How Long Do Mechanical Switches Last?

Mechanical switches are the heart of a mechanical keyboard, and they are known for their durability and longevity. These switches are different from traditional rubber dome switches because they have individual mechanical parts that make them more durable and long-lasting. In this article, we will discuss how long mechanical switches last and what factors can affect their lifespan.

First, it’s important to understand how mechanical switches work. They use a spring-loaded mechanism to register key presses, and each switch is rated for a certain number of actuations or key presses. The most common mechanical switch types, such as Cherry MX and Kailh, have an estimated lifespan of 50 million actuations. This means that on average, a mechanical keyboard using these switches can last for many years with heavy use.

However, it’s worth noting that the lifespan of mechanical switches can vary depending on several factors. The first is the quality of the switches themselves. Cheaper switches may not have the same level of durability as more expensive, well-known brands, and may wear out more quickly. Additionally, the environment in which the keyboard is used can also affect the lifespan of the switches. For example, a keyboard that is used in a dust-free, clean environment is likely to last longer than one that is used in a dirty or dusty environment.

Another factor that can affect the lifespan of mechanical switches is the user’s typing style. Heavy typists who use a lot of force when typing may wear out the switches more quickly than light typists. Additionally, users who frequently use key combinations, such as those used in gaming or programming, may also experience more wear and tear on the switches.

Finally, the lifespan of mechanical switches can also be affected by the maintenance of the keyboard. Regular cleaning and lubrication can help prolong the life of the switches and improve the overall performance of the keyboard. Dust and debris can accumulate inside the switches, causing them to become stiff and less responsive over time. Cleaning the keyboard with a can of compressed air can help remove dust and debris, and lubricating the switches with a small amount of lubricant can help them operate more smoothly.

In conclusion, mechanical switches have a relatively long lifespan, with an estimated lifespan of 50 million actuations. However, the lifespan can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the switches, the environment in which the keyboard is used, the user’s typing style, and the maintenance of the keyboard. To ensure that mechanical switches last as long as possible, it’s important to choose a reputable brand, use the keyboard in a clean environment, type gently, and maintain the keyboard regularly.