Switches do not feel smooth after the weekend

(Toon Claes) #1

After a weekend of non-use, the switches feel “clunky”. I don’t really know how to describe, but when you press them, it feels like they aren’t moving downward 100% vertical and due to that they don’t move smoothly.

After using them for about half a day on Monday, they are smooth again.

Maybe that after the weekend, I need to readjust to the keyboard? Or maybe they really need a break-in after several days inactivity.

I wonder if someone else also experienced this? I have a M01 with Loud switches.

(Ben Gemperline) #2

I actually feel the same thing on my loud switches. After not using them for a little bit of time, they sort of feel like they get “stuck” and I have to use the board for a few hours to get them back into a smooth state.

I have a model with the quiet switches, too, and I don’t have the same issues.

(Toon Claes) #3

I’m somewhat happy to hear that I’m not alone.

@jesse Ever heard about this issue before?

(Jesse) #4

I…don’t know. I’ve dropped a note to the switch maker to ask if they’ve heard of this.

(Chris Kemper) #5

Do you folks have dogs or cats? I had this at my home using a TECK but not at work on the same make/model. Also, the home mainboard/switches needed a deep cleaning soak about twice a year in 90% rubbing alcohol to remove the dander (fully under, upside down, multiple key presses ever 10 min or so under the liquid, gentle shaking after each keynotes session - - - then let air dry for 24 hours) . Until I discovered the fine use of a keyboard cover :slight_smile:

(Ben Gemperline) #6

I have cats, but they don’t come with me to work where the loud click keyboard is. Incidentally, I have no trouble with my PVT quiet click unit at home with the cats, which I have had for almost 9 months now.

(Jesse) #7

I’ve talked about it with the switch designer. It’s not a failure mode they’ve heard of before. The fact that it’s all switches, rather than only some of 'em suggests to the designer that it might be more perceptual than mechanical. The one thought they had was that perhaps, as the switches warm up with use, they become a little bit slipperier.

One other possibilty that just occurred to me based on @landspeed’s comment is that -maybe- a couple days of dust circulating in an office with no actuation could be enough to affect the sliders a little bit. Using the keyboard would shake the dust loose. But this is 100% speculation.

I’ve got a few more ideas to test when I have a moment to breathe.


(Michael Richters) #8

If it’s dust, then covering the keyboard over the weekend with a few sheets of paper ought to make a difference. It might be worth testing it out.

(Ben Gemperline) #9

It can happen on any of the switches, but it seems like some are more apparent than others. It almost feels like I am hitting the “stuck” keys at a side angle, when that isn’t actually the case. And actually, I’m having it happen right now to the “> .” key, and I can say that the keys that this happens on don’t have the same higher-pitches mechanical “click” when I press them in isolation, so that leads me to believe that there may be dust or something getting stuck.

(Toon Claes) #10

I’m thinking it’s due to the design of the keycaps.

It seems to me, these caps are higher (vertical measurement) compared to regular keycaps. Also, with some keys, like the .> key, the stem of the keycap is off-center. So pressing the key at the bottom side, makes it go rough. I recognize the feeling from the thumb buttons of the Ergodox (mine does not have stabilizers).

And maybe, real maybe, after typing on it for a few hours after the weekend makes me more accustomed to the keyboard, so I know what the best spot is to tap each key.

(andre) #11

I feel like I’ve also experienced this: lesser-used keys that feel harder to push down after some time away, get less “sticky” feeling after pressing them several times. So far, I’ve been chalking it up to hitting the edge of the keycap and not activating the switch correctly, but maybe I’m collecting dust too?


Hi all,

I have one quiet click and 2 clicky keyboards. The quiet click, sometimes the keys would double tap or not register at all, and usually cleaning them with alcohol and tapping a bit solved it. However both my clicky keyboards have sticky key issues out of the box. I did let Jesse know and he was going to check out a few when he got a chance as well. I too seem to feel like when I start up each day they are a bit stuck, then smooth out a little bit, but the lesser used keys do seem to be more difficult to activate/type with. I have yet to try to clean these with alcohol. I am wondering if perhaps the batch my keyboards were part of had less/no grease or something? Not even sure really how you grease the switches or what grease to use.

(andre) #13

After taking the keycaps off to see exactly where the switches are, and trying out pushing the switches directly with no keycap attached, I’m pretty sure my entire problem is from hitting the “wrong” part of the keycap, creating angled force on the switch.

Pressing just the switches felt great, smooth, and easy, just like I expected. Putting the keycap back on and then carefully pushing the keycap exactly on top of the switch location also seemed pretty good (although sometimes still seemed a little bit harder? I’m not sure). I think the underlying problem is that I’ve been aiming for the center of the tall keycaps like 1, 0, and Enter, but the switches for those keycaps are actually located at the bottom of the keycap space. Hopefully I can train my fingers to aim for the bottom of those keys rather than the center.

(Toon Claes) #14

Thanks for the write up! I was having similar thoughts.

I assume the quiet switches are less sensitive to off-center press-down, and that might give the impressive there is no problem with them, al least that’s what I’ve heard, because I don’t have quiet switches myself.

(Toon Claes) #15

I still cannot get used to the switches, they keep feeling clunky.

I think it has been asked before, but would it be possible to replace the switches with quiet switches?

(Jesse) #16

It’s been done, but doing it correctly requires soldering and is somewhat warranty-voiding.

(Toon Claes) #17

Euhm, maybe not then…

How about extra lube, would that help?

(Jesse) #18

It may. I have a couple types of teflon-based lube I have queued to try out on the loud-click boards, but my todo stack is pretty deep

(Patrick O'Doherty) #19

I’ve had similar issues with the keys feeling a bit “clunky” which appears to be mixing with some amount of chatter/repeat.

I’m using the keyboard with a dvorak layout and the key that’s most problematic for me is the “d” key which is mapped to “e” in that layout. The problem is really apparent when I try to type out the word “the” repeatedly with both absent and doubled letters showing up more often than not. Unfortunately the typing error rate is sufficiently high for me to temporarily switch back to my kinesis advantage in the meantime.

I don’t have much in the way of notes to offer yet in terms of investigating the cause but I’ll hopefully get some time this week to dig deeper into the problem.

(Jesse) #20

(For record-keeping: @patrickod has a quiet-click, which is different than the issue folks are discussing with the loud-clicks here. We’re working with him to resolve his issue by email)