Many budget keebs - or one perfect custom?

Browsing reddit a while back, I saw someone wondering why on Earth anyone would spend their money on multiple entry-level budget boards when they could put it towards one immaculate custom.

Well, I’m in this picture, so at very least I can give an answer about my own shenanigans: why I remain interested in budget boards while there are perfectly sublime feats of art and engineering right there on my shelf:

Reddit Asks #3: Plural entry’s over one custom?

How about you folks? What sorts of keebs steal the heart of your budget?


It’s evenly balanced.

I appreciate cheap keyboards that are marvels of engineering. I mainly use budget boards for testing switch / plate combos that I am uncertain about.

Nothing gets soldered as a mid-level kit unless I am absolutely sure about the switches.

I recently had some parts arrive, so now I have an Ergo Clear NCR-80 with light 14mm springs. Not really sure about the combination of parts - these Ergo Clears are harsh and snappy.

Something like an KBD8X MKII only gets switches that have been tested and verified as being good on the hotswap keyboards. When I previously found that I like a combination in a hotswap keyboard, I kept it that way.


When I was just getting started in particular I had no idea what kind of board I preferred, so it wouldn’t have made sense sense to get one super-expensive board if it turned out to be something I hated. But beyond that I also really enjoy switching up my boards periodically, and I also like the process of building new ones, so I tend to spread out my money on somewhat less expensive boards. I have several boards that have “end game” potential but I think I would get bored of them after a while.

That said, I did buy a number of prebuilt boards from the likes of Vortex and Keycool that I never ever use now, so it might have been better to be a little bit more discriminating. Still, I didn’t really know what I liked back then (and there were nowhere near as many options either!) so I probably shouldn’t feel too bad about it.


If someone is happy with his single high-end keyboard then good for him/er, plus it’s better financially.

But, multiple budget keyboard can allow you to test out multiple configurations without spending ludacrious amount of money.

Different mounting types, silicone or foam gaskets and sound dampening, different plate or switch types without taking apart and rebuilding every time.

Plus newer and better and cheaper things are always getting released often, especially as the amount of people interested in MK are growing exponentially.

So I’m team budget keyboards.


I’ll be helping a friend build their first board, and it will be my first (modern) budget keyboard (Bakeneko65). My last budget build was an xd60, and entry tech has come so far. I’m really, really excited to get into it.


I agree with a lot of this. (Apologies for the deleted post…meant to post as a general reply.)

I have one really nice “mid-range” board that I’m extremely happy with, and the overall refinement is worth the added cost. I have no desire to swap parts because it’s perfect to me as is. I have an extra plate and PCB to try half plate at some point.

But I also have a couple of budget boards, and adding one more, that I’m always switching out parts in to try. This has included different plate materials, switches and keycaps. I agree, it’s been a big part of the learning process for me to play like this. Theoretically, I could do this wiith a handful of higher-priced boards as well, and possibly achieve more pleasing results, but that’s a higher barrier.

Also, while I haven’t explored it myself, I understand there are plenty of high-end boards that aren’t necessarily better than some budget keyboards these days. They just might be fancier. Some is a matter of tastes and aesthetics rather than core quality of typing feel, possibly sound.

Part of the fun for me is also having a few options that sound and feel different to switch it up on different days. This is extended further if you’re into more niche layouts as well, like 40s, large boards… variety is part of the fun.

Overall, I think it makes sense to have some budget boards and explore with them but also to have a pricier board that you know just hits a sweet spot for you in terms of sound, feel, looks - once you have a sense what that is. And if you find another configuration in experimenting that might also meet that sweet spot on a different day, then seek out a pricier board with those characteristics to add to the lineup, if you think they would be improved by having a certain internal weight or combination unique to that spendier board.


In the learning and experimenting phase (which can go indefinitely, of course), having many boards accelerates and broadens experience and is really fun.

Lately, I just haven’t been spending as much time tinkering with keyboards or following projects online, so one nice board on my desk is sufficient.


I also firmly believe at this time that if I sold off all my boards and all I had was a stock HHKB (which is perfect, but not a custom :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:), I’d be perfectly ok with that.


Same, but 660c.

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