Model M reviews and links

External links about what others think about the original model M keyboards built by IBM.

Lazy Game Reviews: Using an IBM model M on a Smartphone
“So if you really want clicky keyboard greatness and you don’t want to bother with Unicomp or getting something else more modern, then here you go….  But you know what, there’s always something about the ORIGINAL”

Meet the Master of the Old-School Clicky-Clacky Keyboard
(English version)
(Japanese version)


King of click: the story of the greatest keyboard ever made

Why I use a 20-year-old IBM Model M keyboard —



IBM model M simulator

Retro Review: IBM Model M Keyboard The IBM Model M keyboard is perhaps the most legendary keyboard of all time. Companies have been emulating the clicky goodness of the Model M for over 30 years.





Typing on an IBM model M Keyboard This is my very first keyboard with mechanical key switches. I have to say that, coming from a rubber dome keyboard, the sound and feel of the Model M is infinitely better quality. I agree that it greatly resembles a typewriter.

This particular keyboard is the 1993 model, which I purchased at

How to Clean an IBM model M keyboard



Tech News Today, Episode 49 Aug 9, 2010 Clicky Makes Me Stabby(fast foward to minute 34:15)  I’m just using my IBM ps/2 keyboard to do a little twittering…I love the clicky… I used this keyboard for years as my external keyboard for years and years until I needed to need to USB. I love it because it feels like you’re typing. People know you’re working… I hear productivity. — Tom Merritt

You know when you string together like three commands that are like piping in and out to each other with that keyboard, and you just slam Enter with so much decisiveness, and you know that it’s going to run so much faster too. That’s the sound of executable. — Darren Kitchen

HAK.5 video (episode #416) (fast foward to minute 5:15)  Matt is obsessed with Clicky Keyboards. I’m a fan of the Model M and the PC-XT’s 83 Key Keyboard.



HAK.5 video (episode #3) video podcast for the hacker, modder, and do-it-yourselfer
“…IBM M series keyboard made in 1987.  These were great keyboards at the time, and they still are actually.  They’ve got great tactile response.  I mean these keys are real springy.. and the cord for it is 8-miles-long and detatchable — plus,  stretchy.  I’m going to give it the same treatment that I gave the (computer) case.  It’s going to be all black, with some red accents, pinstripes, and the logo… …the way we’re going to do it is going to save you about $60.  We’re going to make our own Das keyboard in the same stroke.  No characters on it whatsoever.  Fairly inexpensive.  This keyboard will be for the truly 31337 HX0R”




YouTube video: Keyboard Carnage
This video tests the myth that a Model M keyboard can be used to kill a man and you can still type on it afterwards.  We use a slightly broken Model M from 1988 (letters [B], [N] and the [?/] button were broken to start with).  The other keyboard from the same year is made by Zenith sporting a Bull logo. This one has a thinner metal plate, rubber dome keys and is a ’bit’ thinner than the Model M.
The model M’s round front edge makes it harder to kill a lemon, but it’s better overall endurance made it the overal winner..

“This proves in hand to hand combat, the IBM model M keyboard is better than the Zenith bull keyboard.”


The Steampunk Keyboard Mod:
The already venerable IBM Model M is retro-fitted with glass and nickel keys and mounted in a polished brass frame.

Flickr slideshow of random lust and appreciation for model M keyboards:


WIKIPEDIA | Model M Keyboard
“The Model M is also remembered for its overall heavy and sturdy design, which allowed the keyboard to survive far longer periods of time, use, and abuse than practically any other personal computer component ever manufactured.”

CNET | Top 10 tech we miss: #7: Good keyboards
“The keyboards on early IBM PCs were heavy, had a great feel, and made a satisfying clacking noise when you typed, thanks to the expensive “buckling spring” design for the switches.”

PCWORLD | How to Fix Keyboards: Don’t Touch ’Em!
“When it comes to keyboards, consistency makes sense. Sitting down at a PC and getting to work without having to curse what’s under your fingers is a genuine productivity booster. But increasingly we see all sorts of improvements that aren’t.”

“Keyboard feel is pretty much a lost art. Everything I’ve tried lately has a dead, sticky touch, in part because just about everybody uses the cheapest possible technology.”

MSNBC | Classic keyboards redux
“I’m a bit of a curmudgeon when it comes to PC keyboards, and after all these years, I still prefer the feel and sound of my old IBM 101-key (circa 1990) with its “buckling spring” action. I’ve moved this keyboard from PC to PC through more upgrades than I can count.”

Dan’s Data | Review: IBM Keyboards – The Odyssey Continues
“Computer users are used to hardware that’s worthless in three years and useless in five; clicky keyboards aren’t like that. You could leave one of these things to your children in your will. Or be buried with it..”

Dan’s Data | Review: IBM 42H1292 and 1391401 keyboards
“The big deal about these old keyboards is their lovely, positive key-click. When you use a keyboard that doesn’t have a good positive click, it’s hard to tell when you’ve depressed a key properly. You have to watch the screen to make sure you don’t leave letters out, or you have to really hammer the keyboard, which is not good for your hands.”

Dan’s Data | Letters IBM model M15 bent ergonomic keyboard
“Yes, there were clicky split ’boards, but nobody makes them any more. You’ll have a hard time finding one; Clicky Keyboards have sold the couple they found.” | IBM Model M: The Best Computer Keyboard Ever
“I just took a typing test using my old Model M and hit 64 words per minute – and I had fewer typos in the process. There’s just something right about the design; I really can’t describe it other than saying that my finger always presses hard enough and never too hard on a Model M – are two of the many reasons for typos on lesser keyboards.

What makes the IBM Model M so good? It’s all in the spring – buckling springs, to be precise. A buckling spring is a mechanism that carries tension until enough force is applied to “buckle” the spring, at which point it collapses and the key can travel down, producing an audible click when it does.

Of course, while noisy and intrusive to your neighbors, there’s one very good reason why the buckling spring keyboard remained in production for so many years and why it’s something of a specialty item today. Those switches are very expensive compared to the cheap rubber domes in use today, and it’s those switches that give this keyboard its legendary feel (and make it too expensive for this age of made-in-China mass-production).

One thing is certain: If you generate a lot of text, you owe it yourself to get a decent keyboard.”

Linux Journal | Building the Ultimate Linux Box
“Like many hackers of a certain age, I imprinted on the IBM Model M keyboard about 20 years ago. They have a relatively stiff travel with a sharp break and a positive keyclick that can only be described as crunchy. They inspire cult-like devotion. It’s still possible to buy the real Model M, armor-plated case and all. “

Computerworld | Quest for a decent keyboard
Those who aren’t old enough to have used an IBM Selectric typewriter or the first IBM PC keyboard don’t know what a difference a good quality keyboard makes.


Those early devices had excellent keystroke travel and responded with satisfying mechanical clacking sound that told you the system had registered each keystroke.

Good keyboards can improve productivity and reduce stress on your hands. Unfortunately, today’s keyboards are cheap, unresponsive, lightweight affairs with little or no tactile response. Keyboards are tacked onto computers almost as an afterthought.“
Care and feeding of an IBM Model M 1391406 keyboard
“Ah, the mighty IBM Model M – the best keyboard ever manufactured. The Model M was originally bundled with 8086 and 80286 IBM PS/2 computers dating from around 1986. The design has not been improved on since. Fortunately the Model Mis so durable and well-made that a vintage 80’s keyboard will likely still be usable today, after a decade and a half and of use and abuse. “

Clean your vintage IBM M2 clicky keyboard
“Clicky fever is indeed upon us. It’s not hard to find a used one of these, but it is hard to find a clean one, so you’ll need to break out the elbow grease. I’ve found instructions for cleaning the big version, but I haven’t found any yet for the M2, which is the smaller version I’m using here. I like this one a lot better, as it has all necessary keys, but is much more compact.”

The IBM Model M Keyboard, TYPE HARD OR GO HOME
“For two decades, the IBM Model M Keyboard has been the defacto standard human interface for force-feedback computing. Constructed with “buckling spring” action and a chassis that doubles as a weapon, Model M’s appeal to stone-code scallywags and hackers alike. “

IBM PS2 Keyboard Modification
“These old IBM PS/2 keyboards have been a long-time favourite of mine. I really like the positive, mechanical feel of their keys and find that I make fewer typing mistakes than with the cheap, plastic and rubber membrane ones which are commonly available today.”

There Oughta Be a law: New keyboards suck
“It’s time for a bit of a history lesson. Eons ago (in computer years) in the 80’s, keyboards for computers were made in basically the same fashion as contemporary electronic typewriters. They had an individual switch for each key, with an individual metal-coil spring. When you hit a key, you closed the switch, the keyboard controller detected and interpreted this for the computer, and the spring pushed the key back up (unless you held it down, of course). “

Unicomp Linux 101 Keyboard Review
“Unfortunately, only four months after the Raymond story hit the racks, the 42H1292 was sold out, but Unicomp makes replacements in some 40 languages, along with other interesting variations”

The heavy, clicky monster I love
This type of switch is nearly immune to corrosion and dirt. These switches are very resistant to key bounce problems that result in multiple characters appearing from a single strike. They are also the most durable in the industry—rated for 25 million or more keystrokes, as opposed to 10 to 20 million for other designs. The tactile feedback is unsurpassed because a relatively loud click and strong over-center feel normally are provided.”

Slashdot | Das Keyboard: Hit Any Key
“…because the great thing about older, mechanical-action keyboards like the Model M is not so much how they look, but how they feel beneath the hand. Instead of the clacking, snapping action of buckling-spring keyboards, manufacturers have mostly moved to cheaper, less-complicated membrane keyboards, some of which feel better than others. My impression on opening the box and giving the black keyboard a lengthy groping was that the Das Keyboard’s action is a bit squishy. To be fair, in the current keyboard market, most of the competition feels no better, and many competitors feel worse.” | Rant about keyboards
“I am very, very fussy about keyboards. I hate the keyboards that are bundled with desktop PCs. Cheap mushy junk with virtually no tactile feedback…