The KeebScore

IMPORTANT: Scroll past the table below to get an idea of what the categories mean and how I score every keyboard and switch. Totally not inspired by the DougScore.

The KeebScore in Downloadable Format

The KeebScore

How does it work?
There are 5 separate categories for both keyboards and switches. Each category is judged on a scale from 1 through 10 – with “1” being the worst, and “10” being the best, meaning the highest possible KeebScore is 50.

Each keyboard or switch is judged against all other keyboards or switches and not only its segment. That’s an important point because it means these categories aren’t relative, but rather absolute: the keyboard or switch with the very highest KeebScore is the best overall keyboard or switch I’ve ever tested, and the keyboard or switch with the lowest is the worst.

Important note: The scores are subjective. A bit of an obvious one, but it needs to be mentioned just to make things a little more crystal clear. Preferences are what keeps this hobby exciting.

As for my preferences: Tactile switches are my most preferred switch type. I also tend lean on heavier weighted switches compared to the majority. So, don’t be surprised if I score a switch differently from how you would’ve scored it.

A small side note: Unthoroughly tested keyboards/switches are marked in orange. These are keyboards or switches I cannot test due to propriety cables or extreme unreliability. They will still receive a score and you can spot these (almost always near the bottom) with an orange-coloured cell. I promise you won’t see these often.

The Keyboard Categories

There are 5 categories here. Build Quality, Features, Daily Performance, Reliability and Value.

Build Quality
In considering this aspect, I will factor in the durability of the materials used for all the components. The overall rating tends to be higher when a keyboard is constructed using robust and long-lasting materials. Excellent examples of well-constructed keyboards include the IBM Model F and the Topre Type Heaven.

Keyboard features will be evaluated based on the functionalities they offer out of the box. Generally, having more features is considered better. However, if a particular feature is dysfunctional or of limited usefulness, it will not be taken into account.

Daily Performance
An effective keyboard for daily use should be capable of handling a wide range of computing tasks, if not all. A keyboard that offers practical features, excellent switches, and a well-designed layout will perform admirably, whereas the opposite simply would not.

This category primarily focuses on vintage keyboards since it is not feasible to test the reliability of newer keyboards within my standard testing period of approximately two weeks. However, newer keyboards will still receive a reliability score, which will be a combination of the brand’s reputation and my personal experience gathered during my testing period.

In other words, Is it worth it? . A keyboard priced at £1000 isn’t necessarily a bad value if it excels at what it does. In the same fashion that a keyboard priced at £5 can be a poor value if it’s terrible to use, poorly built and inferior to its competitors.

The Switch Categories

There are 5 categories here. Smoothness, Weighting, Sound, Typing Performance and Gaming Performance.

The smoothness category evaluates the level of smoothness experienced when using a switch. Modern hall-effect switches such as the SteelSeries OmniPoint are very smooth and deserve a “10”, whilst rough and scratchy switches like the Cherry MY doesn’t deserve a score above a “2”.

In this category, switches that are excessively light (less than 45 grams) or overly heavy (over 90 grams) generally do not perform well. Moreover, I also consider the consistency of the weighting, as it can vary significantly, particularly with budget switches.

Sound, once again, is highly subjective. A great sounding switch to me may not be great sounding to everyone else. Additionally, this doesn’t account for any chassis difference between keyboards. If I happen to be reviewing a switch in a bad sounding chassis, the switch will simply get a low score. There just isn’t any way to test every keyboard configuration out there.

Typing Performance
In this aspect, I’m asking Is it pleasant to type on? This category is all about the overall typing experience. Generally, very smooth, nicely weighted and great sounding switches tend to perform very well here.

Gaming Performance
This category is intended to assess switches based on their performance across all types of games, particularly in fast-paced games. There are now switches purely designed with gaming in mind. However, some vintage switches have proven to be great candidates here too.