Mechanical Keyboard and Repetitive Strain Injury

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Does mechanical keyboard reduce risk of repetitive strain injury?

Keyboard key switch mechanism has surprising effect on you. It changes your typing habit. Here's a simple story.

On social networks {Google Plus, Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook}, you can press {j, k} keys to go down/up by post. It's nice, but for some reason i just don't like using it. I was using Microsoft Natural 4000. It has rubber dome keys.

now, i'm on Truly Ergonomic Keyboard, it has mechanical keys, and i find that i started to use {j, k} keys for post navigation.

The ease of pressing the keys made a difference.

cherry mx switch tester 66388
Key Switch Tester

[see Guide to Keyboard Key Switch Mechanisms]

I have used mechanical switch keyboards before. Earliest is 1991, IBM Model M keyboard that came with IBM PS/2. Used it for half a year. My second one is Matias Tactile keyboard , around 2002. Really nice. I realized the quality in keys just by touch and look, without knowing what “mechanical keyboard” means. Only after 2008 i joined team keyboard freaks.

[see List of Keyboards with Mechanical Switch]