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How to Tell if You Have a Mechanical Keyboard

So you’ve got a keyboard, but you’re not quite sure if it’s a mechanical one?

Mechanical keyboards have gained immense popularity in the gaming community for their tactile feedback, durability, and overall performance.

But how can you tell if the keyboard sitting on your desk is mechanical or not? Let’s dive in and find out!

Key Takeaways

  1. You can identify a mechanical keyboard by taking off a keycap and checking the switch underneath. A “+” shaped stem and a colored top are common indicators.
  2. Another way to tell is by sound. Mechanical keyboards have a specific sound, different from regular keyboards.
  3. Mechanical keyboards tend to be heavier and more robust, reflecting their durable construction.
  4. Always check the product’s manual or online description if you’re unsure. The term “mechanical” is often mentioned by manufacturers.

The Visual Inspection Method

Keyboard mechanical switch

The most straightforward way to identify a mechanical keyboard is by taking off one of the keycaps and looking at the switch underneath.

Mechanical keyboards usually have a distinct switch, often with a “+” shaped stem and a colored top. These switches can be Cherry MX, Romer-G, or other types, each offering different tactile and auditory feedback.

Quick steps for visual inspection:

  1. Gently Pry Off a Keycap: Use a keycap puller or a flat tool.
  2. Examine the Switch: Look for a “+” shaped stem and a colored top.
  3. Switch Type: Note the color and shape to identify the switch type.

The Sound Test

Tactical feedback of a mechanical keyboard

Mechanical keyboards are known for their unique sound. Whether it’s a clicky, tactile, or linear switch, each produces a distinct sound that sets them apart from membrane keyboards.

Simply press a key and listen. If you hear a tactile and audible click, chances are you’re dealing with a mechanical keyboard.

Switch TypeSound Profile
Cherry MX BlueLoud and Clicky
Cherry MX BrownTactile and Quiet
Cherry MX RedLinear and Quiet

Weight and Build Quality

Weight of a mechanical keyboard

Mechanical keyboards are generally heavier and more robust than their membrane counterparts.

The weight comes from the individual mechanical switches and the often high-quality materials used for the frame. If your keyboard has a substantial weight and doesn’t flex easily, it’s likely mechanical.

Check the Product Description

Another foolproof method is to consult the product’s manual or look up its online description. Manufacturers often proudly display the term “mechanical” when describing the keyboard’s features.

If you still have the box or manual, give it a quick scan. Alternatively, a simple Google search with the model’s name should yield the information you’re looking for.

Where to Look for Product Information:

  • User Manual: Often contains technical specifications.
  • Product Box: May have a label indicating it’s mechanical.
  • Manufacturer’s Website: Detailed product descriptions
  • Online Retailers: Check product listings for the term “mechanical.”


So, there you have it! If you’ve looked under a key or listened to its sound, you might just have a cool mechanical keyboard. They’re known for their great feel and unique sound.

Check it out and see for yourself! And don’t forget to let us know what you find out in the comment below.

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Hi, I’m Abdelkader, a gamer and the founder of Gamer Around. I’ve been into gaming for the past 20 years and I love to share my passion and experience with you. Throughout these years, I managed to build a decent amount of knowledge and experience in PC hardware, but I’m always learning and improving.

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