Drop 2022 Custom Built Mechanical Keyboards -Pepcom 2022 Summer


Back to: Pepcom Digital Experience Main Page (June 2022)

Drop makes custom mechanical keyboards for enthusiasts, especially those looking for specific types of switches, key caps and keyboard bodies. They also deal in audiophile headphones, collaborating with titans like Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic to make cool & unique products.

Historically, Drop started as a group of enthusiasts who joined forces to purchase large enough quantities (than a single person could anyway) that they could order custom stuff from manufacturers. You’d join a “drop” for a certain type of keyboard (with such-and-such switches, keycaps, etc) and put in money to cover your part. The more people joining the drop, the better the price would be.

The business works differently now that there are 7 million members in the Drop community. A lot of what they offer comes from member feedback on stuff they want to buy, as well as from reviews & constructive criticism on existing products.

If you’re new to keyboards, Drop’s made it easy to get your feet wet with pre-built keyboards they call the Icon collection. There are 3 lines available:

  • Expression – basic keyboard, with an “expression” or design as main feature. ($149)
  • Signature – an upgrade to nearly all components- switches, stabilizers & chassis. Many of them have Holy Panda switches and a super heavy-duty aluminum frame. ($349)
  • Paragon – Their “holy grail”. At this level, each switch and stabilizer is individually lubricated (opened up, lubed, and put back together.) ($499)

All keyboards in the Icon collection are hand-assembled in the United States and ready to use right away. But when you get curious enough to start modding, you can use the included keycap and switch pullers to replace/modify the parts you want. Then it’s congratulations to your stepping into the enthusiast’s rabbit hole!

Of note are the hot-swappable switch sockets in the Signature and Paragon lines, while the Expression boards have switches that are soldered on (soldering skills are needed if you want to change switches on an Expression keyboard.)

Marvel, LotR & Other Intrigues

Interestingly, Drop is one of the few (if not the only) keyboard manufacturer to own the whole supply chain for their products (aside from owning the factories). This virtually guarantees they won’t be at the mercy of a supplier who may one day go out of business or stop making a component that Drop needs.

They’re also the only company to have official licenses to make Marvel & Lord of the Rings keyboard products.

From what I’m told, it was the result of community feedback for their desire to buy LotR gear that they produced Elvish language key caps; now a super popular product!

More Info: https://www.drop.com
Event: Pepcom Digital Experience Main Page (June 2022)


Young is a Jack-of-many-trades. He's lived/worked on several continents for all sorts of companies (and has had his own too.) He meditates with origami and likes coffee, though he really should lay off that stuff.

You may also like...