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Top Five Best Mechanical Keyboard O-Rings

Best Mechanical Keyboard O Rings
Christopher M.      -

Top Five Best Mechanical Keyboard O-Rings

Mechanical keyboards are all the rage, both in the world of gaming and in the world of typists who like to get a little more out of their keyboarding experiences. A mechanical keyboard doesn’t come without any required maintenance, however; you’ll have to know how to keep your machine running well for both the keyboard’s and your wrists’ sake. One popular and effective way of keeping your keyboard and hand health in check is by installing keyboard o-rings, rings which are installed beneath the keys of your keyboard and act as shock absorbers, quelling both noise and impact.

O-rings are devices which serve to dampen the hit that a key has on the keyboard, upon your finger hitting it. You might ask, “What’s so bad about this hit?” It might not seem like it at first, but high-impact keys can do a number to both the baseplate of your keyboard and your hands, over time. The impact force of a key is due to the traveling distance of the un-activated key to its baseplate. For instance, many mechanical keyboards used for gaming today have a travel distance of 4mm, from where they stand to their lowest point on the keyboard. The travel time or travel distance is a large contributor to arthritis brought on by consistent spells of typing. The shorter the travel time, the less harm you’ll be doing yourself and your keyboard.

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O-rings shorten this travel time; it’s easy to see why they’re so useful! O-rings on a mechanical keyboard contribute to a drastically different typing feel. On top of reducing the impact of the keys, they’ll also inadvertently reduce the noise you produce from typing. While this might not be an incredibly important issue, it can make typing more comfortable for you and those who your work around.

While some mechanical keyboards are equipped with switches that prevent persistent impact and loud noises such as cherry black switches, many mechanical keyboards are much better off with O-rings installed. Below we’ll review five popular brands of o-rings, in incredible detail.

We’ll give a general glance at the features and then look at a pros and cons list. After we go through the brands, we’ll briefly talk about how you can efficiently clean your keyboard, and we’ll discuss some popular tools that can make both cleaning your keyboard and putting on o-rings a simple task. Let’s get started!

Five Great O-Rings for Mechanical Keyboards


1. Rosewill Rubber O-Ring Sound Dampeners for Cherry MX Key Switches

Rosewill Rubber O Ring Sound Dampeners For Cherry MX

Rosewill has done well here – for a low price you’ll get more than enough rubber O-rings for your cherry MX keyboard. You’ll find that they’re quite easy to put on, dampen noise well, and can be doubly applied for a more intense effect.

Pros:

The Rosewill Rubber o-rings are stifling. A lot of the noise emitted from mechanical keyboards is due to the plastic keys hitting the aluminum baseplate, below the keys. With these o-rings, that noise is almost inaudible. While it’s not completely quiet, you’ll find that the noise reduction is enough for your sanity, or whoever else requests the quietness. The rubber O-rings are easy to install as well and have the ability to be placed on top one another if you so desire. The 2.0mm traveling distance reduction can be doubled. If you are worried about specific keys making noises, don’t worry – these rubber o-rings can be dispersed intermittently throughout your keyboard without your fingers noticing a difference.

Cons:

You might want to order a couple sets of these rubber o-rings; on larger mechanical keyboards, the set doesn’t come with enough of them to fit on each key. Another flaw with these o-rings relates to how they remain on the keys. While they’re delightfully easy to put on, they’re quite tricky to take off. You’ll want to make sure you have a plan in mind before you install these o-rings on your keyboard!

Consensus – The Rosewill Rubber O-Ring Sound Dampeners for Cherry MX Key Switches are great for sound reduced typing, and make for excellent o-rings. However, you might need to purchase an additional set if you’d like to double up on your keys or if your keyboard is larger than normal. Overall, they are a great buy!


2. Cherry MX Rubber O-Ring Switch Dampeners Blue 40A-R – 0.4mm Reduction (125pcs)

Cherry MX Rubber O Ring Switch Dampeners Blue

These Cherry MX rubber o-rings are perfect for the typist or gamer who wishes to reduce bottoming out while keeping the satisfying clicking sound that’s reminiscent of early model typewriters. They come in two bold colors, and will easily adapt to your typing style once they’re on your keys for a few days. They’ll also almost eliminate the sound that you get when you bottom out, making for a relatively noise-free typing experience.

Pros:

You’ll reduce the tension on your keyboard and fingers with these rubber o-rings; you won’t bottom out on any key you type, meaning the overall impact will drastically be reduced. This is beneficial for both your keys and your fingers (As we’ve stated numerous times in this article already). If you’re in a household with noise-sensitive individuals, these o-rings will be your best friend – they practically make typing a noiseless endeavor, on top of reducing the overall impact of the keys on the baseboard.

Cons:

While the rubber o-rings certainly dampen both impact and noise, they are hard to get used to for a few days after you put them on. If you’re looking for a set of o-rings that won’t take the time to break in, these aren’t the o-rings for you. Expect to type on them a week or so before you finally get used to them! Another complaint involves an occasional squeaky sound that’s emitted from the keys after the o-rings have been installed. Finally, you won’t be able to double on these o-rings; they’re already extremely thick.

Consensus – They’re great for reducing impact; they’ll reduce bottoming out to the point where it’s almost non-existent. They might take a little while to get used to, but we’ll assure you that the wait is worth it! They’re also thicker than normal rubber o-rings.


3. MGA O-Ring Dampers for Mechanical Cherry MX Keyboards

MGA O Ring Dampers For Mechanical Cherry MX Keyboards

These MGA rubber o-rings will surely give your keyboard a slightly less noisy sound, without stifling the tactile feedback that many typists, programmers, and gamers love. They suit mechanical keyboards composed of anodized aluminum particularly well; they silence the metallic echo that is common when typing on a keyboard with a baseboard made of this material.

Pros:

If you’re looking for a set of rubber o-rings that will help you stay quiet while you type, these are the rings for you! You’ll silence your typing and the complaints of those around you that hear your keys clicking on a consistent basis. This set of o-rings comes loaded with all the rings you’ll ever need – it comes complete with 150! You’ll have more than enough on most keyboard sizes, and you might be able to double up on keyboards that are smaller or lack number pads! They’re easy to install as well. We’d recommend buying a wire keycap puller to wrench the keys off and having the barrel of a pen handy to push the o-rings onto the keys so they’re snugly attached.

Cons:

This set of MGA o-rings is medium density, meaning that you won’t notice much of a difference when you put them on your keys unless you consistently bottom out when you type. That’s said with respect to impact reduction, however, rather than noise cancellation. The installation is a little trickier than most o-rings. They can be quite finicky to install. As stated above, you might want a cylindrical object such as an empty pen barrel to aid the snug installation of these o-rings on the underside of your keys. Finally, these certainly don’t come without growing pains; you’ll have to get used to them after you install them. This is a common theme with many o-ring sets, however, and shouldn’t be a reason to not buy them.

Consensus – These MGA o-rings are an excellent choice if you’re looking for noise reduction, as well as total keyboard coverage. Too often do o-ring sets come ill-equipped with the numbers needed to satisfactorily cover a large keyboard! You might not notice that much of a difference if you don’t bottom out your keys when you type, and they can be tricky to install at first. Overall, these o-rings are a great purchase, however, and should be high on any consumer’s shopping list!


4. ReFaXi® 120Pcs Rubber O-Ring Switch Sound Dampeners Reduction Dark Red For Cherry MX Keyboard Dampers

ReFaXi Rubber O Ring Switch Sound Dampeners

Smooth and silent, these ReFaxi keyboard o-rings will reduce your noise while you type, and change the feel of key actuation. They do their job and do it for a fraction of the price of bigger sellers. They’re easy to install as well; let’s learn more!

Pros:

Whether it’s plastic on plastic, plastic on metal, or metal on metal, these cherry MX o-rings will quell any noise your keys will make as they bottom out. This will also reduce the impact on the baseplate of your keyboard, increasing its longevity. They aren’t as costly as some comparable brands of o-rings either, probably due to their silicone construction. They’re not as thick as other o-rings but are equally as effective.

Cons:

While they impact of the keys on the baseboard will be noticeably reduced, the overall sound doesn’t seem to be deadened as much as you’d expect it to be from a set of decent o-rings. Also, this set of o-rings doesn’t have the numbers necessary to completely cover most keyboards. This means you’ll most likely need to purchase a couple sets to get complete coverage on your mechanical keyboard. Finally, you’ll want to know that their thickness makes mechanical keyboard keys retain most of their noise. If you want a set of noise-cancelling o-rings, you’re out of luck. These seem to be manufactured for typists who like to reduce bottoming out while retaining the familiar click-clack sounds of the keys.

Consensus – Overall, these ReFaxi silicon o-rings are a great buy for a typist who wants to reduce the impact of the keys bottoming out on their keyboard, while retaining most of the sounds of the keys being pressed on their keyboard. They aren’t exactly noise reducing, mostly due to their lack of true thickness. They are cheaper than most brands of similar pedigree and do the job just as well. They’re a great buy for mechanical keyboard users who are on a budget. You might want to buy a couple sets, however, if you have a larger keyboard!


5. Captain O-Ring – Rubber O-ring Keyboard Switch Dampeners

Captain O Ring Rubber O Ring Keyboard Switch Dampeners

The Captain o-ring rubber o-rings will fit any cherry MX mechanical keyboard perfectly. They work well to muffle the sound on most mechanical keyboards, particularly the sound that’s produced from bottoming out. In this same sense, they’ll also reduce the impact that occurs when keys bottom out. Let’s see what else these bright o-rings have to offer to the world of mechanical keyboards!

Pros:

The noise reduction is significant. We’ll say that you can expect at least a 30% volume decrease in the noise produced from typing. This will, obviously, depend on how hard you hit your keys when you type. Since they reduce the distance that you have to push down a key to get a response, you might find that your typing speed will slightly increase. If you’re experiencing noise that’s a little too much to handle on your keyboard, these o-rings will be the solution – be sure to try them out before purchasing a keyboard with different switches!

Cons:

If you’re looking for complete noise cancellation, these aren’t the o-rings for you. They reduce the noise but don’t completely stifle it. Since they reduce the travel distance of the key on the keyboard, they can be quite difficult to get used to, albeit speeding up your typing once you do get used to them.

Consensus – They aren’t noise canceling, but they’ll cut out most of the noise associated with the key to baseplate impact. They might be hard to get used to initially, but once you get used to them you may see an increase in your typing speed, due to the lower travel distance of each key. These o-rings are a decent purchase for noise and impact reduction, even though they’re on the pricier end of the spectrum.


How to Keep Your Mechanical Keyboard Keys Cleaned and Maintained for Optimal Function and Performance

Now that you’ve had a glimpse of several great sets of o-rings, let’s talk about an important part of keyboard maintenance – cleaning! After all, what good are o-rings and other accessories if your keyboard is too dirty to function properly! This is especially true for backlit mechanical keyboards. Let’s take a look at the steps you’ll want to take when you begin to clean your mechanical keyboard.

First, you’ll want to remove the standard-sized keys. For most purposes, standard size keys include all keys except the bigger keys, such as the space bar, return keys, and shift keys. For keyboard removal, you’ll need a tool to perform it quickly and efficiently. We recommend getting a keyboard removal tool, such as the WASD Keyboards Wire Keycap Puller Tool! It’ll make removal of your keyboard’s keys twice as fast and much less tedious. Pulling off the larger keys usually isn’t recommended unless you know what you’re doing, due to the complex structures present under keys of larger sizes.

Next, you’ll want to clean the gunk and dust out from the spaces between the keys. This task can be easily accomplished with a q-tip. After this, it’s time to wash down the spaces where the keys were. You can use a slightly damp sponge or paper towel to complete this step. Let’s put emphasis on “slightly damp” – you won’t want to cause any electrical or internal damage to your keyboard because of intrusive water! After you finish wiping down the areas beneath the keys, dry everything out thoroughly. The final step you’ll want to take, before reassembling the keyboard, is to wash each individual key. You can wash these keys as if you’re washing dishes – keep a bowl of soapy water and bowl of rinse water handy, dip a key into the soap, follow with the rinse water, then dry it thoroughly. To keep track of your keys, it helps to arrange them in the order you’ve taken them off the keyboard. After you make sure every element of your disassembled keyboard has been completely dried off, you’re free to reassemble it!

ENHANCE Mechanical Keyboard Cleaning Kit

ENHANCE Mechanical Keyboard Cleaning Kit

  • Includes O-Ring Ultra-Quiet Switch Dampeners Damper 40A Clear (140pcs), Key Cap Remover, Cleaning Brush, Cloth and Accessory Bag

Hapurs Mechanical Keyboard Cleaning Kit

Hapurs Mechanical Keyboard Cleaning Kit

  • Includes Tools Accessories Dust Blower Ball Rubber + Brush + Keycap Remover Cleaning Tools for Lens Filter Digital Camera Keyboard

For a complete cleaning and maintenance experience, you’ll want to buy a cleaning kit that has plenty of tools and cleaning supplies, to keep your keys in top shape. We recommend checking out the Hapurs Cleaning Kit or the ENHANCE Mechanical Keyboard Cleaning kit. Not only will you get a key puller and other important key maintenance tools, but you’ll get a set of o-rings included with the purchase, for dampening a loud or high-impact keyboard. It’s the surefire way to keep your keys in tip-top shape!