6 Best Mechanical Keyboards That Help Eliminate RSI Pain
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First described as a condition suffered by musicians and clerks in the 1700s, RSI is nothing new but has certainly become prevalent with the use of keyboards for work.
Without treatment, the symptoms of repetitive strain injury may eventually become chronic and cause long periods of pain.
Unfortunately, the way of the world is that for most of us who work from a computer, work duties cannot simply stop entirely or be ignored just because of a little bit of RSI pain.
The good news is that it may be possible to modify your typing habits to improve your symptoms, including adopting one of these mechanical keyboards that are best suited for typing, and surviving, with RSI.
Best Mechanical Keyboards For Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI)
- X9 Performance Wired Ergonomic Keyboard with Wrist Rest – Best Overall Keyboard For RSI
- Perixx Periboard 512 Ergonomic Split Keyboard – Best Budget Keyboard For RSI
- Logitech G613 Lightspeed Wireless Mechanical Keyboard – Great Pick For RSI
- Kinesis Advantage2 Ergonomic Keyboard
- Goldtouch GTU-0088 V2 Adjustable Keyboard
- Perixx Periboard 612 Wireless Ergonomic Split Keyboard
Best Pick Keyboard For RSI - X9 Performance Wired Ergonomic Keyboard with Wrist Rest
- (Feel Better, Work Better): Long hours on the computer can be tough, however, we have a solution. With a user focused design, our ergonomic split keyboard will help you conquer your workload with less wrist discomfort.
- (Type Comfortably With A Cushioned Wrist Rest): The integrated cushion on the wired computer keyboard provides much needed support when typing. Your hand will be level with the keys for better comfort and efficiency.
- (Split Ergonomic Design | Natural Positioning): Unlike a traditional laptop keyboard that causes your hands to type in an awkward position, our wave keyboard promotes a natural hand position for less strain and fatigue.
- (Work Efficiently): The full-sized 110 key layout with 17 shortcuts and a numeric keypad will help you increase productivity. Also, the wired pc keyboard has LED indicators, an adjustable kickstand, and is plug and play.
Because RSI can develop in a number of locations in the hands, wrists and arms the best keyboards to remedy this pain are those designed to allow hands to operate in a natural position.
The X9 certainly does this by splitting the keys across a board in a wave design which allows forearms and hands to experience minimal awkward movements.
The X9 doesn’t just sell itself on form alone however, with good quality keys and stabilisers reducing the force needed to press each individual keystroke.
In addition to having the most sympathetic design to RSI suffers, the X9 also gains bonus points and overall best pick by not charging a premium price for solving a problem that could easily aim for a higher price point.
Budget Pick Keyboard For RSI - Perixx Periboard 512 Ergonomic Split Keyboard
- ERGONOMIC DESIGN - Split-key and 3-D design matches with to your natural arm and hand positions Integrated palm rest to support your wrists in a comfort position
- TACTILE KEYSTROKES - Keystrokes are tactile in order to reduce pressure when you press the keys and to give you a more comfortable typing experience
- PLUG AND PLAY FEATURE - Just plug your keyboard in your computer and use it It uses a USB interface and has 6 0 Ft cable 7 Multimedia Hot keys built-in
- NEW WAY OF TYPING - The ergonomic split keyboard is different from the traditional desktop keyboard and it will take you a few days or weeks to get familiar with it
Perixx are known for their dedication to ergonomically friendly designs. The much applauded 512 has been a top pick for those struggling with RSI for many years.
Incorporating a split design and wrist rest without sacrificing a number pad is impressive. Add into the mix that programmable multi-media keys have also been included and for the low price point there’s little better on the market.
Oh, and the quality of the switches ain’t half bad either!
If you are a devout Perixx fan there’s also a wireless version, and a white version of the 512 available for a few bucks more.
Great Pick Keyboard For RSI - Logitech G613 Lightspeed Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
- Lightspeed: Wireless technology for super-fast 1 ms report rate
- Romer G mechanical switches deliver quiet, precise mechanical performance and 70 million click life for incredible feel and durability
- 6 programmable G keys put custom macro sequences and in app commands at your fingertips. 1 Customize G key profiles individually for each app
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth enabled device with Windows 8 or later, Mac OS X 10.12 or later, Chrome OS, or Android 3.2 or later, iOS 10 or later
We’re a big fan of the Logitech G613 and named it our pick for the overall best keyboard for those suffering from the pain and discomfort brought on by carpal tunnel syndrome.
Firstly the raised mechanical keys have a smoother travel, and a less resistance than keys found on a common membrane keyboard. This means you don’t have to move your fingers as far, nor press down as hard to register a keystroke. Overall this puts less wear and tear on your wrists.
Six programmable ‘G-Keys’ allow multi-stage tasks to be programmed for completion with just single press of a button saving you time and wrist movements every day. With a little planning you can use this feature to effortlessly complete tasks that might otherwise require typing, scrolling and mouse movements.
The G613 is wireless thanks to Bluetooth pairing capabilities, Being unrestricted by wires means the it can be moved to your ideal positioning without any compromisation.
Unlike many other keyboard designed with gaming in mind, the switches beneath the G613 keys are deliberately quiet rather than clicky. Being tactile, you’ll still be able to feel the moment the key stroke registers, but you won’t have to worry about creating a nuisance at home or in the office.
Kinesis Advantage2 Ergonomic Keyboard
- CONTOURED ERGONOMIC SHAPE PROVEN TO INCREASE COMFORT AND PRODUCTIVITY: Patented design features split keywells with concave shape, thumb keys, orthogonal layout, 20 degrees of tenting, and integrated palm supports with cushioned palm pads.
- GENUINE CHERRY MECHANICAL SWITCHES FOR PREMIUM TYPING FEEL AND PERFORMANCE: Cherry MX Brown mechanical switches feature a low activation force, tactile feedback and are rated for 50 million key presses for unmatched durability.
- Full onboard programmability with the Driverless Smart Set engine: Custom layouts in QWERTY or Dvorak, on-the-fly macro recording, one-touch key remapping, Windows, Mac, PC modes, settings saved to keyboards 4MB flash memory, Smart Set app GUI for Windows
- Plug-and-play with all major operating systems: Windows 7-10, Mac OS X, Linux, Chrome.
The Kinesis Advantage2 is the most advanced ergonomic keyboard on the market and cares nothing about what you think about it’s bizarre appearance!
From a sturdy board with no flex, to stable feet, the Advantage 2 has been built from the bottom up with ergonomics comfort in mind.
A split keyboard design that uses silky smooth Cherry switches, each key has been individually positioned to be in reach of each fingers without moving out of an ergonomically friendly position.
Such strictness in design does mean that the position of keys (stacked in rows) take a little getting used to if your typing form is non-standard so excuse yourself a few mistypes to begin with.
Owing to the sky high price, the Advantage 2 loses out on one of the top picks but could be just what the doctor ordered if your RSI is becoming too much of a distraction during work.
Goldtouch GTU-0088 V2 Adjustable Keyboard
- Value Bundle Includes Jestik Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
- Goldtouch V2 Adjustable Comfort Keyboard -PC & Mac
- Compatible with the following operating systems: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8, Mac OS 10.4, and newer. USB Port
The design of the GTU-008 allows you to create any number of ergonomically friendly configurations through built-in tenting and a hinged centre.
The splaying and variable heights allow wrists to maintain a natural position that ultimately reduces typing fatigue and RSI discomfort.
Despite sounding like it could be an overengineered, flimsy unit, a sturdy locking lever holds the chosen shape firm.
Perixx Periboard 612 Wireless Ergonomic Split Keyboard
- ERGONOMIC SPLIT-KEY DESIGN: Integrated palm rest supports your wrists, releases median nerve pressure and reduces forearm tension; Natural arm and hand position while typing minimize chances of RSI, and carpal tunnel syndrome
- WIRELESS 2. 4 GHZ AND BLUETOOTH CONNECTION: Switch between two connection options at the bottom of the keyboard; nano receiver is stored safely in the compartment at the bottom of the keyboard
- DUAL OPERATING SYSTEM: Compatible with Mac and Windows including shortcuts and function keys; 4 additional switchable keys for Mac of Windows key layout and a key puller is also provided in the box
- TACTILE RESPONSIVE KEYS: with long travel distance that gives a satisfying typing feeling and decreases mistyping
A newer evolution of the 512, the immediate standout feature of the Perixx Periboard 612 is the split keyboard and raised centre console.
Designed to prevent torquing your arms into an unnatural position and thus causing forearm tension, the split board design is rimmed with a full length fixed palm rest support your wrists.
Tactile keys help reduce the pressure required to register a keystroke whilst decreasing typing inaccuracies usual experienced by a membrane keypad.
Also available in a slightly less expensive wired version, the wireless connectivity of our model is provided by a choice of either a micro-USB receiver or Bluetooth.
Handily, the Periboard 612 is designed to integrate with both Windows and Mac, and has spare keys included to allow the changeover to a Mac keyboard if desired.
Why are mechanical keyboards better at preventing RSI?
Preventing a repetitive strain injury is all about minimising the number of awkward and unnatural movements your fingers, hands and wrists make. Typing on a keyboard that requires a lot of force to press down on each key simply exacerbates the stresses upon these problem areas.
Mechanical keyboards are considered better at preventing the onset of RSI because their switches beneath each key often require less force to press, and return more of a tactile response (so you don’t press the key harder than needed) when compared to a standard membrane keyboard.
Are membrane keyboards worse for RSI sufferers?
Membrane keyboards have somewhat of a bad reputation in the ergonomic world, perhaps because they are frequently found upon small laptops that restrict natural hand movements, perhaps
When designed properly however membrane keyboards aren’t all bad news for RSI sufferers however. Take the Kinesis Freestyle 2 for example with ergonomic features including a board split into two island units, custom keys with low actuation force and variable height tenting.