my band selection From left to right: 1/8”, 3/16” and Limited edition RoastPotatoes silencing pad.

Upon and before purchasing my HHKB I was quite sure there was a sure-fire way to silence the HHKB quite easily with little cost. It is also supposed to be one of the better ways to silence Topre, because of this I thought that I need not look any further to find a method to silence my HHKB.

When I received my HHKB I was wholly enamoured with the feel of Topre. I was like many before my happy with my happy hacking. But In the keyboard world you have to strive for perfection. I just watched a video and couldn’t get the sounds out of my head. In my mind the dental banded HHKB just seemed a little better to me. And at that time I just wasn’t entirely happy with the noise produced by my HHKB. But as I mentioned earlier I went into this purchasing knowing of a ‘sure-fire’ way to silence it. This method is of course dental banding the sliders.

If you have not come across this method before. It is very simple. You have to disassemble your HHKB right to the core. And then once you have removed all the sliders add a dental band to the base.

Originally I had thought of putting together a guide on how to perform the dental band mod. But I feel like it would be redundant to my interests. It is quite a simple method (available guides are quite fine) but I am not at all happy with the product.

I have used ‘sure-fire’ as how I saw this method prior to carrying it out. This is because this is how it is portrayed on every place I can find on the internet. I will credit cookie as one of the people who seems most instrumental in the current effort to find the ideal method to silence Topre avoiding all side effects.


I feel that the dental band mod only gets good press. I would like introduce my alternative view because I feel like people might have the same issues in the future.

When I put the dental bands on, immediately it was noticeably quieter. This was fairly indisputable however when listening closer I heard a quite prevalent pinging sound. It was if I could just hear the spring pinging about. When typing and hearing the “Topre Rain” this is exactly what you don’t want. Once you hear it you will never go back, to how you once viewed the mod. Just in the background you can hear the pinging. This was the main problem. It was just not what I was looking for. Topre is an entirely different experience than buckling spring. With buckling springs the pinging is a part of the experience (unless you have flossed) and is something that is welcome. The other issue is the feeling. Alongside the sound I could feel the vibrations in my finger tips. This was very unpleasant and just felt like the tips of my finger tips were vibrating with every press. Putting it into words is not easy but it was certainly the most disagreeable typing experience I have had.
In reference to the reduced travel, I did not have any problem with this. So I will not list this as a problem with the dental band mod.

I honestly do not really know what causes this problem. What I am guessing is that the springs are already compressed (due to the reduced space because of the dental bands) and this effects how they spring back up when further compressed. The bands push the sliders up slightly so when you put the domes and plate on, the plate does not sit flat in the case. It has to be screwed in order for the keyboard to actually become together.

To corroborate what I am saying and give at least some validity to what I am saying. cookie mentions something similar here


My first thought was that I had put the bands on wrong or I had unseated the springs. This is where I lost a lot of time, I have taken my HHKB apart and reassembled it a lot. I was madly trying to find the solution to this problem.

The first trial was to ensure the bands were oriented correctly on each slider. So it was flat and not twisted. This had little effect. The next step I took was to take the domes off and reseat the springs myself. Here is an action that I resent. It did not help with the problem and has made my life a lot harder when disassembling my HHKB. It means you have to put all the domes on correctly and then align the springs yourself. If your domes have not come off by themselves just enjoy it while it lasts. I did briefly look for information on whether it was better to separate the domes or not, but I found nothing. I would like to go on record recommending to not do so.

My next thought was the dental bands I was using. The first I used were 1/8th dental bands. I had seen in the guides that either 1/8 or 3/16 were fine, and both had been used to great effect. I then got my 3/16 bands and repeated the same trials. This did not help anything.

The next step was creating my own silencing ‘bands’ this was done quite spontaneously after finding the perfect material. That material was foam earplugs. The material seemed perfect because they were squishy and resilient from being squashed. I then began slicing them up until I had around 70, just enough to allow for mistakes. I had managed to create some uniformity with having the discs around 1mm. After some extensive testing where I took out some compared to dental bands and reassembled everything. They were no good. I was having a similar problem. The pinging had been reduced but the vibration was still there. When making them it seemed like I was onto the final solution. But it did not turn out that way. They were just too big. These were not a success.

After going back to dental bands and giving them a longer trial around a month. I have returned to stock. I have learned to appreciate my HHKB and am content with its stock thock.

The Future

I understand that there are people who still want to find the perfect Topre silencing method. Going on the current research thin foam is the way to go. I would also like to draw attention to this interest check. This is the most promising way you will achieve the ‘perfect’ Topre sound.
I did not find the solution to my problem or even find out the cause. But I have enjoyed the process and am very happy with my current almost stock HHKB.

For me, dental banding did not work, and overall was a bad experience but others may like to try it out. Here are some guides I found most useful:

Here is a nice video demonstrating the nice sound of the stock HHKB Pro 2.

Around an hour ago it was announced that there would be a Bingecap sale. It is taking place on Thursday at 7:00 CST. Not much is known about the current offering but it is being hosted by TechKeys. With this announcement there was also the announcement of an unknown item. But it is an item that was created in collaboration between Bingecaps and TechKeys. All purchases of Bingecaps will also ship with a free vinyl sticker.

I will update the post with more information as it is available.

version 1.0 I have said before that I like programmable keyboards. So there is a project that I am really looking forward to. That is the Universal Model M controller. Started by phosphorglow, the Universal Model M controller does what it sounds like. The goal it to create a universal controller which will fit in any Model M and allow you to run custom firmware. At the moment it is being designed so it is able to run TMK. I think this is fine as this is currently the best firmware available. This is also a very exciting project as it allows the Model M to get just a little bit better. Already it is known to be a highly robust and mod friendly keyboard with support for different configurations. But never before have you been able to have complete control. This is the way I think all keyboards should be.

Similar projects have been attempted they have never really run their course. Why I think this project is more special and deserving of more exposure is because of who is running it. phosphorglow is well known for repairing and rejuvenating Model M’s to an incredibly high standard. They also have driven the modding a little bit further and almost pioneered or at least perfected a backlighting method for the Model M. They also have one of the best videos demonstrating their process that can be very useful if you want to do your own.

The current state of the project is ongoing. It might not be as easier as expected but I believe it is going to happen. Version 1.0 seems to be like a success and this project will only improve as it goes on. Another benefit is that bluetooth is also going to be supported, or it is currently. This may come later but it does seem like it will be achievable. Like Hasu’s HHKB controller it may not be perfect but I expect a solution will be found. It’s interesting to note that Hasu has also be providing his support. This only gives me more confidence in the project. Hasu has certainly proven himself capable and I can’t think of anyone better to help with the project. Good luck with the project.

If you have anything to offer head over to this thread.

There have also been some preliminary pricing:

  • $38 for the assembled PCB (USB)
  • $6 for a bare PCB

Prices are likely to change, but these seem like quite accurate prices. Remember that these will be made in limited batches and availability is limited. So if you are interested I suggest just sending phosphorglow a PM.

I think this is a very valuable project that just deserves a little more attention. This could give a whole new lease of life to an older keyboard.