What are the most worn keys on your laptop?

My work machine is an ASUS TUF GAMING A15. I don’t play any games on it at all. It was selected for me purely on its cost and performance as a development machine. I’ve had it for about 18 months.

The most worn keys are L, N, M, C, CTRL, DOWN-ARROW and RIGHT-ARROW. I wonder what this says about the tools and languages that I use or are the wear patterns more due to weaknesses in the plastics used to build the keys?

Not “worn” per-se, but I think I dropped it in my backpack and broke the q key [row 4 col 1], p [4 7], and the comma , [7 2], because the 3d-printed keycaps are quite delicate.

Fortunately, I was able to go to my local library that has a makerspace, send them the .stl file from my github, and print out some new ones for free! They’re the 2 white keys without any labels. The one marked Z on the top row is actually for the Fn layer, which is an oddball that I had lying around, so I swapped out the unmarked blue one which used to be there to replace the broken q which was more important to have the same shape as the others.

It was a lovely experience too. They were actually really impressed that I knew exactly what I was doing and only required minimal assistance.


At work, I have a cheap Dell keyboard, and the left CTRL, A, and S keys all went blank in about a year and a half. On my home laptop, the left CTRL’s scissor switch gave out completely after three and a half years, but none of the Thinkpad keys are worn out.

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This topic was really enjoyable but alas, my keyboard is still nowhere near “worn” per se! Perhaps the most worn computer item I currently have is my mouse mat (cue purchasing a new one from the Swag Store :wink:

This probably means a number of things…

  • I am extremely inefficient in my use of keyboard shortcuts
  • I type with care and a light touch :joy:
  • my mouse is overused and stressed out
  • there is much more to write…

Having said all that and in the spirit of staying on topic…my most used/worn keys are “command + enter” because its the quickest way to find things on my local machine.

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My most worn is w,a,s,d and shift.

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OK, I need to hear more about that keyboard. What is that layout? It looks quite narrow: is it for one-handed use?

It’s the… Bobbi layout :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I based it on the one-handed Dvorak layout:

I rearranged it so that it would fit in just 8 columns, both to minimize lateral finger movement, and make it super easy to design and build because it’s just a square.

Repo: GitHub - BTowersCoding/trochee: Parameterized ergonomic accessibility keyboard/computer

18 months is about the right longevity. The home row “locator bumps” get worn flat by that time, the letters disappear, my spacebar ends up having a valley worn into it.

Surprisingly, perhaps, is that my escape and backspace keys are usually pristine still, since I use CTRL-[ and CTRL-H keys for escape and backspace. The escape sequence gives me a chance to “stretch” my hands, even if a little bit, and nobody wants to travel that far to delete the character they just typed. (I am a VIM user, and I use spacebar as my leader key (because what else are you going to use it for?) and so does a lot for me as a key (pun intended) member of my daily activity.

I have to respond to that challenge! My leader is = (because whar are you going to use that for?), and as I was a pine/mutt user for a few years:

" for command mode, make <space> and '-' behave like pine, as pgdn and pgup
map <Space> <C-F>
map -       <C-B>

The keys I’ve had to stick labels onto are:
R T Y U I O P S H K L : " C N M < >