Switch Mounts: Plate-mounted vs. PCB-mounted

PCB mounted and Plate-mounted switches

Mechanical keyboards can feature different switch mounts methods, primarily plate-mounted and PCB-mounted. These mounting styles impact the keyboard’s construction, feel, and overall typing experience. Let’s thoroughly analyze and compare these two types.

Plate-Mounted Switches

Description: In plate-mounted keyboards, the switches are mounted to a metal or plastic plate which then sits above the PCB (Printed Circuit Board). This plate adds an extra layer of rigidity and stability.


  • Stability and Rigidity: The plate provides additional support, making the keyboard feel more solid and stable.
  • Typing Feel: Often results in a more consistent and firmer typing feel.
  • Durability: Adds structural integrity to the keyboard, potentially enhancing durability.
  • Sound: This can alter the sound profile of typing, often resulting in a more resonant and “fuller” sound.


  • Weight: Adds extra weight to the keyboard, making it heavier.
  • Flexibility: Reduces the flex of the PCB, leading to a less ‘bouncy’ typing experience.
  • Customization and Repair: Swapping switches can be more challenging and may require desoldering.

PCB-Mounted Switches

Description: PCB-mounted switches are directly mounted to the keyboard’s PCB. In this design, there is no supporting plate between the switches and the PCB.


  • Flexibility: The lack of a plate can allow the PCB to flex more, which some typists prefer for its unique feel.
  • Weight: Generally lighter than plate-mounted keyboards.
  • Customization and Repair: Easier to customize and repair as the switches can often be removed without desoldering (especially if the keyboard supports hot-swapping).
  • Sound: Tends to produce a softer, less resonant typing sound compared to plate-mounted switches.


  • Stability: Without the plate, the keyboard can feel less stable and robust.
  • Typing Feel: This may result in a less consistent feel across the keyboard, especially on larger keys.
  • Durability: Potentially less durable due to the lack of additional support from a plate.

Comparison and Analysis

  • Typing Experience: Plate-mounted switches typically provide a more consistent and stable typing experience, while PCB-mounted switches offer a unique, slightly more flexible feel.
  • Sound Profile: Plate mounting often results in a louder, more solid sound, whereas PCB mounting tends to be quieter and softer.
  • Construction and Durability: Plate-mounted keyboards are generally more robust and durable, while PCB-mounted keyboards are lighter and offer easier access for modifications.
  • User Preference: The choice between plate and PCB mounting often comes down to personal preference. Gamers and professionals might prefer the solid feel of plate-mounted keyboards, while enthusiasts and typists who enjoy a softer, more dynamic typing experience may lean toward PCB-mounted options.
  • Customization: PCB-mounted keyboards are typically more conducive to customization, especially for users who frequently change switches.


In summary, the choice between plate-mounted and PCB-mounted switches in a mechanical keyboard significantly affects the typing experience, sound, durability, and customization options. While plate-mounted keyboards offer stability and a consistent typing feel, PCB-mounted keyboards provide flexibility and easier customization. The preference for one over the other is subjective and largely depends on the individual’s typing style and priorities.


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