When you’re trying to develop or improve an existing skill it’s always a good idea to look at how others achieve their results.
In the case of typists, that means looking at both physiological and ergonomic factors (how they sit, position their hands etc) but also the type of equipment they use.
Like their keyboard of choice.
But before we get into the people who type fastest in the world, let’s take a look at what the average person is capable of.
How fast does the average person type?
The average person types at a speed of 40 words-per-minute (WPM). With practice the average person can expect to type at least 60 WPM and up to 80.
The “accepted average” typing speed required for office work for many years was 60 WPM but it seems that the majority of office workers weren’t operating at that level.
So despite decades of exposure to computers the average person is still only capable of entering data into a computer at a speed below
The world’s top 3 fastest typists and their keyboards
Now let’s look at people who type so quickly they’re the best in the world.
In 1985, Barbara Blackburn was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the fastest typist with a speed of 170 wpm.
Surprisingly, she didn’t use a standard keyboard but the lesser-known Dvorak simplified keyboard. The top speed she ever recorded (but not with world record monitors present), was an amazing 212 WPM.
Unofficial records show that Brazilian Guilherme Sandrini achieved a typing speed of 241.82 words per minute (wpm), using an online platform for typing and a standard QWERTY keyboard to achieve such speeds.
The model of keyboard was not listed, only that it was a ‘standard’ keyboard.
Sean Wrona, again unofficially, beat Blackburn’s speed typing by achieving a speed of 174 wpm using a standard QWERTY keyboard. He also set a record at the Ultimate Typing Championship with an amazing speed of 256 wpm on a Logitech Illuminated Keyboard K740.
Is it possible to type 100 WPM?
As per the above, it is more than possible for the average person to type 100 wpm, or even far exceeding such speeds.
But it also requires years of very specific and deliberate practice to achieve almost-superhuman typing speeds.
And that’s where most people fall short in achieving world-class goals – they have the intention to be great but no intention to do the hard work required to achieve greatness.
What keyboard has the fastest polling rate?
The keyboard with the fastest polling rate is the Corsair K100 mechanical gaming keyboard.
The polling rate of a typical keyboard is 1000hz which means it can transfer data 1 time each millisecond, which seems lightning quick.
And it is.
Until you compare it to the Razer keyboard above which is 8x faster at 8,000Hz thanks in no small part to the optical switches it uses, because light is pretty darned fast.
Why do typists prefer blue switches?
Cherry Blue switches tend to be louder when pressed and are well known for their responsiveness so they offer a more tactile experience for typists.
Blue keyboard switches do not have to be pressed down as fully in order to register the key has been pressed but you can still feel the actuation in your fingertips.
However, the same can be said for Cherry brown and Cherry green switches too, with blue being the hardest of all three of these.
So it’s again very much a case of personal preference.
Is 250 WPM possible?
The first thing to say here is yes, it’s possible to type at 250 WPM but not with a conventional keyboard.
The next thing to understand is that the average person reads at 250 WPM so you’re effectively typing as quickly as the average person can read.
What limits human typing speeds is…well..the fact that you’re human. And you’re also trying to use the same handful of keyboard layouts that have existed now for over 150 years.
So how do we break through this 240 – 250 WPM limit?
Normal keyboards operate in 2 dimensions – you press the keyboard down and it returns to its original position.
A standard keyboard also limits you to typing one character at a time, so even if you’re doing that blindingly fast you’re still only pressing one character at a time.
Yes, it kinda looks like a game pad. Or that invention that Homer Simpson dreamed about but couldn’t quite see.
Firstly, it lets you type in 3 dimensions in much the same way the stick on a game pad works, providing you with vastly more inputs than with the 26-character Roman alphabet.
But what’s really cool is that you can also use something called “chording”, where you press multiple letters at the same time to create an entire word…but with 500% less inputs than you need with a regular keyboard.
And you can use it for data entry, gaming or pretty much anything else you’d need a keyboard for.
But it gets you the end result way, way faster than any normal keyboard can.
How good is the Characorder?
Apparently, its use is banned in any typing competition so if that’s an urban myth it’s a stroke of marketing genius.
Dvorak keyboard image (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ideapad_DVORAK.JPG)
Characorder image (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CC1membraneTouchUpDesktop_1800x1800.png.webp)