KBDFans TFv2 Build and Review

There are lots of options for entry-level aluminum or plastic 60% keyboards. But if you want an upgrade, and for my personal "endgame" (for now), I wanted a more premium option. That's why I bought the TFv2 keyboard kit, from KBDFans. It's a custom kit, where you can supply your own switches and keycaps. It's also "hot-swap", which means no soldering required. You can choose between either the HHKB layout or standard 60% ANSI layout. There are still some units available at the time of writing, or the groupbuy is starting soon!

The TFv2 comes with brass plate, aluminum case and brass weight, and PCB

PCB

This keyboard comes with the DZ60-ANSI RGB PCB. Kind of a mouthful, right? This is one of the most popular PCBs since it is hot-swap, in the popular 60% layout, and has RGB. I personally turn the RGB LEDs off because they are kind of annoying to me.


Case

The star of the show, this is a three piece case. There is the top frame, the bottom frame, and a brass piece in the bottom as well. This makes the keyboard quite heavy and sturdy. The case also has very good acoustics after I added some foam. You might think that the metal makes the sound metallic and hollow, but the sound is still a nice "thock". You can see in the picture above there is a thin seam running through the keyboard, which in my opinion gives it some character, you can decide about this aesthetic choice yourself.

There was also some foam I added for sound dampening. Under the PCB, I added the custom DZ60RGB foam from KBDFans. For $10 it's a bit overpriced but it really adds a lot in terms of acoustics. I also added module foam in between the plate and PCB. This reduces echo.


A breakdown of the TFV2 (PCB not pictured)

Plate

This plate is 1.5mm of solid brass. Brass is a pretty stiff metal, which gives the keys a firm feel. Some people like the plate more flexible, some people enjoy the hardness of brass. I can use either, but I enjoy the brass because it gives the key a bit more feel and gives it a better sound. As you can see in the above render, the brass plate has tabs so it can screw evenly into the top frame, giving it an even feel in all areas.


Switches (Not Included)

For my switches, I went with pink Durock Linears, with a 65 gram spring. They have a smoky housing. These are extremely smooth linear switches stock, with a bit of lube pre-applied. However, I wiped off the lube, and applied my own, Krytox 205g0. I also applied films to reduce wobble between the top and bottom of the switch.


It turned out great!

Keycaps (Not Included)

For my keycaps, I went with a set for EnjoyPBT, called white on black (WoB). This is a simple and classy keycap set. It's in the Cherry profile, which is very comfortable to type on (in my experience). It's made of ABS plastic, which is great for color richness, but is slightly less durable than PBT. However, it does not warp as easily, so no bent spacebars. The keycap feels slightly textured, which I enjoy.



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