must solder their own switches, and they must also have the necessary tools to properly solder the switches without damaging them. In addition, users must manually remove the aging switch if they wish to replace it, mess up the switch during welding, or need to replace a faulty switch.
Hot-swappable keyboards are a great way to increase productivity while you work. They allow you to quickly and easily switch between different keyboard layouts, which can save you time when you need to type in multiple languages. Additionally, they can be helpful if you have special needs that require a custom keyboard layout.
Disadvantages of hot-swappable keyboards include the fact that they can be expensive and that not all software will support them. If you do a lot of international travel or work with different language groups, then a hot-swappable keyboard may be the perfect tool for you. You can find these keyboards online or at electronics stores. Therefore, if you are going to buy a hot-swappable keyboard, I hope this article would be helpful to you, also, hope you could learn more about hot-swappable keyboard in this article.