How mechanical keyboard switches work?

mechanical keyboard switches work

So, How mechanical keyboard switches work?  Mechanical keyboard switches are composed of four main components: housing, a spring, a stem, and a contact leaf. The housing acts as the foundation for the switch, providing stability and anchoring each of the other components. The spring provides resistance when the key is pressed, and then rebounds back up when the switch is released. The stem holds the keycap in place and is responsible for depressing the spring down to actuate the switch. Finally, the contact leaf creates a connection between two metal contacts when it is depressed. This connection then transmits a signal to the computer, registering the keystroke.


Mechanical keyboard switches are the most important aspect of a keyboard – they are what determine the feel, sound, and overall performance of the keyboard. In this article, we will explain what mechanical keyboard switches are, how they work, and what makes them so desirable to keyboard enthusiasts.

Table of Contents

What are Mechanical Keyboard Switches?

Mechanical keyboard switches offer users an enhanced typing experience with a variety of options to choose from. From Cherry MX Switches to double-shot keycaps and even keycap profiles, these switches provide tactile feedback with each press. 

Most keyboards are composed of a set of three plastic membranes, with rubber dome-shaped switches underneath each key. Press a key, and the rubber switch pushes through a hole in the middle membrane to connect the top and bottom membranes, which creates an electrical circuit that causes the keyboard to send the input to your PC. This keyboard design is inexpensive and spill-resistant, but it doesn’t give you as much tactile or audible feedback when you press a key, which can change the way you type.

Why Do People Prefer Mechanical Keyboard Switches?

Mechanical keyboard switches are preferred because they create a more tactile typing experience that is both responsive and satisfying. They provide a greater level of control and accuracy, as each switch is specifically designs to provide a unique feel and sound when pressed. Additionally, mechanical keyboards offer users the option to customize their keyboards to their liking, with a wide range of switch types, sizes, and colors to choose from. Lastly, mechanical switches tend to be more durable than other types of keyboards, as they are designed to withstand thousands of clicks without wearing out.

People prefer mechanical keyboard switches because they provide more tactile feedback and are more responsive than regular keyboard switches. They also provide a more accurate typing experience, as well as a satisfying clicking sound when the keys are pressed. Mechanical switches also tend to be more durable and last longer than regular membrane keyboards, making them an ideal choice for gamers and typists alike.

The Mechanics of Mechanical Keyboard Switches

The Basics Mechanical keyboard switches are the individual components that make up a mechanical keyboard. They are responsible for registering each key press when a user presses a key on the keyboard. 

Mechanical switches are made of several different parts, including 

  • A stem
  • Spring
  • Housing
  • Stem cap 

The stem is part of the switch that is responsible for registering a key press when it is press down. It is typically made of plastic and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the type of switch. 

The spring is located underneath the stem and provides resistance when the key is press down. 

The housing is the casing of the switch and is usually made of plastic. The stem cap is typically attaches to the housing, but some designs do not have stem caps attached. 

The Basics Most mechanical keyboards use two different types of switches,

  1. Topre switches
  2. Cherry MX switches

Mechanical keyboards with Topre switches are weighted while keyboards with Cherry MX switches are clicky and tactile. 

There are varieties of different springs that can come in either rubber or metal those affect how much resistance a given switch offers when pressed down. 

There are also membrane sensors on many newer mechanical keyboards which register less bounce and therefore fewer missed key presses. 

If a switch is replace, it’s important to consider the differences in the material used due to their effects on key travel. For example, Cherry MX switches come in different switches that vary in their weight and feel.

How a Mechanical Keyboard Switch Works

When a key is pressed, the switch is activates and the keyboard sends a signal to the computer that a key has pressed. The switch is typically made of metal and plastic components and contains a spring that helps reset the switch back to its original position after the key has released. The switch also contains two metal contacts that close when the key is press, creating an electrical circuit that sends a signal to the computer. .The computer uses software to determine which key was press and send the appropriate signals back to the keyboard.

Different Types of Switches

Mechanical keyboards are becoming increasingly popular, and one of the main reasons is the wide variety of switches available. Switches come in different types, each with its own feel and sound. 

  • Linear switches travel smoothly throughout the keypress and provide a consistent experience. 
  • Tactile switches provide a bump at some point during the keypress that gives feedback that it has registered by the keyboard. There are also clicky switches that offer an audible click when pressed, giving further feedback to the user.
  • Clicky: Clicky keyboards are revolutionizing the way we type. With their tactile bumps and audible click sound, they provide a comfortable and responsive typing experience that is both fast and accurate. In addition, some models even feature multiple clicks for enhanced customization and control.

Benefits of mechanical switches

  1. Durability: Mechanical switches are much more durable than other types of switches, with lifespans ranging from 50 million to over 100 million keystrokes. This makes them ideal for gamers and other users who rely heavily on their keyboards. 
  2. Responsiveness: Mechanical switches provide a much more responsive feel than other types of switches, allowing for fast and accurate typing or gaming. 
  3. Customizability: Mechanical keyboards come with a variety of different switches, allowing users to customize their keyboard to fit their individual needs. 
  4. Variety: There are a variety of different mechanical switch types available, allowing for different user preferences.
  5. Cost: Mechanical switches are cheaper per key than most other switch types, making mechanical keyboards an affordable option for users who want a high-quality keyboard without breaking the bank.
  6. Durability: Mechanical switches are more durable than capacitive and membrane switches and last much longer due to their design of simply pressing down on a stem instead of against a rubber dome as with other types of switches.
  7. Longer Lifespan: Mechanically-operated keyboards have a lifespan that lasts up to 50 million keystrokes or more, which is significantly higher than those of regular keyboards.


Mechanical keyboard switches are design to provide users with a more tactile, responsive typing experience. By combining physical contacts, electrical circuits and springs, these switches are able to detect even the slightest pressure and create a satisfying click sound when pressed. Through this technology, users can enjoy a reliable and comfortable typing experience with every keystroke.

Happy Mechanical Keyboard typing !


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