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Can You Put Mechanical Switches on a Membrane Keyboard?


In the ever-evolving world of computer peripherals, the choice of a keyboard can be crucial. Mechanical keyboards have gained immense popularity among enthusiasts for their tactile feedback and durability. On the other hand, membrane keyboards have been around for a long time and are known for their affordability. But what if you want the best of both worlds? Can you put mechanical switches on a membrane keyboard? In this article, we will explore the feasibility, benefits, and potential challenges of such a customization.

Understanding Mechanical and Membrane Keyboards

The Mechanics of Mechanical Keyboards

Mechanical keyboards are built with individual mechanical switches for each key. These switches use physical mechanisms like springs and actuation points to register keypresses. They are revered for their tactile feel, audible clicks, and exceptional durability.

The Simplicity of Membrane Keyboards

On the contrary, membrane keyboards have a more straightforward design. They utilize rubber dome switches that make contact with a printed circuit membrane beneath. Membrane keyboards are often found in laptops and budget-friendly desktop options.

The Quest for Customization

If you've been using a membrane keyboard and are intrigued by the mechanical switch experience, you may wonder if it's possible to upgrade your existing keyboard.

The Short Answer

Yes, it is possible to put mechanical switches on a membrane keyboard. However, it's not a simple plug-and-play process.

The Detailed Process

To transform your membrane keyboard into a mechanical one, you'll need to disassemble it carefully. Here are the general steps:

1. Gather Your Tools

You'll need screwdrivers, tweezers, soldering equipment, and, of course, mechanical switches. Make sure to choose switches that fit your keyboard's layout and design.

2. Open the Keyboard

Unscrew the keyboard's housing and carefully open it without damaging the delicate membrane and PCB (printed circuit board).

3. Remove the Membrane

Carefully detach the rubber dome membrane from the PCB. Be gentle to avoid any tears or damage.

4. Prepare the PCB

Clean the PCB and prepare it for soldering. You might need to desolder the existing contacts.

5. Solder the Mechanical Switches

One by one, solder the mechanical switches onto the PCB, ensuring they align with the key layout.

6. Reassemble the Keyboard

Carefully put everything back together, ensuring there are no loose parts or misaligned switches.

Potential Challenges

While the process may seem straightforward, there are some potential challenges:

Compatibility Issues

Ensuring that the mechanical switches fit the membrane keyboard's layout can be tricky. You might need to modify the PCB.

Soldering Skills

Soldering requires precision and skill. If you're not experienced, it's easy to damage the keyboard irreparably.

Warranty Concerns (H4)

Modifying your keyboard may void its warranty, so proceed with caution.

The Benefits of the Upgrade

Now that you have successfully transformed your membrane keyboard into a mechanical one, you can enjoy several benefits:

Tactile Satisfaction

Mechanical switches provide a satisfying tactile feedback that membrane switches often lack.


Mechanical switches are known for their longevity, making your keyboard more reliable in the long run.


You have the flexibility to choose the type of mechanical switches that suit your typing style best.


In conclusion, the answer to whether you can put mechanical switches on a membrane keyboard is a definite "yes." With the right tools, skills, and patience, you can enjoy the benefits of mechanical switches on your existing keyboard. However, it's important to consider the potential challenges and warranty implications before embarking on this customization journey.


1. Is it worth upgrading my membrane keyboard with mechanical switches?

Absolutely, if you're a fan of tactile feedback and durability, the upgrade can significantly enhance your typing experience.

2. Can I use any mechanical switches for the upgrade?

You should choose switches that are compatible with your keyboard's layout to ensure a successful upgrade.

3. Will upgrading my keyboard void its warranty?

Yes, it's possible that modifying your keyboard will void its warranty, so proceed with caution.

4. Do I need advanced soldering skills to perform this upgrade?

While basic soldering skills are required, it's recommended to have some experience or seek professional assistance to avoid damaging your keyboard.

5. How long does it take to complete the upgrade?

The time required depends on your experience level and the complexity of your keyboard, but it may take several hours to complete the transformation.

Post time: Dec-22-2023