No matter if we’re accountants, gamers, content creators, or professional writers, typing is an everyday activity for a lot of people. Although most of us are already used to the mechanical and repetitive clicking of a keyboard, many still struggle with the noise and try to find ways to make it disappear.
If you’re in the same boat, follow along. Below, you will find some tips and tricks on how to type quietly on different types of keyboards.
1. Buy a Desk Mat
If you usually type away at your desk and on your laptop, getting a desk mat is an affordable and effective way to reduce noise. These mats are made of sturdy but soft soundproofing materials, so they will absorb a lot of the keyboard noise. In addition, they will also help make your mouse (if you use one) quieter.
A great fact about desk mats is that they can also double down as excellent decorative pieces. For example, this model is available in more than a dozen colors ranging from pink and baby blue to olive green and brown. As such, it can seamlessly fit into your interior design.
2. Invest in a Silent Keyboard
In terms of quietness, not all keyboards are created equal. Certain models have keys with special padding underneath, so they make significantly less noise when your fingers make contact with them.
Furthermore, these keyboards often also feature silent switches. The switches come into play as soon as you press the keys, effectively preventing the clicking sound you’d normally hear when using a mechanical keyboard.
Another telltale sign of a silent keyboard is the height of its keys. Namely, high-profile keys usually make more noise than low-profile ones. Thus, you ought to avoid keyboards with raised keys.
In case you still aren’t sure which models are actually worth your while, we have you covered. In one of our earlier posts, we analyzed the most popular silent keyboards currently on the market. Make sure to check it out, and you’ll have a silent keyboard at your desk in no time.
However, before you get to it, let us give you some friendly advice. No matter how advertised, no mechanical keyboard can be 100% silent. There are models that come quite close to it, though, and those are definitely worth the money.
3. Try Typing in Gloves
For all the ladies with long nails — you probably already know that even silent keyboards can’t do much when the tips of the nails make contact with the plastic. However, that doesn’t mean that the only solution is shortening your nails.
In fact, if you use a pair of soft, padded gloves, you can type nearly soundlessly regardless of the length of your nails. This trick is perfect for those places where you have to type without making excess noise, including libraries and crowded meeting rooms.
Now, this particular tip comes with a few disadvantages. First off, gloves will make your hands sweat, especially during the summer. And if you wear them for extended periods, you could get pretty uncomfortable. Plus, getting used to typing while having them on might take some time.
Thus, this solution is not that great in the long term. However, if you’re just looking for a quick one-time fix that will help you be as soundless as possible, definitely go for it.
4. Soundproof Your Keyboard
If you don’t want to invest in a silent keyboard, there are also ways to soundproof the one you already own. But before you attempt it, you should know that it is a rather delicate task and will require a lot of patience on your part.
The most affordable way to soundproof your existing mechanical keyboard is to use adhesive foam. To work on the keys, you will have to take them off the keyboard. Then, you will need to remove any screws or plastic clips holding the top of the keyboard attached to the bottom.
Now that you have everything laid out in front of you, you ought to clean the inner side of the keyboard thoroughly. You can use a dry cloth, some cotton swabs, or mild wet wipes. If you go for the latter, just make sure everything is dry before you proceed.
With the keyboard now clean, you can begin applying the foam. Cut it so it fits the layout of the keys and apply it everywhere you notice worn or missing padding. Just make sure the foam layers you use are thin enough, so that the keys still work seamlessly after.
Once you are done, put everything back together carefully, making sure you don’t damage any of the parts. And just like that, the keys will be a lot quieter now, allowing you to type without making too much noise.
5. Lubricate the Switches on Your Keyboard
In case the tip above seems a bit too complicated, we have another one you can try. Namely, many mechanical keyboards make excess noise because the mechanism in the key switches grinds when you press down on them. That occurs in older, well-loved models, and is pretty easy to resolve.
All you need to solve this problem is some quality low-viscosity grease or lube. The viscosity bit is quite important, as the lube has to be oily enough to get through the thin gaps between the key switches.
The tricky part of this solution is that you will have to take apart every single keycap on the keyboard. Still, this option is easier than the one we discussed above, as you don’t have to take apart the rest of the keyboard.
As you remove, desolder, and take apart every keycap, it’s crucial not to misplace any parts. If you do, those switches won’t be functional anymore, and you will have lost a lot of precious time for nothing. So, arm yourself with a lot of patience before you start, and take your time.
Besides making your keyboard quieter, this practice will also help extend its lifespan. So, you should aim to lube the keys at least a few times a year, especially if you use the keyboard every day.
Here is a great video from Taeha Types that shows how to lube the switches:
6. Install Silencing O-Rings
Have you ever heard of silencing keyboard o-rings? They go around your keycaps and reduce key travel, ensuring they cannot bottom down. As a result, the sound the keys produce is a lot quieter.
In essence, these o-rings do the same as silent key switches in quiet keyboards. The only difference is, you add the rings to each individual key yourself. They come in a wide range of colors and sizes, meaning that they are truly compatible with all keyboards out there.
- 0.4mm travel reduction for a softer landing...
- Significantly reduces keyboard sound level
- Minimizes finger fatigue by shortening travel...
- High quality EPDM rubber resists cracking and...
However, it is important to mention that adding o-rings to your keycaps does have some downsides. For instance, the typing feel you’re used to will be gone, as you won’t be able to fully press down on the keys anymore.
If the way typing feels is important to you, it’s best to start with thin rings that won’t make too big of a difference on your keyboard. When you adjust to them, you can then slowly switch to thicker rings until you find the ones that suit your needs best.
Just note that o-rings won’t help you with keyboards that have switches, such as the MX Blues. In their case, the clicking comes from the mechanism in the keys themselves instead of their movement. Thus, you will have to replace them completely or buy a silent keyboard.
7. Lubricate Your Keyboard Stabilizers
Every keyboard comes with at least six stabilizers, depending on the model and purpose. They keep the longer keys (like the space key) stable.
Furthermore, they ensure the keys are functional no matter where you make contact with them. Plus, the keys cannot get stuck thanks to the stabilizers, no matter how hard you hit them while speed typing.
Sometimes, stabilizers become loose and start rattling. As a result, pressing certain keys becomes a lot louder, even if you’re careful and try to reduce the noise as much as possible.
Once again, this solution will require taking the keyboard apart. So, while you’re at it, you can also lube the rest of your key switches. That way, you can kill two birds with one stone and prolong your keyboard’s lifespan.
Aside from lubing the stabilizers, you can also carefully clip their stems with scissors. By doing so, you’ll reduce the keycap rattle and make the keys more secure and stable.
Is your noisy keyboard giving you a headache or disturbing your coworkers or roommates? If so, there are several fixes you can use to make it quieter. The most affordable (but also time-consuming) ones include lubing the key switches and stabilizers or applying acoustic foam.
And if you’d rather opt for a long-term solution that will solve all your problems for good, investing in a silent keyboard is definitely the way to go. They are made with special padding and unique key switch technology, so they make significantly less noise.
In the end, your decision should depend on your skills and budget. If you are patient and tenacious enough to take apart your keyboard and soundproof it yourself, go for it. But if you’d prefer a quick fix and your budget is higher, purchasing a silent model is a better idea. So, choose accordingly, and happy typing!
- Best Silent Keyboards For Gaming And Typing
- How To Soundproof An Office Cubicle
- Laptop Fan Makes Buzzing And Grinding Noises
- How To Poop Quietly At Work