Keybs Finder, website to learn about custom mechanical keyboards

Gone are the days when the quiet flutter of butterfly keyboards was appreciated. Now the tactile click, clack, or “thoc” of mechanical keyboards is preferred.

These mechanical keyboards also come in trendy colors and can be customized, making them all the more attractive.

In fact, many have taken up modifying mechanical keyboards as a hobby, and you can find tons of YouTube videos on the subject.

Photo credit: Keybs Finder

For newcomers to the hobby, switches, stabilizers, polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) keycaps, and all the other fancy terms used in the community can be disconcerting.

When he was a newcomer to the Malaysian mechanical keyboard community, Nik Amir Haikal (aka Amir, and he’s now 23) took to Facebook to delve deeper into his newfound interest. He was looking for suggestions from the community on what kind of keyboard to buy.

With no prior knowledge, Amir was unsure whether the answers he received to his published questions were genuine or not.

As he began to acquire his own knowledge of mechanical keyboards over the next few years, he decided to help others in the same situation as him before.

So he developed a simple website for mechanical keyboard beginners to start creating their own keyboard.

Type: Keybs Finder

Keybs Finder is a more barebones site at the moment, but its existence aims to help people get price ranges on various keyboard components, from switches to keycaps.

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Amir shared that this was due to the misinformation about keyboard pricing that might be floating around online, along with the trust issues that come with group buying.

“So I think there should be a platform for users to navigate and most importantly see the keyboard market,” Amir told the Vulcan Post. “At least they can get an idea of ​​what keyboards are out there [are available] in the world.”

Keybs Finder was developed in just two days. Amir was already a full-stack developer by trade and had his own framework.

“For example, if I want to create another website, I can just use my own framework and probably finish developing it in a week or two,” he explained.

The information found on Keybs Finder comes from data sources using an API created by Amir himself.

API is an acronym that stands for “Application Programming Interface” and allows apps to send information to each other. Although numerous protocols and technologies are involved, the underlying purpose of APIs is always the same: to let one software communicate with another.

Amir explained how he did it: “The process is simple. First I just need to get all keyboard information like keyboard brand, name, price, shop link and product images from Shopee or their official websites.”

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“Then I use the collection to bulk insert into the Keybs Finder database.”

Amir pointed out that Keybs Finder is still in an early version, so the data sources on the site are limited as the datasets are still small. However, he plans to update the site from time to time and make it live when it’s ready.

system update

In a future update, Amir teased that there will be a “quick search” feature that will allow users to search for keyboards in the market. Users can also filter their searches by keyboard layout size, material, brand, and price.

Amir envisions Keybs Finder will also have a section where users can view helpful YouTube channels to learn more about keyboards independently.

Photo credit: Keybs Finder

Right now, Keybs Finder’s main target market is those just getting down the rabbit hole of custom mechanical keyboards.

In order to grow, the site’s resources would need to be scaled to make it applicable to more markets and there is a chance that it will become a keyboard marketplace and eventually make money.

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But when questioned, Amir clarified that he has no intention of scaling Keybs Finder into anything bigger than currently planned. Nor does he intend to create a marketplace for keyboard components.

He remains committed to making Keybs Finder a helpful resource for custom mechanical keyboard hobbyists, particularly as an introductory platform.

“As a member of the custom keyboard community, I feel it is my responsibility to contribute to the community. If I’m able to come up with something that will help newbies lessen the difficulty of the hobby, then I think I should do it,” he shared.

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As someone just starting out in the world of custom mechanical keyboards, Keybs Finder is a great tool to get started with the options available.

Personally, I’ve had to gather most of my knowledge of mechanical keyboards from talking to other enthusiasts (who happen to be my colleagues) as well as through YouTube content.

The learning curve can be steep, and the upfront cost of the hobby is steeper. So I don’t think Amir’s efforts will go unnoticed as Keybs Finder has what it takes to fill the knowledge gap for newbies.

  • Learn more about Keybs Finder here.
  • Read more about other Malaysian startups here.

Selected image credit: Keybs Finder