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How Long Do Mechanical Keyboards Last? The Ultimate Guide

How Long Do Mechanical Keyboards Last

Mechanical keyboards can last for decades, with each switch lasting for millions of keypresses. The long lifespan of mechanical keyboards is due to the durability and quality of the mechanical switches used, such as Gateron and Cherry MX switches, which are readily available in the market with various actuation types.

While some keyboards may last for more than ten years, others may break under intense and constant use after around three years. It’s difficult to predict precisely when a keyboard will malfunction, but it’s recommended to replace it before it becomes completely inoperable.

Regularly replacing keyboards and maintaining their longevity is essential for a smooth typing experience.

Factors That Determine The Lifespan Of A Mechanical Keyboard

When it comes to durability, mechanical keyboards are known for their exceptional longevity compared to their membrane counterparts. But what exactly determines the lifespan of a mechanical keyboard? Let’s explore the key factors that contribute to their lasting performance.

Mechanical Switches: The Key Factor Behind The Longevity Of Mechanical Keyboards

One of the primary reasons why mechanical keyboards last so long is the quality and design of their mechanical switches. These switches are the heart and soul of a mechanical keyboard, providing the tactile feedback and superior performance that users love. Unlike the rubber domes found in membrane keyboards, mechanical switches are built using a combination of high-quality materials, making them more durable and resistant to wear and tear.

Types Of Mechanical Switches (gateron, Cherry Mx, Etc.)

There are various types of mechanical switches available on the market, each offering a unique typing experience and lifespan. Two of the most popular mechanical switch brands are Gateron and Cherry MX. Gateron switches are known for their smooth keystrokes and affordable price point, while Cherry MX switches are renowned for their reliability and robustness.

Lifespan Of Mechanical Switches

The lifespan of mechanical switches is a crucial factor to consider when assessing the longevity of a mechanical keyboard. On average, mechanical switches are rated for tens of millions of keystrokes before they start showing signs of wear. This impressive durability ensures that your mechanical keyboard remains functional and responsive for years to come.

However, it’s important to note that the lifespan of mechanical switches can vary depending on the specific type or brand you choose. For example, Cherry MX switches are known for their exceptional durability, with some variants rated for up to 100 million keystrokes. On the other hand, Gateron switches typically have a lifespan ranging from 50 to 70 million keystrokes.

In addition to the type of switch, the lifespan of mechanical switches also depends on how frequently and intensively the keyboard is used. Heavy typists or gamers who spend hours on their keyboards every day may experience more rapid wear on the switches compared to occasional users. Nevertheless, even with heavy use, a well-maintained mechanical keyboard can last for many years.

Overall, the combination of high-quality mechanical switches, the brand and type of switch selected, and the usage patterns contribute to the lifespan of a mechanical keyboard. By understanding these factors, you can make an informed decision when choosing a mechanical keyboard that suits your needs and provide you with long-lasting performance.

How To Prolong The Lifespan Of Your Mechanical Keyboard

When it comes to mechanical keyboards, durability and longevity are key factors that make them a popular choice among gamers and typing enthusiasts. However, just like any other electronic device, mechanical keyboards require proper maintenance and care to ensure their longevity. In this article, we will discuss some essential tips on how to prolong the lifespan of your mechanical keyboard.

Proper Maintenance And Cleaning

Regular maintenance and cleaning can significantly extend the lifespan of your mechanical keyboard. Here are some tips to help you keep your keyboard in optimal condition:

  1. Keep it free from dust and debris: Dust and other particles can accumulate between the keycaps and affect the performance and feel of the switches. Regularly clean your keyboard using compressed air or a soft brush to remove any dust or debris.
  2. Avoid eating and drinking near your keyboard: Accidental spills can cause irreversible damage to the switches and electrical components. To prevent any liquid-related mishaps, it’s best to keep food and beverages away from your keyboard.
  3. Use a keycap puller for deep cleaning: If you notice dirt or grime under your keycaps, you can use a keycap puller to remove them for a more thorough cleaning. Gently lift the keycaps and clean them individually with a damp cloth or a mild cleaning solution. Ensure they are completely dry before reattaching them.

Tips For Cleaning Mechanical Keyboards

Regular cleaning is crucial to maintain the performance and longevity of your mechanical keyboard. Follow these cleaning tips to keep your keyboard in top shape:

  • Unplug your keyboard before cleaning: Always disconnect your keyboard from the computer before starting the cleaning process to avoid any accidental keystrokes or damage to the device.
  • Use compressed air for quick cleaning: If you notice dust or debris on the surface or between the keycaps, you can use compressed air to blow them away. Hold the can of compressed air upright and at a distance to prevent any liquid residue from spraying onto the keyboard.
  • Clean keycaps with a mild cleaning solution: For more stubborn stains or grime on the keycaps, you can use a mild cleaning solution. Mix a small amount of mild dish soap or keyboard cleaning solution with water, dampen a cloth or sponge, and gently wipe the keycaps. Ensure they are completely dry before reassembling.
  • Be cautious with keycap removers: When using keycap pullers or removers, be gentle to avoid damaging the switches or keycaps. Apply equal pressure on both sides of the keycap and pull straight up to remove it.
  • Don’t forget the switches and PCB: While cleaning the keycaps, don’t overlook the switches and the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) underneath. Use a small brush or cotton swab to carefully remove any dust or debris from these areas.

Preventive Measures To Avoid Damage

Prevention is better than cure, and taking some preventive measures can go a long way in prolonging the lifespan of your mechanical keyboard. Here are some key preventive measures:

  • Protect your keyboard from spills and accidents by using keyboard covers or silicone skins. These can help shield your keyboard from liquid damage and dust accumulation.
  • Avoid excessive force while typing or gaming. Mechanical keyboards are designed to provide satisfying tactile feedback, but excessive force or pounding can lead to premature wear and tear of the switches.
  • Disconnect your keyboard properly: When disconnecting your keyboard from the computer, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent any damage to the USB cable or connectors.
  • Avoid exposing your keyboard to extreme temperatures or direct sunlight, as these can affect the performance and lifespan of the electrical components.

By following these maintenance, cleaning, and preventive measures, you can ensure that your mechanical keyboard will serve you well for years to come.

Signs That Your Mechanical Keyboard Needs Replacement

While mechanical keyboards are known for their durability and longevity, over time, they will eventually show signs of wear and tear. It is essential to know when to replace your mechanical keyboard to ensure optimal performance and typing experience. Here are the common signs that indicate your mechanical keyboard may need replacement:

Common Wear And Tear Issues

Constant use of a mechanical keyboard can lead to common wear and tear issues. These issues include:

  • Keycaps becoming loose or wobbly
  • Keys feeling sticky or unresponsive
  • Switches making unusual sounds or feeling mushy
  • Keycap legends fading or becoming illegible
  • Overall keyboard flex or structural damage

These wear and tear issues can significantly affect your typing speed and accuracy. If you start experiencing any of these problems, it might be time to consider replacing your mechanical keyboard.

Indicators Of Switch Degradation

The switches in a mechanical keyboard are the backbone of its performance. Over time, switches can degrade due to various factors. Here are the indicators that your switches might be deteriorating:

  • Inconsistent actuation force between switches
  • Switches registering multiple keystrokes with a single press (key chattering)
  • Increased resistance or stiffness while pressing keys
  • Switches failing to register key presses altogether

If you notice any of these signs, it is a clear indication that your switches are degrading and need replacement. Ignoring these issues can lead to a frustrating typing experience and reduced keyboard lifespan.

Keycap Damage And Replacement

Keycaps are the visible and tactile components of a mechanical keyboard. While they are generally durable, they can still suffer from damage and wear over time. Here are the keycap-related issues that may require replacement:

  • Keycap cracks, scratches, or breakages
  • Faded or worn-out keycap legends
  • Keycap warping or deformation
  • Loss of keycap grip or texture

Replacing keycaps is a relatively easy and affordable solution to restore the aesthetics and functionality of your mechanical keyboard. Many keyboard enthusiasts even enjoy customizing their keycaps to enhance their typing experience.

Remember that the lifespan of a mechanical keyboard can vary depending on usage, build quality, and maintenance. However, if you encounter any of the above issues, it is a clear indication that your mechanical keyboard needs replacement or repairs to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Recommended Lifespan For Mechanical Keyboards

When investing in a mechanical keyboard, it is important to consider its lifespan. Mechanical keyboards are popular among gaming enthusiasts and typing enthusiasts due to their durability and tactile feedback. Unlike their membrane counterparts, mechanical keyboards are built to endure heavy usage and can last significantly longer. In this article, we will dive into the recommended lifespan of mechanical keyboards, the factors that affect their longevity, and when it is time to consider upgrading.

Average Lifespan Of Mechanical Keyboards

The average lifespan of a mechanical keyboard can vary depending on several factors. However, a well-built mechanical keyboard can last for decades, making it a worthwhile investment. The switches used in mechanical keyboards, such as Gateron or Cherry MX switches, are known for their durability and can endure millions of key presses before exhibiting signs of wear. Cherry MX switches, for example, are rated for over one hundred million clicks, ensuring longevity and reliability.

Factors Affecting Lifespan

While the build quality and switch type play a crucial role in the lifespan of a mechanical keyboard, several other factors can affect its longevity:

  • Usage: The more often and heavily a mechanical keyboard is used, the faster it may wear out. Factors such as prolonged gaming sessions or intense typing can contribute to the wear and tear of the switches.
  • Maintenance: Regular cleaning and maintenance of a mechanical keyboard can enhance its lifespan. Accumulated dust, debris, and spilled drinks can interfere with the switches’ functionality and lead to premature failure.
  • Environmental Conditions: Excessive exposure to humidity, extreme temperatures, or direct sunlight can impact the durability and performance of a mechanical keyboard. Storing the keyboard properly when not in use can help mitigate these effects.
  • Quality of Components: The overall quality and construction of the keyboard, including the keycaps and the keyboard PCB, can impact its lifespan. Keyboards made with higher-quality materials tend to last longer.

When To Consider Upgrading

While mechanical keyboards have impressive lifespans, there are instances when upgrading may be necessary:

  • Performance Decline: If you notice a significant decrease in performance, such as keys not registering or inconsistent actuation, it may be time to consider upgrading. These issues can indicate worn-out switches or damaged components in the keyboard.
  • Desire for New Features: If you find yourself in need of additional features not present in your current mechanical keyboard, such as RGB backlighting or programmable macros, upgrading to a newer model may be worthwhile.
  • Change in Typing Needs: As your typing needs evolve, you may require a different switch type or form factor. In such cases, upgrading to a mechanical keyboard that better suits your preferences can improve your typing experience.

Ultimately, the lifespan of a mechanical keyboard depends on various factors, including usage, maintenance, and build quality. By understanding these factors and knowing when to consider an upgrade, you can make informed decisions to ensure you get the most out of your mechanical keyboard investment.

Frequently Asked Questions On How Long Do Mechanical Keyboards Last?

How Long Will $100 Million Keystrokes Last?

A mechanical keyboard can last for decades with each switch being good for millions of keystrokes. The lifespan of a keyboard can vary, but some devices can last more than ten years with constant use. It’s impossible to predict when a keyboard will malfunction, but you can replace it before it completely stops working.

Why Do Mechanical Keyboards Last So Long?

Mechanical keyboards last long due to their durable mechanical switches, like Gateron and Cherry MX, which have a long lifespan. These switches can withstand millions of presses before showing signs of wear. So, mechanical keyboards can last for decades with proper care.

How Often Should I Replace My Keyboard?

Mechanical keyboards can last for several years, with some lasting over a decade. The lifespan of a keyboard depends on the quality of its mechanical switches and how often it is used. While it’s impossible to predict when a keyboard will malfunction, it’s recommended to replace it before it becomes completely unusable.

How Long Should Keyboard Switches Last?

Mechanical keyboard switches are designed to be durable and can last for decades. Each switch is typically good for millions of keystrokes before showing signs of wear. Some well-built mechanical keyboards can even last for over ten years with constant use.

However, the lifespan of a keyboard may vary depending on the brand and usage.


Mechanical keyboards are known for their durability and long lifespan. Thanks to their mechanical switches, such as Cherry MX and Gateron, these keyboards can withstand millions of keystrokes and clicks before showing signs of wear. While the lifespan may vary depending on usage and maintenance, a well-built mechanical keyboard can last for decades.

So, if you’re looking for a keyboard that offers longevity and reliability, investing in a mechanical keyboard is a wise choice. Say goodbye to frequently replacing keyboards and enjoy a typing experience that stands the test of time.