Anyone tried both keyboardio & dactyl, thoughts?

I’m yet to try a keyboardio (backing the model 100 though), but was interested if anyone has tried the dactyl (either the manuform or original), and has any thoughts.

The things I’m guessing I might miss when moving to the keyboardio.

  • Non-flat key wells (that fit the hand fairly well).
  • Lower row of keys that don’t exist on the keyboardio (although I can probably get used to this).
  • Built in soft wrist rests (not part of all dactyls - but mine has these and I quite like them).

For balance I’m expecting to prefer:

  • Custom ergonomic sculpted keycaps.
  • Palm keys (for layer switching).
  • Simpler thumb cluster.

Has anyone who has tried both formed opinions on the difference?

This isn’t what you’re asking, but my alternate keyboard is a Kinesis Advantage, which is basically like a non-split Dactyl. I bought the Advantage cheap and used (a bunny had chewed the cable and rubber f-keys) after having the M01 for a while.

I thought the learning curve would be significant but its interchangeable (as is the Ergodox, but nothing else). Obviously some layout differences exist, but no issues with stretching for me either way. Ymmv, but i think you’ll have a satisfying combo each with strengths and weaknesses for certain situations


I demand that you leave a review though after you get to try both haha.

Thanks for the info, I’ll try do this (my dactyl review).

I used Model 01s for a year or two, and now I’ve been using a Dactyl Manuform for about two years. I use a small DM (5x5 matrix), and I don’t even use all the keys on that. I did the same with the M01, only using about 20 keys per hand. I definitely prefer the DM key wells. I didn’t really use the M01 palm keys much, they just didn’t seem to work well for me personally. The keyboardio thumb cluster is better though, I think. I’m not a big fan of the DM thumb cluster (or the Dactyl one; I used Ergodoxes before the M01), although I’ve adapted to it.

My main problem with the M01 was the loose, rattly switches, which the M100 should completely avoid by using MX switches. I backed the M100, although I’m not sure whether I’ll actually end up using it. I wanted to love the M01, and almost did. I think the M100 fixes my problems with the original, so we’ll see. Ultimately for me though, I like experimenting with new keyboards, so I’ll build and use different designs too. I didn’t buy this 3d printer for nothing.

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Another “not a Dactyl, but a Kinesis Advantage” here. I do still miss the key wells, but that’s it. The Model 01’s thumb cluster and palm keys are superior. Looking at the Dactyl, I know I would miss the number keys. Trade-offs in everything, I suppose.


I’d be interested to hear @jesse 's opinion on the Dactyl/Kinesis-Advantage. In this interview he mentions in passing that it wasn’t for him ( Jesse Vincent of Keyboardio - YouTube ).

I’d guess this is just a design tradeoff:

it would be a reasonable argument that any sculpted (non-planar) keyboard ends up being more expensive and therefor out of reach for most people.

Given this design constraint, keyboardio compensates for this by having custom sculpted key caps giving users something relatively cheap and ergonomic.

I’ve just never found keywells comfortable to type on Plenty of other folks love em :slight_smile: