How Long Do Keyboards Last?

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How Long Do Keyboards Last?

With so much time and effort in researching, investing, and paying for the mechanical keyboard fit for your needs, questions come to mind- “How long does the keyboard last?” Is it worth it, and does the price equate to the quality and efficient functionality you so crave and desire?

The mechanical keyboard can last up to fifteen (15 years), whereas the membrane keyboards range from 1- 3 years. Lifespan, of course, is intimately tied to the user’s care for their equipment. Point in case, your keyboard, as expensive as it may be, may only last for a year if you are not properly taking care of it.

In this article, we are going to tackle these critical questions for your guidance as to the lifespan of keyboards and how you can effectively extend it through maintenance and utmost care.

Significant Difference between Membrane and Mechanical Keyboard

Regular Membrane Keyboard

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This keyboard is typically used in laptops and is, more often than not, a standard. It is used due to its resistance to any nuisance elements that can compromise the keyboard such as dirt and spills. 

It has a variety of types, but in line with this section, the perks of the membrane keyboard are its cost-effectiveness- it is, after all, a bargain in contrast to the mechanical keyboard. Its crisp feedback is aimed at the more obvious purpose of any keyboard. It is quiet thus can be less irritating as you type away your thoughts and ideas. And lastly, it is smaller and more portable as it doesn’t add much weight for the person always on the go.

Disadvantages include its difficulty in replacing parts, and its mechanism may not feel as accurate or distinct as the mechanical keyboard. It is also good to mention ghosting, which is the inability to register multiple pressed keys, often experienced among inexpensive keyboards.

It is good to point out that some membranes have an Anti-Ghosting feature, but this is seen in mechanical keyboards as a default function. Though this classic may have disadvantages we are willing to ignore, let’s learn more about the mechanical keyboard.

Mechanical Keyboard

BM65-mechanical-keyboard red

The mechanical keyboard is far more appropriate for gaming purposes, and due to its complexity, it may have more advantages than its older counterpart. Its benefits include ease in replacing keycaps. It has better feedback, and cleaning is hassle-free.

But as you all know, every perk has its downfall. This keyboard is much more expensive as some mechanical keyboards may have features more extravagant than others. And finally, it’s heavier, thus is not portable and not suitable for a professional moving out and about.

How Long Does a Regular Membrane Keyboard and a Mechanical Keyboard Last?

Longevity is our main point, so for a better picture between the two, the mechanical keyboard signifies a longer lifespan than the membrane keyboard. For more accurate numbers and depending on the type of each category, the mechanical keyboard can operate up to 30 to 70 million keypresses.

An unbeatable number in comparison to the membrane keyboard that lasts up to 5 million presses. The key switches can last for about 10 to 15 years for mechanical keyboards, while the membrane keyboard may last from 1 to 3 years, depending on how often you use it.

As the mechanical keyboard seems to be the undefeated champion in terms of lifespan, let’s consider what aids or threatens its life expectancy. Remember, though numbers are presented to you, it all depends on certain factors; a word of caution is advised.     

Factors Affecting the Keyboard’s Lifespan

Many factors affect the life expectancy of your keyboard. Whether you are using a regular membrane or a mechanical keyboard, features and statistics before purchase may not be met as it depends on your care and, dare I say, respect to your devices. Let’s admit it, to take care of your keyboards, make the extra effort, such as researching more on what is best for your keyboards.

Regular Membrane Keyboard

Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard Membrane
Logitech G213 Gaming Keyboard

Due to some parts being deemed hard to replace. This alone marks a significant factor that inhibits more years of use; thus, it forces consumers to purchase again. This type of keyboard is resistant to accidental coffee spills. Therefore, it is an advantage to professionals working late, rushing to beat the deadline.

Mechanical Keyboard

GK61 with Tai-Hao keycaps with puller

A mechanical keyboard’s life expectancy depends on the quality of its switches. The durability of its parts encompasses the longevity of the whole. Research more on the compatibility of the switches of your liking to your keyboard. To ensure, of course, maximum efficiency and quality performance. 

A stable keyboard base is another thing you need to know as it stabilizes your keyboard and prevents annoying accidental drops. As we all know, the switches are replaceable; thus, the repair is easy compared to the membrane keyboard. Basically, the mechanism of the mechanical keyboard adds to its durability.

Perks of Having a Custom Mechanical Keyboard 

Customizing mechanical keyboards is not limited to feeding your visual aesthetics. It is not limited to changing the sound and feel of each keycap. Did you know that customizing also helps with the longesvity of your keyboard? There are some of the many factors to be knowledgeable about.

Interchangeability of Parts 

This concerns the ease of replacing parts such as keycaps and switches. This does not target matching visual preferences, noise, and feel of the keyboard alone. It also means that if there is damage, replacements are not a problem. There are things you have to consider- mechanical keyboards are built differently. Therefore, the parts’ compatibility should be regarded before hasty purchases.

Premium Upgrades

Due to mechanical keyboards being customizable, this means that you can upgrade your mechanical keyboards to their maximum potential. Customization does not only entail changing certain things to your keyboards, such as their sound or the shape of the keycaps. Remember that technology innovatively develops for the better ease of its users and for functionalities far impressive than ever imagined. Customization for upgrades will be done far more effortlessly thus adding a longer lifespan.   

Pre-built Keyboards

KBDFans Fully Assebled Tofu65 DZ65RGB v3 Hot Swap
KBDFans Tofu65 Fully Assembled

For those excited to use their newly purchased mechanical keyboards, you may wonder why customization seems to be a fad despite its expensive fees. It may be awfully convenient to use the pre-built; however, customization is the key if you want better longevity. You may be thinking, is this some marketing tactic?

But, when you think about it, we customize and upgrade because we wish for better and more durable parts. If you have the budget, then splurging a bit more can definitely be beneficial for you and your keyboard in the long run.

Tips To Lengthen the Lifespan of Your Keyboard

Utmost care for your beloved keyboard is expected especially if you invested a significant amount of money on it – or even regardless of how much you have spent. It is but a must that we should take care of things that we have spent money on.

Remember to clean your keyboard. Since the keycaps can be removed with a proper handle, you can easily clean every nook and cranny through brushes, making your keyboard spotless and dust-free. You must, however, avoid using liquids, especially those that react to plastic or aluminum material as these may easily cause unwanted irreparable damage to the interiors of your keyboard.

Do not bottom out, if possible. The gentle press may not be a bad thing either. While the heat of the game may force such weight on each press you make but remember, though the mechanical keyboard does not wear out so quickly, there is a limit to everything.

Regular maintenance is also highly advised. Certain parts can be fixed much more straightforward than others. Thus, regular maintenance also means researching what is best for your keyboard and your budget.