Tired Of Regular Keebs? Might Be Time To Split

No matter how much geek cred your old vintage keyboard pulls, it’s not worth suffering through wrist pain or any other discomfort while using it. Especially now, when there are so many points of entry into the rabbit hole world of DIY mechanical keebs.

Once the wrist pain started, [Ben Congdon] switched from a big old Apple keeb to a Kinesis Freestyle — it’s basically a regular keyboard, but in two halves that can be placed far enough apart that [Ben]’s wrists are straight while typing. Comfortable as that split rectangle may be, it’s just not that cool looking, and he was ready to build something new, as long as it had enough keys.

[Ben] settled on building a Keebio Sinc, a new board which comes mostly soldered already and supports a handful of layouts. In the spirit of leaving doors open, [Ben] soldered in hot-swap sockets instead of permanently attaching the key switches to the PCB. This way, those Gateron reds can be easily switched out for something else, for instance should [Ben] want to try a little tactility down the road.

We think the Sinc is a cool offering precisely because it is such a full keyboard. Not everyone is ready to jump into 60% layouts or thumb clusters, and it’s nice to have options. This is entry-level ergo and DIY all at once. What’s not to like? Even if you want to go for something small and ortholinear, there are options. Here’s a build we saw recently that starts with a breakaway PCB that lets you choose between small and smaller.

Via reddit

18 thoughts on “Tired Of Regular Keebs? Might Be Time To Split

          1. No, my wrists are straight and relaxed. My forearms are angled towards each other, just as if the keyboard was split. I put my index fingers on the F and J keys, and then I can reach all normal keys by moving my fingers.

  1. I’m typing this on a Kinesis Freestyle Pro, which I’m really enjoying. The only downside is the lack of a real numeric keypad, which I’ve addressed by placing a separate USB numeric keypad between the halves of the Kinesis.

    The collective result is a keyboard which lets me keep my wrists even straighter than my old Microsoft ergonomic keyboard, has crisp mechanical keys, and which doesn’t push my mouse way off to the right. This setup is superior in nearly every way, at least to my tastes. The numeric keypad would be a little easier to use if it were in the more traditional location, but I use my mouse a lot more than I use the numeric keypad, so that’s a compromise I’m willing to live with.

    The Kinesis cost a lot more money than I’ve ever spend on a keyboard before, and I feel that it was worth every penny.

  2. An interesting thing is that wrist pain is actually much more common among people who use split keyboards than among people using traditional keyboards. Coincidence? I think not.

  3. Well, if you split, why not go for a real ergonomics gain by removing row staggering and putting column staggering instead, like with an Ergodox, Corne, Kyria Lily58, etc ?
    I personally have a Corne Choc and love it.

    I don’t really understand the point of splitting for improved ergonomics, but keeping the other worst aspects of an ANSI/ISO keyboard

    1. The only drawback is that it’s very uncomfortable to use the regular keyboards once you get used to the Ortho keyboards. I really dislike typing on my laptop because of that.

      1. Indeed. The world is full of computers which are not mine, and which still have normal keyboards. I feel that I would be doing myself quite a disservice if I developed muscle memory that was incompatible with 99.9% of the world’s keyboards.

  4. I switched to using a Mistel MD770. It’s a mechanical programmable split keyboard. I’m pretty happy with it, the fit and finish was great, and the ability to use one half of the keyboard as an additional gaming controller is a neat idea that I never use. My main compliant is there is the tiniest delay between the halves and if you type fast enough a shift keypress on one won’t register before the key on another. It mainly is a problem when I type my funky passwords, and not noticeable in normal typing situations.

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