Twitch Streamer Commissions Custom $3,500 Mechanical Keyboard

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We’re no strangers to expensive mechanical keyboards around here, but a popular Twitch streamer just showed all his subscribers how deep the keyboard rabbit hole can go. Turner “Tfue” Tenney just got his hands on his new custom keyboard, which is a one-of-its-kind creation that cost him about $3,500. 

The project came to be when Tfue met Tae Ha Kim, who builds fully custom keyboards under the name Taeha Types. Kim doesn’t consider himself a designer but rather a middleman who can find and assemble the necessary components. Sometimes that means getting his hands on hard-to-find components like Norbauer cases, but other times he works with a manufacturer to make a new component from scratch. 

For Tfue’s keyboard, Kim worked with a custom manufacturer called Keycult to get the case and PCB. Keycult makes keyboards in very small batches, but it also accepts commissions that start around $2,000. This case was somewhat more because it’s fully custom, featuring Tfue’s handle milled into the bezel and a fancy purple-blue anodizing job. Having seen a lot of custom keyboards in my time, I can say I’ve never seen anything quite like it. 

Most custom mechanical keyboards come from suppliers that manufacture them in small batches. A “group buy” lets enthusiasts band together to reach the necessary minimum order quantity (MOQ) — it’s like a pre-order except the buyers accept all the risk instead of a retailer. The keyboard commissioned by Tfue is not necessarily better than those keyboards, but it is much more rare. Therefore, it’s astronomically more expensive. 

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The board has many of the features you’d see in other custom keyboards. It uses the popular 60 percent form factor, which means no dedicated arrows, f-row, and function keys. It also has NovelKeys Cream switches, which are a medium-weight linear switch that’s become quite popular among enthusiasts. The entire housing is POM plastic, which is a “self-lubricating” material that allows for smoother movement. These switches are expensive ($6.50 for 10), and they’re often out of stock. On top of the switches, Kim used a keyset called GMK Striker, which was only available in a limited run last year for about $150. 

Put that all together, and you have a $3,500 keyboard. Clearly, the most spendy part was the custom housing. That’s the cost of having something truly custom — so many of the things we buy are affordable only because they’re manufactured on a large scale. No one else has Tfue’s keyboard, though.

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