Why Are Hot-Swappable Switches
Essential for Keyboard Customization?

The best thing about mechanical keyboards is how customizable and modular they are. But some users are hesitant to dive into the world of custom keyboards due to the need for various skills, such as soldering. Fortunately, users no longer have to endure cumbersome processes to enjoy their mechanical keyboard.

With hot-swappable keyboards, you can easily swap the mechanical switches without desoldering, making building and customizing mechanical keyboards easier. Simply take them off using a switch puller and pop in a new switch.

What is a Hot-Swappable Keyboard?

The main advantage of a hot-swappable keyboard is that it lets users replace their mechanical switches without having to desolder the ones that are already installed. Their PCBs (printed circuit boards) contain hot-swap sockets, unlike older prebuilt keyboards and solder-only PCBs.

Hot-swap keyboards save both time and money. No special tools are needed to remove the switches. And replacing switches are generally less expensive than buying a fully built keyboard.

Newer enthusiasts can also benefit from a hot-swappable keyboard because they can find their preferred switch rather than being restricted to one type.

Are All Mechanical Keyboards Hot-Swappable?

The hot-swap keyboard technology is very remarkable. However, not all keyboards have adopted this feature. There are still a lot of mechanical keyboards that utilize a solder-only PCB. Why?

Soldered keyboards are considerably more stable than hot-swap keyboards. The switches don’t wobble and cannot be accidentally removed while removing the keycaps.

Also, solder-only PCBs offer more layout options compared to hot-swap keyboards. 60% keyboards, for instance, can have arrow keys. Other sizes can have special layouts such as split backspace and question mark.

Are All Hot-Swappable Keyboards Compatible With All Switches?

Not all hot-swap keyboards are the same.

Some are only compatible with certain mechanical switch brands, while others are only compatible with certain types of switches.

In addition, some hot-swap keyboards are only compatible with 3-pin switches. 5-pin switches are still technically compatible, but irreversible modifications have to be made to fit them into these keyboards.

The Cascade Keyboard

With low and standard profile options, the Cascade Keyboard is fully customizable, from the aluminum top plate, to the switches, to the keycaps. The standard profile is compatible with both 3- and 5-pin mechanical switches, enabling you to choose between a variety of MX switches, whereas the low profile can only be used with Gateron Low-Profile switches.

With a hot-swappable keyboard, you can easily customize and upgrade your keyboard to suit your needs in no time.