Gasket mount keyboards have become incredibly popular thanks to their soft typing feel. However, because gasket mount keyboards are more complicated, many brands fail to deliver a properly implemented gasket mount keyboard. The complexity of gasket mount keyboards has led many manufacturers to look for a more straightforward and more viable solution. One of the mounting styles they have come up with is the Gummy O-ring mount.
The Gummy O-ring mount is a mounting style that uses an O-ring as a gasket that sits between the plate and PCB. It utilizes specific PCB cutouts to keep the plate in place. The O-ring gaskets help soften and reduce plate vibration allowing the keyboard to have a lower pitch and soft feel.
The Gummy O-ring mount is currently not as popular as other mounting styles. However, with how successful keyboards such as the Singa Unikorn and Bakeneko60/65 are, enthusiasts are now paying more attention to this mounting style. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at the Gummy O-ring mod to find out what it’s all about.
What are Keyboard Mounting Styles
Before we proceed with our discussion, let us first define what mounting styles are for the uninitiated. Keyboard mounting styles are the various techniques used to secure the PCB and plate to the keyboard housing/case. Different mounting styles affect the complexity of the assembly of the keyboard, and they also greatly influence a keyboard’s sound and feel.
Throughout the years, there have been many mounting styles used by keyboard manufacturers. The most common mounting style is tray mount used in keyboards such as the KBDFans Tofu series, and Higher-end keyboards have utilized more advanced mounting styles such as top mount and gasket mount.
And lastly, there are unconventional mounting styles that are slowly rising in popularity in the custom keyboard community. One example is the Gummy O-ring mount, which we will be discussing shortly.
Gummy O-Ring Mount
What is a Gummy O-Ring Mount Keyboard?
The Gummy O-ring mount is another method of achieving a soft typing experience in a custom keyboard. A large O-ring is used instead of the traditional poron found on most gasket mount keyboards. Also, instead of being installed on the plate or the case, the large O-ring is fitted in the gap between the plate and the PCB.
In most iterations of the Gummy O-ring mount, standoffs are not required. The plate and PCB assembly are friction fitted into the case, allowing the keyboard to achieve a very bouncy and flexy typing experience. Essentially, the Gummy O-ring achieves the gasket mount keyboard experience without the need for a complex assembly process.
The origins of the Gummy O-ring mount aren’t well documented. However, one of the earliest keyboards that utilized this mounting style is the Singa Unikorn which has reached legendary status in the keyboard community.
The Gummy O-ring mount was later used to modify stiffer keyboards such as the KBDFans Tofu60. And soon after, the Gummy O-ring mount made its way to modern keyboards such as the Cannonkeys Bakeneko60 and Bakeneko65.
Another thing to take note of is that the Gummy O-ring mount is flexible. Different types of O-rings will yield different results. Therefore, this mounting style encourages users to experiment to find the best level of flex for their keyboards.
Difference Between Gummy O-Ring and Gasket Mount Keyboard
The most significant differences between a gasket mount keyboard and the Gummy O-ring mount are the material, affordability, and accessibility. A gasket mount makes use of PORON foam gaskets, as a gummy O-ring mount makes use of a silicone or rubber material.
In terms of affordability and accessibility, gasket-mounted keyboards have a specific keyboard case or housing made to accommodate the gaskets. They are complex to manufacture, making them expensive and limited.
On the other hand, gummy o-rings are easy to find and are relatively cheap compared to PORON gaskets. They also work in a variety of different keyboard case designs. However, depending on the keyboard case, some modifications may be required.
Difference Between Gummy O-Ring and Top Mount Keyboard
Gummy O-ring mount keyboards and top mount keyboards are entirely different. Top mount keyboards are meant to have a consistent and secure typing feel, while Gummy O-ring mount keyboards are designed for a softer and more flexy typing experience. Also, the mounting methods of these two keyboards are completely different.
The top mount works by securing the plate and PCB onto the top of the case, evenly distributing tension than a tray mount. This tends to make the build deeper and feel much stiffer than a gummy O-ring mount. Gummy O-ring mount keyboards, on the other hand, work by securing a large O-ring in between the plate and PCB assembly.
Both mounting styles are good options. The better one will depend on what kind of typing experience the user wishes to achieve.
Gummy O-Ring Mod
As mentioned earlier, keyboard enthusiasts have adopted the Gummy O-Ring Mount in more basic tray mount keyboards such as the Tofu. Tray mount keyboards are known to be very stiff. There is also a noticeable inconsistency in sound throughout the case. For these reasons, tray mount keyboard owners have sought a way to make their keyboards sound and feel better.
The method that keyboard enthusiasts have come up with is, of course, the Gummy O-ring mount inspired by the Singa Unikorn. Like the Unikorn, users have installed a large O-ring between the plate and PCB of their keyboards. However, for Tofu owners, there was a catch.
The standoffs found on the case had to be removed so they won’t get in the way. Thankfully, the keyboard community came up with third-party PCBs to solve this issue.
Most of the Gummy O-ring mount mods tend to revolve around the KBDFans Tofu. For other tray mount keyboards, compatibility may vary.
Should You Buy Gummy O-Ring Mount Keyboards?
In today’s keyboard market, gasket mount and top mount keyboards still seem to be the standard. So for most users who wish to achieve a soft typing feel, gasket mount keyboards seem to be the safer option. But for those who want to try something new, we recommend giving Gummy O-ring mount keyboards a try.
Gummy O-ring mount keyboards are easier to install and modify since their overall structure isn’t as complex as gasket mount keyboards. They can also be applied in basic tray mount keyboards, such as the Tofu keyboards.
There are currently not a lot of options available apart from the Bakeneko keyboards. However, this mounting style is receiving a lot of attention, and more keyboards will potentially feature this mounting style in the future.